Thursday, August 30, 2012

Falling for the Season's Line-up (of Knitting Contests)


With the impending change of seasons, knitting magazines are chock-full of the kind of woolly, romantic looks I love.  Along with these sartorial markers of change come opportunities to take part in design competitions and other knitting-related challenges.    

Before giving details about these contests, I have to say that I think this whole blogging thing has gone to my head.  I may only have a handful of people who read my blog, but the fact that I have a presence in cyberspace has filled me with a deluded sense that I’m somehow part of the whole knitting/media/design industry—even if I’m really just a high school English teacher with an obsessive interest in knitting.  So when I received an email from Rowan stating that I might be interested in vying for a coveted slot as an “ambassador,” I have to say that I was puffed up with pride a bit—I thought that somehow, magically, I’d been singled out, like a social climber garnering a coveted invitation to an exclusive society gala, and that magical word “ambassador” with all its elite connotations kept rolling around my brain.  As this challenge requires submitting a photo of me wearing a project knit with Rowan yarn, in a virtual fog of feeling special and sought after, I poured over yarns and patterns online and purchased some gorgeous Rowan Tweed Aran and Tweed Collection, a new Rowan pattern book.  (I’ll show pictures of my work in progress after my package arrives and I’ve cast on.) 


I have to say, my thoughts and behavior were a bit like those of Malvolio imagining matrimony and donning yellow cross garters in response to a missive from his “lady love” (those familiar with Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night will get this reference to the puffed-up Puritan man servant who falls for a ruse in the form of a fake love letter addressed to him).  Anyway, my mind swam with dreams of fame (at least in the knitting world) until I did some searching today and realized that Rowan’s offer to become a “Rowanette” (or “Rowanet”) is splashed on Facebook and on the company’s webpage.  In actuality, anyone--who knits, that is--can send in a submission for consideration.  While Rowan Ambassadors won’t be provided with rides in limos or offered invitations to chic London parties, they will be offered other perks, such as the chance to review Rowan yarns and publications.  Armed with this new information and a wry   amusement at my previous inflated sense of my media presence, I do still plan to prevail— I’ll knit a garment, model it in a photograph, and submit that image along with 100 words stating why I would make a great Rowanette.  Whatever the outcome, I’m always happy to have an excuse to indulge in my passion for gorgeous tweed yarn.  

Here is one of the colors I will use in my project.  I purchased
the yarn from Jimmy Beans Wool.


Debbie Bliss is the sponsor of another competition.  Entrants must design a baby blanket using Baby Cashmerino or Eco Baby, photograph it, and send the image, along with the finished project’s measurements, to Debbie Bliss herself.  The deadline is January 21, 2013, so I might actually have time to knit the design I’ve sketched—if I don’t get too sidetracked by creating holiday gifts.  Details appear on page 14 of the Fall/Winter issue of Debbie Bliss Knitting Magazine, a publication which not only offers a stunning visual feast, but also contains some engaging reading, including an interview with Eisaku Noro and a moving account of Louisa Harding’s participation in a Nepal Hiking Challenge in order to raise money for Macmillan Cancer. 


Finally, one other contest recently came to my attention, but, as I’m still somewhat of a novice knitter, I’ll probably have to decline participating in this one as I’m still pretty shaking about calculating garment measurements and incorporating complicated details into a project—especially in a few months’ time.  The elegant 30th anniversary issue of Vogue Knitting includes instructions for participation in its annual design challenge, one where the winner will receive a free trip to New Zealand.  Participants must design a garment using Zealana’s yarns—the company’s possum fiber is intriguing and its limited edition pearl infused yarn (in honor of Vogue Knitting’s 30th anniversary) is sublime.  Entries must be submitted by November 30, 2012.  Winners will be announced in January at a gala dinner at Vogue Knitting Live in New York.  Go to Vogue Knitting for information. 

2 comments:

  1. You did make me laugh with the Malvolio reference! I don't think you are quite in this category! I went to a Shakespeare fancy dress party as a child once dressed as Malvolio - had to dye a pair of long white socks yellow and made the cross-garters out of scarlet bias binding! Anyway I digress! Go for it on the design and make front - someone has got to win and why not you? I will be surprised if you don't, quite honestly. And even if you don't win, what fun to have a go! These kinds of things are often the levers that move us on a notch even if there is no outside recognition, so all grist to your needles! Keep us posted on progress! E x

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  2. Hello Carolina - our blogs seem to be coinciding in terms of content - it's the knitting/books crossover - I'm sure we can't be the only ones who love books and love knitting. I got that email from Rowan too and while I am tempted, realistically I'm not sure where I would find the time. The really exciting thing is that for the first time in my 45 years life I have designed a knitted item! It's not very big, just a pair of wrist warmers, and it took me most of yesterday afternoon and evening, but as I said to my husband while cooking lunch, "Right, that's it, I'm going to give up teachiing and become a knitwear designer now" - not very likely but such was my enthusiasm. I think you should have a go at designing somethiing small to start off with and before you know it you will be on to complicated cable jumpers and lacey mobius cowls. I'll put my pattern up on the blog in the next few days if you want to have a look.

    Happy knitting! Judy

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