I am So excited to finally be able to share all of the goodness that is wrapped up in the really fun project I have been working on for the past few months: the “Encounters” Collection – collaboration with Marie Greene of Olive Knits
Let’s start at the beginning. Our story begins way back in the early part of last summer, I had recently returned home to Oregon after graduation and moved to the farm (see previous posts) and found myself wandering the isles of Salem’s local yarn shop. While doing so, I happened to overhear a conversation that the two women behind the counter were having about their need for a new beginning knitting instructor. Not known for my shyness, I volunteer my services and started teaching classes at Tangled Purls. This was around the time that I was just getting started with b.Woolens (I think I published my first pattern just a few weeks after my first class at the shop). It just so happened, that one of those two women on behind the counter on that day of my first visit, was the amazing, fantastic, super-duper, awesome sauce goddess Marie Greene, of Olive Knits. She two was just beginning to dip her toe into the world of pattern design/publication and that, coupled with a myriad of other commonalities created an immediate bond between the two of us.
We spent the better part of the last year drinking wine, eating delicious food (that Marie made) and talking about the ups and downs of trying to make it as a knitwear designer. We compared stories, traded strategies, and offered each other support and encouragement. Sometime in the early spring Marie (always the motivated one) pitched me the idea of working on a collaborative little mini-collection together. I loved it of course (any chance to be associated with Marie and her knitting design genius is not one to pass up). So we started plotting, and eventually, it turned into the Encounters Collection.
It is a four piece capsule collection. Marie and I both contributed a garment and an accessory. We were fortunate enough to be able to knit up the entire collection in Shibui Knits yarn, which helped to create a sense of cohesiveness and the whole project an absolute dream to knit.
Marie created the beautiful “Simpatico Cowl” – designed to be knit 3/4 of the way by you and then swapped with a friend for the contrasting color. It’s knit in Shibui linen and her sample is to DIE for pretty!
For my accessory, we have “Conversate” – a sweet little cowl in which the lace pattern is knit on a bias so that it angles up through the stockinette body as you work it. I really fell in love with this traditional Milanese lace pattern (as you’ll see when we get to my tank top) and loved structured look of the strong diagonal lines it creates. Marie’s patterns have always been inspired by architecture, so it felt appropriate to draw from something with a strong sense of line.
For Marie’s garment she worked up the “Eavesdrop” tee, knit up in Shibui Twig. I am obsessed with this top and can’t wait to knit one up for myself. I can totally picture myself wearing it under a denim jacket in late September with a cup of coffee walking the streets of manhattan haha.
and for our final piece in the collection I created a tank top/tunic called “Palaver” – it features the same lace patterning as the cowl (because the two are friends, get it?) along the back panel and a simple stockinette front. I tried to capture the “athleasure” feel of so many of the cute tank tops from this summer and I think I came pretty close to achieving my goal.
Palaver is worked from the bottom up, then you split for the front and back and its just a hop, skip, and a jump, to a finished tank. I have to admit I did love not having to knit the sleeves. I also worked my tank up in Shibui Linen and really enjoyed working with the unusual ply and texture of the fiber. It looks really cool when its worked in the lace and I love being able to leave my edges raw for a rustic earthy feel.
All four pieces in the collection are available for purchase on Ravelry. Theres a 20% discount for everything the first week (with even bigger discounts if you follow us on instagram or sign up for either of our newsletters) AND we are hosting a SUPER AWESOME giveaway on Instagram so be sure not to miss that one.
It has been a true honor to work with Marie on this project, she is such an inspiration to me and a true friend, which I am really starting to figure out is a super rare thing. You can read all about her perspective on the project here. It’s so nice having a pal to figure out this enigmatic world of knitting pattern design and I could have picked a better one. I genuinely believe that there is love, friendship, warmth and joy worked into every inch of these designs, and it is my dearest hope that they bring those same lovely things into your life too!
It’s so nice having a pal to figure out this enigmatic world of knitting pattern design and I could have picked a better one. I genuinely believe that there is love, friendship, warmth and joy worked into every inch of these designs, and it is my dearest hope that they bring those same lovely things into your life too!