Glasgow School of Yarn competition

For the past month or so, I’ve been working on an entry for the Glasgow School of Yarn design competition. The brief is to design an original knitting or crochet pattern inspired by the work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Now, I am a huge fan of Art Nouveau and Deco style, and as soon as I heard about this, I knew had to enter. I had half a skein of lovely yarn sitting in my stash and just waiting to be made into a small shawl – Abstract Cat alpaca silk laceweight. (A funny story about this yarn… last year, I was knitting a lace scarf for a Christmas present. I slept through my alarm one morning, woke to discover I was running late for work, shoved my knitting in my rucksack and ran out of the house and down the street. Got about halfway towards the bus stop before being pulled to a sudden halt. I turned around and witnessed yards and yards of laceweight yarn, strung across the street; I had put the knitting in my bag but left the ball of yarn in the house! It’s a testament to the strength and resilience of this lovely yarn that it didn’t snap…).

I’m designing a bottom-up triangular shawl, with Mackintosh-style motifs, roses and geometric patterns. Here’s a picture of it in progress:

The main problem is: I am my own worst enemy as a designer, sometimes. Particularly when working to a competition deadline, it would seem. I guess I’m a bit of a perfectionist, and I also I have a bad tendency to plough on regardless, even when I know I’m going to have to rip back and change something. Because of the construction of this shawl, starting with just a few stitches at the tip and then increasing on every other row, mistakes/changes at the beginning were easily fixed. But now it’s getting bigger and bigger, and I just had to rip back several hours worth of work. Not even to fix a mistake, just to make a design change! I only have a few days left to finish the sample before the deadline, so I suppose I’m just going to have to get my inner perfectionist to shut up, and make a vow to myself not to frog again… anything I knit from this point on is staying in the shawl, whether I like it or not!