women of a certain age are like sunflowers; they know how to turn their faces to the sun.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

How Dat?

"Life is a perpetual instruction in cause and effect."

_Ralph Waldo Emerson

First Off: I owe you all an apology. Can't believe it had been over a week since my last post!


It would appear that cooking & cleaning aren;t the only casualties of my new-found addiction, ahem, obsession, ahem, focus...yeah, that's it...

I never intended to go so long; have just been incredibly busy with the knitting of the Evenstar as well as the design work of the rest of the Lord of the Rings collection.

But it has been a truly joyful period as well as busy. My creative muse no longer sits on my shoulder. She has moved in and taken over my house. She has interrupted my sleep, tickled me during my daily shower, and invaded every corner of my life (except for my familial relationships - girl's gotta draw the line someplace, y'know?)

The other great passion in my life right now is football. My beloved Indianapolis Colts are back in the Super Bowl and ready to take on the NO Saints. Or as someone on Plurk put it: Who dat? meets Been there, done dat...

"Who dat?" is a worthwhile question. I remember my days with the Indianapolis Arts Chorale. They wanted me to raise money, not do publicity, but I found the two to be joined at the hip. You can't raise money if no one knows who you are. Who dat comes before Why dat, Where dat, When dat, & How dat.

I am informed by other knitters that I have moved past the Who dat stage. Apparently people have heard of me and that is no small feat. It takes a lot of waving your hands around and yelling, as Horton's Whos did, "I am HERE! I am HERE! I am HERE!" It takes perseverance, and dedication, and hard work, and no little amount of hubris to get to that point.

These days, I am more consumed with How dat.

  • How do I get direct download for my patterns?
  • How do I program a web store?
  • How do I communicate effectively with everyone?
  • How do I keep up with all the questions?
  • How do I find time to knit in all the hubbub of over 700 people knitting at once?
  • How do I make the yarn look the way I want it to?
  • How do I work with new software & get it to do what I want?
  • How do I release a pattern in stages rather than all at once?

How dat.

And most importantly, how do I answer your "How dat"?

That is the essence of being a designer. The best designer in the world is useless if he or she can't figure out how to tell others how to complete a pattern.

I am a firm believer in the power of How dat to change the world. The answers are out there waiting to be discovered. Whether those answers teach us how to knit a shawl or build a hydro electric dam.

Or feed a world.

Who dat is one of the first questions we ask: as babies, as newlyweds, as we meet new people every day. It introduces us, one to another, and helps us to form the connections that sustain us in our daily lives.

How dat moves beyond introduction to instruction. It teaches us new skills, new ideas, new ways at looking at our world and the people in it. It takes us to places we haven't been before. How dat invented the wheel, and the light bulb, and landed us on the moon.

Who dat aquaints us. How dat enlightens us, excites us, energizes and delights us.

How dat compels us to step beyond our known limitations and grow. It propels us along the journey's path.

Frodo knew What dat - what he had to do: take the ring to Mordor. And he soon learned Who dat, as the fellowship formed.

Frodo was just a Hobbit from the Shire. He did not know the way. But he knew his own limitaions. He knew the importance of asking the questions.

How dat took over from there, took him beyond his neighborhood, his home, all the way to Mount Doom & back.

How dat is an amazingly powerful question and , I would argue, the force that shapes the world.

Or at least, my small part in it.

So... I bet you want to know how dat with regards to the Evenstar KAL...

Here is everything I know (about this anyway):

The shawl will be a full sized round one inspired by Arwen’s Evenstar from Lord of the Rings. Shawl will take 1700 yards of laceweight, and require an intermediate level of skill; no expertise required, just patience. Written & charted directions. Every other row is straight knitting (circular equivalent of purled wrong side rows)

I am doing mine in Blue Moon Fiber Arts Silk Thread II in Winter Solstice. There will be optional beading on the outside edge of the piece. Bead count is 2900 - size 8/0 seed beads - get extra so you have wiggle (or jeez, did I just dump those on the floor?) room.

You will also need size 3 US needles (or to obtain gauge)in both dpns and several circular lengths (at least a 24” & 40”) 30 stitch markers (if you want to place marker between each repeat) and a small crochet hook for beading

Sign ups run through Friday February 19th. Cost is $8, $1 of which is donated to Doctors Without Borders for relief in Haiti. You can sign up here on Rav or on the sidebar of my blog

I have released a swatch to be used for both determining gauge & practicing your lace knitting skills. Swatch directions are available on Ravelry as a free pattern download, or you can wait until I email it to you.

First clue will come out on February 12th at 6:00 PM EST, just in time for the Ravelympics. Subsequent clues will come out every other Friday through May 7th, for a total of seven clues. Right now I am emailing communications, but I am working on getting direct downloads in place. You will get an email with the password to unlock the download.

IF YOU HAVE NOT GOTTEN ANY EMAILS FROM ME & HAVE SIGNED UP MORE THAN 36 HOURS AGO, PLEASE CONTACT ME IMMEDIATELY AT susanpandorf@comcast.net so we can resolve any email issues prior to Friday's clue release

If you keep up, by Memorial Day you will have a stunning shawl, perfect for any and all summer events. The entire pattern will be available for purchase in June.

But that’s not all…

This shawl will kick off a new series.

Eighteen additional patterns in the collection will come out every 6-8 weeks and be available both individually or as 8 pattern subscriptions (at a discounted price). Sign ups for the series open March 1st.

There will be three Mystery KAL’s (counting this one) and 15 (so far) additional stand alone pieces in the collection. The KAL’s will run independently of the other patterns in the series. KAL patterns will be available for purchase after the completion of each KAL (June for Evenstar)

Here is the series as it currently stands - I have not finalized the order yet:

Evenstar Mystery Shawl (duh)

Ringwraith Stole: lace/twisted stitch stole in BMFA Geisha in Raven Clan
Argonath: cabled wrap in String Theory DK
Arwen’s Requiem Hood in BMFA Luscious Single Silk
Lasgalen (or Greenwood) Ruana: gradated lace in Unique Sheep Luxe
Eowyn’s Riding Gauntlets: twisted stitch fingerless gloves
Lothlorien Wrap: cabled wrap in special custom dye gradiance DK by Unique Sheep
Dwarrowdelf Shawl: triangular lace shawl in Tanis Fiber Arts lace
Bag’s End: mosaic stitch mushroom bag (but you will probably keep other things in it)in Unique Sheep tinsel toes
Mithril Vest: in Handmaiden Silk Twist
Gimli Scarf : modular knit (unisex) in Noro Kureyon Worsted
Green Dragon Mittens: color-work mittens in Tanis Fiber Arts fingering (kit)
Samwise Gamgee Neckwarmer: (unisex) in (too cool) yarn from the mill that made the cloaks for the movie
Strider Cowl (unisex) in BMFA Peru Ravenscroft
Rohan fair-isle capelet in KnitPicks Palette
Bombadil Hat fair-isle in String Theory Caper Sock
Into the West stole or shawl in Unique Sheep Eos Custom Gradiance

and two more mystery KAL’s

Elessar Triangular Mystery Shawl in Woolen Rabbit alpaca lace
One Ring Mystery Shawl: circular in Unique Sheep Mordor gradience

This is now officially a trilogy! 1st Mystery shawl - series of 8 patterns - 2nd Mystery shawl - series of 8 patterns - 3rd & final Mystery shawl.

I have decided to keep the KAL group on Ravelry to simplify matters. If you want the very latest scoop on the entire LOTR project (spoiler alert) you can follow along with my progress on Plurk

I am so excited about this project. I hope you will all sign up and tell your friends. There will definitely be pattern giveaways throughout the project, and possibly yarn & merchandies also, if I can find someone to coordinate those. Any volunteers?

Thank you for your participation, your inspiration, and, most of all, your patient assistance and answers to my eternal question:



Yarn Tails said...


Taleah said...

I'm thrilled to be part of this journey - and can't wait to see how your patterns take shape!

Anonymous said...

How absolutely fantastic.

Your how dats on your other pieces are so clear and intuitive, that I've every confidence that this cycle with be amazing. And while your community grows, I think, so will your confidence as a designer.

We're all just so excited and thankful that you're allowing us on your journey with you!

My Little Room In The Corner said...

Dat be awesome! This is truly a journey for you. And, I am glad you have invited us all along for the ride.

Heather said...

I love the explanation of how dat, and I REALLY love how the list of LoTR projects keeps growing.

Rabbitknitz said...

Susan, this is so wonderful! Sounds like it will be your best designing year yet! I definitely will be purchasing some patterns!! Too much on the slate for a KAL right now, but I have never done a KAL projects, so this be my year,too! KUDOS!!!

Amberpearl said...

Yikes that is an awesome list of projects you are designing. I'm along for the journey and the inspiration. The fellowship truly has begun with so many companions to keep us company along the way, to Mount Doom and back I hope. Thank you for enabling us all

Anonymous said...

Susan - I'm so excited to be a part of this KAL. And now, I want to knit every.single.one. of the other patterns in the series. Thank you so much for doing this. You are awesome!

Andrea (@shutterbitch) said...

Oh, I'm so excited!!!

寶貝 said...


Anonymous said...


risiko said...

not to be a hey, where dat? kind of pest...but what happened to my hotly anticipated cathedral series. i'm enormously grateful that you love LOTR as much as i do, but it's not fair to tease me with gothic cathedrals and then la la la you are off on a walkabout.