When I was in Denmark recently, I tried on a beautiful Hanne Falkenberg jacket at a Copenhagen yarn shop. (I blogged about the yarn shop visit here.) I have knitted two of Hanne’s pattern before, one for me and one for my husband Doug. (You can see them both, plus lots of personal knitting history, in this post.) I was quite taken with this jacket, which was knit with a combination of two yarns: a lovely Shetland wool and a blend of cotton and linen. I have been trying to find garments which will look both smart as a work garment, but which would also let me look like “me” and not like a banker. I promptly ordered the kit:
On the weekend, I decided to swatch the garment. I am leaving for a trip to South Africa soon and thought this would make good travel knitting. Unfortunately, I was stymied by the swatch. The pattern instructions are written out for the whole garment, and I was having trouble sizing down the pattern repeat properly for a swatch-size. In particular, I couldn’t tell how to line up the reverse rows over a smaller section, and I wanted to see the distribution of the knit and purl stitches over the main colour. I couldn’t see this from the photo included in the pattern, in part due to the main colour being quite dark. This inability may be due to stupidity on my part, or the lack of sufficient coffee at that point in the morning, but in any case after a number of fruitless attempts, I wrote a letter to Hanne explaining my problem.
This morning I received a lovely letter by email from Hanne, which I reproduce here:
Thank you for your message and the interest in my design. I will try and help you. I have never received any questions about this sample before.
I have scanned one of my small colour samples, which shows some of the pattern, and I have added the instruction for these rows. The pattern is so easy to work once you get started and you will spot any “faults”/mistakes right away. Only make sure you mark the “side seams” and center back when you place the pattern on the actual garment.
I do not have a garment here at home, the many examples are out in the shops for display.
You are welcome to write to me again on this address
Included with the letter was a close-up photo of the stitch pattern knitted up, and clear and detailed instructions for knitting a swatch! This was exactly what I needed! Not only that, but Hanne had reversed the colour of the yarns for the knitted swatch photo so that I could clearly see the patterning of the background colour.
I love the knitting community! Thank you to Hanne, who not only makes beautiful designs but also makes me happy to be a knitter.
I love the way designers and the indie yarn companies are so helpful and good at customer service! Glad she was able to help you, That is going to be an amazing jacket!
Looking forward to see your progress on this. That will be great to take to South Africa with you. Have a good trip!