Monday, 4 December 2017

Machair Wildflower Shawl Pattern is now on sale!

My first of my winning designs for the Birlinn Yarn Company (BYC) has just been released! I am so excited to see the stunning images of my Machair Wildflower shawl design on the BYC website. It has been such a pleasure to work with the BYC on this project and to design a hand knitting pattern for this very special yarn produced from seafaring sheep.

Machair Wildflower Shawl
by Emma Vining
for the Birlinn Yarn Company

"Our Machair Wildflower Shawl pattern is designed for intermediate knitters. The contemporary asymmetric form is combined with lace eyelets and raised bobbles to reflect the machair wildflowers as closed buds, in full bloom and as autumn seed heads. Machair, a Gaelic word, refers to one of the rarest habitats in Europe, almost unique to the Hebrides. A dune pasture that produces an abundance of beautiful wild flowers from Spring to Autumn. Thus, our beautiful, asymmetric shawl evokes the machair wildflowers throughout the seasons." Birlinn Yarn Company, Dec 2017

My Machair Wildflower pattern is available as a download from the BYC website and can be purchased along with the gorgeous BYC yarn. The shawl is knitted with three 50g balls of BYC 4ply yarn in the stunning shade of Moor. Other beautiful natural shades and Hebridean Colours are also available to purchase and the shawl would look amazing in any one of them!

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Slipknot Journal Interview

One of the big benefits of membership of the Knitting & Crochet Guild is receiving the quarterly publication, Slipknot! The journal is always packed with excellent articles and information about the world of knitting and crochet.

Slipknot Issue 157
The Knitting & Crochet Guild
Cover image of Diamond Kites Sweater by Emma Vining
courtesy of Immediate Media
This month, I am absolutely delighted to be featured in the Journal. There is an interview with me, all about my designs and patterns. Slipknot editor, Elspeth and I had a a lovely chat about all things knitting and more! The lovely folks at the Knitter Magazine kindly provided images of two of my favourite designs, Diamond Kites Sweater and Lisbon Cardigan, to accompany the article.

I really enjoy reading Slipknot and the articles in this issue are great, including Wendy's yarn tales from her trip to New Zealand, Sally's fascinating article about Venetian Crochet, Lindy's review of the Great London Yarn Crawl 2017,  Elspeth's visit to a Musk Ox Farm and so much more..... Slipknot shows what an amazing amount of knitting, crochet and yarn knowledge we have within our Guild!

Thank you to everyone who contributes to Slipknot and to everyone who helps behind the scenes to make this journal such an excellent publication. For more information about the Knitting & Crochet Guild, please take a look at the KCG website.

Monday, 23 October 2017

New Designs for Yarn Stories

Yarn Stories have recently announced their autumn collections of new patterns. I am delighted to have designs in both the Fossilisation and the Insects and Invertebrates Collections!

Cycad Cardigan by Emma Vining
Image by Yarn Stories

Cycad is knitted in wonderfully soft Fine Merino and Baby Alpaca DK, This open front cardigan combines a herringbone stitch and eyelets to create long fronds reminiscent of a fossilised fern. I love the change of scale in this design and the way that the fronds gradually emerge from a dense pattern of background ridges.


Silk Worm Sweater by Emma Vining
Image by Yarn Stories

My Silk Worm sweater has a rib-based design. The twisted stitch pattern is worked throughout the sweater. For the upper body, the pattern opens up with the addition of a lace background. The gorgeous yarn is Fine Merino DK in Lunar Grey which is perfect for the delicate stitch definition of the twist and eyelets.

It was so nice to catch up with the Yarn Stories Team at The Knitting & Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace last weekend. The stand looked amazing and just look at the gorgeous shades of yarn they brought along! You can see the full selection of yarns and shades here and read more about the inspiration behind the new collections on the Yarn Stories Blog.

Yarns Stories at the K&S Show

Yarns Stories at the K&S Show

Monday, 25 September 2017

London Design Festival 2017 at the V&A

Since it began in 2003, London Design Festival (LDF) has grown into a world renowned event, covering all aspects of design. LDF 2017 opened on Saturday 16th September and ran until Sunday 24th September. There were over 400 different events throughout London and the Festival hub was located at the Victoria & Albert Museum. There is an excellent fit between the Festival and the museum, with the museum spaces and collections being used to promote new work and develop exciting new ideas. From an immersive light installation to a quiet contemplative stone structure, visitors were able to experience a wonderful selection of world class design. 


Garden Ware by Bruce McLean, LDF17
photo by Emma Vining
This year, as a volunteer at the V&A, I was able to be involved in LDF by leading tours of the installations in the museum. Being part of the team was a great experience and I really enjoyed presenting the installations to my tour groups. In this blog post, I'd like to give you an overview of some of the work that was on show at this year's festival. 

Transmission by Ross Lovegrove
Ross Lovegrove spent considerable time studying the 15th Century Devonshire hunting tapestries in the V&A's Tapestry Gallery. He was drawn to the human figures and in particular, the drape of the clothing. His three dimensional tapestry sculpture is made using Alcantara, a man-made textile more commonly found on car seats! The colours used on the Alcantara were digitally matched from the tapestries and gilt machine embroidery was also added, giving the structure a shine and sparkle in the low light of the Gallery. The huge curved folds provided new views of the tapestries for visitors. Transmission will remain on display in the Tapestry Gallery until Monday 9th October 2017.

Transmission, LDF17
photo by Emma Vining
Transmission, LDF17
photo by Emma Vining

Reflection Room by Flynn Talbot 
Flynn Talbot created an immersive coloured light experience in the vaulted space of the Prince Consort Gallery. This Gallery formerly housed over 30,000 textile items and most recently was the temporary lunch room! The Gallery was lined with 56 custom made stretch membrane Barrisol panels in gloss black. The Barrisol membrane can be stretched into shape and then is hardened by heating. The hardened panels formed the reflective surface placed along the side of the gallery with Tryka led profiles emitting orange and blue light located at either end of the gallery.

Reflection Room, LDF17
photo by Emma Vining
Reflection Room, LDF17
photo by Emma Vining

While We Wait by Elias and Yousef Anastas
The beautiful stone structure created by the Bethlehem based architects is a celebration of the Cremisan Valley in Palestine. The stone was sourced from different regions of Palestine then cut using the process of stereotomy. Both traditional and innovative new techniques were used to create the precisely shaped stone blocks, which were reassembled into a lace-like self supporting structure in the Simon Sainsbury Gallery.

While We Wait, LDF17
photo by Emma Vining

While We Wait, LDF17
photo by Emma Vining

While We Wait, LDF17
photo by Emma Vining
Exhale by Julian Melchiorri 
Exhale is a beautiful chandelier that will remain in place over the new V&A members reception desk. Designed by Julian Melchiorri, the chandelier uses algae to create oxygen through the process of photosynthesis  I was fortunate to be able to go to a spotlight talk by Julian, where he explained that his vision is to use micro-organisms on a huge scale. He sees the technology being applied over field sized areas. For LDF he has used the technology on a small scale to create this stunning installation.

Exhale, LDF17
photo by Emma Vining
The British Land Celebration of Design Medal Exhibition
The circular Clore Study Area was the perfect spot for highlighting this year's medal winners. From the classic signage designed by Margaret Calvert, to the scooter for life by Paul Priestman and the model of Exhale by Julian Melchiorri, the four plinths show representative work by each of the winners. I was absolutely entranced by Es Devlin’s Magicbox, that combined led technology with optical illusions all within a three foot plywood cube!

Magicbox, LDF17
photo by Emma Vining

Inside Es Devlin's Magicbox, LDF17
photo by Emma Vining

Inside Es Devlin's Magicbox, LDF17
photo by Emma Vining
The 3D printed model of Julian Melchiorri’s bionic chandelier showed the beauty of the design from all angles.

Exhale Model, LDF17
photo by Emma Vining


Slave/ Master by BR Innovation Agency
This fascinating installation in the Raphael Gallery explored the interaction between humans and robots. In this case, the robots were cooperational robots, known as Cobots and the humans were dancers from the London Contemporary Ballet Theatre. The performance of dancer and cobot was very beautiful to watch. As the dancers moved and interacted with the cobots, the patterns of movement changed. Complex algorithms reflected this change by displaying a visual interpretation on a screen above the performance.


Slave/ master, LDF17
photo by Emma Vining
Slave/ Master performance, LDF17
photo by Emma Vining

Garden Ware: What is a Good Pot? Bruce McLean and 1882 Ltd 
In 1987, the V&A purchased a large pot by the conceptual artist Bruce McLean. There were many comments about this purchase as the pot was top heavy, had only a small handle and could not pour properly! The curator at that time, Oliver Watson, defended the purchase by pointing out that many objects in the museum’s collection had no purpose, so why should this one be any different. He went on to say, that although Bruce McLean was not a potter, this was surely a good pot! The pieces created for Garden Ware continue to challenge the notion of what makes a good pot. There were four display plinths by Bruce McLean exploring the idea and a self guided trail of the Ceramics Galleries compiled by Bruce McLean and Oliver Watson.


The original Bruce McLean Pot, LDF17
photo by Emma Vining
Garden Ware, LDF17
photo by Emma Vining


Evocations by Petr Stanicky
These two dramatic installations were located on lift landings looking over the Daylit Gallery. Petr Stanicky works with found objects for his sculptures in glass. He specifically chose the landing locations for his work as they are also "found" places within the museum. Before the construction of the Daylit Gallery was completed in 2009, the locations for Evocations did not exist.


Evocations, LDF17
photo by Emma Vining

Evocations, LDF17
photo by Emma Vining

High Tide for Carmen 
This display in the Theatre and Performance Galleries encompassed the animations and dramatic direction of the opera Carmen at the Bregenz festival in Austria. With direction by Kaspen Holsen, stage design by Es devlin and projections by Luke hall, the stage set was shown over a two room installation. In the first room, a tiny part of the set was displayed at full size with an enormous thumb and playing card. The second room contained a scale model of the opera set complete with projected animations and a tiny figure of Carmen for scale. The design process begins three years before the first performance and assembly takes six months. The display will remain on show in the Theatre and Performance Gallery until Sunday 5th November 2017.

High Tide for Carmen, LDF17
photo by Emma Vining
Recreation of Es Devlin's Desk,
High Tide for Carmen, LDF17
photo by Emma Vining

Have Your Cake and Eat it too by Sylvia Weidenbach
Sylvia Weidenbach is the V&A Gilbert Collection resident. Her fascinating installations in the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Galleries challenged visitors to consider what they value. She has used 3D printed bases, precious gems and a mix of modern and traditional techniques to create very beautiful items that explore what value actually is.

Have Your Cake and Eat It Too, LDF17
photo by Emma Vining

Metropolis by Lubna Chowdhary
Lubna Chowdary is the V&A Ceramics resident. Her installation, Metropolis is made up of 1084 separate items! She has been adding to this fascinating collection for the last 30 years. All 1084 items were displayed between glass display cases in the Ceramics Gallery. Looking closely at the individual items you discovered objects that represent the everyday and the otherworldly.

Metropolis, LDF17
photo by Emma Vining 
I hope you have enjoyed my overview of some of the V&A's LDF installations. Please click on the links to discover more about the artists, the V&A and the London Design Festival.

Monday, 11 September 2017

Winner of The Birlinn Yarn Company Design Competition!

This summer, The Birlinn Yarn Company announced an exciting knitting design competition. The winner would see their patterns included in Birlinn Yarn knitting kits and win a week in a beautiful Hebridean thatched cottage on the Isle of Berneray. I am absolutely delighted to be the winner of the competition!

Meg (the owner of Birlinn Yarn) and I had a lovely chat over on her blog all about The Birlinn Yarn Company, my designs and her gorgeous yarns. Please take a look here. You will fall in love with the beautiful yarn and Meg's stunning photos!

Detail from Wildflowers Design by Emma Vining
for The Birlinn Yarn Company 2017
My winning designs, will be made up into knitting kits using Birlinn Yarn 4ply yarn. This new yarn is currently being produced and will be available in a range of lovely shades. Natural shades will include "Storm Grey", "Speckled Hen" and "Peaty Brown". The organic over-dyed colours will range from the blue of "Reef" to the earthy green of "Moss" and the yellow of "Corn Marigold". There is currently a selection of DK yarn in natural shades and the Moor russet orange colourway available on Birlinn Yarn website.

Meg and I are now eagerly awaiting the delivery of the new Birlinn Yarn 4ply yarns, so please look out for more updates soon!

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Lisbon Cardigan in The Knitter Issue 114

My trip to Lisbon, Portugal was so inspiring! I loved the tiled building facades in this beautiful city and I have designed my Lisbon Cardigan for The Knitter Magazine with these stunning tiles in mind.

Lisbon Cardigan by Emma Vining
Image from The Knitter Magazine
For this cardigan, I have designed an eight stitch by eight row repeat that is "tiled" over the cardigan. The different sections of the cardigan link together through using the same tiled design in different stitch techniques. The edges and borders are knitted in a single shade textured version. The fronts, back and sleeve cuffs are knitted in a two shade stranded version.

As you knit the cardigan, the background and foreground shades gradually change over. The middle part of the design has an interesting optical effect as the shades appear to merge. I love the way the straight lines appear curved!

Lisbon is knitted in Sirdar Extra Fine Merino Wool in DK weight in shades Riviera and Alabaster.

Lisbon Cardigan by Emma Vining
Image from The Knitter Magazine

Lisbon Cardigan by Emma Vining
Image from The Knitter Magazine

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Harlyn Bay in The Knitter Magazine

My Harlyn Bay Top is in The Knitter Magazine Issue 113! This delicately patterned top is made up of different widths and lengths of rib pattern. The contrasting sections of vertical pattern lines are separated by horizontal reverse stocking stitch bands. The lovely yarn is Wendy Supreme Luxury Cotton DK.
 
Harlyn Bay by Emma Vining
Image from The Knitter Magazine
Harlyn Bay by Emma Vining
Image from The Knitter Magazine
I'm delighted that my Harlyn Bay top is in the same magazine issue as an interview with Thomas B Ramsden, the company behind Wendy Yarns. So interesting to read about the 90 year history of the Wendy brand of knitting yarns.