Monday, January 03, 2011

Happy New Year! (Note : Competition hidden in post)

Yes a tad late, several days late, even though New Zealand is one of the first to celebrate such events, but better late than never. So another year, which means another year of knitting done, and a year of knitting to look forward to. I counted up my knitted projects last year, and found I had worked twelve pairs of socks, two cardigans for me, two shawls, two pairs of mittens, one wall hanging, one scarf, one baby singlet, one jersey for a cub, one giant blanket, one hotie cover, one pattern for baby booties and ... two secret projects. One is finished, and really deserves an outing, the other is still in progress and can't be revealed yet. All in all a good year knitwise.
To start the new year off - I will detail a project that never quite made the blog - even though it was finished around this time last year, introduce the two finished socks that just squeaked into 2010, and the new sock - because one simply has to have a sock on the needles.

So .. the project that never made it to the blog? Well, now youngest cub has switched from Gymnastics to Ballet I have become a Ballet-mum. One of the tasks of Ballet parents is to supply the ballet clothes, shoes, tights and leotards, plus a classic ballet wrap cardigan. I happy confess to being a Elizabeth Zimmerman convert, seeking to knit without seams rather than knit components that will be seamed together ....but I was unable to locate a pattern for a ballet wrap that was interesting to knit and pretty. I decided to develop my own .. and started with a few sketches, and developed a design that I thought could be knit all in one with no seams.

Then I tried knitting one, in fashion design the test garment is called a toile, and is made from cheaper materials just to test the design idea, the proportions, and fit and construction. So I toiled my idea .. in some fine blue yarn I had around and discovered that my idea would work but I needed to adjust the proportions a little.

Once I had done that I knit it all over again - with modifications, in some lovely mohair based lace yarn, two strands held together with beads all over the yoke.

I was going for subtle, and so selected little light beads that would provide a slight hint of sparkle .. and I wanted some that were comfy to wear. If I was going to knit a cardigan in lace weight yarn on fine needles I wanted it to be worn not discarded because the beads were uncomfortable. I also had a lot of fun using all the little finishing touches that I could think off, like working a mock-icord edge and shaping with short rows, and provisional cast on, and decreases that shape the garment from the center back right out across the shoulder and down to the end of the ties.
I discovered the wrap worked well without sleeves ... so had my ballet-cub model it for me last summer. I loved how the garter stitch fabric provides enough stretch to fit easily.

Then I added sleeves, knit in the round with one strand of lace weight so they are slightly sheer, and I worked a beaded garter stitch cuff to finish them off. I loved it .. and the reason I was keeping it a secret was that I intended to submit the design to Knitty. I had discussions with a few people on line about the design but didn't make any thing public because that would make me ineligible for selection by Knitty. One of the discussions resulted in the suggestion of a name .. Cache Coeur - which means Cross your heart in French. I loved that for all sorts of reasons, and more so because of all the ideas of love that went into making a ballet wrap for my youngest cub that really did cross her heart up in my love. I had three offers to test knit this, one I accepted .. and the pattern was polished so others could make sense of it. Unfortunately when I looked today - there are at last count over 60 patterns that use the name Cache Coeur already on Ravelry - Bother!

I spent a lot of time documenting the pattern, and it was test knit (Thank you J - now you can blog it and ravelry it), I formatted the submission and sent it off and waited ... and waited. But Knitty don't publish many kids patterns, and suggested I send it off to Petite Purls (they also suggested I tell them Knitty thought they would be mad if they didn't accept it). But life got busy and the submission system for Petite Purls was completely different to the one for Knitty .. meaning I had to rework my document, and submit a sketch and swatch and design idea before working on the pattern. There I was with a completed pattern, and photo shoot. Life got busy .. I got distracted, the Ballet Wrap went to ballet class and was a hit .. but I had moved on, and I guess I was hurt that my design was not accepted .. but that is part of putting ones ideas out there - rejection is every bit as possible as acceptance.

Which leaves me here, a year latter, with a pattern, all worked up for sizes age 4 to age 16 years, almost complete (Knitty wanted the images left out of the pattern file so I have to add them in and make it look all pretty), and now I'm looking for a name.

So .. suggestions any one? What is a good name for this wee ballet wrap? Should I add one more with the name Cache Coeur or use something else? Smallest Cubs dance school is run by a Miss Bennett, which has a lovely link to Jane Austin ... should it be linked to that? I'm not a ballet person, I was sent to music and art not dance class - I need help here.
I'm prepared to make it a competition --- say two skeins of Vintage Purls lace yarn (She dyes my all time favorite sock yarn and the lace is just as yummy) in return for the best name? That way you would be all set to knit one yourself. Naming competition closes end of January .. at which time I promise to have the pattern all sorted and uploaded to Ravelry and available. To enter please leave a comment on this post with a name suggestion and some way I can contact you (Ravelry name perhaps?).
I'm the kind of person who works best to deadlines, so I'm giving my self a deadline, and making it public ... which should be enough to motivate me.

Most of this post has been about knitting that was off the needles almost a year ago ... which leaves me needing to post recent knitting activity. Well I finished Bears socks, and he is wearing them now.

The spiral socks are done, Spiral Bound, by Vintage Purls, complete and blocked.
I then found myself with no socks on the needles, so I started a new pair. Details next post I promise.

Take care ... hope 2011 is in every way a better year for all
na Stella


Hilary said...

It's so lovely! I'm not a ballet person either, so I don't have any name ideas at the moment - I love cache coeur too, but it would be a shame to have it get lost on Ravelry ... you could call it "Dancer's Cache Coeur" or something like that ... "Cache Coeur for a Young Dancer"

It makes me wish my daughter had stayed in dance long enough to make her one ...

- Hilary (Hilary on Ravelry, too, just for the record!)

Solange said...

how about 'Marot Founteyn' - 0 patterns on ravelry?
(BW, i'm 'solange' there)

KT said...

This is beautiful. I would suggest "unforgotten" as a name.

Kverulantinnen said...

Wow, that is an amazing design. I feel a compulsion to knit it, even though I have no use for such a garment, knowing no aspiring ballerinas. Congratulations on a wonderfully elegant design!

You could name it after a famous ballet dancer like Twyla Tharp or Eleonora Duse. Neither "Twyla" nor "Eleonora" generates many hits in a ravelry pattern search.

Or you could refer to a specific ballet or character from a ballet. Odette from Swan Lake? Flore from Zephire et Flore? La Sylphide would probably be my favorite of this type.

Or something technical? "En croix"? "Pirouette"? "PliƩ"? Wikipedia has a list under "glossary of ballet"

Shirley Goodwin said...

I'm going to suggest "Balletto" which is Italian for "little dance" and the word that ballet derives from.

I'm at

Anonymous said...

What a shame about Knitty - they miss out big time!!! I loved the one my mum knit for me when I was a wee dancer - your's is just georgous! It has so much flare and I think your heart must soar when you see your wee dancer in action so I suggest something like "Baila mi corazon" or "Mon coeur danse" (I'm trying to say my heart dances but my written language skills are poor). My spanish speaking fiends referred to their kids as "mija" or "my heart" so it reminds me of that lovely turn of phrase. Or how about Mi corazon el abrazo - my hearts embrace - not sure of the feminine or masculine tho. Pequena bailarina - Tiny Dancer, or Fille Ailee or Encerclant?
What ever you choose to name it - well done! More throughtful and beautiful results from you!!!!

Anonymous said...

From my old ballet days (and i wish i had had such a lovely thing to wear!) i recall:

Glissade - meaning to glide. The crossed fronts and beads make me think of gliding downwards. There's only one sock pattern on rav by this name.

Balletomane - the name for a ballet fan. No patterns on Rav.

Entrechat - is the name for a step where you cross your legs in front and behind, which seems appropriate for a ballet wrap that crosses in front and behind, as i understand from your diagram. Only one other pattern on rav.

Good luck - whichever you choose, it will be lovely!

l i n g g a n (without spaces) on rav.

ulca said...

An excellent design - very clever and subtle and really beautiful!
I should say I love the La Sylphide suggestion - it seems very much in tune with the subtle sparkles and thin yarn, although I'd imagine a sylphide wearing something even airier and lacier :)
Nevertheless I'd like to add to the brainstorming process, so here goes.
The first ballet with a female name that came up in my mind was La Bayadere/The Temple Dancer and there's always Terpsichore, the muse of dance, so any of those could be names themselves or you could choose something along the lines of Terpsichore's Heart/Terpsichore's Temple Dancer :)
I go by the same name (ulca) on rav :)

tinsel said...

This wraparound is lovely !

dacg said...

Oh so delicate...but funtional. What little ballerina wouldn't
love this.

I see you already have many wonderful ideas for a name, so
I will say I also like "glissade"
as a name.

I love her interpretation of the
the pattern with beads..,

Darla (dacg on Rav)

Vintage Purls said...

I think you should name your pattern after your beautiful model, she has several lovely names to pick from. :)

Knitting Linguist said...

I love this sweater! I keep thinking of knitting one for myself, actually - it seems like the kind of think I could wear a lot. You've got some great name suggestions there already - the only thing I could think of to add is based on the mental connection I always make between ballet and Degas (which is one possible name) - you could name it Celestine (Degas' mother's name). I'm glad you're putting it out there!

Walden said...

I have to say, I do not understand Knitty's selection process. This is great! Not sure of a name, it kind of has a kimono look to it too. Baree is the word for ballet in Japanese. My suggestion is Baree Wrap.

Pixiepurls said...

Its adorable, and so is your model. It's important to know that often times at-least in our case (Petite Purls) we sometimes reject things for reasons that have nothing to do with how much we like them, it can have to do with the collections we are building for each issue, how many girl vs boy things we have, how many accessories, how many cardigans vs sweaters or other styles. I would not take it personal though I totally understand the disappointment! I've been rejected too, it happens to the best of us!

- Brandy, co-editor

Pixiepurls said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
KathyR said...

What a shame that such a lovely design was turned down by Knitty. I guess that happens a lot more than we will ever know about, though.

As for a new name, there are some really good suggestions so far! My thoughts are - affaire de coeur or some ballet terms such as croise (or the feminine croisee) or en croix both utilising the cross term.

Rachelle said...

Pride and Prejudice wrap is my suggestion. It looks like something Elizabeth might have worn over her empire styled dress.

Pascale said...

How about:
"un pour tous"

as a name?

(One for all!)

Knitting Linguist said...

Ooh, thought of another one last night (actually, I thought of a couple, but it was as I was falling asleep, and I can only remember one; you may keep hearing from me here): Mignonne, or Mignonette (French for something small and cute).

Genny said...

Mignon macaroon is my suggestion for name, & silver lining is it will now become a runaway success & youll retire on the proceeds!

Mary Lou said...

Lovely and Clever! Put this up for sale, I'll buy one.

~elena said...

i'm always a fan of alliteration, so "comfy cache coeur" would work for me, or maybe "plie perfection"?

queenie82 on ravelry

Joanne said...

What about 'Dancing with Darcy'?

Anonymous said...

I have heard "cache-coeur" translated as "hug-me-tight". That phrase has some lovely connotations.

Beverly near Yosemite, sierraspinknit on Ravelry

Nicky said...

En pointe

"on the tip of the toes."

The ultimate goal for a young dancer. To be able to progress to pointe shoes from demi pointe shoes, and stand on the tips of the toes.
This usually happens to a dancer at around the age of 15 to 16 when the legs are strong and the hips are used to being in the turned out position and are strong enough to support being en pointe.

As you have worked the sizes to the age 16, the name fits perfectly.


Wanderingcatstudio said...

What about "Bailamos"? - it means "Let's Dance" in Spanish.
Whichever name you choose,It's a very cute design!

asteride said...

Thank you for the giveaway. My name for your creation:

- Giselle

- Scaldacuore (it's italian for cache coeur).

I think it's really pretty without sleeves.

Anonymous said...

Maybe you could think about naming it after your daughter... In my case my baby girl is called Amaya so I would simply call it 'Amaya' - short, sweet, simple.

Anonymous said...

Ooops I forgot to include my name on the above comment - I am justini74 on Ravelry...

Helen said...

I would call it Pavlova after Anna Pavlova.

Purplefish on Ravelry