Tuesday, 30 July 2019

Falling Blossom Sweater in The Knitter Issue 139

A virtual snow-storm of falling blossom is the inspiration behind my Falling Blossom sweater design for The Knitter! Long lines of twisted stitches are worked all over the body of the sweater, outlining the blossom shapes. Eyelet petal centres are worked within these outlines, filling the upper part of the sweater with tiny flowers. The lower section of the sweater has a series of individual eyelet flowers gently falling away from the tree-full of flowers above.

Falling Blossom Sweater by Emma Vining
for the Knitter
The lovely yarn is John Arbon Knit By Numbers, DK in a delicate shade of pink, KBN65. I love finding inspiration for my knitting designs from the natural world and the garden setting for the lovely styling and photographs in the magazine, combined with this beautiful yarn, really reflects this!

Cholla Shawl in Knitting 196

My Cholla Shawl design for Knitting Magazine, Issue 196 is inspired by a fascinating cactus plant growing throughout the Arizona Deserts in the USA. Although there are a large number different varieties of Cholla Cacti, my design represents the complex branching structure common to many of them.

Cholla Shawl by Emma Vining
for Knitting Issue 196

This triangular shawl has two main sections of pattern. The shawl begins with a border with the eyelet and twisted stitch pattern worked on a stocking stitch background. As the shawl widens, a second section is added, this time with a reverse stocking stitch background. This change of texture represents the long shadows which are cast on the desert surface as the sun begins to set. The golden glow of the cholla cacti spines with the desert sun behind them is beautifully captured by the gorgeous Opus Yarn from Walcott Yarns, in the stunning shade of Goldenrod.

I am really delighted with the beautiful styling, the stunning model and the way that my shawl has been teamed up with a lovely design from Pat Menchini! Thank you Knitting Magazine!

Monday, 3 June 2019

Chatto Sweater in The Knitter Magazine 138

The Knitter Magazine has a beautiful "Summer Blooms" collection of patterns in this month's Issue. I am absolutely delighted that my Chatto Sweater is a part of this bright and stylish feature! My design looks fantastic on this stunning model and I love the way the whole collection has been photographed with bright background colours. I am extremely proud to be in this issue alongside talented designers such as Dario Tubiana, Sasha Kagan, Bronagh Miskelly, Mary Henderson and many more!

Chatto by Emma Vining
Image from The Knitter Magazine Issue 138
Chatto is inspired by rows of flower bulbs growing in fields and combines a twisted stitch pattern with eyelets to create a textured pattern. My sweater is knitted in Blacker Yarns Tamar Lustre Blend DK in the fabulous shade of Tiddy Brook. This beautiful yarn shows off the stitch pattern perfectly!

Chatto by Emma Vining
Image from The Knitter Magazine Issue 138

Friday, 31 May 2019

Shoreline Scarf in Knitting Magazine 195

I am absolutely delighted that my Shoreline Scarf design for Knitting Magazine is now available in this month's issue! I am especially pleased as my scarf has been teamed up with Jacinta Bowie's beautiful Feather sweater.

Shoreline Scarf by Emma Vining
 and Feather Sweater by Jacinta Bowie,
both from Knitting Issue 195

The theme of this issue is portable projects for travelling and my Shoreline Scarf fits the brief perfectly! Shoreline is knitted with two skeins of Uist Wool Canach Cottongrass 4ply. This lovely undyed Scottish merino fleece yarn knits up beautifully for a lightweight summer scarf. Shoreline is knitted on the bias, which creates the diagonal gradient stripes. I have used the contrasting shades of Osna/ Sigh and  Breac/ Speckle for my alternating striped pattern.

You can see Shoreline, Feather and more beautiful patterns by amazing designers such as Jo Allport, Bronagh Miskelly, Helen Metcalf and Christine Boggis along with Jeanette Sloan's excellent A-Z of Knitting Techniques in this month's issue on sale now.

Knitting Magazine Issue 195
 with Helen Metcalf's beautiful Laddered Diamonds Top on the cover

 *   Extracts from Knitting 195, July 2019
 *   Copyright © GMC Publications

Link to print edition: https://www.thegmcgroup.com/pc/viewCategories.asp?idCategory=705
Link to digital edition: https://pocketmags.com/knitting-magazine
Link to subscribe: https://www.gmcsubscriptions.com/product/knitting-magazine/

Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Sierra Nevada Wrap

My Sierra Nevada Wrap project is from the chapter of A Knitter's Sketchbook exploring openwork designs. The inspiration for the wrap was the enormous flower stalk of a variety of Yucca plant found in the Californian High Sierras. At the time of our visit, these stunning flower stalks were dotted all over the rocky cliffs within Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks in California, USA.

Yucca Flower in Kings Canyon National Park
The twisting road and steep cliffs in Kings Canyon National Park
Every part of the yucca flower stalk has had an influence on my design! The overall shape of the wrap is inspired by the shape of the flower head. The delicate main stitch pattern contains elements of the myriad of tiny flower heads that make up the whole of the flower head. The contrasting tip of the scarf has a pattern that reminds me of the closed buds at the top of the flower stalk, yet to burst into full flower.

The tip of my Sierra Nevada Wrap from A Knitter's Sketchbook

The lovely creamy-white yarn I used for the wrap, is Malabrigo Arroyo, a soft DK weight pure merino yarn. This yarn has a lightweight feel, yet is structured enough to show the balance between the eyelets and the twisted stitch patterns on the wrap. I purchased this yarn from a delightful yarn shop in Santa Cruz, CA called The Swift Stitch, where everyone was so welcoming and the choice of yarn was amazing!

Sunday, 31 March 2019

Yare Scarf and Stitchmastery Charts in A Knitter's Sketchbook

My Yare Scarf is named after the river that runs through the City of Norwich in the UK. The delicate stitch pattern is inspired by the intricate designs found on nineteenth century woven and printed shawls that were produced extensively in Norwich, Edinburgh and Paisley. These stunning shawls were originally inspired by extremely fine and much valued shawls from Kashmir which were imported into Europe in the mid nineteenth century. The history of these shawls is fascinating and some wonderful original examples can be viewed on the Costume & Textile Association website and also on display and in the online collections of The National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh and the V&A Museum in London.

Yare Scarf by Emma Vining from A Knitter's Sketchbook

When I was writing my book, I immediately knew that my knitted Yare scarf design would be the perfect example to show the combination of short row shaping with twisted stitches. The short rows are used to give the scarf a gentle curve. The twisted stitches create a series of delicate motifs that change in scale as the scarf narrows from cast on to cast off points.

Yare Scarf detail by Emma Vining from A Knitter's Sketchbook
The Yare Scarf example also provides me with a great opportunity to write about the fantastic Stitchmastery charting software used throughout A Knitter's Sketchbook. I had constructed my original pattern for Yare with only written instructions and although this worked well, it was the addition of Stitchmastery charted instructions that really completed the pattern.

The Stitchmastery software package allows knitters and designers to create their own knitting charts, along with written instructions. This excellent software really has become an integral part of my design process. Capturing my ideas with a chart helps me to translate my sketches into "knit-able" stitch patterns. If you have not yet taken a look at Stitchmastery, you can read more and download a free trial here. To help you get the most out of using Stitchmastery, there are a series of insightful blog posts, a Ravelry group and a some detailed YouTube videos. These excellent video instructions guided me through how to customise my own cable symbols which I then used in my Concrete Scarf pattern!

You can see more details about A Knitter's Sketchbook on the Crowood Press website and on Amazon!

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Knitting Magazine Review of A Knitter's Sketchbook!

I am delighted that A Knitter's Sketchbook, has been reviewed in Issue 192 of Knitting magazine! As well as giving an overview of the contents, this lovely review mentions my Stepper Wristwarmers, which you can read about here and my Concrete Scarf, which was inspired by the details and texture of a concrete wall.

Extract from Knitting 192, April 2019 
Copyright © GMC Publications

When I was designing my Concrete Scarf, I looked the underlying patterns and lines within a textured, solid concrete panel on the side of a building. I used these elements to create a distinctive knitted stitch pattern for the scarf project. The result is a scarf that captures the look of the building wall, yet is soft and wearable, making it perfect to wrap around your neck and shoulders!

The scarf is knitted in West Yorkshire Spinners Fleece Aran, a yarn with just the right sort of structure to show off the cable movements in the pattern. The combination of contrasting stocking stitch and reverse stocking stitch cables looks great in this lovely WYS aran yarn in the Light Brown shade.

Concrete Scarf from A Knitter's Sketchbook
Photo by Maxine Vining

Concrete Scarf from A Knitter's Sketchbook
Photo by Maxine Vining
If you are enjoying my blog posts about the knitting patterns in my book, please consider buying a copy of A Knitter's Sketchbook from the Crowood PressAmazon or other major booksellers. Thank you!