Well hello there 2014 – how’s it going?! I hope you all had a magnificent time celebrating the New Year and are feeling super-excited and refreshed. I really enjoy looking back at this time of year, to take stock and reflect… and plan even bigger goals and dreams for the year to come! Looking back over my goals for last year, I’m surprised at just how many I got done. Some were little personal achievements and mini victories and others were big ol’ ticks on my long-term to-do list.
At the very start of the year I was lucky enough to scoop a job at Folksy.com working remotely on their support team from my little studio in Bristol. They are really the nicest people to work for, and when they put on awesome events like the Folksy Summer School, it’s just about the icing on the cake.
Photo by Gemma of The Button Tin
At the beginning of the summer I took the plunge and finally overhauled the site so I could build an integrated shop. Ugg, that felt good – one of those things I’ve dreamed of for so long. Big tick!
In 2012 I was commissioned to write a knitting pattern for a new craft book by The Makery in Bath, which came out in September. It was amazing to see the pattern in print for the first time. Very gratifying.
I started publishing video knitting tutorials. This is something I’ve had in the back of my mind for quite a while (big tick!) and the response has been amazing. I’m so thrilled you guys are enjoying them. I’ve loved reading your comments and suggestions so thank you for taking the time to let me know and say hi. I have lots more planned so if you have any suggestions of things you’d like to see demonstrated, just shout this way! Above is a shot of my super professional set-up!
In between all of this I’ve been keeping a really big secret. Sooo hard to do. It’s a very special project that I’ve been working on for the majority of 2013 and I’m extremely proud of it. I’m writing a post at the moment to let you know about that one!
All in all 2013 was pretty darned fantastic and I want to say a HUGE thank you to you all for making it so. I hope you have an amazing year – dream big!
I thought i’d give you a little peek at how my Willard cardigan is coming along today. It’s going quite slowly as I haven’t been able to dedicate a whole bunch of time to it amongst other work and Christmas orders, but that’s just me being impatient. Isn’t it cuuuute?
The adaptations weren’t difficult to figure out. As I bought the whole e-book, I’ve been following one of the other cardigan patterns (Kaye’s cardigan) and have substituted in the Willard colour chart. I just needed to increase one stitch before starting the colour chart so that it divided evenly into the row.
I’m thinking about doing the left side button band in the leftover pink for a bit of contrast, like this cityscape cardigan I mentioned last week. A cute little pop of pink!
And I’m really slow on the uptake, but I’ve just discovered Hannah and Pam Allen’s podcast, Knit FM – have you listened in yet? There’s 4 episodes so far so I’m heading back to the beginning to catch up. So far loads of great tips from these knowledgeable knitters.
What do you have on your needles at the moment?
Knitters can be hard to buy for, don’t you think? Particularly if you aren’t sure of their preferences, or don’t knit yourself. We’re a picky bunch! So I’ve put together a little gift guide today of more universal knitter gifts. I hope it gives you some ideas for those stubborn crafty types. :)
Clockwise from top left: Stitch markers from Fringe Supply Co, Knitting by Design by Emma Robertson, Leather needle pouch from Fringe Supply Co, Subscription to POMPOM Magazine.
Clockwise from top left: Scrummy Yarn from Purl Soho, Indigo Hickory Bag by Merchant & Mills, Notions Box Set by Merchant & Mills, Knitting nail art by Kate Broughton.
Duplicate stitch is a really great way to add a colour-work motif to your knitting. It’s used as a quicker alternative to fair-isle, or to embellish a ready-made garment. This particular technique mimics stockinette stitch, and the plus side, you can easily rip it out and start again without affecting the original piece.
Just be sure to count the stitches on your sample, and on your colour chart, so you can position it where you want to.
I have a series of cute critter colour charts to publish soon, including Mr. Fox up there, so watch this space. I hope you find this useful!
Since starting my Willard cardigan (going well, so far, you can see a few snaps on instagram) I’ve had an itch to make more cosy layers. I just love the methodical process of jumper knitting, it’s nice to take some time out and slowly labour over one project – it’s great meditation. Here are a few patterns currently on my wish list, they feel appropriately festive, don’t they?
Clockwise from top left: Kate Davies, Paper Dolls | Andi Satterlund, Geraldine Pullover | Laura Chau, Cityscape. I particularly like this version of Cityscape, the contrast button band is soo good. And because she’s the queen of fair-isle, another Kate Davies, Bláithín.
When I was really little my most favourite thing about Christmas, was stockings. I loved waking up early and feeling a big weight of presents on my feet. My mum made my sister and I these incredible patchwork quilted stockings that we used every year without fail and are now treasured relics.
Last Christmas I decided to try and tap those magical memories and designed my own fair isle snowflake stockings. I sold a small collection of them in Paper, Scissor, Stone last year and thought it would be nice to publish the pattern.
You can head over to my shop to purchase one now, or use the Ravelry link below. They use 5mm DPNs and chunky weight yearn, so knit up really quickly. There’s definitely time to make a bunch before the big day.
Buy on Ravelry
In other Christmassy news, my sister and I spent an evening this weekend making our own wreaths. We foraged around the back garden, park and nearby playing fields, so it’s feeling a little bit Christmassy around here already.
I had to throw on some fuzzy red pom poms, it would be rude not to! Are you hand making and decorations or presents this year?
Over the last few weeks I’ve been working on a new series of video tutorials, which I’m uber excited about. I’m going to be sharing fortnightly videos on my favourite tips, tricks, techniques and stitch patterns. I have a whole bunch lined up so if you’d like to follow along, subscribe to my YouTube channel or the blog (bloglovin’, RSS) – or both!
The first video in the series is my new favourite stitch, loopy stitch. It’s so much fun to knit and looks awesome. This method is a lot easier than others I’ve seen and uses very few steps to create really neat and tidy loops.
I hope you find it useful!