Friday, July 24, 2009

Portrait of the Artist as White Rabbit

Although I'm not late, I'm in a ripping hurry. But I hate not checking in for so long, and as it happens there's news and some knitting to show you. I've been dying to show you the knitting for months, but as it was done for somebody else I had to keep mum until the client lifted the lid. The lid, it has now been lifted. And the client lives in Montreal, so I bet she shouted, "Voilà!" when she did it.

This is the Prairie Spring Tunic.

Prairie Spring Tunic

I designed it for Véronik Avery, in support of her new line, St-Denis Yarns. When Véronik asked me to work up a children's pattern for the first St-Denis magazine, I didn't know who else (aside from my talented buddy Carol) would be contributing; and it's probably a good thing I didn't. For starters: Ysolda Teague, Mary Jane Mucklestone, Pam Allen, and (of course) Véronik herself. Intimidating company, what? You can see the whole august assembly on Ravelry.

The yarn is lovely. When the big box full of different colors arrived, I knew right away I wanted to use every one of them. I also knew I didn't want the colorwork to look like it came from Fair Isle or Norway. Those are gorgeous, noble traditions–but they're already being nicely upheld and propelled by people who have far more right to them than I.

So the tunic has a motif that wasn't inspired by sea or snow. It was inspired by a sooty, crumbly bit of Prairie School terra cotta cornice on an otherwise unremarkable two-story building my neighborhood. I know. That's far less romantic than telling you I was moved by the site of a chamois munching on edelweiss* in the morning mist. But a fellow has to work with what's to hand.

Prairie Spring Tunic

If you're curious, Véronik says that retailers (including WEBS and Patternworks) will start receiving both the yarns and the magazine in August and September.

Additions to the Calendar

In August, I'm going to be teaching a whole bunch at dear, sweet Loopy Yarns:
  • August 8, Introduction to the History, Methods and Styles of Lace Knitting
  • August 15, Elizabeth Zimmermann's Tomten Jacket (plus Garter Stitch Jacquard)
  • August 22, Photographing Your Fiber
You can click here for more details.

And, much further from home, I'm making my first visit ever to the Pacific Northwest in September.
  • Seattle, Washington. Sept 2. Signing and stuff at Renaissance Yarns, in the evening (exact times TBA).

  • Spokane, Washington. Sept 7. Teaching "Introduction to the History, Methods and Styles of Lace Knitting" at Paradise Fibers. For more information, click here.
There may be some additions to the Washington trip, but that's what's confirmed for now. I'll keep you posted.

For now, the naughty naughty clock says I must stop and post this.

*I have no idea whether chamois eat edelweiss, and I'm too busy to check. Please don't feel compelled to enlighten me. My illusions are all I have at the moment.

125 comments:

Steph said...

Oh, it's awesome, Franklin! I love the color combo, and I hope to make the pullovers for my little ones. :)

nanaknits said...

Huzzah! I lurked at Loopy last Sunday thinking maybe they had kidnapped you. But now I see you were just so busy being a genius as usual! I think my grandson will need one of these sweaters for christmas ... I'll be watching for the pattern to be available.

Jen Jensen said...

Beautiful!

And just so you know, there are some of us out here who find architectural details to be far more romantic than chamois munching on edelweiss!

Shannon said...

All of your work is beautiful. Will you ever be coming to the San Francisco Bay Area?

Stefanie said...

Oh Franklin, I love your tunic! I'm always excited to see fun knits for little boys and now I can't wait to get this magazine! Congratulations!

amy said...

I have a gift certificate to WEBS that's been waiting, waiting...and now I know for what. For that magazine, that's what. Can't wait!!

WonderWhyGal said...

It's GORGEOUS! I hope to one day knit like you. I love the colors and the fact that you picked your pattern from an everyday inspiration.

Thank you for sharing. It motivates me to keep knitting my simple scarves so I can learn the techniques to eventually knit like you.

Jennifer said...

That is a very cute sweater. Congratulations!

mildawg said...

Oh my! You're visiting my neck of the woods in September. I cannot wait.
That is a beautiful tunic design! Inspiration need not be romantic when your final product looks like that.

Liz said...

Lovely pattern. It looks like just the thing for the nephew; and there's a wonderful green shawl in that magazine too... Will be watching out for stockists in/suppliers to the UK...

Also; Edelweiss. Now I have that song in my head for the next... I don't know. Thanks.

The knitting guild of Santa Cruz said...

Your tunic is perfect, you inspire me!

KGLO said...

Any chance a trip to Portland is in order? Abundant Yarn and Dyeworks has a marvelous café, and Boersma's knitting basket is just magical.

Erica said...

I'm so glad you'll be visiting the Northwest. Thanks for popping in to update. love your take on life.

Rooie said...

Adorable. And is that the cutest niece in the world wearing the object?

Necia said...

It is beautiful, and I think it's great that you love things that are inspired by architectural detail.

melanie said...

What a beautiful sweater! Any chance there will be instructions for big people? Would love to make one for my nephew AND his daddy...

Laura said...

My only complaint is that I can't cast on immediately!

LFRIES said...

So excited you're coming to Washington! I'd love to take the lace class, but I live in Seattle, not Spokane, so I suppose I'll see you at the reading!

Leah said...

Love it!

Riin said...

I love that it was inspired by a crumbly terra cotta cornice. There's beauty everywhere.

quinn said...

Charming design! I can imagine my little nevvie in this sweater...hmmmm...

and I love the purposeful stride in the second snap :)

Melissa said...

That is a perfect little boy sweater! Great work.

Kim said...

Love the tunic, Bravo!

Leslie said...

It's beautiful, and I'm fortunate enough to have some babies who would love to receive such a lovely tunic.

Anonymous said...

Any idea what the prices are for the classes you're teaching at Loopy? Their website doesn't have that information listed. I'm really interested in some of the classes, but I don't want to sign up without knowing how much they will cost.

Joan said...

Very happy to hear you'll be at Rennaisance in Sept. I'm near enough that a visit is clearly mandated. You will love our corner of the country.

BarbS said...

Beautiful pattern, and I know just the little niece to make it for! Wish I lived in the Pacific Northwest (or Chicago) - I'd love to take the history of lace class!

astoriaAnn said...

I love this sweater so much! This is fabulous. I'm going to make it for Phoebe as soon as I can. If the goal was luring people into trying her new yarn line, you have succeeded -- the colors are perfect and they'll look terrific on her. Just in time for autumn.

Judy in Indiana said...

Thank Goodness you are back, I miss you so much when you are not posting regularly enough to soothe my soul. And I love the knitting, of course, you genius!

Jeanne said...

OMG, you designed this? It's GORGEOUS! I love the non-trad colors. I'd wear it myself if it came in grown-up sizes. Congrats and stuff!

Holli said...

Colors and pattern are just stunning. Very very nice. And, as always, it's great to see you pick your head up out of the sand and stay in touch. Throw that naughty clock out the window!

Alwen said...

Wondered what you were doing in that table fort all this time . . .

Kati said...

Great sweater! Great design. You did a wonderful job selecting and arranging the colors in the pattern.

Donna Lee said...

Lovely sweater. The pattern could be for boys or girls and that's a nice bonus. I'm always amazed at knit designers (the talent!) and I enjoy hearing where the inspiration comes from.

Jess said...

Looking forward to seeing you here in Spokane!

candi said...

I love the little sweater, and the colors are perfect. I just wish I had someone to make it for. Maybe I'll just make it anyway, to say I did.

Meredith said...

Wait, a chamois is an animal? I thought it was a thing for drying cars. (But I googled it and am now enlightened.)

And I like the tunic. Very nicely done!

Laia said...

You're supposed to come to _Oregon_, Washington isn't close enough.

Besides, Oregon is prettier.

(Having never been to Washington, I am of course basing my opinion on illusion).

Linda said...

I love fairisle and that has just enough to keep me happy. uch as I love wall-to-wall fairisle, it just isn't that wearable especially for children. Too stiff, too hot in my climate.

whitknits said...

It's awesome! I absolutely love the colorwork pattern, AND the inspiration behind it. I'm so excited about this magazine...so many amazing designers there, yourself included.

Liz said...

I'm off to the Alps in August so I'll try to check on that chamois/edelweiss thing for you then.

Harpa J said...

Very beautiful and well balanced work.

Melissa said...

Franklin it's beautiful! Makes me wish I knew how to knit better. Your creativity is amazing. Thanks for sharing!

Mary Jane said...

I find crumbly Prairie School cornices wildly romantic...I love the vest!

Mary Jane said...

...ahem...I meant to write: I love the Sweater! I must have been swooning from the image of cornices crumbling...

Seanna Lea said...

That's a sweet little sweater. Beautiful!

Victoria said...

That tunic is absolutely adorable (as is the little boy modeling it.)

I think I might have to make the drive back down to Chicago for the Photographing our fibers class, it sounds brilliant. Hope to see you there.

Anonymous said...

How great to see a new Franklin post. I've wondered what your world is up to lately. The sweater is great. I'm usually not a great fan of colorwork, but I like this very much - nice colors, not too fussy, and architectural, too. That's what I miss about my Chicago walks, the little touches in otherwise insignificant buildings. Not so much of that in Huntington Beach ;)

Maureen

Laurie in MN said...

Who says crumbly bits of architectural trim aren't romantic? I find myself rather enamoured of the weathered, distressed, "used and loved" look of old buildings, books, tools, etc. And the design of that Prairie School trim is solid -- a good thing from which to take inspiration.

Fantastic tunic! I don't suppose there's one in the works for big kids, is there?

Note: my verification word, 'bedia', is a woman's name in Arabic. Fitting in that I am a Middle Eastern Dancer and go by the stage name "Badria". *grin!*

Thea_Midnight said...

Franklin, the child's tunic is just aweseome. Can you say Uff Da? Then I just made you an honorary Norwegian.
Thanks for the inspiration and architecture is always always always a good source, you handsome genius.

Thea
TheaMidnight on Ravelry

Janet said...

Franklin - Seattle Sept. 2 - I hope to be there. Our packing continues. Any chance of being included in the 1000 Knitters Photoshoot?

Janet, still in Dublin

Christy D. said...

That is a great sweater! I love it.

Anonymous said...

Dear Franklin. Your illusions are our reality. Thanks for sharing with us. M

jeloca said...

Franklin, the sweater is adorable. I have to admit I'm a touch biased towards the model, my son Jakob. :) Unfortunately he looks so cute in the sweater that now I have to make one for him! Thanks for designing something so simply sweet.

Jennifer
http://www.jeloca.com

Sandy said...

I love your pattern!! It's fabulous and I queued it for my nephew. :)

katerina said...

Love the sweater - it's really wonderful! the colors and design just fit together perfectly! - I'm curious - is the doll in the photo one of the Sam & samira's from the same mag? - also super super cute!!

Knitting and Beyond said...

Hey there! I love your sweater and your blog. You should come to Churchmouse Yarns and Teas on Bainbridge Island! It's just a short ferry ride from Seattle, and you get to the entire Northwest experience.

That would work out really well for me!

Thank you for everything you do.

Aleta

Puttermeister said...

What a terrific design. I really like your idea of reaching toward Prairie School architecture for some more local colorwork inspiration. Very smart--in looks and concept!

Mother of Chaos said...

That is AWESOME. It's cute, but CLASSY...I love kids clothes that have that classic touch to them. Can't wait to get my hands on it.

Yvonne said...

Can you adopt me? I'll make brownies.

Anonymous said...

Are you really coming to the Pac NW? Oh Spokane is Tooo hot .... you MUST cool off in Seattle or Tacoma. Shops are small but check out .... the gal in Lakewood, WA (Yourshire Yarns)... she rocks and puts on good events. http://www.yorkshireyarns.com/

Cindy

Anonymous said...

Oh I read futher and I'm overjoyed you will be in Kent SOON!!!. I did not even know there was a yarn shop there. Where are you staying? (I do travel arrangments) If you want to have dinner in Seattle (Capital Hill) I know a nice Mexican place and view of the Space Needle. CS

Rebecca said...

Well, you're one up on me in the 'chamois' department. I thought it was something you buffed your car with and had to check it on wiki. I also had to look up Nero, to see why he would have said 'ta-da' when he broke a fiddle string. :-) Thanks for furthering my education at this late date.

Addiopolis said...

Beautiful, beautiful, work Franklin! And a lovely source of inspiration.

Ali P said...

I got my first lookee-loo at the magazine tonight at knit night. Both Veronik and the cover model were in attendance. :oD I will be snagging my own copy ASAP at my fave LYS, but the danged yarn is hung up at the border! Oooh the colours!
Your pattern is very cute!

Kathy S said...

This tunic is absolutely adorable!!! I have a great-nephew who will be one year old soon. I absolutely make it for him. It also makes me sad that my little boy isn't so little anymore.

Rebecca said...

I LOVE your design! There are several new little boys in my life and they all need that sweater. Well done.

Marin (AntiM) said...

I know I'm a little late, but I wanted to confirm that chamois do indeed munch on edelweiss. They are an integral part of the polination and spreading of edelweiss seed, hence their nickname, "Honeybees of the Alps."

KarenJoSeattle said...

If you haven't filled your Seattle schedule yet, you should contact Churchmouse Yarns and Teas on Bainbridge Island. They have a lovely store, a lot of experience and organization for hosting people, and it's a scenic ferry ride over to a pretty island with a lot of enthusiastic knitters. Besides, it would be easier for me to see you there.
(They have a web site I assume I can't link here.)
See you somewhere next month. If you're still in the state the Seattle Knitters Guild has a Latvian Mitten program at their meeting on the 9th.

Pickyknitter said...

I miss you ! and Dolores, Tom and Harry too.

Diedre said...

LOVE both the pattern and the precious child in the photo.

I do adore me some Prairie School Architecture and love the inspiration piece it afforded you, however, I honestly see you, Franklin, in this pattern. Your love of beenies and your beard? It's You baby! Perfect for many reasons. Keep up your good cheer and welcome back to your adoring fans.

Deborah said...

I miss you Franklin. I hope you're too busy with secret knitting to blog, and we'll see a bunch of new posts soon!

Emily said...

I miss you, too. I am just about to give up on ever reading anything from you again! I love it when you post. Your absence is felt over here. Sob.

krazee said...

But...you left us again? Harry...Delores?! You there??? Come back!

HEY Delores...I've got a FULL liquor cabinet and I'm willing to share!

Ola said...

Dolores, come back, please...:(

Neeley Notes said...

Write something, already
Please?

Gauss said...

Dear Franklin,

It has been a month. We miss you. The sweater is very cute, but please don't let this be your last post.

Love,
Gauss

Sue J said...

Okay Franklin!
Your adoring fans need a fix!!
BLOG ALREADY!!!!!!

Carrie said...

I bet he's gonna come back with the most splendiferous tea cozy the world has ever seen! Or, at least, I hope.

Procrastinating mind said...

This ROCKS Dude!!!

deniasha said...

Franklin, are you still out there? We are starting to worried Dolores sold you into slavery!

Kimberly said...

lovely sweater, but are you going to post again? ever?

krazee said...

Delores hasn't really sold you, right?

Sniff...

But...I'll miss Harry!

Yvonne said...

Oh, Franklin. Any other sites in Washington State? Hope all is well & miss you!

Carolyn said...

Franklin, come back! We miss you! What have you been knitting?

Anonymous said...

You aren't dead or anything, are you?!?!?!

Anonymous said...

hi franklin,
never commented here before, but I have read all your back posts now and i am eager for new input. If dolores wants a ransom, we might try to start a collection, maybe?

Anonymous said...

I just noticed - Did you also knit a monkey for that little boy? His toy totally matches his sweater! Way Cool.

I hope your projects and trips are going well and Doloris is being interesting and amusing.

Leah

Anonymous said...

Was that you I saw on a flight from JFK to Amsterdam on Sunday 8/23? If so, let me say, retroactively, "Hi, are you Franklin Habit? Wow, I read your blog and love your work. Have a great trip!"

Sandy said...

Psst...Harry!!

Just give us a wee update. Franklin won't mind. Tell us the truth...did Delores and Franklin get into trouble? Are they doing time?

It's OK honey. Just tell us. We can help.

Emily said...

OK; I Googled you to see if you had died. You don't seem to be dead. Which is good. But I, for one, am languishing here for lack of thee. More sobs.

Anonymous said...

Dear Franklin, where art thou? You are missed - are you well?
- Daisy

Wow Gold said...

Very Nice Blog

Wow Gold said...

very nice blog

JudithNYC said...

F, I hope your silence means that your are having the most awesome summer ever. I miss you.

Sarah said...

Longtime reader, first time poster. Franklin, my August has been a little darker without your insights and wonderful writing. Hope all is well, and that you're enjoying the Northwest. Hurry back!

Anonymous said...

Yoohoooooo! Where's Franklin? We miss him!

Rebecca said...

I admire your respecting the wild boy, and staying away from 'constant chatter' to pursue the sharpened creative edge. I haven't checked here in a month, but I, for one, am delighted that you're indulging instead of chattering. Keep it up, wild thing. I've been reading up on the crazy at purls o' wisconsisn. wow. crazy.

diane said...

Good - I saw photographic evidence on Joe's blog that you are in fact alive and apparently well. Hope you come back soon.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry I missed you in Seattle. We were hiking with the grandkids at Mt Rainier for three days.

I love the sweater and wish my grandkids wore sweaters. Tee shirts and shorts year round for them (sob).

I miss you, you always have something interesting to say

SarahSeattle

Holli said...

Ok, I love the Prairie Spring Tunic. But, Franklin, it's FALL! Where are you?

Bonnie said...

Franklin - Are you OK? We miss you!

WonderMike said...

Love the sweater to pieces. Looking forward to the book!

bertie said...

Franklin,
The sweater is beautiful but what have you done since? Where are you? Has Dolores brought you into trouble? We miss you.

LindaWD said...

Dolores - Untie Franklin and Harry right now!!

Ms Givens said...

Miss your blog, Franklin. I hope you are just very busy knitting and doing knitting-related activities!

Anonymous said...

It is now 9/11/09. You are missed. That is all.

spacemaurader said...

Hey, I know I had no right to be a noodge but... I really like your blog. I wait for every new entry. When are you writing a new installment?

Carrie said...

Okay, at the risk of sounding like a cyberstalker, I think I know what Mr. Habit is up to. According to the Features section in Knitty Fall '09, Franklin's regular column will return in the winter, as Franklin is finishing a new book!!! Yay!

beanchild said...

H'mmm, well in that case... I guess it's okay that he hasn't posted lately. But I do miss reading his stuff.

Tiny Tyrant said...

Dude?

You still with us?

Let us know.

Anonymous said...

Man, if Franklin is finishing up a book, Doloris is going to get totally wild. Poor Harry.

Leah

Big Alice said...

Hi Franklin,

I saw on the Knit-Purl calendar that you're coming to Portland end of the month. Do you know that there's a fiber festival just outside of town the weekend before? (http://www.flockandfiberfestival.com/)

It's not huge but not so small either, and there's a lot of fantastic vendors and they always have a llama show (lot of llamas 'round here).

Anyway, thought you might like to know.

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