Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Twisted Knit Group 2

Yesterday I published "Twisted Knit Group" - the sock I designed as part of our knit group challenge.

This is the one I knitted in a high twist Socktopus yarn which I highly recommend. It shows off the cable beautifully.

There is pattern on every row but once you've done a repeat, it's got a nice rhythm to it. It's also nice to have something that's very unisex to knit. Boy has already told me he wants a pair of these. I just need to find some yarn for him.

If you'd like to knit them for a boy or even for yourself, the pattern is available at my Ravelry Store.


Monday, 25 February 2013

Sock Week - The Result

As you can see, I finished 3 socks this week.

The first is my "Twisted Knit Group" sock, the middle one is the 2nd sock for Boy and the right-hand sock is my "Earth" sock - another KAL.

Now the sharp eyed reader will remember I had a fourth sock to complete. I ended up frogging it. I love the yarn but I wasn't entirely happy that it was the right for "Wattlebird". I actually got as far as turning the heel before realising it really wasn't working. I'll cast on with some different yarn in the next few days - other projects allowing.

I'm really pleased with this last week's work. There was a real sense of accomplishment as I finished each sock. There's nothing like finishing things to make you feel ready for the next challenge.


Thursday, 21 February 2013

An invitation.

For the last couple of days, I've been staying with a friend in London. We spent time catching up and knitting, laughing and generally relaxing. All the time (well most of the time) I've been plugging away at the socks for sock week.

I was getting ready to leave yesterday and head home, when I thought I should check my email. Thank goodness I did. I had an invitation from a designer I met at New Designers last summer.
She needed a knitter to complete a garment - part of her current collection - would I be interested? Well since I was in the area, I had nothing to lose.

I met Jane at her studio. She showed me the material and we talked about what she needed from me. I love talking with other designers. Their passion and enthusiasm is infectious. I took a sample of the material with me so I could work on the tension and get to grips with the "yarn". There is also the possibility that this will lead to more work and maybe even some collaborations with her which would be really exciting.

I may post some photos of the work if Jane agrees. In the meantime, I suddenly have a lot of knitting to get on with.


Monday, 18 February 2013

Sock Week

This week I'm planing on a sock finish. Of course this isn't just one sock. It's 4.

Two of them are KAL socks that I've designed, one is for my fiance (to go with the first one I've already completed), and the final sock is the next sock in my "Beyond the Fat Lady" series.

Would you like a sneak preview?

This is "Wattlebird"

So far there is a cuff and a leg. The next thing to work out is the pattern for the foot but for some reason it's not quite emerging.

I'll carry on with the other WIPs until inspiration strikes and then I can start to pull everything together and get it tested.

I'll keep you posted as the pattern reveals itself to me.


Friday, 15 February 2013

More Shadows

I've been working on more studio samples and I thought I'd share.

I'm currently working on samples for Spring/Summer 15 so I've working with lots of lace structure and light yarns.

Each sample is also starting to inform the next one I knit. I'm having plenty of "Oo. I could try this next" moments. It starts with a swatch to check the integrity of the fabric but quickly the excitement for the new piece makes me impatient and I just have to knit it. Quite often, I make the design decisions whilst the piece is on the needles.

I'm working on a 3rd sample for this collection so there may well be more images.


Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Shadows of Work

For some time now I've been talking about studio work without actually showing any images.

This isn't because I'm a wicked tease but because of the nature of selling samples. Once I sell them to the client. the sample no longer belongs to me. This is absolutely fine - as a designer, it's one of the things you sign up for, but it does mean that if I take images of work that is later bought by someone else they own it and there is a copyright issue.

This is made even more of a problematic with the Internet and sharing information. It is very hard to put the genie back in the bottle.

However, the point of this blog is to showcase my designs and my processes and so I wanted to find a way of sharing images of work without compromising the copyright. And I think I've managed it.

These show enough of the outline without giving too much away. After all - the devil is in the detail.

I've been really pleased with how quickly this sample came together and how design issues resolved themselves quite simply. If only it always worked that way.

Hopefully I'll be able to post some more images of studio work in the future.


Monday, 11 February 2013

Twisted Knit Group

I had such a moment of pride yesterday it actually made me squeal

I belong to a knit group that meets twice a month in a local pub. At our final knit of the year last December we were talking about Knit a Longs (KALs) because some members had just completed some. It was suggested that our group could hold a KAL. We're all long practised knitters so we decided to add a designing element to it. Socks seemed the perfect item - they're small so they are over relatively quickly but they provide a great "blank canvas" to try out stitch structures. I volunteered to go first since I've done this a few times now.

I decided on cables and twisted stitches since they give great texture and definition. There is a formula I tend to use for socks which helps me make sure things go where they need to, so I spent an afternoon playing around with my pattern charting programme and had the sock written in about a day and a half.

At the end of January we met for knit group and I gave everyone a copy of the pattern. I was actually really nervous about it - what if there was a problem and my fellow knitters judged my professional ability but of course everyone was lovely.

So why did I have a moment of pride yesterday?

Well, because my friend Lucy messaged me with images of the final socks! It's the first time I'd seen them finished.

I am absolutely delighted with the way they've turned out. Especially since she told me she liked them too. I guess she must have since she knitted them in under a fortnight!

The only problem is I've not finished one yet. I've been so busy with samples and work knitting that I've barely got past the cuff but having seen how gorgeous they are, I'll have to crack through it in the next few days.


Saturday, 9 February 2013

Pig Snout

Today I've been sorting out the final edits for my latest sock pattern -

Pig Snout

This is the second sock in my "Beyond the Fat Lady" series - socks inspired by the passwords used within the Harry Potter books. Pig Snout is the second password of the first book - Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. I created a lace pattern that is reminiscent of triangles and circles to represent alchemical symbology. The mythical Philosopher's Stone is the prize that all alchemist seek, so it seemed right that lace was used to connect the narrative of the story to the design of the sock.

 The other crucial design element for me was to mark the friendship formed by Harry, Ron and Hermione when the boys rescued her from a rampaging troll. A plaited cable pattern seemed the natural choice to interweave the three characters. It was also a nice balance against the lace.

The sock pattern is available at my Ravelry store.


Thursday, 7 February 2013

Begin at the beginning

Another busy week of work in all it's many and varied forms.

I had a work commitment over the weekend which meant I spent Monday and Tuesday catching up. However, catch up I did and yesterday I planned out some new studio samples. As ever they are top secret but I'm really pleased with the progress I'm making on them.

At the start of each new project, I love the challenge of working with fresh inspiration or revisiting an old friend and finding something new within it. I'll sketch, stick, collect, tear, colour and distort my source material until it starts to look like something that may begin to inform stitch structure. Then I start to plan stitch patterns and find points of repetition.

So far so good. Then I begin to knit ....

At this point, I become hyper-critical of my work and spend almost as much time ripping back as I do knitting. It becomes a tango of returning to source materials and tweaking the fabric. This may be using a different yarn or adjusting the stitches. At this point I just have to trust the process and my own experience and know that I will work it out because when I do ...

There is something quite magical about sitting there with a piece of fabric that you've have created utterly.  Casting the stitches on and watching it grow beneath your fingers. I know it's working when I start chanting "One more row" to myself. The mantra of the compulsive knitter. At that point I know I'm hooked and the sample will work.

Then it's just a case of sorting out the sleeves ...