As I’ve shifted the focus of my work over the past few months from teacher to writer and from part of a team to an independent, there have been loads of moments when I am reminded that I made the right choice for me & my family. There have also been some very quiet moments. I’m a person that does not mind being on my own, but even so there are times when I crave the creative exchange of working as part of a team. I’ve been blessed to find a regular knitting buddy and to get involved in a some projects & events — like the Tour de Fleece & writing for iMake Magazine — that have helped me maintain & develop some crafty relationships. I’ve been lucky in that the opportunities seem to always arise when I need them most.
Much in this way, a few weeks ago I got wind of a test knitting opportunity for a new Jane Richmond design. I have been on the test knitting ear burn list on Ravelry for a while, but this was the first opportunity that the timing really worked out for me so I jumped at it. I assume tons of people volunteer for these test knits, but I threw my hat in the ring & hoped for the best. Within a day or so I got an email from Jane inviting me to join the test knit group. I could not have been more excited and I instantly set about the all-important job of choosing yarn.
I really thought this through, probably more than I needed to to be honest. Jane was kind enough to invite me into this test knit & I really wanted to throw in my all. The pattern used a worsted Superwash Merino from Indigodragonfly. While the yarn was gorgeous, I was pretty sure since it would have to pass through customs from Canada that I would not be able to get it & knit it up in time for the deadline — or at least I wasn’t willing to risk it. I started researching weight to yardage of the sample yarn, seeking a good match. When I search patterns on Ravelry one of the first things I do when I find one I like is look at the ‘yarn ideas’ tab. I wanted to represent a readily available, good quality yarn in a color completely different from the other samples. The more options & ideas on the pattern’s Ravelry page, the more opportunity for appealing to a wider audience of knitters, right?
After some browsing, I finally landed on Sweet Georgia Superwash Worsted. Identical in weight to yardage, fiber content, and based out of Vancouver — home of Knit City where this shawl was scheduled to release — this was the perfect fit. The fact that I knew Jane has used & raved about Sweet Georgia yarns in the past sealed the deal. Not available locally, I hopped on Eat. Sleep. Knit. and — with the help of a friend — selected the China Doll colorway. Bright, eye-popping red. A world away from the beautiful, cool blue Jane used in her sample, this red was going to be an great example from the other side of the color spectrum.
The next few days were agony as my fantastic test knit group — really they could not have been more awesome and fun — knit away while I waited for my yarn.
I wound those skeins and cast-on in the blink of an eye.
After a couple weeks of keeping this project quiet, I’m so happy to share it with you today. Welcome to the world, McMilne Shawl! You are definitely a keeper!
Many thanks to Jane Richmond for allowing me to take part in this test knit & to my fellow test knitters for making it so much fun!
You can see my notes & projects details on my Ravelry project page.