August 30, 2015

places you can knit

Finally, we're seeing some nice weather in my neck of the woods and it seems almost an obligation to get out and enjoy it while we can.  This moring after a quick coffee I went down to my local beach to soak up a bit of sunshine and listen to the rhythm of the waves rolling in.
My local beach is a short 5 minute walk from home and I try to get there every weekend if I can.  Sometimes I sit and let the sound of the waves roll over me, sometimes I like to do a little meditation or people watching.  Today I took the chance to sit and knit a few rows on another version of the Squeaky Beach mitts.   It's such a nice alternative for me, instead of my usual location of on the train to and from work each day. The fresh air scented with salty water and the lapping waves were such an amazing backdrop to my thoughts today.
#placesyoucanknit has been popping up quite a lot recently on Instagram feeds and there are some inspirational, funny, weird and wonderful places tagged!  Have you seen them, or participated?What's your best place to knit?
August 23, 2015

Natural inspirations

As I've mentioned before, a good deal of my insipiration is drawn from nature.  I love the colour plays and the textures, and the process of then trying to translate them into knitting patterns.

I spent this afternoon looking back through some photos and my creative notebook. So many new ideas were popping into my head that I barely had time to get them all down on paper before I forgot!

How beautiful are the textural elements of these barnacles on the remnants of the old jetty?  Their sharp surface sit against the weathered wood and rusty bolts in such a great way and the bleached colour of the barnacles has a gorgeous depth and nuance.

These pockets of rockpools filled with mustard coloured seaweed and the black, cracked rock surface are so beautiful too.  A classic colour combination that has been used successfully in designs many times. I have an idea brewing for a shawl from this little snapshot.

Looking through the stash of yarn I have on hand, it was interesting to note how many of these colours are already there.  Not really that surprising, but interesting especially when to starting to pair them up. 

So now I have a head full of even more ideas for new patterns for you!  I can't wait to get them out of my head and into reality so I can share them with you all.

In other news Whisky Bay Woollens patterns are now also available via Craftsy, for those who don't use Ravelry or just prefer the option.

August 16, 2015

let's talk about yarn...

In a recent interview on the Sunspun blog, I was asked about the selection of yarns used for the Oceanside collection.  It was a great question and I thought we could open up the discussion a little further here today.

My love of textures extends to my yarn choices, and I enjoy combining both yarn and patterns to showcase unusual or interesting surfaces. Sometimes process dictates design and other times it's the opposite. 

The combination of two Shibui yarns - Cima and Pebble - in Woolamai gave me the opportunity to create a lightweight, soft fabric with the combination of multiple fibres which is a luxurious combination of silk, baby alpaca, merino and cashmere.  Pebble has a soft tweedy texture on it's own and when paired with a contrasting colour in Cima (baby alpaca/superfine merino) it creates a lovely marled appearance. When the yarns are combined they also form a delicate, supple fabric that is a pleasure to both knit and wear.

I have been working another version of Woolamai this week using Pebble 'Sidewalk' and Cima 'Pollen' as the main with Cima 'Ivory' as the contrast.   It's delicious and lovely but it wasn't my first choice. 

Originally I had thought the Pollen would be the contrast but a quick swatch showed my the error in that thinking.  Isn't it funny how the plans often turn out differently but better?  Colour combinations can completely change the look of this beanie and that's another thing I love to play around with. 

 I'm looking forward to seeing what combinations people come up with for this pattern.  There are already a couple of others up on project pages, and they look wonderful.

Have you joined the WBW Ravelry group yet? You can also follow us on Instagram and Facebook.  It's a great way to keep up with the news and to share your projects, and be inspired by other people's too!

August 09, 2015

Keeping it in the family

Firstly, I'd like to extend a HUGE thank you to everyone who has left a comment on Instagram, Facebook and Ravelry, or sent me a congratulatory email or text.  To everyone who has started following Whisky Bay Woollens, or joined the groups - I can't express how much I appreciate it!  I have been completely overwhelmed by the support shown for my humble little project and could not have asked for more when anticipating the launch of Whisky Bay Woollens. 

A few people have commented on my lovely model for the Oceanside collection photoshoot, so I thought I'd share a little about her today.

This is my amazing daughter, Lily.  She is a wonderful soul, full of brilliance, wit, empathy and joy.  Not that I'm biased.

She willingly gave up her weekend to traipse around with me and being told "Stand, here.  Maybe there instead? Bring your shoulder back...a little more...bring it forward...back...forward" (and for the most part didn't complain at all).  She contributed in such a meaningful way to this collection, everything from giving her input on the patterns and samples to making suggestions on product shots, and she maybe became a little to familiar with the jargon along the way.  'Hero shot' was used rather a lot around the house after this.

I am in constant awe of the person she is.  I feel like I was blessed from above when the universe bestowed her into my care.

She's also a bit of a dag.

and when she finds this photo, I'm a dead woman.

August 04, 2015