New collection! In Triplicate is a collaboration between me, Star Athena, Shannon Squire, and Blue Moon Fiber Arts. There are 9 patterns, and they are all designed in the same yarn – Gaea Sport – in the same 3 colorways (Ochroid, Mica, and Lover’s Leap).
I will be posting about each of my 3 patterns separately (left column above: Directrix, Transversal, Incenter); today, I’ll just tell you the story of how our collection was built…
But first, I will say some basics: each of the 3 of us got 1 skein of each of the 3 colors – these skeins are LARGE (560 yards each). We used our 3 skeins to design 3 things; we all ended up with leftovers after our initial 3 samples were done. So, you can get 3 skeins of your own and use the collection to make MANY of the things! We even included a page of spreadsheets that show you how to maximize your yarn – if you plan carefully, you can make up to EIGHT of the items with the 3 skeins! Or, you can skip the careful planning, make a bunch of hats and mitts no problem, and then see about squeezing out a neck thing with whatever you have left; or make your favorite neck thing first, as big as you want, then use the rest to make some hats/mitts. Point is, with the 3 skeins and 9 patterns, you can make lots of things… I have this vision of knitters making something for every member of their family with the same 3 colors, different items for each person, but all matching/coordinating, and it’s so cute in my head! You should do it, and take a holiday photo with everyone wearing their things, and post a comment here to show me because I want to see how cute you are!
Okay I went off on a matching-knitwear fantasy there, sorry about that… So, yeah, maximize your yardage, make all the things.
The full 9-pattern collection is $20, and each individual pattern is available solo for $5. They are all in the Gaea Sport, which is actually a DK weight yarn (according to ravelry – I think it even knits up like a light worsted, but I guess light worsted is basically the same as DK, right? Oh, yarn weight labels, so arbitrary!).
If you buy the collection before December 15th, it will include a 10% off coupon code for 3 skeins of Gaea Sport, in your choice of any 3 colors! Aaaand, there will be a knit-a-long starting in December, with prizes to be won, in our new In Triplicate ravelry group! (Side note: if you’re a Gift-a-Long knitter, the collection patterns will be eligible for that as well!)
Now, more about what In Triplicate is, and how it came to be! Shannon, Star, and I each designed a head accessory, a hand accessory, and a neck accessory. One of each of these is in 1 color, 1 is in 2 colors, and 1 is in 3 colors – that goes for both the 3 designs by one designer, and for the 3 designs of one accessory type.
THIS is the idea that Star, Vivian Aubrey (pictured below with me), and I came up with oh so many years ago (5 years? I think?) on a day trip to Black Sheep Fiber Festival in Eugene (I mentioned it very briefly here). During lunch and in the car ride, we excitedly developed this idea – I think we even drew up a spreadsheet on a napkin over pizza. Well, we might not have actually drawn it on a napkin (it was probably a notebook), but there was definitely pizza, I remember that!
So, that was back when Vivian was designing more, and we three were planning to make this happen for several years, until finally one day this spring Star and I got talking about it, and we knew Vivian wouldn’t mind us rolling with it because she had really gone off and become an awesome knitwear photographer and hadn’t been focusing on designing in years… When we started building the collection this year, we had planned to have the photography done by Vivian, but due to jam-packed schedules and deadlines we sadly were not able to make that happen. This was a bummer, but we so appreciate Vivian’s original part in the concept development!!
After we got the okay from Vivian to go off and find a new third designer, we immediately knew our first choice was Shannon, local Portland designer and long-time knitting scene buddy of ours. So we arranged a secret meeting (I think Star texted her something like, “we have a proposition for you”), and she was instantly on board!
Next was deciding on a yarn – a big decision since the entire collection would be in the same yarn! We wanted to love it, we wanted it we be pretty versatile, have beautiful colorways, and we were really hoping it could be local… It just so happens that Shannon (Star too, actually) had worked a ton with Tina of Blue Moon Fiber Arts, which fit ALL the criteria! So that decision ended up being super easy! Tina was immediately on board as well, and she met up with us at Shannon’s house with an enormous box of colors.
We had pretty much the BEST time ever playing with yarn colors for hours, trio-ing (like pairing, but with threes, right?) the colors up. There were about 100 colors total, and we just started grouping them into sets of three:
And then we twisted all the trios together:
I really love colors. This was an excellent way to spend an afternoon, I am not exaggerating at all, seriously, best time. We made dozens of trio combos – these were our favorites:
Update! A Blue Moon blog post just went up with much better photos of all our favorite color combos, and I put up a tumblr post of my personal favorites here!
The point was to make lots of fun combos that would work well, so we could show you ideas for your own color threesomes, and also to find our #1 favorite, to actually use for the whole collection. Well, sometime near the beginning of the process, someone, Star? – that whole afternoon is really kind of a blur, I think I was high on color? – held up these three together, and they just POPPED.
Like, magic. All four of us were like, whoa, yes, I never would have thought “let’s do our collection in yellow, grey, and HOT pink” but dude, you guys, these three colors look AMAZING together. I even documented when Shannon twisted them together for the first time, above, because we knew, these are our colors.
So that was it. None of our couple dozen other combos could beat it – of course, there were many that we REALLY loved, but we had our pick. One of the best things about this collection’s release will be getting to see the patterns worked up in totally different colorways! I’d love to see the designs in something like orange, aqua, and olive green… or black, white, and grey… or red, turquoise, and light grey… If you choose three colors with one being neutral-ish, one being really bright, and the third kind of a muted color, you have yourself a color trio! So many possibilities!
So next, we designed and knit the things! We had tea meetings, brainstorming email chains, late-night texts, problems to be solved… the collaboration process was so cool! I’m such a solo worker normally, it was great to have other people’s ideas bouncing around with mine, changing my design directions, giving me focus with my designs, so that the collection could really be cohesive and not just 9 random patterns.
When we first started, we were just like… 3 accessories, 3 colors, we’ll see where it goes… but then once we had some ideas sketched and swatched, we starting seeing common threads and rolling with that. So we ended up with a few design themes: geometry-inspiration (bold lines and shapes, stuff like that), slipped stitches, garter stitch, texture. Not all 9 patterns have all these elements, but they show up over and over throughout the collection.
Once we had our designs/samples done, or nearly done, it was time to figure out more collection specifics. We decided not do a print version, and to release the collection as 9 individual pdfs (instead of an actual 1-file ebook) – we’re planning on having the collection be available as a collection through the end of 2016, and then we’ll just each have our own individual patterns available. We divvied up the tasks, and I acted as graphic designer for the collection – here’s a glimpse at a pattern cover. I made a custom In Triplicate font!
Star made drawings and doodles to use throughout all the patterns – both knitting and geometry themed. They add so much awesomeness to the patterns! LOVE them!
Early on, we grabbed the domain name intriplicatecollection.com on an impulse, but then kind of realized we didn’t really need it, since the collection would just exist on ravelry… but we had it, so, I took Star’s drawings and threw this webpage together just for fun! It’ll just exist during the time that the collection is available; go check it out!
With everything almost ready for release, it was photoshoot time! We gathered at Portland State University to get some good vaguely geometry-themed backgrounds, and with me as the main photographer and my husband as assistant, we modeled the heck out of our designs!
Of course there was other boring stuff involved, like LOTS of editing – we all edited each others’ patterns first, then sent them off to a pro tech editor to make them as perfect as possible. It was fun building the pdfs because I got to see how different we 3 designers are. My patterns are the longest (but not CRAZY long like some of my older patterns – these range 5-8 pages total) even though I thought I was trying to design simple things, comparatively simple I guess. It’s just how my designing mind works. None of my patterns are hard though, really! They just have multiple sections and stuff that takes up a bit of space… they are all really fun to make! Anyway…
I’ll show you my designs in detail next week. Do check out the others though! I love all 9 patterns, but I really especially love Shannon’s Trisectrix shawl (big holes and asymmetry!), the texture of Shannon’s Point of Symmetry mitts and Star’s Lemma hat, and the smart+creative simplicity of Star’s Abscissa mitts.
I can’t wait to start seeing In Triplicate knits popping up – be sure to post photos in your ravelry projects so we can admire them! Happy knitting, times three!