summer is fading fast in our part of the country—orchard fruits are rolling into market, the children are back to school this week, and the hazel nuts have fallen from our tree. it’s hard to believe that our fall in full color club has launched already—what i need is for time to slow down and give me an extension on the remaining summer days.
so it feels extra good that today i get to release sonnenblume—our very own sunflower—which was the first offering in our 2012 fall in full color club. knit in a merry clover green color cooked up especially for us by our dear friend catherine owner and creative director of knitting notions.
our fall in full color club is a bit different from our spring/summer bare naked knitspot club; here we focus almost solely on color inspiration and how design is inspired and developed around color, rather than fiber. while we always aim to provide top quality, luxury bases that showcase our palette most effectively, the focus of the club is to experiment, experience, and try out colors that are tailored to specific designs.
this rich, grassy green for instance, a color taken straight from nature and turned into wearable art—who wouldn’t love to knit with such a color as the fields fade into fall? a color like this is bound to bring a smile on a foggy autumn morning. so many clubbies opened their packages and thought this color was “not my color”, but then knit the shawl and discovered it not only suited them well, but was unexpectedly spectacular and drew all sorts of compliments.
i LOVE being the spectator as these eventualities unfold in our club discussion threads (and a current KAL thread here); when i see our club community open their hearts to something new and allow it to take hold of them, i am awed by their adventurous natures. by the way, one of the best things about our club is the fun and hilarity of our ravelry clubhouse, headed up by our beloved ringleaders, kim3 and katj.
it was incredibly gratifying when, throughout the fall and winter, knitters would approach me at teaching events to show me their completed sonnenblumes, telling me it was a color they never thought they could wear, but because the project represented a real accomplishment for them, the DID wear it and found that it attracted lots of positive attention, most of all from themselves.
well, i would say, you really can’t go wrong with a color straight from nature; she’s a master designer.
one of the ways that we coax our members into knitting and wearing colors outside their comfort zone is to pair them with designs that are (hopefully) intriguing and attractive enough that they can’t NOT knit them.
the sunflower shawl design was perfect for this objective—who doesn’t love sunflowers?
i think they were placed on earth specifically to make us smile.
this is a design that i had long wanted to tackle, inspired by a doily design in an old german lace book which has echoes of sunflower petals in its shapes (at least, that’s what i saw when i looked at it). i had been lazy up to this point and had not sat down to work out the exact patterning, but now i had inspiration to do it and i set to work.
the narrative part of the design (the portion that most closely illustrates an actual sunflower) is focused at the top, where the fabric stretches around the body to showcase the flower’s center “seeds” and “petals”.
the shawl grows in radial fashion, progressing through a lighter mesh section to a dramatic, “leafy” hem which replicates the skirt of large, fluttering leaves that a sunflower plant has.
it looks very complex, but the knitting is actually quite reasonable to execute; i think all the wrong side rows are in purl or knit/purl. and because it changes patterns throughout, it holds plenty of entertainment value
the final shawl shape in somewhere between a semicircle and a pentagon, with corner godets that fall into wonderful folds all around and respond prettily to the slightest of breezes.
the yarn was perfect for this project—a pure merino laceweight, spun into a lofty 2-ply that can be knit on size 5 needles; great for seeing progress in the knitting and light as air for a larger shawl like this one. plus, soft as down agains bare skin—and this shawl is wonderful with a strapless or backless dress.
shown above, the tall size shawl in knitting notions classic merino lace, in our exclusive club colorway clover. included are instructions for petite and tall sizes sizes. catherine has several gorgeous green and gold colors that would be beautiful as sonnenblume, including: green apple, golden olive, saffron, or pear.
sonnenblume wake is also included in the FIFC 2012 eBook collection—14 terrific accessory patterns, each one multi-sized and suitable for gifting or keeping; many will have universal appeal for women, men, and children alike. purchase the eBook collection from the knitspot club website or in our ravelry pattern shop (it takes a few seconds to view).
another fun thing to do—click here to view the sonnenblume project pages to see more examples of these shawls knit by club members and photographed on a variety of people and in alternate yarns. or better yet, join the sonnenblume KAL in our swingin’ FIFC clubhouse for a real good time!
very special thanks to my good friend kris, who modeled the shawl so elegantly at her beautiful farm; we are so very lucky to have her as a friend!
special thanks to our entire knitspot team—david, erica, karolyn, vanessa, sarah, nicole, emily, and erica—who keep the clubs humming along with terrific yarn choices, great customer service, and tons of fun. thank you all; you are nothing short of awesome!