Silky Alpaca Lace Design Contest I


Trade shows are great places to meet up with other people in "the business". For a yarn distributor, that means sales reps, designers, mill representatives and, arguably our most important partners, yarn shop owners! We sat down for dinner with Stephanie Steinhaus of Unwind in Burbank, CA and put our heads together to come up with a fun, engaging way to sell some yarn. Stephanie mentioned that Silky Alpaca Lace is a bestseller in her shop, perfect for the Southern California climate and stylish enough for her young, hip customer base. After some back-and-forth, Unwind's "Absolutely No Design Skills Required" Silky Alpaca Lace Contest was born!


Stephanie was looking for designs that were climate-friendly, hip, and casual. She wanted stylish pieces that were unfussy and appropriate from the beach to the street to the office. For us, we knew that the winning design would be featured in a Web-Letter, so we had some criteria of our own. We wanted something that would not only meet our CEY design aesthetic, but also something the average knitter would have the desire and capability to execute on their own. Both our finalists were stunning pieces of work. You saw our accessory winner in the Web-Letter this week, the Dandelion Shawl from Kavita Sleight.


Here is the designer's own description:
This triangular shawl with a rounded lace edge is worked from the center of the upper edge outwards, so the size can be adjusted. The size indicated is for a small shoulderette. The lace pattern was inspired by dandelion seeds blowing in the California breeze.


The original piece is quite dainty, Kavita refers to it as a "shoulderette". We appreciate that some may want a larger shawl; the Web Letter pattern includes a size range of 34 (44, 54)" wide at top x 13 (17.25, 22.5)" deep at center point.


There are two honorable mention entries in the accessories category. The first runner-up is the Poppycock Shawl. Designed by Karen Eckhoff, this garment is truly a piece of art. Taking it out of the box elicited gasps from everyone in the room, and we all had to try it on (obviously). The colorway she chose, Midnight Forest, perfectly echoes the iridescent colors of a peacock's tail.


While awe-inspiring, Poppycock is not for everyone...the pattern numbered 11 pages long! We would be remiss if we didn't give you a couple of peeks at this stunning piece. Hopefully Karen will decide to self-publish this shawl someday!

**UPDATE** Here is a note from the Karen Eckhoff, designer of Poppycock:

Thanks everyone for your flattering comments! I am quite stunned by the response! I will be making Poppycock available, however I would like to have it tech edited and charted first, as it is quite cumbersome in its raw form. I am rapunzelrides on Ravelry if you would like to drop me a line. Thanks again for the outpouring of support! Meanwhile, let's make Dandelion, it is lovely and Silky Alpaca Lace is fabulous to work with!


We have a second runner-up that will have to remain a secret for now...there's a special project on the books and you'll just have to stay tuned.

Next week we are featuring finalists in our garment category! If you do not receive our Weekly Web-Letter, what are you waiting for?

44 comments:

  1. Poppycock truly is a piece of rt and should be shared with the world of knitters.
    Perhaps Karen would allow you to share contact information for her, as I would imagine several will want to contact her for purchasing this pattern.

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  2. I am TOTALLY up for 11 pages! Does Karen Eckhoff have a blog or website to follow to find out if she will post somewhere else??

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  3. Cannot believe that Poppycock wasn't the winner. It's a far superior garment both in style and execution. The only people who should wear the one you picked as a winner are those who are very petite. On anyone over about a size 6 it looks silly and is out of proportion. The Poppycock is gorgeous, could be worn by anyone or hung as a work of art. I hope you see fit to explain your decision to give the award to the one you did.

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  4. Please let Karen know we are clamoring for her pattern! It's simply lovely.

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  5. I would love to hang Poppycock as a piece of art!

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  6. Dandelion is cute and sweet and most any knitter can make it. However, Poppycock was robbed of a title it and it's designer truly deserved.

    Sad for the awesome designer and hoping we might be able to contact her to purchase the pattern. 11 pages is no big deal, the design is a sensation!

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  7. I would love to make Poppycock. It is absolutely gorgeous. I would be interested in her pattern as well.

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  8. We want the poppycock, we want the poppycock! It should be a shared first prize. I hope the designer will publicj the pattern, sell at your store or on Ravelry.

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  9. OMG, the poppycock shawl is amazing!! I don't care if the pattern is 1011 pages -- I would love to try my hand at this!

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  10. Ditto - agree that poppycock was the better shawl and would love to get my hands on the pattern. ASAP. Well done Karen!!!!!

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  11. Scrolled through first (winning) shawl thinking it was nice but not anything I woulf wamt to own or make - then came Poppycock, that it stunning, I REALLY want to make that one!!! Well done Karen

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  12. Dandelion is beautiful but must agree that I almost fell out of my chair at the Poppycock. I already sent a Ravelry post to store owner asking for Karen's contact info. Karen, you did a stunning job on this!

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  13. OMG, the Poppycock Shawl is absolutely amazing! Karen, I have to have this pattern ASAP! A blue ribbon in my book.

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  14. What everyone said; Poppycock is downright stunning and Patty F. wasn't the only one who nearly fell out of her chair. Pattern please, pattern please, pattern please!!!

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  15. I agree with all comments thus far -- please publish the poppycock pattern or furnish the contact info for the designer. It is absolutely breath-taking. 11 pages is a lot but this finished piece would be such an achievement. I would love to try it! Please ask the designer to publish on ravelry!

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  16. I agree with the above posts. Poppycock is the winner. I would love to try this piece. What an accomplishment it would be. Truly a knitter's dream. Please say it will be published.

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  17. I really want to make Poppycock as well, that's gorgeous! The other one is ok, but not stunning.

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  18. I also cannot believe that Poppycock was not a winner. The folks judging this really underestimate the capabilities of those of us who knit. The winner is not something on which I would expend any time, effort or money - there is no reward in it; it looks more like a training exercise. PLEASE, Karen, PLEASE can you make the Poppycock pattern available for sale?

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  19. Poppycock IS gorgeous, and it is easy to see why so many are anxious to see if the designer will make it available.

    But the enthusiasm for it is dissing the winner's lovely and wearable design. Personally I think Dandelion is beautiful and would wear it proudly. How much fun to play with color combos!

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  20. Beautiful shawls, but i'm up for the 11 page poppycock!

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  21. Dandelion is a lovely shawl and obviously more accessible to knit, but,...

    Poppycock is a work of art. More experience knitters would love a chance at this one. Please!

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  22. I agree that Poppycock should have been the grand prize winner!! How do we find out how or when the pattern will be available?

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  23. I agree with all of the comments on what a work of art Poppycock is! My daughter is having a peacock themed wedding in June and this would be perfect for me to knit...if only the patter was available! Please, please, please make it available (and in time for me to finish before the wedding)!!!

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  24. Can't wait to get my hands on the poppycock pattern!

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  25. I'm not an experienced knitter but I would buy the Poppycock pattern just for the inspiration to keep learning! Even just putting a few elements in a scarf... wow! The "winner" ... although pretty, it does not inspire me the same way. PLEASE publish this pattern!

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  26. The Poppycock is gorgeous. But for the beginner knitter, Dandelion is the one I would pick. Just think of Dandelion on your Preteen to Prom girl's shoulders in any color. You have to agree it would be awesome.

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  27. Poppycock certainly would have had my vote for first place. What a gorgeous shawl! I searched Ravelry for the designer and couldn't find her. I certainly hope Karen will self-publish this spectacular pattern. I'll be looking forward to making it. Fingers crossed she will do it for all of us who would love to make it. I'm peacockmom on rav.

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  28. Wow! Poppycock is the one I want to knit and wear. I would have totally overlooked the Dandelion...I'm surprised by your choice. Perhaps you underestimate us lace knitters!

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  29. I don't even knit, my wife does. Even I can see that your choice for a winning entry is nothing but Poppycock.

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  30. I'm very curious to know how if/how CE will respond to all these comments from people who can see! Dandelion is simplistic so I suppose if they were looking for an entry-level knitter project that explains why Poppycock didn't win, still... how do you do damage repair to how your customers see you on a muff-up like this?

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  31. Poppycock is incredible! It is just stunning and I REALLY REALLY want to knit it. I hope the pattern will be available somehow soon.

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  32. I completely agree with previous posts: Poppycock is stunning. I, too, hope for the pattern to be published soon.

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  33. Would love a pattern for Poppycock. Classic piece with an edge.

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  34. While I understand the desire for something that's knittable for people of every skill level, and the Dandelion is a sweet little thing, the Poppycock is the one for which I would purchase the pattern. I hope the designer will be selling it.

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  35. Poppycock is a delightful, beautiful creation. I would love to knit one. It should be the winner,
    I would gladly buy the pattern.

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  36. I am asking the same question that every body else have. Were can we find the pattern?, This is just BEATIFUL that sample.

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  37. I had to post a comment, which I rarely do. Poppycock is stunning and I can't believe it wasn't the winner. What were you thinking? I would also be willing to purchase this pattern if the designer would put it on Ravelry, or on a blog. Please, please, please...

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  38. Add me to the list of people who want the Poppycock pattern! (I love hard lace patterns! Especially shawls!)

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  39. Add me to the list who want a pattern available for Poppycock. It's EXACTLY what I've been looking for.

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  40. I have to echo all the comments I've seen about the Poppycock pattern. Eleven pages? Hah - I cross-stitch Teresa Wentzler designs. I can handle eleven pages of knitting!

    (Because I'm insaaaaaaane! ;D )

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  41. Although Poppycock is stunning, the simplicity and realistic design of Dandelion is beautiful and more graceful. I think CEY did a great job in selecting a great design and still acknowledge the awesome design in Poppycock. Good job CEY in getting all of us talking about design, inspiration and the great craft of knitting!

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  42. I've ordered the Midnight Forest yarn for the Poppycock shawl. I have the needles. I just need the pattern. Phleeze!!!!

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  43. Karen Eckhoff (rapunzelrides)September 21, 2011 at 1:21 PM

    Thanks everyone for your flattering comments! I am quite stunned by the response! I will be making Poppycock available, however I'd like to have it tech edited and charted first, as it is quite cumbersome in its raw form. I'm rapunzelrides on ravelry if you'd like to drop me a line. Thanks again for the outpouring of support! Meanwhile, let's make Dandelion, it is lovely and Silky Alpaca Lace is fabulous to work with!

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