Blog, Patterns / August 18, 2016

Encounters Collaboration

Serendipity is real, friends. And so is synergy.

It was a fluke that we met, really. We could have been two regular people in an ordinary shop on an un-extraordinary day. It could have gone down like that and neither of us would have been the wiser.

But that’s not how it went.

Brittney overheard a conversation between me and the yarn shop owner about needing a new knitting instructor, and — spunky girl that she is — Brittney piped up and said, “I don’t mean to eavesdrop, but … did you say you needed a knitting instructor?” I had no idea the powerhouse of talent that had just walked into my life!

We discovered a trove of common themes in our lives, and a similar passion for crunchy wool (you know, the kind that seems like it might have still been on a sheep, like, yesterday). We had the same ideas about community over competition (shout-out to my people at The Rising Tide Society!), and that’s what really clenched the deal. It’s rare to meet someone in a competitive field like independent design that really understands that sharing the experience doesn’t diminish your special-ness. We found in each other the same willingness to speak frankly about the challenges we faced as designers, to ask real questions and give real answers, to talk numbers, how-to’s, and the other kind of top-secret stuff no one seemed willing to talk about. The ability to speak openly and share the journey empowered us both to create the kind of design experience we wanted to have.

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Encounters is a celebration of fiber and friendship. It was born over glasses of wine and knitting in my living room (and/or downtown), and via weekly Skype sessions when Brittney had the nerve (!) to move all the way to New York City. *wink* Now, on opposite coasts, we are forging ahead and bringing our ideas to life in fiber. While Brittney readies herself to take the NYC fiber world by storm, I am saving her a spot here in the Pacific Northwest, knowing it’s just a matter of time until we meet up again. I can’t fully express my gratitude for that serendipitous moment that brought us together. Kindred spirits are a rare thing, you know?

To create a sense of continuity, we chose to use only Shibui Knits fibers for our collaboration, and we each committed to a garment and an accessory. You can find all four pieces in our Ravelry shops, which we’ve bundled together for you here.

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(Above): Eavesdrop – Inspired by the day we met, Eavesdrop is a top-down, one-piece tee that pairs linear design with sequence knitting on the sleeves and back side. Knit in Shibui Knits Twig, this tee has fabulous weight and drape to it! (I must also give a little shout-out to another lovely friend, Jessica Carey, who so graciously modeled the above tee for me!)

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(Above): Palaver – Brittney’s gorgeous linen tank is literally the PERFECT length for a figure-flattering top. I love the lace back panel paired with the minimal front style. Definitely on my list for summer knits! (And with the recent heat wave, this is probably the most ideal knitting I could be doing right now!)

(Above): Simpatico – A sweet linen lace cowl to knit with your bestie. Choose contrasting colors (one skein each), and work up about 3/4 of the cowl, then swap a portion of your leftovers and finish them off in the contrasting shade.

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(Above) Conversate – This incredibly soft, textured cowl is a perfect transitional piece that will take you into fall and winter. The lovely lace design mirrors the lace panel on the back of Palaver — so pretty! Knit one for your bestie. Wouldn’t this be a lovely gift? (Then again, it’s so pretty you might want to keep it!)

Read the story from Brittney’s perspective here.

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Marie Greene