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!

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)