One of the classes that I took this year at Madrona was Joan Schrouder’s Lace Essentials. I took the class because I have heard so many wonderful things about Joan and her teaching style.  I have long admired her patience and thoughtful responses to questions posted on the various knit lists and forums.  So I made it a point to take a class from her and experience her style and personality up close and personal.  And everyone is right.  She is a marvelous instructor and person.

The word “lemming” came up late one night after the nth glass of wine this weekend.  There is a lot of pattern-du-jour lemming effect out in the knitting world.  The internet, blogs, and Ravelry has made this a world-wide phenomenon instead of small localized clusters.  I’m not a lemming.  There are patterns that I absolutely love, but you won’t see it on my needles while the throngs are knitting it, blogging about it, and wearing it.  But that’s not to say I won’t make the said item, or something similar.

I love Joan’s spin on this, not that Joan would ever use the word “lemming.”  She’s much too polite for that.  Last year, while the universe was making The Kauni Sweater, and before Ruth offered other patterns for use with her yarn, Joan was off knitting a stranded color work sweater of her own design.  (You can see it in her profile picture on Ravelry.)  And this year?  While you see The February Lady Sweater everywhere you turn, you will see Joan wearing what she called The August Sweater.  Why? It’s as far away from February as possible.  Instead of a cardigan, she made it into a pullover.  Instead of a square neck, she made hers into a V-neck.  Instead of 3/4 length sleeves, she turned into a full length sleeves.  She changed the lace pattern in the bottom half of the sweater and added a lace shawl collar.

She’s like that.  She takes a great idea and make it her own.  Now, there’s something to aspire to.

So, with a nod to Joan, I’m going to sit down and design my own not-so-lemming Silk Kerchief.  I saw several of these at Madrona and was instantly smitten.  One woman couldn’t quite bring herself to be a lemming and took the idea and made the Simple Garter Shapely Shawlette.  I’ve always liked the shape of the Shapely Shawlette.  It hangs much better on your shoulders than the straight forward triangle shawl.  But I want her to retain her uniqueness , and make something similar but not the same. (And thus, my own uniqueness.)