It’s a bit of a bumper post this week, if only for the quantity of photos!  Last Thursday something very special happened: my very first design was published in Knitting Magazine!  If you have found my blog as a result, then a warm welcome!  It has been several months coming and I am so so happy that I can finally share it with people.  It has been a massive achievement for me.  Here are some snaps from the magazine:

My leaf and moss stitch sweater Close ups...scrutinize my knitting if you dare! A lovely write-up from the editor, Emma (2nd paragraph) Cover of Knitting Mag, Feb 2014

Here’s hoping that it will be the first of many!  Knitting Magazine were lovely to work with and my tech editor was all the support and encouragement that I could wish for.  I am glad that I had her onside to get me through my first official go at grading a commercial pattern.  It gives me a bit more confidence that I can publish my own sweater and cardigan designs without too many howlers!  They are there in my mind or on my desk, either in swatch or sketch form.  As ever, it is a matter of time before they enter the world.  I try my best to design garments and accessories that don’t drive me mad, are a pleasure to knit, and look as beautiful as possible.  If I’ve enjoyed making it, chances are others will feel the same.  Conversely, if I hate making it or find it laborious, so will someone else.  Related to this is the reason I avoid 4ply: it’s lovely, but I don’t have time for it when it comes to adult-sized garments.  For me, the process of knitting cannot be separated from the process of designing: you have to produce a pattern that is of a decent standard, well-written and considerate of your audience/fellow knitters.  For example, is it a simple/quick knit?  How experienced does the knitter have to be?  Can it be done in front of the telly?  If it requires some concentration, will this impede progress or is the pattern easy once you get the hang of it?  I don’t think that the beauty of a design is quite enough for modern knitters; beauty and allure is the initial step, but after that, they have to imagine themselves making it, and that thought needs to be positive, no question.  I know I’ve dismissed patterns on that basis!

I have also finished a couple of ongoing projects, the Bute cardigan and Twilight Skies jumper – here they are:

ButeCardigan2 TwilightSkiesJumper

And this leads me on to the next WIP (work in progress to the uninitiated).  It is a quick knit – Thor from Kim Hargreaves’ Storm.  I have mentioned this cardigan on here but after hearing from the lovely Moochka that it was such a quick project, it would’ve been silly not to start this and have it made before the weather warms up.  And she was right – this is the state of play ten days after casting on:

ThorBeforeTheMaking ThorInTheMaking

I feel as though I’ve done my fair share of sewing in ends lately, so I decided to knit the body of the cardigan in one pieces up to the armholes, then divide accordingly for the back and fronts.  This included a little rejigging of stitch counts and other technical bits and bobs to get the fairisle pattern repeat to fit (and a couple of increased stitches to restore the original number prior to dividing), but Anna was spot on: this is knitting like a dream.  I recommend this pattern if you’re new to fairisle and/or want a quick knitting fix.  This will be done and dusted by the end of the month!  (She hopes…)

I think I’m due a crochet post, so look out for one in the next few days.  I have been making some motifs/samples for a new workshop at Fringe on Improvers Crochet.  This class is for those who’ve mastered the basics of crochet and want to explore texture and techniques for making more 3D, textured fabrics such as basketweave.  If you fancy trying something new or a bit different (but not difficult), this class will be right up your street.  More soon!

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