I am pleased to report that Fresh Designs: Shawls is now available from Cooperative Press!
The source of my pleasedness is that a shawl design of mine is in there. I named it Iris because of the somewhat eerie resemblance its central motifs bear to eyes with long fringed lashes, some open and some closed.
(Photo by Robert Gladys, courtesy Cooperative Press)
You all know that Shannon and Elizabeth from Cooperative Press are awesome, right? With our powers combined we'll be running an Iris shawl knitalong starting up in the next few weeks, hosted in the Cooperative Press group on Ravelry. I know that lace knitted without resting rows can be complicated to follow and technically challenging to knit—but we'll go at a relaxed pace, I'll share as many tricks as I know and solicit yours, there'll be an amazing prize, and it'll be a fun project to usher us into fall.
If you want a free copy of this book among others and are a Facebook user, here's a handy contest link to click on during the month of August! One lucky dog will win all four of the newly-released Fresh Designs books, plus Audrey Knight's fascinating Reversible Scarves.
I haven't made up my mind about what yarn I will use—stay tuned for a post about factors to consider when choosing yarn for cobwebby garter stitch lace stuff!—but the strongest contender at the moment is Love Potion #3 from The Gossamer Web, which is a 36/2 cashmere/silk/merino yarn. Susan dyes beautiful vivid colours and has her bases custom-spun for her with an eye toward wedding ring shawls, and the yarns are very rewarding to knit with: they're soft but don't sag, crisp enough to hold a firm blocking and to block out huge, and variegated with discerning subtlety. This ball contains 1250m of yarn and has been patiently waiting to learn its fate for about two years; maybe its time has come! Only swatching will tell.
P.S. Another awesome thing about Shannon and her publishing company is her new magazine, Knit Edge. It's going to be a combination of interesting, challenging knitting and crochet patterns and detailed articles like you might have found in the late lamented FiberArts. To celebrate the book release, she's given me a coupon code to share—use freshdesigns when you buy a one-year subscription to Knit Edge from this page for a dollar off, and one randomly-selected subscriber will have their entire subscription cost refunded sometime this month. Hooray for free things!