Tuesday, January 13, 2015

A January Love Story

As you know, I have a hard time writing on the blog... I am not the most fluent when writing longer things...  I feel more confident with little captions, and therefore I am always more drawn to let out my news on the social media...
But, from time to time, something starts growing in me and I feel compelled to write a little bit more about it... Sometimes a caption is not enough to tell a whole story.

I have had the honor to meet thousands of beautiful talented people on Ravelry... And of course, as more people got to know my work, I met a lot of dyers and other designers who I ended up working with.  Some of these people, however, really liked what I did before my designs were popular... and one of them was Sundara.  For some reason we fell in love with each other's work from the very beginning.  
I must say the first time she commissioned some work for her, I was in total shock!  I couldn't believe she considered me good enough for the job, and she put my design on a Luxury Yarn Club, together with two of my all time favorite designers. 

Getting Sundara's parcels... It was always exciting.  Why?  Because we talked about the color she wanted to make, but she would never send me a photo of the finished yarn.  Her parcels were always stopped by the customs office in my country, so I had to spend a couple of hours trying to get them out, filling forms and waiting in line... It only added to the excitement!  And when they finally gave me her parcels, I would always leave the customs warehouse, sit on a fence and open them slowly... They were always MAGICAL!

Her last parcel (containing the yarn I used for today's design) was sent to an apartment while I was staying in New York last year... And of course, it was not delivered in time!  Since our flight ended up being delayed, we stalked the USPS truck all around the Upper East Side, until we finally found it on a doorstep.

Una foto publicada por Joji (@jojilocat) el

The little box contained two skeins of her Fingering Silky Cashmere in the Romeo colorway, and her note said: Try to make something with just 1 skein, as this is a very special yarn!...


As I wound the skein into a little ball, I remembered all the collaborations we had made together... They are not that many, but they were all really meaningful for both of us.  We always invest a lot in each of these, and they always came in very special moments of our lives, either good times or hard ones.  As I reflected on the colorway's name (Romeo), I thought of ours as a love story, and I decided a wanted to design something that spoke about it.

I didn't have many yards, so I needed to make something meaningful, but small...  The yarn's qualities were enough to make it special: being 65% white cashmere/35% silk, it was by far, the most luxurious yarn I had ever knit with... It didn't need much stitch action to glow...
I thought of the revesible cable to represent our work stories enwtining and growing together, and a flared body to show off the fabric's softness and sheen.  With a slight wing shaping, it reminded me of Juliet's wings on the movie... one of the most romantic ones I've seen.

This brings up the story of another friend, one of the best ones I've had the honor of meeting, Jenica.  She's been the sweetest friend to me since my early Ravelry's days, and many times she's borrowed me her talent to write texts for the introductions of my patterns.  When I told her what I was working on, she decided to write some poems for this design... She has a true talent!  Sometimes it is difficult to include everything we write with the pattern, so here it goes just some of her magical words.  Hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Curious about Romeo and Juliet's time together, we thought up this design…

Fortunately, you don’t have to be an emotionally unstable Romeo to appreciate the unique characteristics of this shawl. Its construction is not complicated and due to its side-to-side assembly you won't have to manage hundreds of stitches at once, making this one a good beginning cable and short row project. For those more experienced knitters there is just enough romance and action going on to keep the plot interesting.

Although a sacrifice was made on Romeo's behalf, you won't have to surrender too much of your time to complete this adventure. The reversible cables are a character in this story that will require your attention, keeping your interest like any good productive relationship. The gentle drifts of stockinette in between will be your solace to help keep the knitting sailing at a good pace with an occasional wrap and flip for some short row shaping.

Choosing a marvelous yarn will be your only important decision.  A romantic look and feel calls for a delicate yarn, one that is sumptuous. Since you will only need to commit to one skein, I encourage you to go ultra luxurious, in a perfectly complimentary colorway that makes the love in your eyes shine like a beacon.

As Romeo looks down on his love one last time I imagine him sweetly wrapping her up in a shawl to keep her warm during her final slumber. As he puts his arms around her and kisses her one last time we reflect on those relationships in our lives that we should take more time to honor.

Romeo and Juliet were together for three days before their time together ended. How long will your romance last?

We hope you like our new story together...

~Joji, Jenica and Sundara


polkaknits said...

What a beautiful collaboration of you three!!! It is very romantic and reading about your frindship makes me warm in heart<3

Lyn said...

Lovely story, lovely yarn and fabulous photos! Please don't hesitate to blog more :)

Gringa Quilmeña said...

So touching! Thank you for the beautiful blend of your story and Jen's poetry...

Sundara said...

Joji, I love this. Your designs always mean so much to me and I love reading your thoughts on them. This shawl is so lovely and I'm so honored by what you do with our yarn! xoxo Sundara

Nina said...

This just makes my heart swell. Everything a maker creates is so specail and it takes courage and heart to release it out into the world. Thank you for doing what you do, so other knitters and makers can be part of your story.

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful way to pay tribute to such wonderdul friendships. �� Thank you for sharing it with us. - Zoë (EspressoBean)

ilovemycello said...

♡ soooo romantic and touching...

Talij2 said...

Thank you, Joji! This is a beautiful pattern, and has been lovely to knit. Just challenging enough for an advanced beginner, and has helped me grow in my love of knitting. Thanks to Romeo, and to all dear friendships and hobbies that keep us sane and connected.

Anonymous said...

Joji, I am doing your pattern Imagine When and I don't know if I am supposed to knit completely across row 2, 6, etc on section 3 or only to the wrap and turn stitch. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Hi Joji, I sent you an email that was returned. I am having a problem with your Imagine When pattern. Is there a way that we can connect so that you can advise me what to do? Thanks. Dale I believe I sent you a message similar to this months ago.

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