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!

Thursday, 19 September 2019

Ruby Cardigan in my Deramores Designer Shop

In this second post about my new Deramores Designer Shop, I would like to tell you about my Ruby cardigan pattern. Ruby is knitted in West Yorkshire Spinners (WYS) Illustrious DK yarn and is shown below in the beautiful shade of Garnet. The pattern was first published in the Knitter Magazine, Issue 106.

Ruby Cardigan by Emma Vining
Ruby is an elegant fitted cardigan with a pattern inspired by gemstones. The rubies are formed by knitting extended lines of twisted stitches. Set on a stocking stitch background, long lines of eyelets separate each set of rubies. The eyelet pattern extends from the cast on edge to the shoulders and neckline. The front band is knitted at the same time as the fronts. The set-in sleeves are also knitted in stocking stitch and have a pair of knitted rubies at the cuff.

In my next post I'll be writing about my Wych Elm Cardigan. In the meantime, you can see all three of my patterns on the Deramores website. They are available as single pattern downloads or together with the all yarn required to knit the garment. Thank you for reading and happy knitting!

Saturday, 14 September 2019

My new Deramores Designer Shop!

I'm absolutely delighted to announce my new Deramores Designer Shop!

The first patterns to be added to my shop are three of my favourite designs knitted in West Yorkshire Spinners (WYS) yarns, Jadeite, Ruby and Wych Elm. Each of these patterns can be purchased as a single pattern download or along with the yarn required to knit the garment. Starting with this post, I'd like to tell you a little bit more about these designs and the inspiration behind the patterns.

Jadeite by Emma Vining

My Jadeite sweater is knitted in WYS Bluefaced Leicester DK yarn and is shown in a beautiful Teal shade. The pattern was first published in The Knitter Magazine, Issue 105.

Jadeite has a twisted stitch cluster design around the neckline inspired by a beautiful semi-precious stone necklace. The front of the necklace extends to a point in line with the centre neck. The shorter back of the necklace is worked below the back of the sweater neck shaping. The main body of the sweater is knitted in stocking stitch which gradually changes to reverse stocking stitch with the twisted stitch necklace. The set-in sleeves begin in rib and are knitted in stocking stitch with a jadeite bracelet at each wrist.

Thank you for reading my blog post and I hope that you will enjoy browsing my patterns. I am so proud to have them listed in my new shop alongside all the other amazing designers on the Deramores website!

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Cromarty Sweater in the Knitter Magazine Issue 140

Asymmetric patterns add an interesting dimension to any design and I am especially pleased with this aspect of my Cromarty sweater in The Knitter Magazine Issue 140! Using off-set semi circles, my swirls pattern appears to move across the sweater, emerging from long lines of rib. The rib is repeated on the sweater sleeves. The semi-circles are knitted using twisted stitches and are further emphasised by changing the texture of the background stitch from reverse stocking stitch to stocking stitch. The fabulous yarn is Fyberspates Vivacious DK in the gorgeous shade of Dovestone. This beautiful yarn really shows off the pattern detail and the stitch definition is excellent.

Cromarty Sweater by Emma Vining in the Knitter Magazine

This is a lovely issue of the Knitter magazine and it is very special to me for another reason. My first commissioned knitting pattern, a tea-cosy, was published way back in issue 40. My Cromarty pattern in Issue 140 means that, although I have not had patterns in every magazine, I have been with the Knitter over the publication of 100 issues! 

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:
Link to digital edition:
Link to subscribe:

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!

Monday, 11 March 2019

Review of A Knitter's Sketchbook in The Knitter Magazine!

There is a lovely review of A Knitter's Sketchbook in this month's Knitter Magazine, Issue 135! Even more exciting, there is a free-to-enter competition where you can win one of three copies of my book. Why not give it a go by visiting! Closing date for entries is 03/04/2019 (see below for terms &conditions).

A Knitter's Sketchbook Review
in The Knitter magazine

I am over the moon about this lovely review. The Knitter Magazine has also published a few pages from my book so that readers can get a flavour of the contents. The projects featured include my Agora Scarf, which you can read about here, and my Tulip Bud Scarf. The Tulip Bud Scarf has a reversible stitch pattern that features cables on both sides of the knitting. The reverse side of each cable movement becomes part of the pattern on the other side. I loved designing and knitting this scarf as every stitch counts!

Tulip Bud Scarf from A Knitter's Sketchbook by Emma Vining
Photograph by Maxine Vining

Stitch pattern detail from Tulip Bud Scarf
The beautiful yarn is John Arbon Knit by Numbers in three shades of the pink tonal run. I bought my very first pink tonal run at Edinburgh Yarn Festival a couple of years ago and since then, I have used this yarn for so many different projects! I love the way the shades work together to enhance the overall design. These three pinks, shades 64, 66 and 67, beautifully reflect the tulip inspiration for my scarf.

Inspiration for my Tulip Bud Scarf
Please note that the Knitter Magazine book give-away is open to UK residents only. Full terms and conditions available on the Yarn Loop website

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

A Knitter's Sketchbook: Agora Wrap

The knitting pattern projects in A Knitter's Sketchbook all have very different inspirational sources. My Agora Wrap pattern was inspired by the glass facade of a staircase located in the heart of the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium. The staircase facade appeared to be made up of a series of triangles and diamonds and the Agora wrap pattern combines these shapes in knitted cables and reverse stocking stitch ridges.

Agora Wrap by Emma Vining
Photograph by Maxine Vining
The wrap is worked in three stages, beginning with the central cable panel. After this panel is completed, stitches for the two wings are picked up along the sides of the panel. Each wing is then worked outwards one at a time, decreasing to a point. The beautiful structured yarn is Brooklyn Tweed Arbor in the deep blue shade of Sashiko.

Agora Wrap by Emma Vining
Photograph by Maxine Vining
Join me at Unravel in Farnham, UK on Sunday 24th February 2019 at 2.15pm to hear more about this project. In my talk "A Knitter's Sketchbook", I'll be talking about the Agora Wrap and other examples from my book to inspire you to create your own knitter's sketchbook! The Unravel Festival of Yarn begins on Friday 22nd February and is three days of fabulous workshops, interesting talks and wonderful exhibitors. Looking forward to seeing you there!

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

The Knitter Magazine: Issue 134

My Linwood sweater design is the cover garment for this month's Knitter Magazine! I love everything about this magazine issue, from the stunning model looking amazing in my sweater design, to the fabulous photography showing all the patterns at their very best. Having my design published alongside patterns by talented designers such as Jeanette Sloane, Carol Meldrum and Mary Henderson to name only a few, makes me feel so proud!

The Knitter magazine Issue 134
Sweater design by Emma Vining
My Linwood sweater has a linked leaf stitch pattern that is similar to a rib-based design in the way that the curving cable lines run parallel to each other. A little leaf motif is tucked into the bend of each of the cable lines. The whole cable pattern panel is placed centrally on the sweater. However there is an asymmetric look around the neckline, created as the cables move left then right alongside each other. The beautiful yarn is West Yorkshire Spinners Illustrious DK in the delicate shade of seaglass.

As well as interesting reviews and news, there is a delightful article about yarn shop Ida's House, located in Caterham on the Hill. Owner Jayne has created a community based shop with a lovely atmosphere. Also great to see Fiona Morris's Crowood Press book "Knitting with Beads" in the New Books list on p15! You can read more about this excellent issue over on the Yarn Loop website.

The Knitter magazine Issue 134
Sweater design by Emma Vining

Monday, 4 February 2019

A Knitter's Sketchbook: Meander Cowl

In this post I would like to tell you about my Meander Cowl pattern from A Knitter's Sketchbook. This design highlights the way a series of curved lines can be used to create stitch patterns in knitting. Meander was knitted in West Yorkshire Spinners (WYS) Illustrious yarn in the gorgeous dark green shade of Highland. This is the perfect opportunity to say thank you to WYS for their generous yarn support for this project. I knitted the Meander Cowl and several samples throughout my book in the lovely yarns that they sent to me.

Meander Cowl by Emma Vining
photographed by Maxine Vining

My inspiration for this design was a flowing river. In particular, I was very fortunate to be flying into Gatwick Airport on a clear day, and to also have a window seat. As we were landing, I took several photographs through the airplane window, capturing a beautiful series of meanders in a river flowing through a field below us. Over time, as the process of river bank erosion continues, the meanders will change and perhaps I will design a new stitch pattern to reflect this!

You can find the Meander cowl pattern, along with my photo and sketches of the river in my book. The pattern has both written and charted instructions and can be knitted flat or in the round. Please take a look on The Crowood Press website or on Amazon, where my book is available to order as a hard copy or e-book.

A Knitter's Sketchbook by Emma Vining

Monday, 28 January 2019

Thank you Birlinn Yarn Company!

Working with gorgeous yarn was one of the best parts about writing my book! In this post, I'd like to say thank you to Meg Rodger of the Birlinn Yarn Company for her generous yarn support. I used Meg's beautiful yarn to design and knit my Wishing Well Wristwarmers patterns in A Knitter's Sketchbook.

Stitch pattern detail
Wishing Well Wristwarmers by Emma Vining
knitted in Birlinn Yarn 4ply

The stitch patterns for my Wishing Well Wristwarmers were inspired by a stunning ironwork water well cover located in the centre of the beautiful German town of Mainz. The wristwarmers are knitted in three shades of Birlinn Yarn 4ply, Reef, Moor and Storm Grey. Each wristwarmer begins and ends with a twisted stitch rib and there is a choice of three different stitch patterns. I designed options exploring ovals and circles, using twisted stitches to make the shapes. There are both charted and written instructions for your choice of pattern. Perfect to mix and match!

Stitch pattern detail
Wishing Well Wristwarmers by Emma Vining
knitted in Birlinn Yarn 4ply
There is a wonderful choice of shades of Birlinn Yarn available, from natural to Hebridean Colours. When I met Meg last year I could see all these stunning colours in the landscape around her home on the Isle of Berneray. You can read more about my trip to the Outer Hebrides here and read all about Meg and her beautiful yarns here.

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

A Knitter's Sketchbook: Stepper Wristwarmers

As well as an extensive stitch library, A Knitter's Sketchbook has ten beautiful accessory designs with full written and charted instructions. There is a progression in the complexity of the patterns throughout the book, however you can dip on and out of the chapters in any order you like. In this post I'd like to tell you about Stepper, a pattern exploring straight lines.

Stepper Wrsitwarmers
from A Knitter's Sketchbook by Emma Vining
My Stepper wristwarmers illustrate how designs can be created using only straight lines. Each pattern band is made up of diagonal lines. Putting together the diagonal bands forms a series of zig zags. Adding cast-on and cast-off rib edges and a horizontal line of contrasting texture between the bands, brings the whole design together. The pattern comes in two sizes and is knitted in three lovely shades of J C Rennie chunky aran yarn. The colour order can be reversed for the second wristwarmer!

Stepper Wrsitwarmers
from A Knitter's Sketchbook by Emma Vining

I am delighted that as well as being available on my publishers website, The Crowood Press, A Knitter's Sketchbook is now available from Amazon as a hardback book and a kindle download!

Monday, 14 January 2019

A Knitter's Sketchbook

A Knitter's Sketchbook is now officially published! My first book, all about designing with twisted stitches and cables, includes ten accessory knitting patterns and a creative stitch library. The designs in my book are inspired by sources from the natural world and the built environment. There is also advice on how to create your own knitter's sketchbook. You can view a preview on the Crowood Press website and my book will be available for shipping shortly!

Front cover of A Knitter's Sketchbook by Emma Vining

I'll be posting about the designs in my book over the next few weeks and telling you all about the beautiful yarns I chose to use in each project. Today I would like to write about one of the most important parts of writing a book, the people who helped to make it all possible. I have had great deal of encouragement and advice during the writing and editing of my book and I am very grateful for all of this excellent help. 

My family have been my biggest supporters throughout, with my Mum always encouraging me to experiment with design and knitting and my husband, my daughter and my son helping with proof-reading, technical assistance, accessory photography and much, much more. Many friends constantly listened to me talking about the book and helped me to clarify my ideas and I am particularly grateful to Teresa and Sue.

The skills and techniques I constantly use to interpret designs in knitting were developed and refined during my time as a City and Guilds Student. I was extremely fortunate to have an outstanding tutor, Loraine McClean, who continues to inspire me to look for and find pattern everywhere!

I am passionate about supporting the Knitting & Crochet Guild and was delighted to be able to draw on the Guild's collection for examples of historical cables in knitting. Barbara Smith, Publications Curator and Angharad Thomas, Textile Archivist, provided me with images and a great deal of fascinating background information, for which I am very grateful.

Stitchmastery software is an integral part of my design process, allowing me to work out my ideas in chart form. The charts throughout my book were all created using Cathy Scott's excellent software.

The Crowood Press have been great to work with and I'd like to thank my editor, Lucy, and production manager, Christine, for all their help in bringing my book to life. My thanks also to Joanna Miles, an excellent copy editor with a superb eye for detail, who was a real delight to work with. The accessory patterns in my book were professionally tech edited by Heather Murray and, as always, her positive and constructive approach was very much appreciated.

Once again, thank you to everyone who has helped me throughout. Please do look out for more details about A Knitter's Sketchbook over the coming weeks!

Back cover of a Knitter's Sketchbook by Emma Vining

Saturday, 12 January 2019

Holland Park Cardigan in the Knitter Magazine 133

Using reverse stocking stitch within an interlocking cable design creates a raised, textured appearance. I have used this technique in Holland Park, my latest design for The Knitter Magazine. My Holland Park cardigan has a lower trellis cable panel, worked in a light shade of purple. The upper body is knitted in a sumptuous dark shade of purple and has long textured cable lines that appear to emerge from the lower panel.

Holland Park by Emma Vining
Image from The Knitter Magazine

Detail from Holland Park by Emma Vining
from The Knitter Magazine

The gorgeous yarns used are both from the John Arbon Knit by Numbers DK range of yarn. The shades are KBN89, light purple and KBN87, dark purple. This beautiful yarn is a joy to knit with as is so soft, yet shows the textured cable definitions beautifully. The cardigan front bands are knitted at the same time as the fronts, with a contrasting "smooth" cable pattern.

Further on in the magazine is an advert for the next issue of The Knitter featuring another of my designs! I loved designing and knitting this beautiful cabled sweater and I can't wait to see the pattern in the magazine next month.

Sweater design by Emma Vining for The Knitter Magazine