The Knitsonik Stranded Colourwork Sourcebook

BOOK_COVER

I suspect many of you will now know that my good friend Felicity Ford’s fabulous new tome, The Knitsonik Stranded Colourwork Sourcebook has just been published!

THE JOY OF SWATCHING

Felix is a close friend of mine, and, as I also played an editorial role in the production of her, ahem, masterwerk, I have, as you’d imagine, only positive things to say. But I have to briefly say them anyway, because I just know that you will love this book.

walnut

I have never met anyone quite so full of joy as Felix, anyone quite so enthusiastic and energetic, or anyone who, in quite the manner that she does, is able to appreciate and celebrate the sheer wonder of quotidian things: snacks, plants, spaces, socks, beer, bricks, wool. In this book she enables you to turn the last thing on that list – wool – into all of the items that precede it. Using the fabulous shades available in the Jamieson & Smith jumper weight palette, and some really innovative methods of sketching and swatching, Felix shows you how to develop the aesthetic skills to translate everday objects into glorious knitting.

With Felix you can learn how to knit a fruitcake . . .

knitted_fruitcake

. . . discover how to look anew at the ordinary spaces that surround you . . .

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. . . develop a luminous palette with which to celebrate an extraordinary building . . .

sepctacular_deco

. . . or translate the vintage aesthetics of a favourite tome into a pair of fabulous fingerless gloves.

wonders_of_electricity-2

Felix is many things: talented artist, lyrical writer, innovative designer, and all-round good egg. You’ll find her with all of these hats on in this book, and one of the things I love so much about it is just how Felix it all is.

hops_legwarmers-2

This is certainly a personal book, then, but it is also a precise and professional tome too. The book is beautifully produced: the layout (by Nic Blackmore) has an elegant simplicity and the photographs (by Fergus Ford) not only clearly illustrate Felix’s work but enhance its rich context. The book has useful patterns too: after teaching you how to create beautiful colourwork swatches, Felix carefully shows you some simple methods of incorporating your original stitch patterns into wearable items, such as legwarmers and gauntlets.

AUTHOR_FELICITY_FORD-1-5

The Knitsonik Stranded Colourwork Sourcebook is both enabling and inspiring. It will change the way you look at your knitting and the world. There’s not another book anywhere like it. It is truly original – just like its author.

AUTHOR_FELICITY_FORD-1-2

Felicitations, Felix!

The Knitsonik Stranded Colourwork Sourcebook is now available!

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 . . .

busy-ness

It has been an up-and-down sort of couple of weeks here. On the down side, I have not been feeling my best; there have been many more bad days than usual, and, most frustratingly, I’ve had to cancel several occasions to which I was really looking forward. I suppose some sort of energy-fallout was inevitable after the eventful and fun-packed few days of Shetland Wool Week, but still, there is nothing that dampens ones spirits more than weighing up activities in terms of their toll on ones reserves. On the up side — and it is a massive up — I appear to have almost made a book. Entering ‘Kate Davies Designs’ in the empty box that asked for ‘Publisher Name’ on several forms has made me foolishly excited, and I am really enjoying this stage of the process, which is involving some contextual writing, and the singular pleasure of seeing my patterns, photographs, and essays all laid out on the page. Some great people have been integral to this project, and every day I find myself more happy to have the opportunity to work with them, more and more amazed that this is what I actually DO. So, despite the fact that I have found myself cursing the stroke more than usual of late, really, its all good.

I’ve not been talking here much about what’s been involved in designing this new collection or in developing the book (I suppose part of me has been concerned – not unreasonably – that something was going to occur to scupper the process) but I think you’ll all soon find that I won’t be able to shut up about it. In the meantime, here are five images which give you a wee taster of each of the books five sections, each of which contains an exploratory essay, photographic lookbook, and a pair of Shetland-inspired designs.

MORE SOON!

In other news, having found myself in the singularly odd position of not currently working on one of my own patterns, I have signed up for Woolly Wormhead’s Mystery Hat Knitalong. Woolly’s designs are so innovative and stylish, and her patterns so well written that I know I will enjoy the process, and end up with something amazing to stick on my heid! The only issue is that, having successfully applied a rigorous ‘work-only’ policy to my stash for the past couple of years, I find myself without any suitable yarn. It might be time to treat myself to a tasty new skein . . .

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