Salter Path and Book Giveaway!
Lucky me, I have another gorgeous pattern to talk about today? And this post comes with a book giveaway too. But you'll have to keep reading to find out more about that.
First, let's have a look at Melissa Goodale's new pattern, Salter Path.
photo by Joe Hancock
Salter Path is a stunning shawl knit in three colours of Hazel Knits Artisan Sock, pictured here in Low Tide, Beachglass and Fudge.
photo by Joe Hancock
The pattern is included in the fantastic new book from Interweave Press, Free-Spirit Shawls, 20 Eclectic Knits for Every Day (Interweave/F+W Media; $24.95). The book was curated by Lisa Shroyer, editor of Knitscene Magazine, and is presented along 4 themes: colour, lace, simplicity and texture.
photo by Joe Hancock
You can find more information about all the patterns in Free-Spirit Shawls on Ravelry and you purchase a copy for yourself. Of course, if you keep reading you can find out how you might win your very own copy.
Often, choosing colours that work together can be one of the most difficult parts of a multicolour project. To lend you a hand, Wendee has put together a few colour combinations.
Kits for these combinations are now available on the Hazel Knits website and include a full skein for both the Main Colour (MC) and Contrast Colour 1 (CC1) and a 200 yard skein for Contrast Colour 2 (CC2). THE PATTERN IS NOT INCLUDED.
I recently had the opportunity to interview Melissa Goodale about knitting, designing and Salter Path. Here's what she had to say:
HK: Let's start with the basics. When did you learn to knit and who taught you?
MG: I learned to knit the fall my husband went to grad school. My career was in California, his grad school was in NY. A very good friend of mine ran a local knitting group and persuaded me to learn since I'd have some time on my hands. My mother-in-law came to visit me, we took a road trip, picked up some yarn and needles at Jimmy Beans in Truckee, and she helped me learn while I read Stitch-N-Bitch.
HK: Do you take your knitting with you everywhere you go or do you only knit at home?
MG: I have at least one, if not more, knitting projects with me at any given time. I think part of why I fell in love with knitting as a craft (I've been crafting all my life), is the fact that it is so very portable. My patience is much greater when I've got yarn in my hands.
HK: Do you have a favourite spot to knit? What makes it special?
Not really. Like I mentioned, knitting comes everywhere with me. Last month I knit in the dentist's chair while getting my teeth cleaned. I'd say in general, though, anywhere with a comfy seat and a good drink works well for me.
HK: You started out designing mostly socks and now you design mostly shawls. Do you prefer designing shawls?
I like to joke that I'm a scatter shot designer. I've designed something in pretty much every general category; quite a few of these designs were by request (yarn stores, yarn companies, etc). My first self published design was Violeta, it was a LYS request for an event and how I met Wendee. We hit it off and have been teaming up ever since, which is why so many early designs were socks. I learned, though, that socks are a tough market. One of the biggest problems I hit was duplication. Off the top of my head I can think of 3 times I designed an awesome sock, and then stumbled on its twin on Ravelry. Twice I found them in time, but the third I didn't. If my Drift sock seems familiar that's because several other designers have designed its almost twin; mine alternates the wavy ribs, none of the others I've found do that. If you think about it, it's natural. Feet come in one shape, there are a lot of popular stitch dictionaries out there designers draw from, you're bound to have duplicates. But I got tired of running into the problem right around the time sock yarn shawls were popping on the scene. So I ditched the DPNs and moved onto shawls. I love the freedom I have when designing a shawl. It can be any shape, incorporate any pattern, the only limit is my imagination. I also love being able to show off the beautiful yarns I use in a more visible way. Though I do miss knitting socks, there's a soothing pattern to their creation.
HK: For Salter Path, how did you start the design process?
Salter Path was born from Low Tide. I'd been eyeing it for a while, and was really in love with the layers of color Wendee created. When the call for submissions came out for Free Spirit Shawls I knew I wanted to use Low Tide. So I swatched and fiddled and realized it would make a great transition from Fudge to Beachglass (two classic and beautiful colors). Though I don't usually care for garter stitch (and originally planned to make it in stockinette), the texture of Low Tide really called out for garter stitch, it added depth to the shawl.
HK: Do you knit as you are designing or plan the design out first and then knit?
It varies. Some designs spring to mind almost fully formed, others I have to coax. For books and magazines I'm largely forced to plan and then knit, having the chance to tweak a bit here and there but not really change the design from scratch. For the majority of my self published works I knit as I design. Swatching and frogging work much better for me than sketching and planning. I like to see where the yarn leads me.
HK: Not to downplay ebooks or pdfs for patterns, but are you excited to have a pattern published in a hard copy book that will be on shelves in stores and in homes around the world?
I grew up before the internet (now get off my lawn!), so books have a definite place in my heart. They just seem so timeless, and somehow important. All this means I'm thrilled to see my name in a book, it feels more like I'm leaving a mark in the world. It's really exciting.
HK: Do you focus on one design at a time or do you have many patterns in the works?
It is very, very rare for me to only have one design in the works at any given time. For one, I'm not a focused kind of person, and two, it seems like one thing always leads to another when I'm designing. The last design I did took so many turns and iterations that I've gotten 3 designs out of the process. What didn't work with one yarn worked great with another. I've got a sweater I started designing in 2005 still giving me fits through the yoke.
HK: Besides designing, do you have time to knit for pleasure? Do you knit other designers patterns?
I try to make time to knit for fun. It's hard turning a hobby you love into your day to day business, so I try to time box my knitting. Work day is work knitting, evening is personal knitting. It doesn't always pan out, especially if I'm under a publication deadline, but I try. My personal knitting is a mix of things I've hacked (elements taken from this or that design/FO I've seen mashed together to make what I want), copies of my designs to wear/gift (the originals live in my sample box for shows), and occasionally other designers patterns too. Sometimes it's nice to just sit and knit and let someone else do the work of figuring out the design (though I almost always modify things, I'm terrible at following instructions).
My thanks go out to Melissa, for her time and thoughtful answers. It's a real insight in the process.
You can find more of Melissa Goodale's patterns on Ravelry.
Okay, you've waited long enough (is this the world's longest post yet?). It's time for the book giveaway.
If you would like to win a copy of Free-Spirit Shawls, please leave a comment on this post before midnight Pacific Time, Monday, June 17th, 2013 and tell me about your favourite place to knit. Are you are public knitter or a private knitter? One winner will be selected randomly from all the entries to win a copy of Free-Spirit Shawls. Please be sure to include information so I can contact you if you win - email address or ravname, please.
Good luck and I can't wait to read your comments!