I am currently unable to knit. A couple of weeks ago I injured my right wrist and thumb while winding yarn, and whatever I did to the tendons has taken quite a while to heal. As I’m in the middle of producing a new collection this is more than a little annoying from a work perspective (I can’t even swatch! The horror!) but its proved even more frustrating from a personal one. My hands feel at a total loss. For more than a decade, pretty much every time I’ve sat down on my arse I’ve simultaneously picked up my knitting. As I relax of an evening, I am used to watching films and knitting, listening to audio books and knitting, talking and knitting, reading and knitting, eating and knitting, texting and pottering about on Instagram and knitting. I don’t supposed I realised it, but, for a very long time, my evenings have been defined by the activity of knitting, and without it, all the other accompanying activities just do not feel quite right. My evenings have not been empty: they have filled with interesting films, olympic cycling, pleasant walks, good company, and an extra dog to look after, and yet – I have still found myself feeling odd, and vaguely ill at ease, before gloomily taking myself off to bed even earlier than usual, disgruntled by nothing more than a general lack of knitting. Thankfully the thumb seems to be finally sorting itself out now, and I imagine there’s only a further week of this non-knitting purgatory to endure.

In the meantime I have been consoling myself with the happy sight of other people’s knitting. Here are the first five of ten wonderful projects, by ten amazing knitters, who have made exceptional projects using my designs or my yarn.

cockatoo

Marcia only began hand-knitting a few years ago, when she began the BA (hons) in Contemporary Textiles at Shetland College. “The support of staff, other students, knitting friends and loads of online resources has definitely helped and encouraged me to keep trying new things and techniques and given me the confidence to play around with patterns I like,” she says. Having already knit herself a Cockatoo Brae cardigan from my Yokes collection, she decided to adapt the pattern for a jumper “I loved the yoke pattern so much, but this time I wanted a loose jumper with 3/4 length sleeves so I set about doing some calculations of sizing based on the original pattern, but also taking into account that there would be no steek stitches and I wanted the star pattern to be in the middle of the yoke. I also added more decreases at the neckline and decided to add garter stitch for the hems/cuffs using 2 of the yoke colours for the sleeve edges.” Marcia carefully matched gauge between hand and machine knitting, before knitting the body and sleeves by machine and the yoke by hand.

cockatoo3

“I normally use a linking machine,” says Marcia, “but this time decided to challenge myself and learnt mattress stitch to seam the sides and sleeves together, I was surprised how easy this was and it gave a really smooth finish.” Beautiful work, Marcia!

Next up is another lovely yoke – Wee Bluebells – which was knitted by Stacy for her niece, Scarlett, using Quince & Co Finch for the body with Jamieson and Smith Jumper Weight for the yoke.

bluebells1

Scarlett’s mum, Megan, knew which shades Scarlett preferred, and was able to select exactly the right yellow for the cardigan body from Quince’s palette, which suits Scarlett’s colouring beautifully!

bluebells3

Stacy knit the cardigan one size up, to allow room for growing, and Scarlett looks absolutely fantastic in the end result! Congratulations, Stacy!

blue

Anna fell for the Foxglove pattern from Yokes just after she learned to knit. “I didn’t have any experience with colorwork or steeking, or even fingering-weight yarn! But still I needed my own Foxglove cardigan. After a couple years of knitting and a handful of sweaters–including an Epistrophy–I was ready. I chose to use Harrisville Shetland because it’s spun and dyed in the Northeast United States, regional to where I live in NY.

foxglove1

“I typically buy less yarn than patterns call for,” says Anna “since I’m just under 5 feet tall, but this got me into a bit of trouble here. As I began the buttonbands, I realized I wouldn’t have enough of my main color to complete the project, and I resisted the thought of buying a whole extra skein just for a few rows.So I decided to start with the right buttonhole band, which would lay on top when buttoned, and after picking apart my project swatches I had just enough yarn to complete it.”

foxglove3

“For the left band I chose to use the purple yarn from the foxglove petals, so it would accentuate the flowers when unbuttoned, and be relatively invisible when fully buttoned. I’m so happy with the result, and I now have a Foxglove cardigan to wear proudly!” Personally I think that Anna’s contrasting button band is a real stroke of genius, and provides the perfect finishing touch to to her beautiful cardigan!

foxglove2

Next up, a Buachaille cardigan! Jane’s Braid Hills is a really fantastic example of adapting a pattern to the requirements of one’s own dimensions to create the perfect fit. “I have a small frame but am larger around the bust, which can a challenge when settling on a size. I decided to use size 5 for the bust measurement, but then had to adapt the sleeves for my small arms, so I knitted the sleeves to size 2 by decreasing more rapidly reached the appropriate stitch count. I didn’t add any extra rows in the middle of the body because, although I have a long torso, I wanted the cardigan to be quite short against my summer dress.”

braidhills1

Jane whipped up her dress herself too, and chose Buachaille in the Hedder shade to co-ordinate with it. Lining the button band with a strip of fabric from the dress is a really beautiful detail!

braidhills2

I find Jane’s whole handmade outfit somehow very happy-making. She just looks so lovely and summery in her dress and cardigan – worn with such style and such panache!

braidhills3

Finally, a truly fabulous Buachaille cardigan designed and knitted by talented Nikki Jones. I love seeing anything knit in Buachaille, but this project really made me gasp out loud when I first saw it.

fliesonme1

“This project was planned stitch by stitch,” says Nikki. “After I generated a CustomFit pattern, using Amy Herzog’s amazing software, I charted each stitch of the colourwork on a graph in photoshop. This allowed me to move the bugs around, to make sure they were perfectly placed, and didn’t sit too low down. No-one wants boob-bugs.”

fliesonme2

“I worked the colourwork on the sleeves a couple of times before I was happy. Transitioning smoothly from one background colour to another (rather than working with simply a foregound and background) was surprisingly difficult. I loathe small circumference knitting in the round – so I made frankensleeves – knitting the sleeves flat in the single colour sections, then joining them together for the colourwork sections (so working on a single longer circular needle). There were small steeks to work on these; and as the steeking takes care of the ends, there was no need for sewing these in.”

fliesonme3

“Buachaille was a dream to knit. The dark colour changes subtly and beautifully in the light – sometimes grey, sometimes brown. The yarn retained a gentle sheepy smell, and it’s just a little grabby – perfect for colourwork. It’s wearing really well, and I’m looking forward to using it for more colourwork or cables soon!” Thankyou, Anna for your gorgeous work!

Pop back tomorrow when I’ll bring you five more beautiful projects – haps and accessories this time!

59 thoughts on “ten amazing knitters (part 1)

  1. I had computer-related carpal tunnel problems with both hands, there was a moment I could not even unlock a door or cut a slice of bread… and I had a thesis to write, with a deadline, to get my master´s degree! What really saved me was a Powerball gyroscope (https://powerballs.com/). If you make it turn very slowly it eases the pain and sets things right. It can also be used as a prevention. Also, comfrey root preparations have helped me with tendon injuries in the past.

    Hope you are well soon!

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    1. Sorry for the multiple comments, I tried posting from different devices because it appeared not to be working… and now all of my attempts show up at once!

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  2. I had computer-related carpal tunnel problems with both hands, there was a moment I could not even unlock a door or cut a slice of bread… and I had a thesis to write (and fast) to get my master´s degree! What really saved me was a Powerballl gyroscope (https://powerballs.com/). If you make it turn very slowly it eases the pain and sets things right. It can also be used as a prevention. Also, comfrey root preparations often help with tendon injuries.

    Hope you are well soon!

    Like

  3. I had computer-related carpal tunnel problems with both hands, there was a moment I could not even unlock a door or cut a slice of bread… and I had a thesis to write (and fast) to get my master´s degree! What really saved me was a Powerballl gyroscope (https://powerballs.com/). If you make it turn very slowly it eases the pain and sets things right. It can also be used as a prevention. Also, comfrey root preparations helped me with tendon injuries in the past..

    Hope you are well soon!

    Like

    1. I agree!! If Nikki Jones would post that pattern on Ravelry, I KNOW it would sell! I am in love with it AND your yarn Kate! Gorgeous combination.

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  4. Oh, please go on Youtube and watch some of the wonderful videos on hand tendonitis. I received a ton of relief and on-going practice to relieve my fingers of tendonitis and repetitive injury. I showed my physical therapist the exercises I found and he concurred and told me to continue to stretch my hands/fingers to keep the tendonitis at bay. You without knitting….like summer without ice cream! Joanie

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My sympathies are with you – I have tennis elbow and the physio has banned knitting and spinning for a ‘month or so’.
    Your collection is inspiring – perhaps this is a gift of planning time?

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  6. I, too, am currently unable to knit, having injured myself at the gym. I really appreciate your first paragraph. Thanks for sharing.

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  7. Wow, I love ALL of these knitters and garments. I particularly love the Wee Bluebells, Foxglove and I love that the Braid Hills button band matched the dress. That kind of detail makes me so happy. Looking forward to the next five! x

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Frustration. I irritated my knuckle tendons by overworking, and took profen to keep the inflammation down. Its getting better now, after a couple of weeks of not in my case scraping at my painting palette to try to flatten it back. You will heal Kate. Take care. Heard you on the radio by the way, a great onterview!

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  9. I’m so sorry to hear about your fingers and hope you will be fine soon! I can imagine how you feel…. I was a passionate and excessive knitter for years. Suddendenly 3 years ago I got massive problems with tendovaginitis and can’t knit more than an hour a day since. I wish you all my best!

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  10. I have had something wrong with my hands since last yr… I understand how you feel, I was never ever bored in fact it was a plus to be hanging around somewhere so I could get out my knitting. It made me able to sit quietly for ages especially in our campervan in any weather. It has resulted in my doing a university course (at 53 !) , but I am very sad to loose my knitting, so glad you are getting better……I still love reading you blog .

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  11. I hurt my wrist a few months ago and found the solution. I took a Craftsy class and learned Portuguese knitting. It is amazing how you don’t use your wrist. The tension is in the yarn as it passes through the pin. I can knit (and purl) again without pain. Good luck and I hope you feel better soon. You are so talented and always inspire me.

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  12. So sorry to read that you have been unable to knit and wishing you back to full strength soon. This is such an inspirational post! I haven’t seriously knitted for some time but I’m very tempted by your designs and want to start again!

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  13. Hi Kate, I was having a lot of trouble with my hands and wrists. A friend recommended Wobenzym N. Have you heard of it? It’s been around for years. I have been using it to great effect. My hands rarely bother me. It might be worth checking out with your doctor. Best wishes for a swift recovery. Knitting and books are very similar – hard to live without.

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  14. Thanks for this post. I empathize with your situation. I have been laid up this summer with a broken ankle and couldn’t knit for the first 3 weeks! Life didn’t feel at all right. Browsing Ravelry and blogs helps move the time along, though! Those knitters are certainly talented. I’m looking forward to seeing more tomorrow.

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  15. This may sound heretical but gave you considered experimenting with weaving? A simple rigid heddle loom may give you an entirely different and refreshing perspective on using fiber to create fabric. With much less stress on your hands. And those hands will have something to do!

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  16. Thanks for sharing these beautiful projects, Kate! They are such an inspiration!

    I hope you’re completely healed and able to knit soon — it must be so frustrating! I was just thinking recently when reading one of your lovely posts that it seemed like awhile since we’d seen any of your knitting (not that I’m complaining — I love your posts whatever the subject!) – now I know why. Hope you get all the knitting time you want very soon :)

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  17. Whoever the gal called Jane might be is a dead ringer for me at a younger age. In fact, my husband asked where I got the clothes and who posted my photo. The outfit is gorgeous, as are all the others.

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  18. Love, love, love what you’ve shared. Now THIS is my kind of knitting. I am so happy to have found your blog which ironically I found from WordPress and not Ravelry!

    Do you have a good chiropractor? A chiropractor could adjust your thumb and have you knitting again right away. I twisted my ankle and couldn’t walk. Mine adjusted it. 5 minutes later I was walking as if nothing had happened and the fix was permanent. I haven’t had any more problems with it and the injury happened years ago. The cost here is super reasonable.

    Also years ago, I started having problems with my wrist and realized I went on knitting marathons when I was stressed out with my teens (three of my kids were teens at the same time – I don’t recommend it!) I made it a rule to only knit when I was happy. The wrist problems disappeared with no medical or surgical intervention. I’m not saying that’s you – I’m just sharing my story in case it gives you any insight. It’s heart breaking to be a knitter and not be able to knit.

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  19. Wow! These are some beautiful knits here. It must be wonderful to see your patterns and wools out there. I hope you have a pleasant knitting-free week. Watch out for that wool winder! And take it easy.

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  20. Dear Kate, So sorry to hear of your injury! Don’t know if this will help, but if you knit “English” (i.e. throwing), it is often easier on the wrists. I have reverted to that method (I say that only in terms of chronology – it was the first way I learned to knit) and it was very helpful during times of arthritis pain in my wrist and thumbs.
    As to the knitters above – what inspiration:)! Thanks for posting this.

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  21. Oh no, Kate! Do hope you’re all healed up soon. Those knits are just beautiful! All of them! Scarlett looks so pretty in that cardi. It’s perfect for her. I love the different coloured buttonband idea. Might have to use that one myself! I’m a dressmaker too, but never even thought of using my own fabric for steeked edges. Wow! Well done one and all.

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  22. What beautiful knits.Marcia has so much talent or I should say,”Gifted” like yourself.I too understand the healing process is very important , I wish you the best! I had only started knitting just over a year.I feel very fortunate to have found you.You have inspired me to keep on knitting.One day I will knit a cardigan.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. You have my sympathy Kate, hoping you recover very soon. I broke my wrist last summer, a compound fracture above the thumb and chips off the wrist bone – it was reset twice and I was in several cast for 9 weeks in total. The whole time I horded knitting patterns off Ravelry, plotting and planning. The doctors were very negative about my healing process, saying I probably would have very limited use of my wrist and hand and may need several surgeries. But a month after my last cast came off, I started knitting (very painfully) wash cloths – something I would never have even lowered myself to knit before. I would knit a few stitches a day, then a row a day, then two rows, then finally three rows. Bit by bit it got easier to knit and to do other things. I knew I was truly bless when I got up to my regular knitting speed again and could finish my sheep heid hat! I am truly blessed that I can knit and play guitar again – life looked very bleak for quite a while, but I persevered – knitting was my therapy and my goal!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. I have arthritis in my thumb and when I can’t knit, I feel like a wagon that’s lost its wheels! So I can relate. I hope you heal quickly. Wonderful collection of sweaters, but the bugs! Oh Lord, those fabulous fabulous bugs! Genius.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. I’m feeling gob smacked at the gorgeous hand knitted projects that have been highlighted in this blog. So many extremely talented people out there! Can’t wait to see the next five :)

    Liked by 2 people

  26. Love Anna’s solution! Reminds me of some of the pockets on cardi’s that have the pocket lining is a different color. I too think she might have started a trend. Glad to hear that you are resting the thumb and finger and not trying to push through, a week isn’t “too” long.

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  27. It seems you are not alone. Many of us have been laid up recently with shoulder, wrist & various other hand & wrist injuries that have prevented us from keeping on with our beloved knitting. Time (9 months) has fixed my shoulder problem, so I hope you & others will be back on deck soon. Loved your new series showcasing these fabulous knitters. From all the wonderful projects I’ve seen just during the Haps KAL, I predict you could go on & on with this series & never run out of knitters to write about.

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  28. Feel better soon. Was in your predicament last week after a fall had my right wrist and arm in a splint. Every day is better and I am convincing myself that the knitting I am doing is helping me heal! Thank you for your blog, your designs, your yarn. Much appreciated by us all.

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  29. Dear Kate
    I bought your recent book on Haps but I cannot figure out where my personal code is to download it to Ravelry. Can you help? Thank you.
    Anita Jamieson
    West Vancouver, BC Canada

    Sent from my iPad

    >

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  30. EATING and knitting? Hope healing occurs soon. Thanks for the first 5 knitters and their various adaptations. I love that a miscalculation on Anna’s part provided for such a fun design solution. I imagine she may have developed a new trend. Beautiful work all.

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  31. OH, you take such good care of us,
    all while you are laid up —
    What a wonderfuL friend + mentor you’ve been to us, your loyal followers!

    x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x
    Teri

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  32. oh dear – I hope your hand is better soon! I can only imagine how cranky I would be if I had to put the knitting down. I might figure out a clamp/vise system to hold the needles and struggle away with it, not put my time to useful pursuits as you have done. These are all gorgeous works!

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  33. Sorry to read about you not being able to knit, i know how you feel as i had a stroke in 2014 and have lost the use of my left side. My main thought was not being able to knit but my son bought me a knitting device for me but found it much easier to make my hand work as exercise. Although still having problems have managed to continue knitting but at a much slower pace, so i wish you good luck and keep trying

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  34. Oh, I feel your pain! I’ve been there! What I remember most is how unsympathetic the doctor was about the fact that I COULD NOT KNIT! He suggested I take up another hobby! I wanted to smack him and ask what his hobbies were and would he like to change to basket weaving or something else!
    I didn’t knit for several months while I had occupational therapy. The therapist was much more sympathetic! And I knit her a pair of socks at Christmas as a thank you! (NO socks for the doctor!)
    Love the inspiring projects’ gallery you shared today!
    Be patient….it will get better!

    Like

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