Saturday, August 12, 2017

A big project

I remember wondering, when I first started designing, "But what if I run out of ideas?"

Bwahahahaha. Oh, sweet, dear, naive me. Years later, it's clear that that is extremely unlikely to ever happen. Ideas come to me so much that I have to put other ideas on hold in order to work through them!

And a big one came to me this spring, which drove a lot of other projects to the back-burner: Patterns based on geometric whitework patterns from Western European manuscripts of the Middle Ages. It all started with this yarn:

That was my anniversary gift this year from my husband. It's wonderful and I fell in love with the colour combination immediately. I wanted to make something really special from it, using as much of it as humanly possible, and I did a lot of pattern hunting on Ravelry. I even cast on for a light vest...but it just didn't feel right.

Then I thought about pairing it with white for a stranded knitting motif, and it occurred to me to draw upon medieval whitework patterns. I picked one, adapted it to a knitting chart, and was off and running with a cowl and mittens. I tried to make a beret after that, but there wasn't enough yarn, so I went with an earband instead.

It worked so well that I decided to design other accessories based around the same theme. And thus, a collection was born!

I'm hoping to release the whole thing sometime in the fall, hopefully earlier rather than later - all the samples are made, most of the pattern write-ups are done, and I have a few more photo shoots to do. But it's getting close to completion, and I'm super-excited about it!

In fact, I've already released three of the patterns individually. Firstly, there's Beaulieu:

This is based on motifs from a French poetic work from 1353, and is named after the manuscript's scribe.

Then there's Corbichon:

It's inspired by one of the motifs from a pre-1416 French encyclopedia, and is named after the man who translated the text from Latin into French.

Finally (for now, anyway), there's Welles:

The motif used in these socks is seen very frequently in medieval manuscripts, particularly in an English manuscript from the first quarter of the 14th century called The Welles Apocalypse.

The remaining items in the collection will be: the cowl/mittens/earband set which started this whole thing; a scarf; a toque; and a felted bag.

Stay tuned!

Saturday, July 29, 2017

So it's been awhile

We're over halfway through the year and this is my first post of 2017? Yikes.

However, there has been a lot of knitting and designing going on to talk about. I'll spread it out over a few posts so this post doesn't explode with volume.

Towards the end of April, issue #73 of Knit Now magazine came out, and I was in it! Meet the 'Delft' beret:

Delft beret image, modelled (back view)
© Practical Publishing Ltd., used with permission
This is a pattern I came up with around November of last year, as the winter holidays approached and I needed to find gift ideas for various people, including my eldest daughter's teacher. Happily, Knit Now put out a submission call for their spring issues at around the same time, and one of the themes was 'pottery'. My mind instantly flew to Delftware, and how I could adapt a plate into a beret, and this pattern was born. Bonus points: it suited the teacher perfectly. I was thrilled, eldest daughter was thrilled, the teacher was thrilled, and, as it turned out, the magazine was thrilled enough to accept the pattern. Wins all round.

Delft beret image (laying flat)

You can still purchase this issue of the magazine in hardcopy format. Electronic formats of the issue can also be purchased, either through iTunes or the Knit Now app for Android phones. I'm also planning to self-publish the pattern around the end of August, meaning that it will be available for individual purchase from all my usual channels: Ravelry, Etsy, Loveknitting, and Patternfish.

Delft beret image (modelled, side view)

Monday, December 05, 2016

Picks from the queue

Highlighting nifty patterns that I bought as part of the Ravelry Gift-A-Long reminded me how fun it is to share wonderful patterns that I've discovered. So here's another selection of them!

First up...

This is Morvarch, by Lucy Hague, and I think it's absolutely gorgeous. I adore cables, particularly Celtic cables, particularly clever Celtic cables (I didn't set out to alliterate, honestly, it just happened that way), and this piece is just seriously gorgeous. (Comely clever Celtic cables?)

This is Cathedral Rose, by Sharon Winsauer...and can we just talk about Sharon Winsauer for a minute? She is a freakin' lace genius and the above is just a small sampling of the gorgeousness that regularly emerges from her brain. She designs exactly the kind of crazy stuff that not only do I want to knit, but wish I had thought of to design first.

And finally...

Ramona's Sweater, by Karen Gress. There is so much awesomeness going on in this design - the flared shape, the ruffles at the edges, and the stand-out colourwork, not to mention the multiple colour combinations going on here. You might think that putting all this together would be too chaotic, but it works. I think it's fabulous, and exactly the sort of thing that kids tend to pull off so much better than grownups.