If you’ve been watching our Twitter and Instagram feeds you may have seen Allison working on some ways to show off our bold colours at the upcoming Unravel show in the UK. Today we’re excited to announce some more surprises!
Who knew that prepping for a show was so much fun? I love the planning that we’ve been doing to introduce UK knitters to our luxurious yarns and the kits that we’ll have on hand are truly fabulous. So is the spinning fibre! I’m telling you – it takes an awful lot of willpower to get stuff done in my office with all the stock sitting here patiently waiting and ready to go to Unravel!
One of the projects that we’ve been working on from the beginning is a very special partnership put together for Unravel. We are thrilled to announce that we’ve partnered with delicate-wash Soak and UK designer Boo Knits to bring you a brand new Soakbox, exclusive to the UK. The Soakbox will be available in two of our brand new colours for Spring/Summer 2014 and feature a skein of our Merino Silk Fine in either Blood Orange or Melon along with a 90mL bottle of Soak in their fresh Yuzu scent, and of course a pattern for the sweet, lace Granita Shawl – a brand new design by the lovely Boo Knits.
We will have only 100 of these beautiful kits, and when they’re gone, they’re gone!
Boo Knits took the time to answer our questions about knitting, her love of lace and her design process:
How did you learn to knit?
My Aunt had a go at teaching me when I was a child but I gave up when I just couldn’t hold my needles “correctly”. Much later when I decided I wanted to knit it would be fair to say that I just looked everything up and learned as I went along. I still don’t hold my needles “correctly”!
Do you practice any other fibre crafts?
I occasionally do some canvas work, I would love to learn to crochet (on my to do list for this year) and I did a City & Guilds in Creative Embroidery many years ago but at the moment, mainly, I knit.
What is the best piece of knitting advice you’ve ever been given?
Always knit with the best yarn you can and a colour you love. If you don’t love what you are knitting with, how will you love it when you have finished? After all of the hours invested in knitting to create your project you deserve to invest in the yarn and needles you use. Don’t be embarrassed to use stitch markers and lifelines if they help. Knitting should be fun and enjoyable not stressful and if it helps you, use it.
How did you get started designing?
I found I was making small changes to patterns I used. One day I bought one skein of a lovely (and expensive) yarn and wanted to make a shawl that was not just a shoulder hug. I thought I would have a go and so many people asked me to write the pattern up. The rest is history.
Your shawls have a very ethereal quality – how do you come up with your ideas?
I am desperately selfish! I just design something I want to wear. I get lots of inspiration from the sky and the sea, cloud formations, sunsets, dusk colours, sunlight on water, waves, sand dunes…and from music and books. Most shawls start with an “oooooh” moment; just a glimpse of something, a phrase or a moment you wish you had your camera. Then I am away with the sketchbook.
What is it about lace that draws you to it?
I love the way you can transform an outfit with a lace shawl – you can dress it up or down. The same lace can look as amazing with a little black dress as with jeans and boots. On top of that, I just love knitting lace and find that I am more likely to make an error in the stocking stitch than I am in the lace pattern.
Where did you get the inspiration for the Granita Shawl?
It started with a necklace from FeralStrumpet (Etsy), a wonderful jewelry designer from York, England. The main stone is a Moss Agate and has such a lovely teardrop shape. When you start to look at the polished stones used in jewelry you see so many different and intricate lace patterns within each stone. I wanted to create a pattern that was easy to knit for beginners to lace but not boring for those who have knit lace before. The pattern eases the knitter through different states – starting with stocking stitch, then some simple lace patterning and finishes with a little double sided lace pattern (pattern on both right and wrong side tows) finishing in the flourish of a picot bind off – long job but so, so worth it.
What do you knit when you’re not designing?
Ha ha! I don’t. I cannot knit fast enough and have so many ideas floating around and fighting to get out that if I am not knitting a shawl I am knitting a pattern swatch as a trial. There are so many patterns I would love to knit and I keep telling myself that I need to find some time to knit them but a the moment I am having so much fun playing with stitches myself that other patterns get put on the back burner.
Many thanks to Boo Knits for taking the time to answer our questions. Do come see this gorgeous shawl in person at Unravel – we’ll also have the samples so you can try them on! And speaking of seeing you at Unravel - we’re happy to announce that the winner of our contest for a pair of weekend tickets to the show is Mikayla2207! Mikayla, check your email for a message from us about how we can get these tickets to you.