Bristol UK, and the Giveaway Winner

And the winner of the ISLAND pattern giveaway is……. Retha! congrats, Retha. I’ll be in touch to get your mailing address.

Guy, Lila and I are in England for a bit, visiting family. I love Bristol, Guy’s home town. The food:

The street art:
 
And just generally hanging out as a family: 
 We’re going to be heading to Paris and London soon, so more photos to follow!

Review and Giveaway: ISLAND

 ISLAND collection: Arbutus (far left), Strathcona (center), Renfrew (top right), Rathtrevor (middle right), Grace (bottom right).

I’ve been a fan of Jane Richmond‘s designs for a while- her knits have a clean, minimal aesthetic that is very modern and very timeless at the same time, traits that I really admire. When Jane first starting talking about doing a collection on her blog, I was excited to see it- I knew ISLAND would be gorgeous.

The photographs from the book are all beautifully done, and the layout is really inviting. The book feels very thorough and is consistent in the experience of the book, which truly evokes a west coast vibe, true to Jane’s Vancouver Island roots. I have a really tough time picking a favourite:

  Arbutus is fascinating in it’s construction and looks very wearable, and Grace looks like a perfect raglan cardigan that would go with absolutely everything. I was especially interested to see a table of information for all the sizing measurements and stitch counts for Grace, the sweater. I’ve never seen a more thorough outline of the specifications for a sweater, which makes is perfect for altering to customize a perfect fit, and if you are beginning to think about sweater design, shows just how much work goes into crafting a well fitting garment.

You should check out all the amazing FOs from these patterns on Ravelry. When you
see all the beautiful FOs from this collection it is clear that the
knits speak for themselves.

Would you like a chance to win a copy of this beautiful book? I bet you would! Leave a comment (including your Ravelry ID or email, so I can get in touch with you if you win!), comment on Facebook, or tweet about it! You can get extra entries to win if you comment AND facebook/tweet. The winner will be posted Sunday, Feb 3rd.

Modification Monday: Asymmetric Ribbed Tunic

Original Pattern:

#04 Asymmetric Rib Tunic

Knitter Extraordinaire: Jennifer (Ravelry ID)

Mods: Converted sizing to fit an 8 year old, and changed construction knit in the round. Great details on the mods and construction can be found on her project page, here.

What Makes This Awesome: Kids look extra cute when they are in hand knits, and custom ones are even better. Jennifer made an excellent pattern choice for her mod- a sweater with a lot of ribbing like this guarantees a more forgiving fit, and there’s room for growth not only with the stretch of the fabric but also in the length. Knitting this as a dress means it has room to grow for length, too- can always be a tunic! Knitting it in the round helped minimize finishing, and the result is fantastic.

Newly Released Pattern, and a Peek at a Forthcoming Pattern

In early 2012, the Sencha Scarf I designed for the March instalment of the Tanis Fiber Arts Year in Colour Club was released. Now that the 2012 club is over and 2013 is in full swing, the pattern for Sencha Scarf is now totally available for purchase:

sencha 1

I’m really happy with the Sencha Scarf, it turned out exactly the way I wanted- a drape-y, swingy, silky scarf that is more glam accessory than cold weather neck warmer.This was a custom yarn base for the club, and it was a silk and merino blend that had lots of sheen and drape. I love how Tanis styled it in the photos, it’s exactly how I imagined it. A little rock n’ roll!

sencha 2

And here is the new pattern I designed for the 2013 Year in Colour Club:

DSC_3583
DSC_3590

It’s exclusive to club members until 2014, but hey, it’s never too late to join the club!

Modification Monday: Smooth Oscillator

Original Pattern: Oscillate

Knitter Extraordinaire: Alegria (Ravelry ID)

Mods: Changed the neckline to a scoop, and changed the sleeves to a top-down set in sleeve technique that she had been wanting to try. Project page can be found here.

What Makes This Awesome: I really admire that Alegria decided to try a new technique with this knit- it is always great to stretch yourself a bit and try new things, especially something like a new sleeve technique. Broadening your skills by learning a new way to do things gives you more options as a knitter when it comes to fine-tuning your knits for a more enjoyable knitting experience and the finished knit itself.  The scoop neck is very flattering (especially for people like me who look terrible in crew necks), and dropping the gauge down a bit makes this a finer, more delicate cardigan. The final result is absolutely beautiful- if I had this in my closet, I’d wear it all the time!