Monday, April 4, 2011

rachel erin designs: two years later

Although a professed pattern-less sewer, I am absolutely bound to patterns when knitting. As in "tied-down, lost, and entirely hopeless without them (except in the case of scarves: particularly scarves of the "cast on and repeat 500 times" variety)." I'm not sure how I ended up so oddly divergent in this regard, but there you have it. Can't sew with them; can't knit without them.

So imagine my delight when a friend asked me to take a few pictures of her knits in exchange for some patterns. The lovely Rachel, of Rachel Erin Designs, not only knits without patterns, she makes patterns up. Seriously, she makes them up and writes them down in an entirely accessible and reproducible way. And we're not just talking scarf patterns here. We're talking fingers,

and pictures,

and even lace.

Yes, lace. How does a person make-up a pattern for lace? Completely boggles the knitting side of my brain.

The last photograph, I have to admit, is my favorite (and not just because the model is another lovely friend). Lace was a realm of knitting I had never ventured into before, but this pattern inspired me. In addition to written directions, Rachel includes pattern charts that are incredibly easy to follow. So I took the plunge, as it were. I bought yarn, a couple of circular needles, did the youtube tutorial for "Magic Loop Cast-on," and off I went.

Enter pregnancy #6.

I had finished about 3/4 of one sleeve when the nausea hit. Now historically, after all is said and done and the baby has arrived (and started sleeping more than 2 hours at a time), I have managed to dull the effects of pregnancy in my mind. "It wasn't that bad," I tell myself. And myself (even with my husband chanting "OH YES IT WAS!" in the background) would actually believe me. But this time, when I think about how I couldn't even talk myself into sitting up to knit, myself seems much less credible. Maybe it was just that bad after all. Maybe.

So the shrug sat unfinished until this spring. With the warmer weather (and a lot more sleep), I pulled it back out and finished it up. My version has loads of personality (ie: mistakes) that I am hoping will just serve to endear it that much more to the recipient.

A year later than planned, but Happy 25th Birthday Mom!


  1. It's funny that I just checked out your blog and i see a picture of myself.
    Did you know that I got to take over the job of taking pictures for Rachel?
    And, yes, I agree, the stuff she comes up with is amazing.
    I want to see pictures of your shrug. is it the same, same color and everything?

    By the way the line:" even with my husband chanting "OH YES IT WAS!"
    makes me laugh.

  2. she's lucky to have you taking pictures. hopefully you have just as superb a model as well . . .

    I don't actually have a picture of the shrug I made, since I had to send it off as soon as I finished it to my mom. but it's the same color, same everything -- just a few more mistakes. if you squint really hard, you don't even see those, I'm sure.

  3. I'm so glad you finished it Allyson, I hope I get to see a picture of yours sometime.