We made a Tea Towel!

The time has come to reveal something I’ve been extremely excited about for some time. The Kate Davies Designs tea towel!

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My pal Felix (AKA KnitSonik artiste extraordinaire, Felicity Ford) has been hand-drawing schematic illustrations for me for a while. Now, I may be able to design a sweater, but I really am totally rubbish at drawing them in any context. There is a reason why I have never shown you one of my preliminary sketches for my designs . . . and this is because they are so bad that Tom and Mel have, on, occasion, howled with laughter upon observing them. Happily, after producing a design, I am perfectly capable of drafting up a schematic on my Mac in Illustrator or Photoshop, but I do find there is something incredibly pleasing about a hand-drawn illustration of a hand-knitted item. And Felix’s drawings are particularly pleasing. She is good at drawing knitting, I think, because she is a knitter.

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owls
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Quite apart from their excellence and use as schematic illustrations in my patterns, I just loved Felix’s drawings, and there was just something so jolly about having all of my sweaters gathered together in illustrated form. It occurred to me how amazing such a gathering would look printed up on that most humble but necessary of textiles . . . the kitchen tea towel! When I suggested this to Felix, she jumped at the idea and got to work drawing more sweaters. After some help from Nic with the towel’s design and layout, we had a screen made up, and some nice folk in London printed and stitched them up for us! I have been very excited about their arrival, and now they are finally here I am even more excited, because they really are lovely.

teatowelshot

The tea towels are made from a good quality 100% Fair Trade cotton. They feature 11 of Felix’s illustrations of my sweater designs – perhaps one you knitted is there?

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So, if you fancy a nice new tea towel, you can find them in my shop here.

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 . . .

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