The title of this collection refers to simple ,uncluttered stitchwork, natural fibres, limited palette and the role that light plays in the textures and folds of these three pieces.
I am a huge fan of linen yarns. If you are looking for something hard wearing, then a 50/50 blend of linen and cotton is often a good and more affordable choice. Pure linen is a little more expensive, but offers some unique qualities. Many linen yarns have an almost wax like sheen that I find very appealing, this in turn seems to help make the yarn very pliable to work with and knitters are often surprised at how soft it is to work with. Stitchwork has a more relaxed feel than if you were using a yarn with a high twist on it, which I think fits with our less formal expectations of summer garments and accessories.
This started me thinking about ways that I could highlight these unique properties. A complete contrast seemed to be the answer. What if I combined panels of pure linen with a silk/mohair mix. The result is Frances, where natural linen is highlighted by bands of vibrant coral. The contrast is continued both in the appearance of and the feel of the stitchwork. There is something really pleasing about running your hand across the surface of this throw and experiencing the different textures. Frances combines double crochet, with a lacy stitch and a clustered stitch and would suit crocheters of all levels.
This piece is very personal to me because of its many associations. It was originally inspired by the basket of fuschias that hang outside my kitchen window, planted and tended by my daughter. The yarn choice was made when my dear friend, Fenella, took me to visit Elisabeth Beverley of plant-dyed wool. Elisabeth specialises in using plant dyes and so there are only ever small quantities of each colour available, which makes them all the more special. It also means that every project made is completely unique! Elisabeth lives in a tiny, converted chapel which you can visit by arrangement or on one of her open days. She attends a small numbers of shows each year too.
Elizabeth's yarns are kept safely stored in tissue paper in lidded boxes, but when those lids are taken off, you will find that your breath is taken away. Deep, resounding indigos, sit side by side with ethereal pinks and greys and there are some colours that you would find hard to pinpoint because they are so unique! It took me ages to select the palette for Fenella, because there were so many different nuances to choose from. I am delighted with the result. The simple chevron patterning for this scarf makes for a really relaxing knit, with just enough variations in colour changes to keep it interesting!.
This design originally appeared in Knitting magazine, (August 2014), and was part of a collection featuring the British seaside and the need for a quick cover up due to our unpredictable weather. I used Rowan Softknit Cotton because it is a natural, breathable fibre, but also machine washable, which can be a bonus when you are away on holiday!. This yarn has great stitch definition and good drape. Simple stitchwork means that it is quick to make and holds its shape well.
Kit coming soon......
I am also pleased to let you know that the final piece in this collection will be a kit, which I shall be revealing later in the month.........