I never quite manage anything as formal as resolutions, but I do believe in lists of things to do or things to learn. One of the things that’s been petitioning for a spot on my lists is ‘knit a sweater.’ I confess, I have some doubts as to my endurance. But the marvelous Jill Wolcott has come up with something that just might push me over the edge.
Jill designs exactly the sort of sweaters I’d like to wear. Feminine without being fussy and full of beautiful details you just don’t find on store-bought sweaters. But I’m still scared of sweaters. Jill knows this, and she knows I’m not the only one afflicted with this fear, and so she did something rather brilliant. She came up with a collection of patterns that start small and gently work you up to sweaters when you’re not looking. It’s called the Goddess Collection, and it’s smashing.
The basic idea is that it’s a set of accessories and a sweater that all use the same elements. The accessories serve as gauge swatches for the sweater, and they are all full of intriguing little details that hold your interest and result in a very polished finished project. By the time you’re done with the accessories, you’ll have practiced all the techniques you need for the sweater. Suddenly it’s not nearly so scary!
Now, some of you may have clicked over and seen the price for the collection ($49) and been a bit surprised. That’s more than most pattern collections generally cost. But if I can be frank, you’re getting a lot more with these patterns than you do with most. The complete collection includes four pieces (mitts, hat, cowl, and sweater) carefully graded for three different gauges (ranging from 4-5 stitches per inch). Each size is completely written out and charted for each gauge, and there are even ingenious customizable charts so you can make sure you get exactly the fit you want. The patterns are marvelously thorough and meticulously edited. Gauges and sizes are carefully grouped so you can find exactly what you need. Working from them is a delight. If you think about how many hours you’re going to spend with a pattern (and how much money you’re going to spend on the yarn you use for a project), it makes sense to invest in a pattern that will make your knitting go as smoothly as possible.
I know there will still be some skeptics, it’s understandable. And to help with that, Jill’s had a lovely idea. She’s going to give some of you a little sample of her pattern writing style. Quite a few of you actually. Jill’s put together all three gauges of hats into a little collection of their own, and she’s decided to give away a few copies, just to whet your appetite! Because there are several copies to win, we’ve come up with two different ways you can enter (and of course you can enter both ways to increase your chances if you’d like). You can either:
- Leave a comment on this blog post telling me what makes a pattern ‘worth it’ in your opinion. Is it great pics? Detailed instructions? Easy-to-read charts? Some magical amalgamation of lots of things? Or is it all about the finished project? What’s most important to you?
- Leave a comment on any of the patterns in the Goddess Collection on ravelry. Just follow that link, click on the item you’d like to leave a comment on, look up in the little tab bar at the top for the word ‘comments’ and add yours.
We’ll pick three winners from each place, and you’ve got until the end of the day, Monday, January 6 to leave a comment. I’ll announce the winners and Jill will send out the patterns next week! (Jill was kind enough to send me a copy of the collection to review. The pictures belong to her and are used with her permission.)