Maryfield

A little while ago I shared Maryfield with you as part of some exclusive kits I did with Jess from Ginger Twist Studio.

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I am excited to announce that this pattern will now form part of the Head to Toe collection and is available to download on Ravelry. If you have already bought the e-book you will be getting an update that allows you to download the pattern.

For a limited time this pattern will be available for £1 with the discount code ‘quid’.

These fabulous cuffs are cute and stylish and knit up in no time. Using only 20 – 30g of yarn. The perfect accessories to glam up your outfit.  Enjoy.

DSC_0168 Happy knitting C x

It’s here …

This morning I waited and watched out of the window … eagerly awaiting this …

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Yes folks, I have a published book. A real book, with an ISBN and a glossy cover. I am still in shock. It has taken many months of hard work to get here, but I made it. My first published book. I am very very excited.

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Head to Toe is a collection of five gorgeous knits, designed by me, featuring Ginger’s Hand Dyed yarn. 

Those of you who read the blog regularly will have already seen Montrose, Brunswick and Edina. On the 1st of October I will release the final pattern, Elgin. At the same time I will be launching the e-book and print book.

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Originally the collection was four pieces but check back tomorrow for a sneak peak of an exciting fifth design. 

What to get your hands on a copy of the print book? Pop over to my Big Cartel shop where you can pre-order your copy. They will be posted on Tuesday as first class mail within the UK, in preparation for the launch on Wednesday. The book costs £12 plus £1.99 P&P (UK). 

If you order the print book, you will be sent a download code for the complete collection as a digital copy that can be downloaded on Ravelry (you will receive this within 24 hours of your print order being placed), meaning you can already start knitting your favourite of the three designs that have been released.

Just want an e-book, pop over to the Ravelry store where you can get the full e-book for £10 or pick up a single pattern of your favourite design. 

I can’t wait to share the final two with you. Until tomorrow…

Happy knitting,

C

x

 

New Socks for Autumn

Hope you have had a lovely weekend. After a short break I am back teaching at my LYS and I am very happy to be teaching again. I love working with knitters who want to improve their skills. I have a full workshop schedule between now and the end of November. If you are in Scotland you can find me in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dundee. Check the workshops page for details. 

I am also very proud of my second sock pattern to be featured in a knitting magazine. My “Lady in Red” socks are in the latest issue of Simply Knitting.

Copyright: Simply Knitting

Copyright: Simply Knitting

A simple but very effective lace pattern is combined with easy ribbing, resulting in a relaxing knit and great fitting socks. Just what you need as the weather cools. They have been designed using West Yorkshire Spinners. I love this yarn. It is extremely good value for money and comes in a wide range of colours. They have just released the Sweet Shop range and the Spice range.

You can get a copy of the Simply Knitting magazine here. 

Copyright: Simply Knitting

Copyright: Simply Knitting

Copyright: Simply Knitting

Copyright: Simply Knitting

I hope you have a wonderful week.

Happy knitting.

C

x

In the knitting basket

It has been far too long since I shared any of my works in progress with you. Today it is all about texture.

First up two personal knitting projects. They are both plodding along very slowly, but there is nothing wrong with a slow knit.

Parachutey by Stephen West in Kalinka Linen. The colours in this top make my heart sing (and dance and stomp about in pure glee). The linen is interesting to work with and my wrists can take a bit of a beating after a while but the resulting fabric is magnificent.

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Next up is the Pebble Beach Shawlette by Helen Stewart. I am knitting this in the most amazingly soft yarn from Kettle Yarn Co – Westminster (50% silk / 50% baby Camel). I love how the eyelets give a wonderfully simple textured detail to this beautiful design. Letting the yarn shiny in all its glory.

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Next up I have two new designs I am working on. These will be with you in a few weeks.

First up are some socks knitted in Hartlam Calvinia in the colourway “I Dare You”. Knitted from the top down they include all the elements I love in socks at the moment.  A little bit of lace, a whole lot of rhythm and texture, oh glorious texture. My new favourite heel, the garter short row adds to the smorgasbord of texture going on here. Watch this space for details on their release.

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Last but certainly not least is a cowl knitted in fabulous yarn from Ginger’s Hand Dyed in Edinburgh. Combining two of her gorgeous DK bases in perfect winter hues this reversible cowl looks far more complicated than it actually is. This project is perfect for mixing and matching single skeins of yarn and would work for sock, DK, aran and chunky. Keep your colour palette neutral or go wild with colour. More details soon.

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What are you knitting at the moment?

Creative Blog Hop

A little while ago the brilliant blogger, writer and social media / marketing guru for the knitting world GreenTriangleGirl aka aplayfulfday nominated me in the Creative Blog hop. The idea is each person blogs with their answers to four standard questions and nominates two people to continue the chain.

I have really enjoyed reading answers by those who have already taken part and feel honoured to be part of this process.

Here is my contribution:

What am I working on?

At the moment I am really focussing on finding my feet.

Currently my life resembles a treadmill where someone has turned up the pace and my little legs are going as fast as they can to keep up with the belt. I am working very hard and am proud to say my legs are getting stronger and the strides are getting longer. Some days I can’t believe I am still standing, but I am and I relish a good challenge.

This year has been pretty huge for me on the work front and things are really picking up. This is wonderful and I am infinitely grateful for each and every opportunity that comes my way. As a bit of background, I had dabbled a little bit in some technical editing work when my daughter first arrived but had planned to go back to work in my old field. I never thought of myself as someone who would thrive on being self-employed. I am not sure why this is because I could not have been more wrong, it’s great working for myself and the world of freelancing is where I belong. I love it.

After building up my client base I finally took the big plunge a few weeks ago and went fully freelance (technically part-time I suppose as I wanted to balance my time between work and my little one). I have not looked back since. Current projects include technical editing and layout design, collaborations with fabulous indie-dyers for design collections of my own and researching for some pieces of writing commissioned by a knitting magazine.

No day is ever the same and I am very fortunate to have a good balance of creative design work and ordered more technical work, the perfect match for me.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

This is a difficult question for me. I am the ‘new kid on the block’, I am carving out a place for myself in this sector and that will take time. Actually, I think it will always be a ‘work in progress’. I have an interesting mix of skills and this has translated into an interesting mix of work within this sector.

On the client work front I like to think of myself as someone who is balanced and brings a wealth of experience from different sectors together to be the most effective editor and designer I can be for each individual client. In the past decade I have been on what some might think of a very varied and rather random journey. I started out studying photography, then worked in media selling advertising for a national newspaper, then shifted focus and worked in the humanitarian sector before studying to be a teacher. During this time I lived and worked on three continents; loving life and taking random opportunities to up sticks and move on as they presented themselves. I think this gives me a pretty unique set of skills. I love being behind the camera, I am passionate about creating with my hands and am equally comfortable behind a laptop screen plugging away at excel or tinkering about with a client layout. Having worked in fast paced deadline driven environments I thrive on the pressure that an imminent deadline brings (always useful when submissions are due).

Why do I create what I do?

I love making things work. At heart I am a problem solver who likes to look at the puzzle pieces and put them together, finding the missing pieces and working out where they are or how the gaps can be filled in the most effective way. This is why I love technical editing and layout work as a combined project for a client. Technical editing is a puzzle with maths, words and structure. I find the process of reading a pattern, knitting the design in my head and plugging the numbers into a spreadsheet very satisfying. Bringing the technical elements together with the words and watching the design dance across the page is pure magic. Sometimes when I am engrossed in my knitting I feel as if my fingers are dancing across the needles, the yarn turning and twisting through my fingers, I become entranced by the process of creating. I find the same joy in watching words and numbers combine into a brilliant pattern.

Combining this technical work with the creative process of designing a layout brings together a package that really works for designers. I love walking people through the process of what they want, what they need, what works for them, what they would like to avoid and then combining all of this together into a style that screams “I am xxxx”. The knitting world is a busy place and it is important to know who you are and have an identity that speaks to those who love your work and support you as a creative. A good pattern and layout design is just one tiny part of the process but I love being part of it, and that is why I have chosen to do what I do.

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How does my creative process work?

I am an ideas person, ask the people close to me and they will attest to the fact that I have no shortage of ideas. I really do need a few more days in my week. I like to get all my ideas out there, frequently in a stream of consciousness to my husband the second he walks through the door. Then I like to let things simmer away, tinkering here and there, pondering the multiple options and waiting for the last minute before the deadline where I pull everything together in a blaze of glory and produce a finished product. (Okay maybe it is less of a blaze of glory sometimes and a mad dash to the finish line). I doubt this is the optimum way to work, waiting for the last minute, and in all honesty I do a lot of work before the deadline is even close. However, I always seem to have the most focus when I have no other option but to focus. With weeks to go my mind easily wanders off to my next brilliant plan, it is only in the final days that I can neatly tie up loose ends and bring something to life.

Between the idea and the mad rush for the finish line there is a process. It always involves my notebook and a pen. I love my computer but there is something about putting pen to paper that makes a difference to the way my brain works. I also like to talk to my nearest and dearest about ideas, problems and potential solutions. Articulating the process helps me to digest it a little better.

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There you have it. A little bit more about who I am, what I am doing and why. I have a new blog series planned about getting started and am just putting the final touches to the first posts. Watch this space for more details.

In the spirit of the creative blog hop I would like to nominate two fabulous ladies who are rocking their own sectors of this industry at the moment.

The first is someone who has been a brilliant source of inspiration to me in the last year. Jess from Ginger Twist Studio in Edinburgh has a way with the dye pots and a fabulous bricks and mortar shop.

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My second nomination is my favourite northerner Jo the voice behind the Shinybees podcast and half of the brilliant The Golden Skein team.

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The golden skein

 

The moment when something screams “knit me”

I really do love the moment when something comes across my desk and it just screams “knit me”. During my Saturday morning editing stint there were two such moments. In all honesty it took a lot of restraint to not down tools, dig in the stash box and start swatching.

Now they are both live on Ravelry I just had to share them with you. They are both very special in their own way and I could not help but shout about them.

The first combines many of my knitting loves; lace weight yarn, beautiful stylish shapes in airy fabric and the clever use of techniques, think i-cords and ways of combining yarn that you don’t see very often. Pellucid by Dieuwke van Mulligen is something really special. 

Copyright: Dieuwke van Mulligen. Used with permission.

Copyright: Dieuwke van Mulligen. Used with permission.

Using Fyberspates Gleem Lace (55% wool / 45% silk) this would be a luxurious and stylish addition to your autumn wardrobe and with some clever layering it could take you through winter and pop you out into spring again (yes, I am already thinking of spring and autumn only just started – that is the Southern Hemisphere in me).

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I am seriously tempted to cast this on, I have two shades of grey lace weight that I think would work very well together.

The next design is another pattern that I feel will soon be adorning my needles with some sumptuous grey yarn. David O’Kelly (the lovely partner of Victoria Magnus from Eden Cottage Yarns) launched Quadratic over the weekend. It is an excellent example of how a simple concept can transform into something quite magical with the right combination of shape, yarn and colour.

Copyright: Victoria Magnus / David O'Kelly. Used with permission.

Copyright: Victoria Magnus / David O’Kelly. Used with permission.

A triangular shawl knitted from the bottom up in squishing garter stitch with bands of stocking stitch featuring luxurious Hayton (MCN) in a steely grey and bright Autumn shades in BFL Sock. What’s not to love.

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I can see myself knitting one of these in a skein of yarn from The Golden Skein, I have the perfect grey main colour. To top it off I have some silk / merino mini skeins I bought at Unwind that would make the perfect stripes. I might cast this on for my trip to Yarndale in a few weeks. It would make the perfect train knitting project.

This pattern is 50% off until midnight on the 6th of September with the code QUAD50.

There are so many new patterns on Ravelry this week. Have you spotted anything that screams “Knit me”?

Happy knitting.

Cx

 

Cuboid

Copyright: The Knitter/Philip Sowels (Used with permission)

Copyright: The Knitter/Philip Sowels (Used with permission)

I am so excited to share this design with you. Cuboid was born about a year ago when I first started out designing socks. I instantly fell in love with the stitch pattern and the shapes created by the simple lace juxtaposed against the garter stitch. I made a tiny little sock for my then tiny little baby.

Life has changed a lot since I first made that sock. I now have a willful young toddler who is certainly not teeny tiny anymore (I blame the giant husband genes), I live in a different country and am taking my first steps into a successful freelance career with many more exciting designs to come.

I initially wanted to use this design in my Sock Anatomy book, I found a striking green yarn and knitted up the samples. I quickly ran into problems though as I could not grade the pattern into the small increments needed for baby, toddler and child socks. The design was shelved as I worked on other patterns. I could not leave the design though, I knew it was going to make a beautiful sock, for me it just worked. The elements combined in a way that made my heart sing.

To say I was chuffed when The Knitter agreed to commission this sock would be an understatement. I was ecstatic. I could hardly contain my excitement and remaining cool, calm and collected was nigh impossible.

And now many months after that day when they called to say they wanted the sock I can present to you Cuboid. 

Knitted in Knitting Goddess Britsock, a magical blend of 60% Wool, 20% Nylon (Polyamide) and 20% Alpaca. 

The magazine (The Knitter – issue 0075) is available in good newsagents throughout the UK and I know you can have it sent overseas too as a good friend of mine in South Africa gets her copy every month. More details can be found on The Knitter’s website. 

Copyright: The Knitter/Philip Sowels (Used with permission)

Copyright: The Knitter/Philip Sowels (Used with permission)

Edina

Good morning,

Today sees the launch of the third pattern in the Head to Toe series. Please welcome Edina to the fold.

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September: Summer draws to a close

The days are starting to shorten and the cooler weather is arriving. These gorgeous mitts come in two lengths and are perfect for dressing up an outfit, or adding a touch of class to your early autumn wardrobe. An elegant design with mirrored cabled details that flow along the arm and around the thumb. The perfect accessory to take you from summer to autumn.

You will need one skein of DK for this pattern. The mitts shown were designed using the fabulous Ginger’s Hand Dyed, and I know she has lots of lovely colours in stock at the moment. 

Ginger’s Hand Dyed Yarn Sturdy Spledor DK (100 g / 3.53 oz, 250 m / 273 yds, 75% merino / 25% silk), 1 skein. Sample shown in the colourway ‘Dove’

You can buy Edina as a single pattern for £3 or as part of the ebook for £10. Please visit my Ravelry store to purchase your copy. 

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Happy knitting

C

x

 

Autumn, a fresh start and a new design

Creative Commons - Purple Sherbet photography

Creative Commons – Purple Sherbet photography

Tomorrows marks the meteorological start of Autumn. I had not even real thought about it until I started seeing my Southern Hemisphere friends posting about summer being on its way on social media.

I can’t quite believe summer is over at the end of today. The air is a little crisper here in Edinburgh but the days are still lovely. This morning we went on a long family bike ride which was the perfect way to spend a Sunday morning. The weather was cooler, not so muggy but the sky is still blue and the sun still shining.

Autumn marks a big turning point for me, a fresh start on the blog. It is knitting season and I have so much going on that I can’t wait to share with you. I have taken a little break from blogging to regroup and have a lot planned for September and beyond, starting tomorrow when I launch the third pattern in the Head to Toe series. Hope you have a restful Sunday, pop back tomorrow for more details about the new pattern.

Here is another sneak peak of the design … its perfect for autumn!

Edina

C

x

 

Maryfield

In July I launched my Montrose hat – a slouchy lace beret showcasing the fabulous merino / silk 4ply from Ginger’s Hand Dyed. The hat only uses 50 – 60g of the 100g skein and I could not let the remainder of the skein languish in my stash box. To make sure I got to use every inch of the skein I designed some quirky and elegant mitts. Maryfield was born.

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Fabulous, stylish and funky, these mitts have Jess’s name all over them. I love them and so does she. Maryfield is available in two styles and three sizes.

The pattern has been released as a special kit pattern available at Ginger Twist Studio in Edinburgh and online from Jess’s shop. The comprises of a skein of Ginger’s Hand Dyed Splendor a 50% Merino / 50% silk blend, a hard copy of Montrose (hat) and Maryfield (mitts) plus digital download codes for both patterns. This kit comes in a beautifully sewn project bag made by the fabulous Jess and retails for £25.

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This pattern is exclusive to the Ginger Twist Studio kits until after the book launch in October.

Have a wonderful Friday folks and a fabulous knitting filled weekend.

Clare x

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