Introducing The Rectangle Project, a Beginning Knitter series.
The Rectangle Project has been an ongoing project between myself and Pam Allen for the past year. Upon joining Quince & Co I threw myself headlong into learning to knit, I had attempted several times in the past and could never get past my first stitch. This time I was determined and so by my first weekend I had knit a very narrow and very lumpy "scarf". I made a few more scarves, giant garter stitches that I was very, very proud of. Next I decided to knit a hat - I was mystified by circular needles and needed to figure out the magic of knitting in the round. I knit my first hat out of Puffin, I just saw it the other day and it is ridiculously huge - covering my face - but it has ribbing and is in fact a hat, success!
After the hat I got up the courage to show Pam. First thing I learned was that I was making my knit stitch incorrectly - I was actually making a twisted knit stitch - how embarrassing. Pam showed me how to properly create the knit stitch, as my hands shook at the idea of knitting with The Pam Allen. From there I became increasingly brave, and started tackling actual patterns and sweaters!! The idea of making my own garments was so incredibly exciting for me and honestly had always been a bit of a dream.
Patterns are daunting! You have to learn an entirely new language, while at the same time learning new skills - it's like chewing gum and rubbing your belly at the same time - and I am not coordinated! What I learned pretty quickly, was the idea of the pattern was more daunting than the actual pattern. That, and you need to pay attention! So off I went, knitting giant sweaters, learning new techniques, making mistakes, and moving on.
Throughout the process Pam was my lifeline. I would send her photos of my knitting which she would compliment enthusiastically, snippets of patterns that confused me, and general questions. She was always available, encouraging, and generous. She made me feel like I was such a good knitter and it made me just want to keep going.
A couple months into my journey I brought up the idea of this series to Pam. I felt that there wasn't one place where you could go to get started and become proficient and do so in a really supportive, friendly environment. I was finding most knitting patterns a bit rigid and cold - as I learned more I wanted to be more creative in the process and so we talked a lot about empowering knitters - maybe to add stripes, body length, puffy sleeves, etc. Put creativity into the hands of the knitter.
And so The Rectangle Project was born, slowly at first - but once the Rectangle became our focus things really took off. We developed 11 patterns that we felt created a strong foundation. No fancy stuff - no knitting in the round, no complicated stitches - just good old Garter Stitch, creating classic shapes and wearable pieces.
Pam wrote all of these patterns and I was just blown away when I saw the pieces knitted up. They are so fresh and wearable and they look good on every body - they're amazing. One interesting thing to note is that the knitter really has an opportunity to play with sizing here - do you want a a classic fitting sweater or something gigantic that hangs over your hands and plays with scale, you're free to choose and the possibilities are truly endless.
After we completed all of these samples we had the photo shoot. The shoot was really special because it included our entire team, (most of them anyway). We had a magical day of dressing up and playing for the camera and the shoot really shows the versatility of these pieces - they are truly genderless, size-less pieces that can be worn by anyone.
I am so proud of this project. It has truly been a labor of love and is the perfect celebration of my first year at Quince. I hope that this project inspires you to learn to knit or to fall in love with knitting in a whole new way. Thank you to the entire team at Quince that worked tirelessly to make this project a reality and special thanks to Pam Allen, my mentor, for all of your loving support this past year.
Hi…great sweater….can we purchase the pattern or is just the kit available? Barbara