Stevenson sweater and gauntlets

Ahoy there! I have two complementary designs to show you today — the Stevenson Sweater and Gauntlets.

These designs were inspired by Shetland’s iconic lighthouses . . .

. . . such as the Bressay light, which provides the dramatic backdrop to these photographs.

Seven of Shetland’s lighthouses, including the one at Bressay, were designed and constructed by a pioneering family of engineers — the Stevensons (about whom you can read more in the book).

The golden paintwork that distinguishes a Stevenson lighthouse, together with classic matelot stripes, inspired this pair of quintessentially nautical designs.

With simple shaping, and a single round of colourwork per repeat, these are incredibly easy patterns to knit.

The gauntlets will keep your hands and wrists cosy in chill sea breezes . . .

. . .and the sweater is just the ticket for a windy cliffside walk.

Because I know you like to see my styling assistant — here he is, supervising the progress of the shoot.

And having a nice sit down while I gamely attempt to hug a lighthouse . . .(can you spot the Bonxie / Arctic Skua in this shot?)

Yarn requirements and sizing information for the Stevenson Sweater and Stevenson Gauntlets are now listed on Ravelry.

And I just have to let you know that the books have now left the printers and are actually on their way to me. Nic, my amazing art and production editor, has just shown me a copy of the book on Skype, and, though I do say so myself, it really does look bloody amazing. I’m sure you are getting a sense now of the aesthetic structure of the book — that is — how each of my ‘colour stories’ has its own distinctive palette and theme. In the book, these individual palettes distinguish each section, through the patterns, charts, essays and photography right down to the level of fonts and layout. It looks like it is the truly lovely object I always wanted it to be!! I foresee a very busy weekend signing books (each copy purchased from my online shop will be signed) and then we will be ready to put them on sale on Monday.

Book deliveries permitting, I’ll be back tomorrow to show you the book’s final pair of colourful designs. . . .

Until then . . .

51 responses

  1. The excitement and anticipation are completely palpable in our Ravelry group. What beautiful designs, and what an amazing accomplishment. I really look forward to the book’s arrival, and I am envisioning spending some quiet hours with it post-holiday. I’m hoping for a big snowstorm so that I can curl up with my new book, my J & S Shetland blanket, and a cup of tea. I know reading the book will be like having a private history class with you…..and I will so enjoy making knitting plans for the new year with these special patterns.

  2. Wishing you every success with the book. I am sure it is amazing and will do well. How things change…and how exciting for you. Enjoy every minute of it.

  3. The photos are amazing and you must have had so much fun during the photo shoots. Bruce looks very dashing, by the way. I am not only excited for you upon the release of your book, but for those of us that love your designs and writing.

  4. Oh my…it is hard to choose which one I like best :) But this one is the one I am leaning towards. Waiting with great anticipation for the launch. m.

  5. Kate,
    It all looks and sounds fabulous. I can barely wait and although your enticing previews are terrific, the suspense is killing me! I want your book so badly (signed, please?) – it will make my month if not my year. When all else goes to hell in a handbasket, KNIT!

  6. Very, very excited. I keep thinking to myself, “that’s the one!” with each pattern you reveal. I now see that I’ll have to knit them all, and I have just made a very thrilling discovery that Get Knitted in Bristol now stocks J&S!!!

    Do you know why those colours were chosen for the lighthouse? Is it a Scottish thing, or a nautical thing? This summer I noticed that the one between Port Charlotte and Bruichladdie (hope I’ve got the spelling right, and the location… along that road somewhere, anyway) is painted that colour, and I took lots of photos of it looking very dramatic against a glowering sky on our one grey day.

    Anyway – well done, gorgeous design, and for now, Stevenson is the one for me!

    • Ah yes – the Port Charlotte one is a Stevenson light as well! That’s another beautiful location. As far as I’m aware, its only the Stevenson constructions that use that distinctive yellow paint. When I see red and white ones elsewhere in Scotland & England its just not the same!!

      • Ah thank you, that explains it, and in comparison, red and white seems far too jaunty somehow! I became quite obsessed with that lighthouse this summer, the colour particularly.

  7. Every time you post a new design from the book it becomes my new favourite! All of the designs are just stunning. Well done, you must be so proud (you certainly should be).

  8. I noticed you were reading Bella Bathurst’s book on your sidebar recently, I’m so happy to see you took inspiration from lighthouses. They are things of beauty! I love the yellow smudges between the blue stripes, and I love the greys and beiges that you use as bases in your designs, they combine so well all the other colours.

  9. I am queued up to order my book as soon as they are available. It feels like a new Harry Potter and I envision lines of women (and maybe even men) waiting and waiting for the book. I, too, will do every design which means I know what I’ll be doing for a year or two. What I love about your patterns, Kate, is the tailoring. Everything fits perfectly. I have done two of your sweaters and two tams and have learned something new in each. That this book is about Shetland, a great and glorious place, is a bonus!

  10. I am so pleased that you are thrilled with your efforts. It has been a long haul and a very exciting time for you – great to know that you are delighted with the results. I can’t wait…….

  11. Kate…so very happy for you!!! How exciting it must be! I’m happy you are pleased with the end result. Can hardly wait to be able to tuck into your stories and drool over your designs…(promise not on the pages..lol)

    I am at present reading a fiction by Margaret Elphinstone called ‘Light’ about one of the Stevenson lighthouses, your inspiration for this lovely design. The story is about a lighthouse keeper’s family, whose lives begin to change because of a disaster, one dark and stormy night…

    Four more sleeps…yipee!

  12. You’ve really exceeded yourself. Lovely. I just finished reading the book about the Stevensons earlier in the month. Can’t wait to get some of these designs on my needles.

  13. I can’t wait to see the book, although I will have to wait as it is on my Christmas wishlist. The patterns are lovely, but also really looking forward to all the other things, the photos, the information….
    I have never been to Shetland, so tempted to visit. Next year we will be globetrotting from Edinburgh to Toronto to visit my daughter, so it may have to wait a wee while.

  14. Love them! :) I wish I can switch into “motor hands” mode and knit up everything in your book and blog! Unfortunately, my joints are older than my actual age… :(

    Can’t wait to purchase your book! The Stevenson lighthouse book is next on my reading list…
    You rock!

  15. awww beautiful! Bruce’s coat looks like just the softest thing and your photos really capture him well (hard to photograph a black dog). i swoon over the lighthouse and that gorgeous gold yarn. stunning :D

  16. Have loved all your designs so far, but this one is just so perfectly me. Must have it! Beautifully done. I am in awe of your designing and writing skills. Can’t wait to see the book.

  17. Each design you tease us with heightens the anticipation, and makes me wonder, “how can I choose one to start?”…..Yesterday I thought the Scatness Tunic might be it. Today I think this one might be it.

  18. “Nautical” normally makes me run a mile, all those blue and white stripes. This however is in a totally different and far superior league. I cannot wait for the launch of your book!

  19. So thoughtful of you to preview the book for us – I would have bought it sight unseen, but these designs exceed even my expectations. The photograph and styling are excellent as always – thanks, Bruce! The raisin-colored dress you wear with the Scatness garments is particularly appealing. I look forward to Monday!

  20. That’s an excellent idea to base a design on a lighthouse. And a Stevenson lighthouse, too! They’re beautiful – the design and the lighthouse. I was thrilled by Bella Bathurst’s book and keep a picture of Skerryvore lighthouse on the wall.

  21. just read a recent bio of RLS, who labored manfully for a few years in the fam business.
    this gold color i didn’t realize was associated with the stevenson lighthouses; i about passed out when you posted a recent pic of lichen this color, and said to myself i hope to god she does something with this.
    answered prayers! yay.

    • Jeanette, the lichen (which I saw on the wall of the Sumburgh Head lighthouse) alo played its part in this design – the photograph you mention is in the book!

  22. That’s it, I NEED this book, think i’ll be carboncopying these two, love it! And congratulations on the huge achievement of writing and publishing a book, its a great idea to marry the designs and patterns with further information about the inspiration and history.

  23. Again, another pattern I just have to knit! I need to clone myself…I love the photo with the lighthouse out of focus in the background and you in the foreground . You can really see the pattern and colours reflecting the scene. Cute little lighthouses, too!

  24. I need about twenty more sets of hands, so that I can cast-on for all of these when your lovely book hits my doorstep; but what I anticipate even more than knitting these, is reading about and looking at the scenery and and history that has inspired these lovely designs!

  25. I am SO EXCITED for your book!!! Thank you for sharing the designs because they have definitely built my excitement and made Monday’s decision (purchase!!!) easy. I am especially excited to knit everything you have shown so far. The Ursula Cardigan is my current favorite but really I want to knit everything and I love your writing so I know this book will be a special treat when it arrives. Hurrah!

  26. I am very excited for your book – I am wondering though, since it is being released on a Monday will it be sold out by the end of the workday? Or will there be an opportunity to purchase early in the morning? May be a silly question, but after too many missed attempts at getting The Plucky Knitter yarn updates I am wary :)

  27. OH, the yellow, like the yolk of a REAL chicken’s egg!! This is driving me crazy, as well as several others…………..what to knit first!!!!!!!!!! can’t wait to read the history of these lighthouses. Thank you again for bringing your historical knowledge to the fore. That is what makes cooking/baking and knitting come so alive for me.

  28. Dear Kate, 750 or so Shetland crofter/sheep farmers and 20,000 or so Shetland Islanders can be very grateful and proud of the fantastic job you are doing not only to promote their wool but also in showcasing the natural beauty of the Shetland Islands themselves.
    No pressure but I can`t wait to see the sportsman`s hat (with or without the bobble!).

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