Knit Flix

Friday, June 02, 2006

Autumn Grace

Goodness gracious.

I just got the news--my design took first place in the Cherry Tree Hill Sugar Maple Design Competition!

It all started when I received an email in late March from Hollis at Full Thread Ahead. Kristi & Cookie had stopped by the shop and in a discussion about the Cherry Tree Hill Sugar Maple Design contest, suggested that the Leaf Lace Shawl that I created for my sister might be a good candidate. Would I be interested in entering?

Leaf Lace Shawl

I've been meaning to write up the pattern, and this would be a motivator to get that done. First prize is $500 in exchange for rights to the pattern and the finished piece. The winning design will join the Cherry Tree Hill lineup and be shown at the National Needlework Association Show (TNNA) in June.

Hollis had a hank of CTH Cascade Lace, 100% silk lace weight which she set aside for me at the store. The colors were brighter than I expected and I was concerned that the lace pattern would get lost in the mix. But I forged ahead hoping it would all work out.

Writing up the pattern took more effort than I anticipated. I wrote a first draft from my notes, changing it so it could be knit with one hank of yarn, and cleaning up the layout. Then I started to knit, updating, fixing, and adjusting the pattern along the way.

One step that I flubbed through with the prototype was grafting the seed stitch border. I had to write out step-by-step intructions, but how? Spinnity to the rescue! She suggesting knitting a swatch of border+stockinette+border, knitting one row in a contrasting color, then continuing with the main color. Worked like a charm. The swatch clearly showed me the path for the grafting yarn.

Cookie summed it up nicely right before the package was sent to CTH, "Glad to see your shawl, but I hope to never see it again! *crossing fingers for you*" because of course CTH keeps the winning design. I whole heartedly agreed.

All of which lead to this morning when I got the news from Emy and Nathania. Wow.

Without further ado, here's a look at Autumn Grace.

Thanks to Cherry Tree Hill and congratulations to the other designers who placed in the contest. If you'll excuse me, I need to make a phone call or two.

Here is the email that went out to CTH retailers this morning:
Thanks to everyone who entered our contest. We have had the most difficult time picking the winners for the past 2 days, but here they are. Congratulations!

1st Place: Autumn Grace Shawl by Janice Kang who lives in California

This luxurious rectangular shawl is knit from just one hank of Cascade Lace, a 100% silk yarn. The clever Maple Leaf motifs featured in the design were irresistible and the fact that it was knit from the borders to the center and then grafted makes it a fun and much easier project than it looks. The well written instructions with charts and a photo only served to solidify that this project had to be the first place winner. This shawl will add elegance to any occasion. It is also very marketable as it takes just one skein of yarn.

Winning Store is Full Thread Ahead owned by Hollis Bischoff

2nd Place: Carnival Glass Shawl by Renee Leverington who lives in Iowa

This delicate triangular shawl is knit from 2 hanks of Suri Lace, a 100% Suri Alpaca yarn. The series of enchanting motifs just shimmer in the Suri Lace and the fact that the border is picked up and knit afterwards adds visual interest and ease to the knitting. The shawl is very versatile and the name was perfect - it really does look like Carnival Glass. Again, well written instructions and well documented charting. This is a versatile project suitable for anyone, and can be knit in any laceweight yarn.

She bought this yarn online at

3rd Place: Oceania Cape and Felted Hat by Laura Laurence who lives in California

This clever short row cape drapes beautifully, and the matching hat is both creative and eclectic. The fact that both garments are knit from the same skein of Oceania but look so different is especially nice. Felters everywhere will love to try the Oceania, a wool boucle with glitter that is not often felted, and the cape is universal and timeless. This ensemble can be worn together or separately and is a great bargain for the retail knitter. The only weakness here was the pattern which needs to be edited and proofed.

Laura is a well known fiber artist and the owner of Dancing Threads.

Honorable Mention: Flamewalker Socks by Peggy Kasses who lives in Florida

Most judges do not even consider socks but these are exceptionally intriguing and knit from our best selling yarn, Supersock Merino. They are accompanied by a fable about Maya, who saved her people from a Volcano by healing the earth with a magical pair of socks she knit from dancing flames. The socks are a generous length - longer than we have ever seen, showing that just one skein of Supersock can indeed make knee socks. The motifs were nicely done and the picot edge adds a finishing touch. The pattern calls for using 2 sets of Addi Turbos instead of 4 needles, which will delight sock knitters everywhere.

She bought the yarn at Really Knit Stuff in Florida.

We will post pictures of the winners once our model comes in.

Related posts:
More views of Autumn Grace
Ivy Leaf Lace Shawl

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