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