Wednesday, 23 May 2018

"My Inspiration" - My Interview with the Knitter Magazine!

Last month, I was interviewed by the Knitter Magazine as part of their "My Inspiration" series of articles. If you would like to read more about where I find my inspiration for designs, the magazine has just published the full interview over on The Yarn Loop Website!

My Inspiration Interview
photo by the Birlinn Yarn Company featuring the Storm Cast Cowl

As you may know, on 25th May 2018, the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into effect, providing you with more control over your personal data. If you are reading this blog post as an email, you will have entered your email address in the "follow by email" box on my blogger home page. This service is provided by Google Feedburner, which sends you an email every time I publish a blog post. I really hope that you enjoy reading my posts and that you would like to continue to receive them by email. If so, you need take no action. However, if at any time you no longer wish to receive these notifications, please use the unsubscribe option at the bottom of the email.

Thank you very much for sharing my adventures in knitting!

Thursday, 19 April 2018

The Knitter Magazine Issue 123

This issue of the Knitter Magazine is a very special one for me! My pink cardigan design, using John Arbon Knit by Numbers (KBN) 4ply, is in this issue and so is my "Inspirations" interview!

Sukie Cardigan for The Knitter Issue 123
Images from The Knitter Magazine

Sukie Cardigan for The Knitter Issue 123
Image from The Knitter Magazine
My Sukie cardigan is knitted with two shades of KBN 4ply pink. The stitch pattern is a combination of garter stitch, rib and eyelets. The lower half of the cardigan is worked with the darker shade of pink as the main colour and the sleeves and the upper half are in the lighter pink.

Sukie Cardigan for The Knitter Issue 123
Image from The Knitter Magazine
The cardigan is fastened using buttons and the buttonholes are made while knitting the right front. The lower cast on borders have a scalloped edge that is made by working extra rows of the stitch pattern. The John Arbon KBN 4ply yarn is very light and soft and a pleasure to knit with. There are so many shades to choose from in this range. Sukie would look great in any combination of colours!

My interview from The Knitter Magazine!
Images from The Birlinn Yarn Company and the Knitter Magazine

I was absolutely delighted to be asked to take part in the Knitter's series of interviews exploring designer's inspirations. The interview gives a flavour of some of the inspirational themes that I have been looking at over the last few months. One of my favourite recent collaborations has been with the Birlinn Yarn Company (BYC). I loved working with the beautiful 4ply range of Hebridean wool and I have designed a shawl and a long cowl, both of which are available through the BYC website. Another exciting project that I have been a part of involves a fascinating stitch sampler from the Knitting and Crochet Guild Collection. I'll be writing more about this project over the next few months. Look out for an e-book of patterns inspired by the sampler being released very soon!

Friday, 6 April 2018

Shimmer Cardigan for The Knitter Magazine

My new cabled cardigan design is in the Knitter Magazine, Issue 122! This elegant cardigan is knitted with mirror-imaged cables and a wide pleated rib pattern. Subtle diagonal lines are formed by the layout of the cables on the back and the fronts. The lower section of the cardigan begins with wide pleats, before flowing into the upper cabled areas.

Shimmer by Emma Vining in The Knitter Magazine
The shimmer cables are worked using two cable needles to re-order the stitches. This helps to create a smooth surface on both the right and the wrong sides of the knitting. Each row of cables is set on a reverse stocking stitch ridge.

Detail of Shimmer Cardigan stitch pattern by Emma Vining
The front bands are knitted in a rib pattern at the same time as the fronts. I particularly enjoyed working with this beautiful blue yarn, which is Yarn Stories Fine Merino DK, in shade bluebell.

Shimmer by Emma Vining in The Knitter Magazine

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Edinburgh Yarn Festival 2018

I really enjoyed my visit to the Edinburgh Yarn Festival (EYF) last Friday. There was a wonderful selection of all kinds of yarn and accessories. It was a pleasure to shop at this lovely show and there was plenty of yarn inspiration for my next designs! At the moment, my knitting patterns are full of multiple shades of pink, so a visit to the John Arbon Textiles stand was a high priority! I couldn't resist this set of Knit by Numbers DK mini-skeins in all six shades of pink.

John Arbon Knit by Numbers mini-skeins
One of my favourite purchases this year was this stunning penannular shawl pin from An Caitin Beag. I was wearing my Points Scarf at the show and added my new pin straight away! You can read all about how the pins are made on the little small cat blog.

Penannular Shawl Pin by An Caitin Beag
Shown on Points Scarf by Emma Vining

This year's show was also really special as it was my first opportunity to meet the lovely Meg Rodger of the Birlinn Yarn Company (BYC). Last year I won the BYC Design Competition with my designs for the Machair Wildflower Shawl and Storm Cast Cowl. Although Meg and I had talked and messaged frequently while we worked together on the accessory patterns, we had never met. We managed to fit in a coffee before the show and have a great chat about the stunning BYC yarns and my fast approaching trip to Berneray!

Machair Wildflower Shawl by Emma Vining for the Birlinn Yarn Company
Image courtesy of BYC 
Storm Cast Cowl by Emma Vining for the Birlinn Yarn Company
Image courtesy of BYC

Everyone had an experience with the snow over the weekend. Thankfully my journeys were not too badly disrupted. I took this shot over Loch Lomond as I was flying out of Glasgow on Monday when the snow as beginning to melt. Hope that everyone got home safe and sound. See you next year at EYF!

View over Loch Lomond
Photo by Emma Vining

Saturday, 24 February 2018

Andreas Gursky Exhibition

An exciting exhibition at the Hayward Gallery explores the work of Andreas Gursky. Subjects such as landscape, architecture and crowds feature in these stunning large scale photographic prints. Having only previously seen Andreas Gursky's work reproduced in magazines and books, I was amazed at the size of the prints on display at the Hayward Gallery!

Paris, PCF (2003) by Andreas Gursky
Pattern inspiration can be seen in all of the images. Prints featuring ceiling lights, tulip fields and the Tokyo Stock Exchange depict many different levels of underlying grids, stripes and movement. "Paris, PCF (2003)" for example, shows the lamellate ceiling lights in the underground conference room of the French Communist Party. From an enormous abstract photograph of carpet floor tiles to precise satellite imagery taken far above the earth, the different scales of the subject matter are as fascinating as the size of the prints themselves. 

Visitors viewing "Paris, Montparnasse (1993)" by Andreas Gursky

Each image is full of detail and shows a unique perspective on views that may initially appear familiar. In "Paris, Montparnasse (1993)", all of the individual windows can be seen in this enormous apartment block, allowing the viewer a glimpse into the lives of the residents. From across the gallery, the apartment building also takes on a grid pattern with an pixelated appearance. In some of the works, post production techniques are used to highlight, enhance and distort certain areas of the images. For example, on the exhibition poster displayed outside the gallery, Tokyo (2017), the Japanese city view has deliberate blurring in certain areas. 

I really enjoyed this exhibition! The images beautifully show the many underlying patterns in subjects that somehow appear familiar and unfamiliar at the same time. The Andreas Gursky exhibition is at the Hayward Gallery until 22 April 2018. Information about the artist, his exhibitions and images of all his work can be found on his website,

Tokyo (2017) by Andreas Gursky displayed outside the Hayward Gallery

Saturday, 16 December 2017

Storm Cast Cowl for The Birlinn Yarn Company

My second design for The Birlinn Yarn Company has just been released! Storm Cast is a double length cowl fastened with three wooden buttons. Knitted as a long narrow scarf, the buttonholes are made within the cast off border. The beautiful blue shade of 4ply yarn is called Reef.

Image with kind permission from The Birlinn Yarn Company
"Designed by Emma Vining for Birlinn Yarn, our Storm Cast Cowl is for entry-level knitters. Inspired by seafaring Hebridean culture, the double length cowl is textured by a wave stitch pattern that works across the knitting from edge to edge and reflects the ebb and flow of the tides and storm cast waves. 

As islanders the sea is a large part of our lives at Birlinn Yarn, even our Hebridean sheep are seafaring. Thus the purity and pared back aesthetic of this pattern reflects this cultural context and the strong, constant rhythm of the tides and waves breaking on our Hebridean shores.

Our Storm Cast Cowl buttons have been designed by Birlinn Yarn and are made from sustainably sourced oak. Their pattern is distinctly Scandinavian, resonating with the Norse heritage of these islands and our sheep." The Birlinn Yarn Company, December 2017

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

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!