NEW pattern: Galanthus (and a story too!)

I’m in Knitty! I’m in Knitty!

If you follow me on Facebook (or Twitter), or if you’re on my brand-spankin’-new email list … or, if you devoured the Winter 2013 Knitty as soon as it came out … you already know that my lacy top Galanthus is out, and in great company.

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Of course, I have Galanthus queued (along with some delicious Malabrigo Sock in Lettuce that I set aside for it over a year ago … read on for that story). I’ve also queued cabled sweaters Lempster (those sleeves!) and Key and Knot, cowls Princess Franklin (plaid!) and Moebius Braid, as well as  Roses socks, Skullcracker hat (cool construction!), and Sssstarter mittens. I can’t promise you that they’ll all get made, but they made the first cut and are in my queue, at least.

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DesignerRachel Henry

Available:  FREE in the Winter 2013 Knitty

Yarn: Kelpie Fibers Taliesin MCN Sock Yarn (950 – 2400 yards, depending on size)

Galanthus is a dramatic lace top features the traditional snowdrop lace pattern on a full skirt and long belled sleeves. At the high waist and just above the elbow, the transition from lace to stockinette is marked with rows of horizontal chain stitch. The round neck is finished with the same stitch to bring the entire garment together.

The front, back, and set-in sleeves are all worked flat from the bottom up. The neck edge is worked flat after one shoulder is seamed. The side seams in the body and sleeves will stabilize the lacy fabric and help prevent sagging. Any solid or semi-solid colorway will be beautiful in this pattern.

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The Story Behind Galanthus

More often than not, selling a pattern goes something like this… I’m inspired by a call for submissions, so I swatch and put together proposal.  I send it in, cross my fingers, and wait.  Lately I’ve been getting a lot more “yeses” than “nos” (which is awesome).  I get yarn, I make a sample and write up the pattern, I send everything in. Tech editing and photography happens, usually without my involvement. Some time later (usually 3-6 months), the pattern is published.

Sometimes though … there’s a bit more of a saga.  Sometimes I have a pattern that has a hard time finding a home; sometimes publication is delayed (and delayed again). Sometimes I get conned and have to have friendly strangers in another country reclaim my samples. Galanthus has had an unusual path to publication, and there’s no hard feelings … so I thought I’d give you all a little window into how it came to be in the Winter 2013 Knitty.

It began with a call from Knit Picks for their 2013 Late Winter/Spring collection. The call came out in May 2012.  I loved the color palette and came up with a design for their cotton/linen blend.  I swatched with something similar from my designing oddments stash:



Here’s the sketch that I made for that submission — note the short sleeves!

KP sketch

This was Knit Picks’ first collection, and I’m sure they got a TON of submissions.  I wasn’t among the chosen. Alas. I moved Galanthus from the “Submitted” column to the “Homeless” column on my whiteboard, and worked on other things.

In late June I was very excited to see a call for The Sock Report 2.  I had absolutely loved the first Sock Report, and a chance to be part of it … wow!  Great photography, and I loved that they had people test knit before publication. After looking over the call, I decided I could turn Galanthus into a sock-weight yarn garment with a more wintery look, since TSR2 was scheduled for “Holiday 2012.”  I knew I’d have to knit fast, since samples and patterns were due September first!

Here is my sock-weight swatch and revised sketch that I submitted to TSR2:




Note the longer sleeve, higher waist, and more squared-off neckline:

long-sleeved Gal

I was thrilled when they said yes to Galanthus! I actually submitted two proposals (the other I eventually self-published as Flock) — they liked both, but preferred Galanthus, and were only taking one pattern per designer. I received my yarn in mid-August and got right to work. My first stab at the neckline wasn’t quite right (too narrow) — I ripped back and re-did it, and I think you’ll agree the final version is superior.

top with discarded changes   top with kept changes

I mailed the sample on time and sent in my pattern. The test knitter and tech editor were awesome — we worked through some details on the pattern to make sure it would fit as many people as nicely as possible.  Then I waited. And waited.  The publication date was pushed to January, and then February … I will admit, I started to worry.

Then came the news that the publisher (Janel Laidman) had lost her husband.  The Sock Report 2 was cancelled. We designers would get our samples back, and would be released from contract and were free to publish elsewhere.  I was terribly sorry for Janel and her family — what a sad thing.

With this news, Galanthus was back in the “Homeless” column … but worse, in a way.  I’d done all the work, but had no home for the design.  It made me think of Knitty back then, because one of the hard things about getting into Knitty is that you must submit designs with already-completed samples and photography. I just-so-happened to have a good friend who is also a great photographer!  I’d hoped to get photos done in time to submit for the First Fall issue, but I didn’t get my sample back in time.

In the mean time, I’d seen the call from Twist Collective for their Winter 2013 issue.  I thought it was worth a shot — if they liked it, I might even get away with sending in the already-knit sample, although I was (of course) willing to re-knit the garment in yarn of their choosing ;).  Twist said no.

By the time I heard back from Twist, the deadline for Knitty’s Deep Fall issue had slipped by … and, well, I was a little busy with all that Fiber Factor stuff :). When I had to photograph Winter Beach for Challenge #3 of the Fiber Factor, I added Galanthus to the photo shoot.  My model (Ana) absolutely loved Galanthus — she really turned on the charm when she put it on!  Donna Kelliher did justice to both garments (my everlasting thanks to her for her skills and help!).  Photographing knitwear outside on one of the hottest days in July …. well, I wouldn’t recommend it, but we all managed to make it work.

For the next few months I was immersed in Fiber Factor challenges, but I did put together a submission for the Winter issue of Knitty. I honestly wasn’t sure I should … it seemed like a better fit for Spring, frankly, with all that orange color and barefoot-on-the-dock photography.  But, I reasoned, if they wanted to bump it to Spring they were welcome to — and if they said no, I could put together a self-published pattern in time for spring, no problem.

As we now know, Knitty said yes!  I have submitted other designs to Knitty, but this is my first time getting in. I couldn’t be more thrilled :).




3 thoughts on “NEW pattern: Galanthus (and a story too!)

  1. Just curious, but as someone who is a pretty experienced knitter, I have yet to do a sweater. I would love to do Galanthus as my first foray into sweater knitting, however just wondering if there is a graceful way to scale the pattern up to someone with a 60″ bust line? Thanks!

    1. I think the design would scale up nicely. I think two good books for you to look at (for help making adaptations to patterns) are
      “Little Red In The City” by Ysolda Teague and “Fit to Flatter” by Amy Herzog.

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