Introducing Jabberwonky!

 

Posted on April 10, 2011

Every year Blue Moon Fiber Arts runs a Sock Camp in the spring.

knit me

It’s like going to summer camp when you’re a kid: we play games, do a scavenger hunt, there’s a talent show and afternoon arts and crafts time. But it’s also a knitter’s heaven: you get one-on-one instruction from some of the best knitters out there (this year’s teachers included Stephanie Pearl-McPhee/The Yarn Harlot, Tina Newton (Blue Moon’s dyer), Anne Hanson, JC Briar, and Anna Zilboorg), a variety of classes (which may or may not include inventing your own stitch patterns, sock repair, dyeing, spinning, colorwork, lace, sock architecture, and so on), and lots of goodies and tips in between. There’s nothing quite like chatting with knitting giants over chocolate croissants and learning how to make perfect buttonholes in a double-thickness button band, or how to avoid those little pointy corners when grafting a sock toe closed.

knit me

It’s also a great place for networking: many of the campers are designers, yarn store owners, dyers, editors, and influencers in the knitting & crochet communities. So you meet some amazing people and get to put faces to some of the names you may have seen in books or on the Internet. This year I met (among many others) Irish Girlie Knits, kzooerica of Kollage Yarns, Sam of Yummy Yarn Studio, and repeat offender Laura/Knitifacts, who gifted us all with stitch markers (check out her lovely new purple rain markers!).

One of my favorite parts of Camp is the homework. A month or two before Camp starts, Steph & Tina assign us all Camp-related homework. Every year of Camp has a different theme, and the homework goes along with the theme. Last year it was “boobies” (don’t ask). This year Camp was Alice in Wonderland themed, and the homework was “Jabberwonky.” Everyone interprets the theme in their own special way, knits something amazing, and brings it to Camp. On the last night of Camp we all unveil our homework projects and tell the stories behind them. Sometimes the stories are just as good, if not better, than the knitted item itself.

chess set

Since I’m getting into designing and trying to get my name out there, I wanted to design and write up a pattern for my Camp homework. Generous gift to fellow campers? Perhaps. Sneaky marketing ploy? Definitely. After playing with a bunch of colorwork ideas and then ultimately remembering that I hate knitting colorwork, I settled on designing a sock.

Barbara Walker’s stitch dictionaries (my new bible) provided a dragon-scale stitch pattern, I recruited some speedy test knitters from Ravelry, and my friend Kathy took me on an adventure that included wading boots, purchasing a $250 chess set, and a little friendly trespassing. The result was these gorgeous pattern photos, and my first for-sale pattern: Jabberwonky.

Jabberwonky socks Jabberwonky socks
Jabberwonky socks
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Comments

 

Laura

April 10, 2011

Awesome pattern! I can’t wait to knit it.

Reply

Sam

April 10, 2011

I am so glad that I had the opportunity to meet you at camp and more importantly thank you so much for sharing your sock pattern with me. Marketing ploy sounds so negative… I think it was a brilliant way of having more people appriciate you talents.

Reply

    Susan M.

    April 10, 2011

    Tee hee. One thing that working with web search has taught me is that marketing isn’t always about the seller trying to trick someone into buying their stuff; certain people want certain stuff, and if you (as a seller) can provide that stuff to the people who want it then everybody wins. Giving a sock pattern to a bunch of talented, influential knitters could really only be a win-win situation. :)

    Reply

tina

April 11, 2011

The homework is one of my favourite parts of camp too. I love coming up with the theme and almost feel like a kid anticipating a birthday waiting for homework night.
LOVE your socks!

Reply

    Susan M.

    April 28, 2011

    Thanks–I had fun creating them! I feel like having some constraint (like a theme) makes it easier to design something, so this was a fun exercise.

    Reply

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