Friday, 18 September 2020

Southbank Sweater in The Knitter Magazine

My Southbank sweater is in this month's The Knitter Magazine, Issue 155! Designed specially for West Yorkshire Spinners new Wild Shetland yarn, this sweater is full of cables and texture. I love the long colour change gradients of this extremely soft yarn. The pattern is part of an eight-page Spotlight all about Wild Shetland, that also includes a lovely article by Helen Spedding describing the story behind this beautiful new yarn.

Juliet Bernard has written a great article for this issue all about the beauty of cables.  The title page of the article is illustrated by my Linwood Sweater from The Knitter Issue 134. When I was asked to contribute, I had no idea that my interview would featured be alongside talented designers such as Lucy Hague, Martin Storey and Norah Gaughan! I am really honoured by this, especially as I am a huge fan of all their amazing design work.

Sunday, 13 September 2020

The Gladys Jeskins Sampler

One of the most inspiring projects I have recently been involved with is an exploration of an incredible stitch knitted sampler. This sampler contains 899 stitch patterns and is part of the Knitting & Crochet Guild's Collection. As part of Unconvention 2020, the current Sampler Project Team got together on zoom to talk about the sampler and why we find it so inspiring. You can view our discussion here and watch the original pink sampler being unrolled! 

The sampler was knitted by one amazing knitter, Gladys Jeskins, over a period of many years. It all began when Gladys decided that she could design more interesting stitch patterns than were available at that time. From there the sampler grew and grew into one very long piece of knitting. After Gladys passed away, her family kindly donated the sampler to the Guild. 

Individual stitch patterns from the sampler will be released over the coming weeks so that everyone can enjoy Gladys's wonderful knitting. The image at the top of this post shows a selection of re-knitted stitch patterns from the sampler on display at last year's Convention.

Thursday, 10 September 2020

Unconvention 2020!

 The Knitting & Crochet Guild are currently hosting an online Unconvention!

Following the cancellation of this year's AGM and Convention in Leeds, the Guild have done an amazing job setting up an online alternative. There is so much content to see! Today I am watching Kaffe Fassett discussing his swatching and design process and I'm discovering all about a wonderful project called Knitted Leeds. These amazing videos are available to everyone, so if you would like to take a look, please click on the links.

On the Unconvention homepage, you will find more links all the events and videos. There are techniques to explore and historical knitting to discover. I am especially excited about Sunday's video releases which include a project that I find incredibly inspiring. If you would like to learn more about 899 stitch patterns knitted by one amazing knitter, please take a look at The Gladys Jeskins Sampler video any time after 9am on Sunday.

Sunday, 31 May 2020

7 Day Knitting Book Challenge

Over the past week I have been really enjoying the 7 Day Knitting Book Challenge on Instagram. Started by Rachel Atkinson, Daughter of A Shepherd, the challenge has been answered by knitters and crafters from all over the world! Each person's 7 days begin when they are ready and Rachel suggested posting only a picture of the book, with no explanation, comment or review needed. There are some excellent books covering a great variety of topics, from stitch directories to historical perspectives on knitting and fibre crafts.

Here are the seven that I selected from my bookshelves. I'm looking forward to seeing your books if you would like to join in. Just look for the #7dayknittingbookchallenge on Instagram and share your crafting library!

Day 1: Knitting Nature by Norah Gaughan with photography by Thayer Allyson Gowdy

Day 2: Knitwear Design Workshop by Shirley Padden

Day 3: Knitting: Fashion, Industry, Craft by Sandy Black

Day 4: Die Strick Enzyklopaedie by Maria Parry-Jones (originally published as The Knitting Stitch Bible)

Day 5: Missoni: Art Colour, from the Exhibition at the Fashion and Textile Museum, London

Day 6: Traditional Knitting by Rae Compton

Day 7: Stricken 3 by Lisl Fanderl

Monday, 4 May 2020

Barberry Cardigan

My Barberry Cardigan has just been published in the very special 150th Issue of the Knitter Magazine! Even more exciting, Barberry is featured on the cover!

The Knitter Magazine, Issue 150
featuring Barberry Cardigan
by Emma Vining
The cardigan is knitted in Carol Feller Nua Worsted yarn and this gorgeous blend of merino, yak and linen fibres is just perfect for my cabled design. The stunning colour is called Cafe Flamingo.

The stitch pattern I designed for the cardigan panels was inspired by little clusters of berries and leaves. I used a combination of cables and bobbles to create an embossed look for the pattern. The lower borders of the cardigan have an extended twisted rope pattern with pockets embedded into the border on the fronts.

At the front of this issue of the Knitter Magazine there is a lovely message from the Knitter Team sending their best wishes to all readers and I would like to add my good wishes too. I really hope everyone is safe and well during these very strange times. Emma x

Thursday, 28 November 2019

Vintage Style

The recent Prairie collection for The Knitter Magazine Issue 144 features four elegant patterns inspired by wild flowers and vintage styles. I am absolutely delighted that my Bee Balm Sweater is included alongside beautiful designs by Kristin Blom, Maddie Harvey and Mary Henderson!

Bee Balm Sweater by Emma Vining
Image from the Knitter Magazine
Bee Balm was inspired by elements from a classic lace trimmed blouse. For the stitch pattern, I used long lines of eyelets with delicate cable details. Texture plays a big part in all my design work and this sweater begins with a reverse stocking stitch background, changing to a stocking stitch background for the upper section. Picot cast-on and cast-off edges complete the vintage effect. My Bee Balm sweater looks amazing in beautiful Walcot Yarns Opus yarn. The gorgeous colour is the rich, deep shade of plum.

Tuesday, 26 November 2019


I love collecting all kinds of inspirational images to spark new knit design ideas and one of my favourite subjects is the staircase! This month Knitting magazine have published my Staircase Shawl in Issue 201. The inspiration for this design comes from the wonderful National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.

Staircase Shawl by Emma Vining
Image from Knitting, GMC Publications

The particular inspirational staircase for my shawl is located in the upper levels of the building. I love everything about these stairs, from the curve of the steps, to the smooth and textured triangular features beside them, and also the monochrome colour way shown in my photo. The National Museum of Scotland is full of fantastic inspiration and there are amazing views of Edinburgh Castle from the top levels too!

Staircase in the National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh
Photo by Emma Vining

View from the top of the National Museum of Scotland
Photo by Emma Vining
Stunning architectural features inside the NMS
Photo by Emma Vining
My Staircase Shawl knitting pattern combines textured triangles, eyelets and short row shaping to make the series of steps. The short rows create a shawl with a gentle curve, just like the stairs in the museum. Using gradient shades of yarn sets off the stitch pattern perfectly and the John Arbon Knit by Numbers yarn range has so many different colour ways to choose from! These beautiful greys were the perfect match for my design ideas, but the shawl would look amazing in any of the colour gradients. To knit the shawl, you will need three 25g mini-skeins and one 100g full skein of 4ply KBN.

Staircase Shawl detail
Photo by Emma Vining