Inspiration Knits Blog Tour: Palette Pattern Collection

We are pleased to be a stop on the blog tour for Louise Zass-Bangham's new pattern collection, Palette, featuring the Painted shawlette and Fresco shawl.

Painted is a long, narrow triangle. It uses 400-440 yards of fingering weight yarn and is easily adaptable to use up the full amount you have on hand. 

Fresco is a deeper triangle worked in DK or worsted weight yarn and requires 500-550 yards - which is perfect for one skein of Yowza!

I know variegated yarns, while irresistible in the skein, can be a challenge to work with. I am always delighted when a talented designer comes up with a new and interesting way to highlight these yarns. Louise has found a great stitch pattern that really lets the individual pops of color stand out.

I thought I would talk a bit about how I get inspiration for some of my colorways - specifically Berlin and Gal Noir, which Louise chose for her pattern samples. My inspiration for the Berlin colorway was a photo I received from Martina Behm who was designing for the Knitting Tour. It was a night photo of Berlin that was a dark night filled with lots of neon and garish lights from signs and headlights. It had an excitement that one feels when you are in big cities at night!  I wanted the colorway to reflect that same feeling.

The way Gal Noir developed was a bit different. As many of you know, I have repeatable AND non-repeatable Babettes. But how does this happen? It's tied to the fact that I have two parts to my dyeing practice. The first is production dyeing, which generally includes monochromes, but also colorways that I dye in small batches which become the repeatable Babettes. The other part of my dyeing practice is what I think of as artistry - it is a time when I get to play with color in ways that I do not track what dyes I am using. This could be called my reward for the hours I spend standing at the dye table. Gal Noir was originally created in this playful way, but I was actually able to figure out what I had done, and so it moved into the repeatable Babette column.  

And the name - Gal Noir? It is a play on the Guy Noir character from the radio show A Prairie Home Companion. She is a sultry lady of the night!

Back to the playing with color and dye. The benefit of this play is that I am able to develop many small batches of yarns that are one of a kind, even within the batch. And the results can even be a surprise for me. Sometimes I do not see yarns I have dyed again until they are twisted, especially when we are pushing hard for a show! 

So, in honor of these new patterns, we're going to do a triple giveaway! Post a comment here and we will randomly select someone to receive a skein of Berlin in Yummy 2-Ply and one who will receive a skein of Gal Noir in Yowza.

We'll also give away a download code for Louise's Palette pattern collection. Be sure to post a comment here on the blog by Tuesday, March 31, 2015 at midnight PST and we'll let the winners know on Wednesday!

Edited to add: I've just emailed the winners--congratulations, Susan, Suzanne G, and SJ! And thanks to everyone for your lovely comments.

The next stop in the Inspiration Knits Blog Tour is Yarn & Pointy Sticks, who will be posting on Tuesday. Check out all the rest of the stops on the Tour, which we've linked below, and be sure to check out the KAL in the Inspiration Knits Ravelry group, which starts Wednesday.

Tuesday 24 March: Inspiration Knits

Wednesday 25 March: Yarn in the City

Thursday 26 March: Knitted Bliss

Friday 27 March: Knit with Attitude

Monday 30 March: Miss Babs

Tuesday 31 March: Yarn & Pointy Sticks

Wednesday 1 April: SweetGeorgia Yarns

Thursday 2 April: The Golden Skein

Friday 3 April: Fyberspates


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One skein of Miss Babs yarn is a blank canvas. Once it jumps on your knitting needles, it paints a beautiful picture into a symphony of colors and a work of art!


I love a good Babette (which would be pretty much all of them) and Louise’s patterns are a perfect fit.


Love your yarn—and the stories behind the genesis of color names! I’m currently knitting Painted and I’m sure it won’t be my last time. Fingers crossed I’d get to use a skein of Miss Babs.


Love your yarn—and the stories behind the genesis of color names! I’m currently knitting Painted and I’m sure it won’t be my last time. Fingers crossed I’d get to use a skein of Miss Babs.


I love gal noir.


Been wanting to try this beautiful yarn. Have heard such good thing about it.


Oh my goodness! That “Berlin” is calling my name!!! Love your yarns… especially the Yowsa and Yummy 2ply.


Love all if your yarn. You and your staff do an amazing job!!! Thank you?


What beautiful colors! I adore Miss Babs yarn!!! =)


As a new knitter your yarn has spoiled and it’s hard to use others when I like yours so much! I gave two skeins to my daughter for her birthday because I couldn’t think of a nicer gift to give her!


Beautiful,beautiful colors.


OMG… absolutely beautiful! I’m drooling over the Berlin… totally makes me think of Monet and his garden paintings!


What fantastic combination! Miss Babs yarn and Louise’s pattern. I’m a fairly new knitter and absolutely love Louise (Inspiration Knits) design and patterns. They’re so well written with fabulous results.


Beautiful yarns, I love knitting variegated ones and watching the colours unfurl, thanks for doinng this competition!

Andrea W.

Love, love, love your yarn. I am actually knitting up Painter in the colorway “Coffee Break.” Gorgeous! I would be grateful for any colorway or weight that you were giving away. Thank you for your generosity.


I am fascinated with your colorways…would love to actually see your yarn in person !


I am fascinated with your colorways…would love to actually see your yarn in person !


Thanks for showing at Stitches West…that’s how I discovered you—just last month! Yesterday I pulled out my skein of Deep Sea Jellyfish, and left it in view for artistic inspiration.
You and your team are very nice and helpful! Can’t wait to get more


A few of my knitting friends have just recently introduced me to your yarns. What they have made from it is beautiful!! I am anxious to experience the wonder of knitting with your yarn that so many talk about. All of the colorways are gorgeous!


I love your beautiful colorways as well as your generosity of spirit, Babs! Thanks for sharing a bit about your process.


Pick me, pick me. waving hand wildly because I am sooooo deserving of this luxury.


I love knitting with Miss Babs yarns. Two of my WIPs are in Miss Babs yarns,no love how the colors come together in the variegated colorways.


Who can resist?! Love those colors!


Great patterns to show off our gorgeous Miss Babs!

Esther Helsley

Yowza! Just cannot say enough good things about your talents. Every since my friend, Julie, introduced me to your yarn, I immediately fell in love! Your color combinations are amazing. The feel of the yarn is scrumptious. Even though I have some yarns to knit, I WILL be attending Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival just to “love on” and purchase more yarn. Can’t wait!

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