Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Woodland Collar (and a contest)

For quite some time I've been thinking about writing a series of patterns that are inspired by textures in nature and that highlight unusual and eco-friendly yarns.

This pattern -- the Woodland Collar -- is the first. The seeds of this project were planted nearly a year ago, and I'm happy to finally present it to the world.

It is inspired by the deeply etched textures of certain tree barks: oak, elm, white pine. I wanted to evoke those textures in a small garment, as if it were a strip of bark to wrap around oneself.

I tried to give the construction an organic feel, with deep vertical cables and a subtle flare at the base. Probably my favorite element is that it uses the gaps created by the cable crossings as buttonholes, so you can change the way it fits and drapes by buttoning at different places.

I spent a long time searching for a yarn that would make for an interesting riff on tree bark. The yarn that I finally chose is a handspun camel yarn from Mongolia. It is produced through The Snow Leopard Trust, which is an NGO that partners with communities in Central Asia to protect snow leopard habitat.

The yarn is soft, but it's definitely a rustic, handspun yarn with a few guard hairs scattered throughout. It was that rough edge that I thought would properly evoke tree bark.

I knit a second version using a beautiful blue-purple yarn from Nanney Kennedy's Seacolors Yarn. I fell in love with her philosophy and her yarn -- Maine wool, minimally processed, solar dyed -- when I visited her farm back in August. The Seacolors yarn has a lot of spring to it, and it makes for a livelier, snugger collar compared to the drapey camel version.

The pattern is a great way to try out single skeins (100g, of course) of worsted weight yarn. I'm knitting up a cool one in Noro Kureyon. And one of the women in my knitting group has made a gorgeous version in Malabrigo.

If you're interested, there are three ways to get this pattern. You can purchase and download it from Ravelry. You can email evergreenknits@gmail.com to buy it straight from me. Or you can try to win it by leaving me a comment on this post by 11/21/08 (next Friday). I'll draw a winner for every ten comments. And if you win and have already bought the pattern, I'll send you a refund and an extra little prize!!

35 comments:

Georgi said...

I lovew this collar! It is one I can wear as the neck will fold down, and one my daughters can wear button up tight. Very doable and wearable!

Turtle said...

i love the texture and organic feel of the collar. both are beautiful but that blue....yum! Nice design!

PinkAdele said...

Cool love it! Those buttons are really nice, especially the wooden ones. I love the way the cable goes around them! Keep up the good work! xxxxx

Rachel said...

Another nice pattern...I especially appreciate the 'nature' thought that went into the design. Whether I get lucky and win it or whether I buy the pattern, I already know what yarn I have in my stash that would work perfectly for this...it will definitely be an after the holiday knit!

Josiane said...

That's a nice collar! I like its shape - it looks like it hugs the neck in a really nice way.

cpurl17 said...

It's gorgeous and I love that it looks equally pretty when opened up!

Terri D. said...

What a beautiful collar (I'm loving the Shawlette down below, too)! Thanks for everything.

trek said...

Very nice! And I like the wee bit of shaping.

katerina said...

It really is a beautiful design! I think it would look really beautiful in a alpaca yarn.. yummy!

cksknitter said...

Beautiful! You're so talented!

alisa said...

oooh, i like. particularly in the brown yarn it really does evoke the sense of natural pattern that was so inspirational to you! and the wooden button in a great detail!

cinnamintus@yahoo.com said...

i'm usually not a big fan of collars (sorry, just not my thing), BUT this one is totally wearable. I think the slight flare helps with that a lot, and the pattern is simply scrumptious! gorgeous work as always! Hope I win!!!

Erin said...

What a beautiful collar--perfect pattern! sicilianbuttercup on Ravelry

kristen von minden said...

love the pattern and so cool that you can button in a variety of places to create different effects. do you have any other cool patterns on the way?

Carrie said...

I love how snug you can get this around your neck... looks so cozy, that I would wear it in and out of the house! Much better than a heavy and long scarf.

J. Denae said...

I love this pattern!!

Kristen said...

I love that you can button it in different places to get a different fit/effect. Some days you need it buttoned up tight and some days not so much!

Jenny M said...

This pattern is gorgeous! It's very much what I'm looking for. I'm going over to Ravelry to fave it so that I remember to buy it (assuming I don't win a copy ;-) after the holidays when I'll have time to knit myself something!

Debbie said...

I really like your collar pattern - since I live in Alaska that would keep me toasty warm. I need all the warmth I can get. thanks for the contest. Debbie

turvid said...

A beautiful collar! :)

Darcys Knotty Knitter said...

I love it Iam crazy about the cables;)Hugs Darcy

Jessie said...

I especially love how the brown one looks!

crochetgurl said...

I've never made a neckwarmer yet, but I would love to try out your pattern. :-)

Trudy said...

I tried making one once, but chose too "fluffy" a yarn and it just got all over everything it touched. This pattern is yummy!

timmi said...

love it! Don't think I can wait till next week to see if I win it before I buy it though lol.

Angela said...

thanks for the contest. love the pattern. i am always looking for new neckwarmer patterns - i have made tons and wear them all - i'm always freezing here in the drizzly, grey, chilly months of fall/winter/spring here in the NW!! thanks again.

quinn said...

I bought two skeins of the Snow Leopard Trust yarn last month! Now I have my first idea for what to knit with it!
(BTW, another way to support the Trust is with Snow Leopard "adoptions"...I gave one as a wedding present :)
I love your pattern - it's got more options than other neckwarmers I've been thinking about - and more coverage. Great design!

Leesy said...

What an interesting and inspired pattern@

ponyknit said...

Lovely! Interesting pattern!

|chee-uh| said...

Perfect under a warm winter coat.

Aster said...

Count me in this contest! Beautiful!

judy said...

Nature is the perfect source for our inspiration. Count me in!

Beverly said...

Lovely pattern. Count me in.

morgaine24 said...

that is so gorgeous i love the cables and the color awesome

Calana Crafts said...

I know I missed the post date, but it's a gorgeous pattern especially as I cannot bear a scarf around my neck, this would be perfect.