I'm sorry, blog. I seem to be pretty bad at updating you, and I'm not sure why it is. Perhaps just a question of habit? And also I guess the feeling that no one's out there reading this (which I know isn't true, but anyway even it was - that's actually a rather liberating thought!). So, a random assortment of photographs is called for, I think.

First: new shawl pin! I got this from Nicholas and Felice on Etsy and I'm in love with it. It's aluminium, so a lot lighter than it looks, which is great for lace shawls! I now want to go and re-photograph all my shawls styled with this pin. Hope to acquire more loveliness from them in the future!

Nichols and Felice shawl pin

New shawl design, which I have so far utterly failed to announce on this blog! Hildina is a simple top-down shawl inspired by Estonian lace and designed to work with a variety of different yarn weights.

Hildina shawl

And here's a photo of the beach near Dornoch (north Scotland, near Inverness!) where I was recently on holiday with my parents...

Despite my lack of updates on this blog, my design work has been going really well. I had a design accepted for publication in a UK magazine next spring (found out a few weeks ago, and I've only just got to the point of NOT HAVING TO SHOUT IN EXCITED CAPS!!!), so I've been working away on that, and also have a few other things in the works which I think I'm meant to keep secret (but wish I didn't have to!).

And that's enough exposure for one post, I think I will go and hide now... but hopefully not leave it quite so long til my next update. :)

Glasgow Rose stole...


New design that I'm currently working on... it's a rectangular stole version of my original Glasgow Rose shawl (inspired by the style of Charles Rennie Mackintosh). I'm using some stunningly beautiful hand-dyed cashmere/silk laceweight from K1 Yarns. Absolutely gorgeous to knit with, and lovely drape and stitch defnition.

Because I always find it interesting to see how other designers work, here's a photo that conveys the general sense of organised chaos that seems to typify my design process:


Usually everything I do starts with scribbles in my notebook. I'm not particularly artistic but I do find that I need to sketch in order to conceptualise things like construction and proportion I work entirely from charts and only work out written instructions right at the very end of writing up the pattern. I do all my maths and draw out basic charts with pencil and graph paper, then knit from these, correcting as I go, and once I have something I'm reasonably happy with, I do a proper printed chart (seen on the right), which I continue to knit from. By the time I have a pattern ready to send out to test-knitters, it's already been test-knit at least once (sometimes more!) by me.

In other news - quite proud of my handspun merino yarn! This the third skein I've spun since I've started teaching myself and it's very exciting to watch my yarn getting more even and fine with each attempt. Hopefully it won't be long until I'm spinning laceweight, seeing as that's practically all I seem to knit with these days...



Design-in-progress... Averin shawl

Averin - an old Scots word for the cloudberry, Rubus chamaemorus. Here's a little preview of my next shawl design. It's currently being test-knitted by some lovely Ravelry members. They all seem to be enjoying the pattern very much, which is great, and there haven't been too many errors weeded out so far - always a good sign!

This shawl was inspired by Shetland shawl constuctions methods. The main panel begins with a provisional CO, then an inner border is picked up and knitted in the round, around the perimeter of the main panel. Finally, an edging is knitted on to the live sts of the inner border. I'm very pleased with how my sample turned out. I knitted it in Knit Picks Shimmer (Elderberry) and it looks very elegant over a black dress.

The pattern will be available around about the first week of November (possibly a bit sooner if all the testers finish early...).