Something New

I have the most exciting news to share with you all.  I’m planning to embark on my knitwear design ‘career’ and publish a pattern for socks!  There’s an enormous amount to learn, but it’s also exciting and a bit nerve-wracking as well.  If you’ve been following my Instagram account for a while, you’ll have seen this lattice pattern. It showed up about 4 months ago and after a few revisions, rip backs, re-knits, tears and swearing, it finally all came together.

These are my Rose Ladder Socks.

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The name comes from a mis-translation I saw while living in Asia. One day when I was in a flower market I saw a man selling garden trellises with a hand lettered sign in English which read “Rose Ladders”. I was charmed by this and in some ways, I like the name better.

I don’t have a publication date just yet, but I’d like to have them out by early summer – just in time for the roses.

Testing, Testing

I’ve been quiet lately – longer than I meant to be. It’s not that I have nothing to show you or tell you about, more than I was under a bit of a gag order.

I’ve been test knitting. For those who don’t know, test knitting is when you get an advance copy of a pattern to knit with the goal of finding and reporting all the mistakes and typos to the designer so they can be fixed prior to publication. I find this a fascinating process – it gives unique insight into pattern development and I really like being able to contribute in some small way to the success of someone’s creative effort by helping to reduce the number of errors. It will never be perfect, but I can certainly see the value of this exercise.

So now that two of the three patterns I’ve committed to have been released, let me show  you what I’ve been doing:

Gingerbread

Gingerbread was knit for Libby of Truly Myrtle designs in New Zealand.

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At first glance, this looks like a simple pullover without a lot of detail. But look closer – have a look at the ribbing.

I’ve never seen anything like this! And then there are the details which you only know about if you actually knit the sweater. This sweater uses top down, seamless construction and makes clever use of short rows for the set-in sleeves.

I knit this over the Christmas holidays and it was the perfect knit – it didn’t require much attention from me – just knit. I used Rowan Pure Wool Superwash Worsted in Mallard.

Gascogne Scarf for WOODS – making stories

This scarf isn’t actually available for purchase directly – it’s a bonus pattern if you opt to support the crowdfunding campaign for WOODS – making stories.

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This project is a new knitting book which focuses on breed-specific European yarns and features 11 patterns, designer profiles, and tutorials. For as little as €35, you can get a copy of the book as well as patterns for this scarf and a charming hat. If you are local to Berlin, there are some incredible packages which give access to the launch party (wish I could go to that!) and at the top tier, a yarn day in Berlin. Now that the European Parliament has ratified the CETA trade deal, I expect that these yarns will become more affordable in Canada so I see this as a good introduction to some of Europe’s premier yarns.

The Gascogne Scarf pattern was designed by a French designer called Solène Le Roux and uses a Spanish yarn from a producer called dLana. It is 100% merino spun as a rustic-looking single ply yarn that is so incredibly soft with great stitch definition and can certainly be worn next to skin.

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The scarf works up to a luxurious 8 feet long so it can be either worn very long, or wrapped twice around your neck.

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I have one more project that I can’t talk about yet, and I have nothing to show you anyway because I’m still waiting for my  yarn which is coming from Switzerland. But check back soon – I’ll have some teaser pictures as soon as the yarn arrives.