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

Friday, 1 November 2019

The Craftie Awards!

Exciting news! My blog has been nominated for a Craftie award!

Love Crafts have just announced the nominations for all the Craftie awards categories and I would be really grateful of your vote for my blog! You can use this link to access the voting page.

Here are all the categories. My blog has been notated for the Noteworthy Knitting Blog!
  • ●  Creative Crochet Blog, 2019
  • ●  Noteworthy Knitting Blog, 2019
  • ●  Stylish Stitching Blog, 2019
  • ●  Motivated Multi Craft Blog, 2019
  • ●  Dedicated Indie Designer, 2019
  • ●  Blog Personality of The Year, 2019
Voting opens from today, 1st November 2019, and closes on 18th November 2019. The shortlist will be announced on 26th November 2019 and the winners on 2nd December 2019.

As a way of celebrating my nomination I would like to share links to some of the blogs and websites that inspire me and that I hope you will enjoy too.

First up is the wonderful Knitting Now and Then blog, full of fascinating knitting information including detail about items from the Knitting & Crochet Guild Collection. Barbara, the blog author, is the publications curator for the Knitting & Crochet Guild and her blog shares her research into a wide range of the magazines, books, booklets and patterns held in the Guild collection.

Two years ago, I was delighted to be the winner of the Birlinn Yarn Company Knitting Design competition! I wrote about meeting owner Meg at her home on the Isle of Berneray in a previous post, here. Since then, we have kept in close contact and Meg and I have recently been working together on new knitting designs inspired by pottery fragments found on the beaches of Berneray. Through her blog, Meg shares news from her croft on the Isle of Berneray and updates about her gorgeous yarn. You can read Meg's blog here and see her range of knitting patterns using Birlinn yarns here.

One of my favourite ways to be inspired is by visiting museums and galleries. When the opportunity came up to volunteer at the V&A Museum in London, I jumped at the chance! Every time I walk in the door of the museum, I see the world of design in a different way. I love being part of the Visitor Experience team, helping visitors get the most out of their trip to the Museum. The museum curators and staff share their extensive knowledge through many different blogs and articles on the V&A website. A great place to start exploring is with this interesting post on the history of hand knitting, here, and a selection of knitted objects from the V&A collection, here.

These are just three of the many blogs and articles that I enjoy reading. Being a part of the Lovecraft Craftie awards is a great way to find out about other designers and crafters and I'm really looking forward to discovering more amazing blogs. Thanks so much for your support for my blog and please do vote if you can. Happy knitting and crafting!

Tuesday, 29 October 2019

Crow Steps

My Crow Steps cap-sleeve top is in this month's Knitter Magazine! I'm delighted that my textured cable top is amongst the gorgeous designs that are all part of Issue 143. Crow Steps is inspired by distinctive architectural features of roof tops in the Belgian City of Ghent.

Crow Steps by Emma Vining
Image from The Knitter Magazine
The beautiful yarn I chose for this project is Kate Davies Designs (KDD) Àrd Thìr in the lovely shade of Veyatie. This yarn was fantastic to work with and is perfect for my cabled and textured stitch pattern. It is a blend of Peruvian highland wool and alpaca and is produced by Fyberspates in collaboration with KDD.

Crow Steps by Emma Vining
Image from The Knitter Magazine
In this issue of the Knitter, you can also read part 2 of my three-part series of design articles. Titled "Notes from my Sketchbook",  each article explores one of my stitch patterns, beginning with the inspiration and describing the design development all the way through to the charted design. Part 1 looked at pattern development inspired by tram tracks and this month's article is all about my Crow Steps stitch pattern. At the end of each article I have included suggestions about how knitters can customise the stitch pattern and I can't wait to see some new design variations!

Roof tops in Ghent
Image by Emma Vining

Thursday, 26 September 2019

Wych Elm Cardigan in my new Deramores Designer Shop!

Three of my favourite designs are now available in my new Deramores Designer Shop! They are all knitted in beautiful West Yorkshire Spinners (WYS) yarns. I wrote about my Jadeite sweater and my Ruby cardigan in my last two blogposts and in this post, I would like to tell you about my Wych Elm CardiganWych Elm is knitted in WYS Blue Faced Leicester DK yarn and is shown below in the gorgeous shade of Olive. The pattern was first published in the Knitter Magazine, Issue 111 and then subsequently in the Knitter Deutschland, Issue 33.

Wych Elm Cardigan by Emma Vining

My Wych Elm cardigan design captures the moment just before new leaves burst from their buds. A single twisted stitch travels across a reverse stocking stitch background creating the impression of a drawing within the knitting. Combining this stitch pattern with a wide rib forms flattering long lines. The cast on edges are worked in garter stitch with the buds and stems emerging from this border. The front of the cardigan has a rib band that is knitted at the same time as the fronts. The bud and stem motifs are also worked at the sleeve cuffs.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about the patterns in my Deramores Designer Shop and the inspiration behind each of them.  Thank you for subscribing to my blog posts and happy knitting!