Saturday, October 25, 2008

Jane The Knitter

It's great when someone is branded by their profession. It's nothing new, I imagine that anyone with the last name Carpenter or Cook can boast an ancestor who actually was a carpenter or cook. I awaited the Jane Ellison seminar at Stitch with much anticipation. I hadn't realized how prolific this lady was until I counted the projects designed by her in my queue alone.

This cardigan called Esme is out of one of the Queensland design books (yarn stashed...check) and Manhattan from Pure Noro last year is languishing but still makes my heart beat faster. Meeting her did not disappoint. Poor thing was fighting a nasty cold and given her apparent schedule, it's not surprising.

The group was intimate - only about seven of us. Stitch is an amazing little store. It's actually the first floor of a Victorian house. Imagine what your house would look like if you could decorate it with gobs of designer yarn and you've pretty much got the picture. It's charming, soothing and filled with creative inspiration. Jane brought with her sweater samples from her Mirasol books. Mirasol is a fair trade yarn line in support of the families who shepherd the Alpaca in Peru. Mirasol book 3 is wonderful and my personal favourite is this cabled, hooded tunic done in Qina (a blend of Alpaca and Bamboo of all things). I tried the sample on as did several other knitters and it looked great on everyone. That's the hallmark of a great design in my opinion. Jocelyn (who owns Stitch) brought in the Qina in a wonderful Wisteria shade and I can't stop thinking about it. So far, so good though - I'm still at the longing stage and haven't actually transgressed to the plotting stage but I'm darn close. The workshop revolved around a lovely little Inca-styled hat with slip-stitched patterning. Jane is charming and patient and lovely (if you like willowy, model-like blonds who are talented and nice).

Jocelyn had this mock newspaper front page made up to hang discretely on the wall for Jane to casually notice.Ironically, she found her first designing job in this same publication. She's focusing mostly on the Mirasol yarns for now though the new Jane Ellison Noro book is to die for also. If "Jane the Knitter" would just create fewer amazing designs then maybe I won't have to have my name legally changed to "Princess Running with Mastercard".

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