We don’t often review books on our blog, but I always make an exception for Jane and Shannon. I have been fans of both of them since the beginning and over the years we have become friends. Emily R and I make a trip to Victoria to visit almost every year and we always get together around Knit City for our annual coffee date! This year, at Knit City, Jane and Shannon launched their latest collection: Within, and I love it!
I know the point of the book is the beautiful knits, but I am always immediately struck by the photography. Island and Journey (and now Within) are among the very few print books I currently own, they are so beautiful to flip through and their photographic stories are just lovely.
Within has what I would consider some classic Jane and Shannon designs. The sweaters look like something I would like to knit, but also something I would like to wear. The accesories aren’t overly complicated, a relaxing knit with a fabulous result, I can’t wait to cast on the hat, Tread!
I have always loved Shannon’s textured shawls, and Hudson is no exception. I have knit the Laylow Shawl from Seasonless and I have a Bradway on the needles now. Each time she comes out with a new one I immediately fall in love (like, click-until-the-yarn-is-in-your-hands in love) and want to cast on!
Hudson, Bradway, and Amberle
Another great collection Jane and Shannon, bravo! I highly recommend you pick up a copy of Within soon and get knitting!
When putting together a collection each of us always has a favorite design of the others making. From 9 Months of Knitting I adored the Dogwood blanket. From Pacific Knits Emily had to add an Antler cardigan to her wardrobe. For Mad Colour, upon seeing Emily’s beautiful photos of Nina in the Slice I had to cast on IMMEDIATELY! Okay, maybe I cast on 2….
I love that this shawl uses 3 colours. While pairing yarns is fun, there is something magical that happens with 3 colours…that is also why we had many many franken-swatches and a couple of video chats just to choose the combinations we finally settled on!
The 3 simple but lovely lace patterns that work together in such a unique shape to create an overall effect of slices of colour and texture. Emily was originally inspired by citrus fruits, their darker rinds and colourful flesh, and she brought that idea into elegant reality.
This shawl lends itself well to a dive through the stash. When I decided it was imperative that I cast on this shawl that was the first thing I did! All three yarns I used had a slightly different feel and composition ( one was merino, one was merino/nylon, one with a bit of lovely cashmere, the Hedgehog yarn was a little thinner than the other two) but they still work well together. For Emily’s shawls she used a single ply fingering weight by 3 different dyers, so you can feel confident in mixing and matching! So, dive into your stash and pull out those three lovely skeins that become magic together…or there is always a trip to the LYS.
More shawls from TCK
Fall has come, and my fingers are itching to knit hats as the weather cools!
Cables form this delicate textured hat which really shines on sunny autumn days, with light and shadow highlighting the structure of the stitch pattern.
Light and Shadow is part of a special charity project – the Sight Is Life ebook. Several designers have donated patterns to make up the 8-pattern ebook. All proceeds from pattern and ebook sales go to fund the work of the ophthalmologic centre in Congo, which performs cataract surgeries to restore sight and light to people who would otherwise spend their lives in shadow.
Alexa and I are inspired that through our creative work we can make a real difference to people’s lives while doing what we love best. We hope you can join us to help bring sight and light into peoples lives. For updates and more information check the Sight is Life group on Ravelry.
SweetGeorgia Trinity Worsted
The deliciously soft and shiny yarn for this project was generously donated by SweetGeorgia Yarns. Trinity Worsted is a luxurious blend of merino, silk and cashmere, and I’ve chosen the subtlest of palettes, birch and tumbled stone.
Light and Shadow pattern details:
Sizing: baby (toddler, child, adult SM, adult L)
fits head 16 (18, 19, 21, 23)” around
Yarn: 90 (100, 120, 140, 160) yds total worsted / aran weight yarn
Suggested Needles: US #5 / 3.75mm & #7 / 4.5mm (or as required to meet gauge)
16-20” circular needle in both sizes, and DPNs in the larger size
Sight Is Life Ebook
There are so many great designers contributing stunning patterns to this project! There are 5 designs launched so far, with more still to come. The complete Sight is Life e-book will contain 7 knit accessory patterns donated by: Boo Knits, Joji Locatelli, Kirsten Kapur, Kristina Vilimaite, Rosemary (Romi) Hill, Tin Can Knits, and Veera Välimäki.
There will also be an eighth pattern – a shawl designed by 7 designers together: Ambah O’Brien, Hanna Maciejewska, Helen Stewart, Josh Ryks, Kristina Vilimaite, Lee Meredith, and Monika Sirna. This will be an extraordinary Mystery Knit-A-Long!
If you purchase the e-book, the remaining patterns will be added to the e-book immediately after their release, so you will receive an automatic update. Get your ebook here, and join in with the KALs running in the Sight is Life Ravelry group.
It has become our tradition to release a new pattern at Knit City. Our first was Gather, a smocked hat and cowl set that quickly became a fan favourite! Our second was Spotlight, a bright and graphic fair isle yoked sweater (now available in Mad Colour). This year, for the 5th annual Knit City, we bring you Precipitation.
Growing up and living in the good old PNW I am often inspired by rain. Use what you know right?! The lovely little raindrop stitch pattern so reminds me of watery drops running down the windowpane.
I met Sarah of Bumblebirch yarns a few years ago at Knit Fit in Seattle and have been smitten with her lovely colours and soft yarns ever since! Precipitation is knit with Quill, her DK weight, and I just love it. Soft and bouncy, with such a lovely depth of colour. Bumblebirch will be at booth 410 this weekend so make sure to drop by and fondle the lovely yarns!
Knit City Giveaway
It is the 5th annual Knit City and to celebrate we will be giving away 50 copies of Precipitation! To get your free copy of Precipitation you must be one of the first 30 people at our booth on Saturday or one of the first 20 people at our booth on Sunday. Limit of 1 per person. We are at booth 107.
Precipitation pattern details:
Sizing: baby (toddler, child, adult S, M, L)
to fit head 16 (17, 18, 19, 21, 23)”
Yarn: 90 (100, 110, 130, 170, 190) yds DK weight yarn
(samples show in Bumblebirch Quill in ‘glacier’ and ‘honey’)
Needles: US #3 / 3.25mm 16” circular needle and US #6 / 4mm 16” circular needle and DPNs
5 years later….
Celebrating 5 years of Knit City is pretty exciting. I remember the very first one, with wee baby Jones sleeping under the table at our booth! We received our shipment of Pacific Knits the day before the show, it was a real nail biter! KC has grown quite a bit since then but the magic remains. With such a vibrant Vancouver knitting community (so many dyers, designers, and great shops), added to all of the fun folks from out of town, it is a recipe for a good time! Care to share your favourite KC memory?
More TCK from Knit City
In the summer of 2015 Emily R and I had an idea: we should knit matching sweaters for our kids! They are cousins after all, and who doesn’t love a good matchy photoshoot right? We used Emily’s rainbow leftovers from Ellis’ chevron blanket (SweetGeorgia Superwash Worsted in ‘saffron’ and ‘glacier’, Madelinetosh Vintage in ‘grasshopper’, ‘medieval’ and ‘tomato’) and chose Tanis Fiber Arts Green Label Aran in ‘sand’ for a nice neutral backdrop. We decided on a Flax sweater with the only modification being the rainbow.
Well, I knocked out the Hunter size sweater quick. The Jonesie size went a little slower, and the Bodhi size crawled (Em had long finished her wee Ellis sized sweater!).
The Jones and Bodhi sizes took me so long that I had to rip back the Jones one and add length to the arms and body and Emily had to do the same for Ellis’! So, a year after our intended finish date we did it: September sweaters!
This one is pretty simple, once you have done 2 rounds of the body in the main colour, switch to a rainbow! We used 5 colours and 3 stripes of each colour for all the sizes.
The bright pops of rainbow worked perfectly and I even got a shot of everyone looking at the camera at the same time (not an easy feat with these kiddos I assure you). I am absolutely in love with the results and although Jonesies will only fit him for another minute, at least there are hand-me-downs a plenty! Ellis will have a rainbow sweater in his size until he is 8 or so.
More rainbow bright knits from TCK:
We know colourwork can seem daunting somehow, but we have the perfect starter pattern: Prism. As you may have read (or guessed!) we love a good swatch hat. A hat is an excellent blank canvas to test out different colour combinations and techniques plus you end up with a usable finished knit. Prism is 3 hats in one pattern, Dots, Stripes, and Triangles.
Prism was one of our favourite patterns to knit samples for. We could just take a wander through the stash, pull out a few DK weight yarns and cast on. We mixed and matched, and as soon as one hat was done, the next was on the needles!
The Dots hat is the perfect place to use up those odds and ends of your precious favorite colour combinations. While we wrote the pattern using DK for the main colour and contrasts, you could really use a fingering or a worsted for the ‘dots’ without a worry. After knitting *ahem* a few blankets I really had a lot of teeny balls and little scraps that were begging to become something beautiful. With a neutral background (maybe a white or grey) you really can’t go wrong. Us a darker MC and bright dots for a bit of drama, an ombre for a little sophistication, or a rainbow for a bit of fun!
Emily has been obsessed with stripes for a while now. I think it all started with the Bumble hat…or maybe the single row stripe Playdate for Max….or maybe it has always been there, in the back of her mind begging to be let out! The stripes hat seems pretty straight forward right? Take 2 colours, stripe them. BUT the beauty of stripes is that they can be stripes of all kinds! The rainbow striped hat seems more like blocks of colour. An ombre (can you tell we were into ombres?) makes for an eye catching beauty, and simple black and white are always a winner.
Colour choices can make a big difference when it comes to single row stripes. Choosing 2 similar tones creates a blended effect (like our black and grey hat), really a whole new colour. High contrast stripes have a different look altogether (like Ellis’ black and white stripes). The possibilities, oh the possibilities!
My very favourite sample from the whole collection is this triangle hat Emily knit. With such a mad stash of bits and bobs of Rainbow Heirloom yarn from her days as a yarn dyer she was able to use a rainbow of tonal combinations to an effect that has me head over heels! The pattern is simple, the carries or ‘floats’ are short and this is a great first fair isle project.
So, which of our million samples is your favorite?
More fun hats from TCK
The concept for Mad Colour really began long long ago….with a POP! The year was 2012, we were working away on our second book, Pacific Knits, Alexa was preggers again, and Emily was on a walk-about in the UK. Suddenly, during a coffee date with a friend, a flash of genius hit! Emily had to rush home and try out this brilliant idea. The results of this creative frenzy? POP!
POP was inspired by the bright, exciting, and high-contrast graphics of comic books and American Pop Art, and Emily’s love of polka dots in general.
POP immediately became our most popular pattern and we started to build on the idea of a book of colour. We have both always loved colour (in spite of my black wardrobe) and the interesting way that colours interact to create rich and interesting fabrics. It was an idea that needed to percolate though. How to tackle a concept as large as colour? Which patterns perfectly represent the different ideas we had?
Well, fast forward (and forward and forward) to 2016 and we are finally able to bring you Mad Colour! Each pattern, while being fabulous on its own, also speaks to a larger concept in the realm of colour. From stripes to slip stitches, fair isle to colour blocks, layering to marling. Each idea is represented. We chose to include POP, now one of our most popular patterns, because it was POP that began it all!
More colourful blankies from TCK: