Monday, October 16, 2017


My biggest-ever (so far) design project is NOW A THING:

My book, Whitework: Accessories inspired by medieval illumination is now available for sale on Ravelry and Etsy, and soon (is the plan) on Loveknitting and Patternfish!

It contains an extra surprise that showed up in September: a tenth pattern. Originally the plan was to have nine patterns in the collection, because that's how many different accessory ideas I'd come up with. However, at the end of August, my team moved into a new office building, and it's REALLY FREAKIN' COLD there! So, in addition to the long-range plans to make myself a really beautiful thick cardigan (as soon as I can find The Perfect Yarn), I whipped up a pair of fingerless mittens, the design once again inspired by diapering patterns from illumination of the middle ages:

Meet Vignay, which works up pretty quickly and is very nice to look at, if I say so myself. My hand model was so taken with them that she voiced her desire for a pair of my own, and it took me just a few days to oblige:

Besides this surprise last-minute addition, I've also released the last two designs from the collection. Firstly, there's Lavagna:

I've made two of these so far, one in the medium size and one in the small size for my middle daughter (I am helpless in the face of these lovely children who admire my knitting and wistfully wish for their own versions out loud).

(Please ignore the desperately messy bedroom in the background. It is mine and I am hopeless at keeping it clean.)

And I don't know what it is about this pattern, but I find it to be super-fun, and a very quick knit, too.

Finally, just released today, is a felted bag, Valois:

It comes in two sizes - this is the smaller one. The larger size is about 30% bigger in each dimension.

I think the thing I like best about this collection is how proud I am of each design in it. I really do love them all. I had a great time thinking this all up and putting it together, and I hope knitters will have a really good time making them for their own.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

More from the big project

Four more patterns have been released from my upcoming collection of accessories!

Firstly, there's a set of three items: an earband, a cowl, and mittens. This is the Fouilloy Set, which is based on a motif from a 13th century Franco-Flemish manuscript, and is named after the text's author.

This is actually the design which started it all. I was trying to do justice to this anniversary present from my husband:

I didn't want to just make it into socks (although the socks would have been awesome); I wanted to make something that would last longer and be really visible and spectacular whenever I wore it. It took a while to get the right inspiration going, but I finally hit upon The Idea, and I'm super-pleased with it.

And then the fourth pattern is called Macclesfield:

It's inspired by a motif from The Macclesfield Psalter, a 14th century manuscript from East Anglia. This is an extremely toasty-warm scarf, as it's made from worsted weight yarn and is double thick (not to mention reversible).

That's it for now! Just two more patterns from this collection left to go.

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!