Last Friday, I got together with Michele Riggs of
DownTown Knits in Apex, North Carolina, to host a release party for the new
issue of Knitscene. I was a little shocked when I walked in at 6:30 and the
shop was already packed. I couldn’t even find Michele in the yarny melee! But
then I saw her, running the cash register at top speed behind a wall of smiling
ladies. The magazine sold out, people were knitting, eating, petting yarn, trying
on sweaters. It was a great night.
Before the party, I sent Michele some of the garments
from the issue. On Friday, she had them displayed throughout the store— the
real stars of the night. I noticed three projects in particular seemed to be
popular with these North Carolina knitters—the Magnanimity Cardi, the Paperboy
Cardigan, and the Chiton Pullover. Olive and pale sky blue…a lovely complement
for winter’s transition to spring.
I also met spinner Esther Rodgers, proprietor of
Jazzturtle Yarns. Her cool art yarn was featured in the Winter/Spring issue, followed
up by Amy’s blog post about knitting with art yarn. Friday, Esther’s wares were
artfully arranged around the shop, eliciting oo’s and wow’s in every corner.
You know, I don’t get to meet with my readers very often.
Online mostly, and that’s a different kind of connection. To hang out for a
couple hours with with fans of the magazine, some of them brand new fans
because they’d never heard of Knitscene, and see what they liked, what they
questioned, was a valuable experience for me as editor. Seeing the samples and
the yarns in the shop environment gave me a different appreciation for design,
different from the feelings I have about design on the pages of the mag.
This is a good perspective to have as I settle into work
on the Summer issue. It’s not just about making pretty pages here, we’re
elevating our craft through the power of good design, and that has consequences
in real life. And in yarn shops everywhere.
Til next time,
PS. For those interested in Chile’s dog sweater pattern,
I'm having someone else look over the instructions now. Pattern to
Thanks to Michele, Esther, Robin, and Laurie for taking pics.