This hat was inspired by not one, but two types of penguin, the adélie and the chinstrap. The adélie influenced the plain version and the chinstrap, the striped. Chinstrap hat doesn’t have quite the same romance and ring to it. In fact, it would have been a really unappealing name…more
The best compliment Kristin and I have received about our cardigan design collaboration has been from Joy, aka The Knitting Goddess, who described it as not looking like a knitting pattern at all, instead like something that came from a cool boutique. It made us quite giddy and we can’t…more
From PPQ 15, Winter ’15: I’ve never quite understood why people don’t wear especially cheerful colours in the winter. With little light, the world is at its drabbest, but we needn’t be! This is when apple red, marigold yellow, cornflower blue, beetroot pink, grass green, shades of hydrangea – you name it – are needed most. I’m not suggesting you have to go full-on Crazy Textile Lady, but a step in that direction would certainly brighten my day. I’d be willing to compromise and accept softer tones in the summer when nature’s abundance seems to make even these colours sparkle. Sadly, I don’t have that level of bargaining power.
The Fledgling mittens are baby emperor penguins for your hands. They are one of the 11 patterns in Penguin: a Knit Collection and the first I am properly introducing you to. I’ll share the others, one a day, till they’re all covered. Cute, as well as practical, these colourwork mittens…more
OK, so I could bang on about Marlisle for days. I’ve had so much fun cooking it up and teaching it. Sending my students off, buzzing with ideas for their own designs using this method is so satisfying. This might be partly because they are forced to – I hadn’t…more
I’ve made a book. Penguin: a Knit Collection will arrive back from the printers this week. I know some of you have been waiting for it patiently and that has really helped the process along. The responses I’ve gotten when giving sneak peeks at places like To Gather DTLA, AVFKW, Unravel,…more
From PPQ 14, Autumn ’15: Black Welsh Mountain, Border Leicester, Boreray, Cambridge, Castlemilk Moorit, Clun Forest, Cotswold, Dalesbred, Devon Closewool, Derbyshire Gritstone, Dorset Down, Dorset Horn, Greyface Dartmoor, Exmore Horn, Hampshire Down, Hebridean, Hill Radnor, Kerry Hill, Llanwenog, Lleyn, Leicester Longwool, Lincoln, Manx Loaghton, Masham, Norfolk Horn, North Ronaldsay, Oxford, Poll Dorset, Polwarth, Portland, Romedale, Romney, Rough Fell, Ryeland, Scottish Blackface, Shetland, Shropshire, Soay, Southdown, South Wales Mountain, Suffolk, Swaledale, Teeswater, Welsh Mountain, Wensleydale…
From PPQ 13, Summer ’15: It’s summer time! Let’s paaaaaaaaaaaaaartay! A time for skimpy clothes, scrumptious salads, trashy novels and open-air romance. There’s skinny-dipping, mosquito whacking, and jam making to be done, but what of knitting? Should we go cold turkey while it’s warm out? Pah! Of course not! Here are some quasi- scientific points to ponder as you pick your projects from these pages. DURATION – how long is your summer? This pertains to both how long you will be able to wear summery garments and how much time you have to work on projects. Regardless of how quick your hands can form stitches, you also need to be realistic about how many waking hours you can give over to knitting.
From PPQ 12, Spring ’15: Swedish minimalism is about pared-down chic with a flourish of cosy, viewed through pale Nordic light. It is a contemporary understanding of old-fashioned that elevates simple shapes in monochrome and mineral colours, and is ideally set off by bare wood. There is a love of stripes, triangles reminiscent of pine trees, and the odd red horse. Summers are endless light and wild flowers. Long winters allow for optimum crafting in houses that are warm enough to leave your shoes at the front door and where everyone wears nice socks. There is candlelight and the scent of cinnamon wafts through the air, it is tidy and blissfully well- ordered. You have space to notice and appreciate beautiful details and careful curation. Sounds lovely, right? Gosh, yes it does!
Episode 4 in which, much like the gay strip club in San Francisco that I once helped sew silver-lamé curtains for, there appear pouches, rings, devices for making perfect balls and some bent tips. After all ‘naaien’ which means sewing in Dutch is also a vernacular term for having sex….more
Episode 3, in which there is a cat related item, machine knitting has its influence and I share a tip for greater success when making pompoms. And I dream about row counting rings and yarn-toting unicorns. #11 Measuring Tape – pull the cat’s tail and a tape measure extends. Press…more
Episode 2: in which I continue the guided tour of my knitting kit. We start with the most historic item and end with fat sheep, I mean sheep fat. #6 Calculator – the most sentimentally charged item in my kit. This Texas Instruments TI-1100 has been with me since secondary…more