I am going to go out on a limb and say that most knitters (who would be reading this blog) are familiar with the concept of a “yarn club”. You know, when a great indie dyer gives knitters the opportunity to “subscribe” to a series of exclusive yarn colors that are delivered over the course of many months? That kind of club. Frequently the yarn arrives with a pattern designed specifically with & for that special yarn.
Going on the assumption that there is already some familiarity with this concept, I now ask you if you have ever heard of the Miss Babs Knitting Tour version of this concept? The lucky knitters that join this club are “armchair travelers” and they receive 4 shipments in the year. During the planning stage the wonderful people at Miss Babs (including the namesake) select four destinations and provide them to the featured designers so that they can draw from them for inspiration.
This time last year I was tickled beyond words to receive an invitation from Miss Babs to participate in the 2015 tour. My shipment ended up being the first (March). It took great restraint, but I didn’t blog about it because, along with the exclusivity of the yarn, the pattern was unavailable to the general public for 6 months after the “travelers” received their packages.
Guess what? Six months is up!
The inspiration destination for my leg of the tour was Sri Lanka! Like any dedicated artist, once I learned that I immediately booked a flight to Sri Lanka to do research!
BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. I wish. I totally Googled it.
And if you are looking to see piles and piles of beautiful art, landscape, and architecture I recommend you do the same. There were many things that caught my attention, but in the end I drew my ideas from traditional Sri Lankan dance. Specifically, the costumes of Kandyan dancers which are referred to as Ves. If you want to see some of the pictures that grabbed my attention here is a link to a Google image search. The intricately embossed metal pieces led me to creating an intricate and deeply textured lace pattern that evoked the shape of the points of the headdresses.
The technique used in this shawl is Mosaic Lace like Golden Lion Throne and Love Child, with a complexity falling somewhere between the two. Close to 50 Armchair Travelers finished the shawl within the allotted -a long period so if you want to see finished shawls you can check out the Ves project page. The two sets of colors that Miss Babs made for the shawl are gorgeous, but I cannot wait to see what colors other knitters match up!
So, if exotic travel isn’t in your budget … at least you can do some exotic knitting from the comfort of your own home. And you get a great souvenir! ;)