Archive | Design

A knitting pattern in under 30mins? Are you crazy

So a little while ago I was asked to put together a physical workshop on how to create knitting patterns. There was a ton of positive feedback and interest….

Unfortunately the workshop never happened because the person who asked me to put it together didn’t tell anyone it was happening and of course, not every fashionknitster was in that location at the time.

After getting so much support and comments like “I wish I was in London so I could come”, I felt that there was clearly a lot of knitters who wanted to get their own creative juices going and were being held back by other courses that, quite frankly, make it so complicated that I couldn’t follow them.

Now it’s time to give the knitting power back to the people. I decided this year I would work on putting my method down on paper so to speak. So for the first time ever, I’m going to tell people how to create a pattern in less than 30 mins. I can actually do it less than 10 but I do have a lot of practice under my belt.

So I’ve gone back to my computer, recorded some info on how retail works, how to measure and of course, the pattern method itself and now I just need a few finishing touches…… If you’re still not convinced, I’m going to prove it can be done in less than 10 mins and so you know that I’m not cheating, I want you to send me your measurements and a tension swatch measurement….

Watch out for the newsletter with all of the details to get involved and test me.

So roll on 2015. This will be the year of the Fashionknitsters.

 

make your own knitting patterns. knitting course. knitting patterns for hand and machine knitting

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SS15 is looking bright….. looking orange

Well the catwalks aren’t yet over and we’re only just over half way through, but the good news is that there is something for everyone. Florals are looking tropical with a mixtures of both dark and light prints. There are deep and moody elements. Soft feminine 50’s shapes. Masculine monochrome and a very sporty relaxed look.

Personally, I’m loving the sporty stuff. It’s relaxed and comfortable. Who doesn’t like comfortable right? Relaxed wide trousers are really appealing to me just because they look very stylish, but are so comfortable especially in hot summer days, especially as I’m packing some extra stuff around my thighs.

And some colour! Yay. I was a little concerned when I was doing my trend predictions a few months ago that everything would be black and white, or fairly dark, but then came the Fresh Sporty look. I have to say I was a little relieved. I’m loving the bright corals, oranges, reds and blues for next Summer and I have to admit I am slowly getting into more white these days.

The new sporty look also means I can get rid of my high heals on occasion and I have a complete excuse to be sporty in the office. Now I know that not everyone can do that at work, but as someone who works in fashion, it is completely allowed. So on that note, I thought I’d try and give you some mild sporty ideas that you might be able to add into the work place without getting fired, but making you super comfortable and I hope, give you some inspiration for creating some knit projects. The tops below I think will be great for knit projects and regardless of your style, there is something for everyone.

 

SS15 Spring Summer 2015 Sporty relaxed clothes M Missoni

SS15 M Missoni

SS15 Spring Summer 2015 Sporty relaxed clothes DKNY

SS15 DKNY

SS15 Spring Summer 2015 Sporty relaxed clothes DKNY

SS15 DKNY

SS15 Spring Summer 2015 Sporty relaxed clothes Derek Lam 10 Crosby

SS15 Derek Lam 10 Crosby

SS15 Spring Summer 2015 Sporty relaxed clothes Antonio Berardi

SS15 Antonio Berardi

SS15 Spring Summer 2015 Sporty relaxed clothes Alice + Olivia

SS15 Alice + Olivia

 

 

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Some more Florals for AW14

So yes, the floral trends have not left us just yet. After publishing the TRENDS: Floral book last summer, floral prints have just exploded ad don’t look set to stop for some time. Next SS15 sees the return of more tropical designs and colours for your palette. Purples and rich reds and blues will feature heavily with darker backgrounds. For now though, SS14 is all summer and light flowers. Spring garden designs and large blooms. AW14 though goes darker again with winter colours and the designs go graphic at one extreme and very traditional on the other. So with that, let’s get some inspiration for our floral designs for winter.

My favourite has to definitely be the colour combinations on the Temperley collection. I love those bright mix of pinks and blues with all of the traditional Autumnal colours. Perfect!

Temperley AW14 Floral knitting design inspiration for hand and machine knitting

Temperley AW14

Temperley AW14 Floral knitting design inspiration for hand and machine knitting

Temperley AW14

Temperley AW14 Floral knitting design inspiration for hand and machine knitting

Temperley AW14

Sonia Rykiel AW14 Floral knitting design inspiration for hand and machine knitting

Sonia Rykiel AW14

Blumarine AW14 Floral knitting design inspiration for hand and machine knitting

Blumarine AW14

Badgley Mischka AW14 Floral knitting design inspiration for hand and machine knitting

Badgley Mischka AW14

Andrew Gn AW14 Floral knitting design inspiration for hand and machine knitting

Andrew Gn

Alberta Ferretti AW14 Floral knitting design inspiration for hand and machine knitting

Alberta Ferretti AW14

Thakoon AW14 Floral knitting design inspiration for hand and machine knitting

Thakoon AW14

Temperley AW14 Floral knitting design inspiration for hand and machine knitting

Temperley AW14

Rodarte AW14 Floral knitting design inspiration for hand and machine knitting

Rodarte AW14

Rodarte AW14 Floral knitting design inspiration for hand and machine knitting

Rodarte AW14

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CHART: Rose Trellis

Rose Trellis chart for hand or machine knitting. Free chart for rose trellisIn this guide I’ve included a full repeatable Rose Trellis from our Trends Book: Floral. A huge flora trend has been sweeping the fashion season, and here we’re no different. So here is a little free chart for a horizontal repeating rose trellis that can be done with 3 colours or just 2 for a more graphic look.

 

If you love floral graphics and you are a handor a machine knitter, you can find lots more floral repeats, kitsch florals and more in depth artworks in our E-Book, which you can find here: TRENDS: Floral

 

Feel free to use and abuse it in whatever way you like. Just make sure, that if you like it, that you share it……. come on don’t keep secrets from your knitting friends.

 

Download PDF HERE: Rose Trellis

 

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Flowers are just everywhere

Well I know that it’s Christmas and at this time of the year you are probably more concerned with finishing off the last of your Christmas gifts, or organising events, or just wishing that Santa will bring you all the lovely things on your list. Well yes I have to admit that I am too, but after Christmas day, what to do with my fingers? Ah the empty space of the knitting needles. Well fret not. Your knitting can start to concentrate on Summer 2014. Yep it really has come around quickly.

And what is on my mind for Spring? Flowers. Oh yes. It’s by no coincidence that the trend book this year was all about the flowery knits. [ Click here to see the book if you want ]  Flowers are the hot topic for Spring Summer 2014 and I can guarantee that they will be all over the place, from underwear to coats. If you’re looking for some inspiration from fashion, then W Magazine Dec 13 / Jan 14  really is an all out flower fest. I love this, from the shoes and tights to knitted jumper dresses, floral items are definitely on my shopping list for next year.

W Magazine December January 13 14. SS14 Flowers floral trends W Magazine December January 13 14. SS14 Flowers floral trends W Magazine December January 13 14. SS14 Flowers floral trends W Magazine December January 13 14. SS14 Flowers floral trends W Magazine December January 13 14. SS14 Flowers floral trends W Magazine December January 13 14. SS14 Flowers floral trends

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Knitting Charts for flowers. Yes TRENDS : FLORAL is here

Knitting chart bool for flowers Hand Knitting Chart, Machine Knitting Charl. flowers Floral PatternsKnitting chart bool for flowers Hand Knitting Chart, Machine Knitting Charl. flowers Floral PatternsOH YES IT’S FINALLY HERE! TRENDS : FLORALS

I’m so excited. The girls worked so hard on this book and there are some real complicated little bits in there. Still have the basic ones too don’t worry. Loads of 2 colour, kitsch, repeats and in this one borders in horizontal and vertical graphs. You can find out loads more in the shop and if you are interested I’m also tagging on [ for free ]  the Large Graphical Repeat graph for the machine knit dress I did back in the summer. That one is 8 pages for the back and 8 for the front by itself, so well worth picking it up now.

If you want to have a look through the inside, there are loads of pages in the shop gallery or if you bought the last book and are familiar with the layout, then you can add it to your shopping bag below.

Happy knitting everyone.

 

 

Design Book TRENDS: FLORALS
£7.99
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Oh for the love of Knitting!

If ever there was an inspirational collection for 2014,  or any season in fact, this would be it! Valentino Summer 2014 show was purely colourful. All the inspiration, print, graphic, trim, detail and effects any designer could want as an inspirational starting point. This sort of collection could keep someone going for months.

Knitting is no exception. The detail in the patterning, not to mention the fact that much of it was squares and diamonds, would look wonderful in knit. Mix in some beading or fringing trim, I wouldn’t be able to stop knitting. Have you guessed that I am in love with this collection yet? Oh in a world of drab collections at NY, some elements of crazy in London, and overall just a bit of a mundane set of fashion weeks all round. THIS show perked me up no end. Also have a look at the fringing and tassels that are included too. I wrote about this a couple of weeks ago now as a future trend and I really believe this is something to be playing with for your summer knits.

If you want to have a look at the related fringing post you can read it here:

Fringing Cardi : A Fringe Cardi to end all fringe cardi’s

Fringing as a trend :  The Summer Idea! Fringing!

J’adore beaux vêtements Valention! Here is some inspiration to get those knitting needles working and your sketching pens at the ready!

Valentino 2014

Valentino 2014

Valentino 2014

Valentino 2014

Valentino 2014

Valentino 2014

Valentino 2014

Valentino 2014

Valentino 2014

Valentino 2014

 

Valentino 2014

Valentino 2014

Valentino 2014

Valentino 2014

Valentino 2014

Valentino 2014

Valentino 2014

Valentino 2014

Valentino 2014

 

 

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I want to feature YOUR knitting

Get featured on our blog. What is your fashion and style. I want to know so I can show off YOUR amazing knitting skills. Just email me now

Get featured on our blog. What is your fashion and style. I want to know so I can show off YOUR amazing knitting skills. Just email me now

You know I was sitting down doing a bit of knitting and pattern planning on my sofa at the weekend and I was suddenly taken by the fact that design really isn’t about designers, it’s about everyone!

Whilst I was taking a naughty break on Pinterest, I’m scrolling through my phone at all of the wonderful knits and designs that are in my feed [and I’m such an image person-love pictures] it just strikes me that as I’m pinning and repining all of these wonderful images and clicking through to their sites to see what other stuff they have, it strikes me that some of them are just real, passionate knitters. Just wonderful knitters who love knitting, blogging, hand and machine knitters, colour, lace, cables and all things in between.

I was so struck by these amazing images that a subconscious thought that I’ve always had and I really have. It was one of the fundamental reasons I started Twisted, really just rushed to the front of my brain. Design really isn’t about designers. You know that creativity and innovation really does come from trial and error, pushing the boundaries and just trying new things. Now those things don’t always work, but it’s the foundation of great design. Nothing new and innovative would ever happen if we all just followed the same route: if we all had the same style and thoughts. So lets change ths!

Let’s make everyone know that knitting belongs to the knitters!

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a  designer and I have nothing against them of course, but it’s so great to see that in the last few years since things like Facebook and Pinterest have just taken over the internet, designs that have been created by the small business, the individual or a passionate hobbyist can now bee seen by millions through a blog or website. Thank goodness the days of the large company dominating our attention has gone.

So do you want to show off your style and your knits? I want you to

Why don’t you get involved. I really want to start and continue to blog about great designers, great knitters and just everyone who loves what they knit. Remember that your style is personal to you. This is not a place for judgement or that you have to be the most fashionable person in the world. You don’t have to be accessorised is Gucci or be in some fashionable part of town. No that is not what being a fashionista is about. Style is far more important and I want to show off what YOU are really proud of. YOUR style and what YOU think is great design.

Now you don’t have to have designed your knit, just make sure to tell me who did so that I can credit them for their hard work and it can be by anyone, I’m looking for the LOVE OF KNITTING, which could be my patterns of course, haha, just kidding. No any designer is fine. I really want to spread the design message and get knitters inspired.

Simply send me an email with some photos of your knit and include answers to two very simple questions.

  1. 1. What is your personal style? So what kind of look do you go for and why?
  2. 2. Why do you love that knit? Is it a detail? Yarn? Stitch? Whatever it is tell why you love it so much.

Please also give me “Who Knitted It” details with a link or name of the book if possible so I can go and grab some details about the pattern, like where to buy, needle size etc.

Email me at vicky@twistedangle.co.uk

Now there is one condition. I really want to focus each post on one design at a time. You are more than welcome to send me different designs, but please keep 1 email to one design. That way I won’t loose track of ones I’ve posted and one’s I haven’t. Oh I can’t wait to see what you all send.

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Exciting looks for lace lovers!

One of the biggest trends for SS14 will definitely be lace. So those of you knitters who love a bit of lace, get ready. There will be all sorts of lace from the simplest eyelet based ideas to the most complex, all over or intricate ideas. So whatever level of lace knitter you are, now is the time to start sharpening those needles and searching for some lace ideas.

At this point I want to reference a blog I was reading earlier today. I don’t usually reference many knitting blogs, mainly due to the overtly fashion element I have going on here at TA and to be fair, I’m not really a shawl wearer, but in the knitting world I know shawls are really popular and lace ones are a great way to start with a smallish project. I came across this post and I was really impressed both by the colour of the yarn, but also the lace stitch overall. It has a great combination of weight and openness to the stitch. I should point out that I am talking about the first shawl on the page. The red one pictured for point 1 of the post. The shoulders are really beautifully constructed. So it definitely worth checking out this pattern. You can buy it on Ravelry and there is a link to the pattern itself. Costing $6 US

Blog post: http://picnicknits.com/knitting/size-matters/

For those of you who want some creative ideas to get your juices flowing, here are some great inspirational images for SS14 that I will including in my own idea pot for my new designs. There are some really great features of the lace, even in the simplest of ideas. The first one pictured for example by Catherine Malandrino, has a really great detail around the shoulders and cuff. Love that. Threeasfour went way more OTT but I love the combination of solid areas mixed with areas of intricate lace work. Easier said when you are cutting fabric panels, I know, but that is the challenge isn’t it……

Catherine Malandrino SS14 Lace trend

Catherine Malandrino SS14

Christian Siriano SS14 Lace trend

Christian Siriano SS14

Julien Macdonald SS14 Lace trend

Julien Macdonald SS14

Julien Macdonald SS14 Lace trend

Julien Macdonald SS14

Pringle of Scotland SS14 Lace trend

Pringle of Scotland SS14

Thakoon SS14 Lace trend

Thakoon SS14

Threeasfour SS14 Lace trend

Threeasfour SS14

Threeasfour SS14 Lace trend

Threeasfour SS14

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Orange is the colour for Summer 2014

So with a bit of bad timed flu, I was a bit slow off the mark for fashion week. But with catching up through all of the shows, I was a bit disappointed that some of the shows felt a little flat this season. Usually, I would be scribbling like a mad woman throughout the catwalks. The details on the designs, colours and the wealth of inspiration, but this season felt like there was just a back to basics theme across the board.

Now don’t get me wrong, there are always some designers that go down the simple route and that is just their aesthetic. It works for them and it’s just their style but there is always those designers that takes risks. The pop of colour or design that catches my eye. This season just felt a little different. A little flat if you will. But there was one glimmer of hope. Orange!

Yep orange! Not the most usual colour for any season and some would argue that it’s not the most flattering, but in a season and sea of plain white and black clothes, the orange was a little ray of hope.

Now the orange runs from a really pure summery orange in places through to a very orange based red. The orange based red is definitely the easier to wear for most people and a little less striking on the eyes. It could even be stretched so far as to move it into a coral. This one seemed to be the most popular across the collections and it was interesting to see that in many cases it was just one big column of orange! For SS14, I’m glad there was some risk takers. Who thought orange could be so stylish.

Blumarine SS14 Orange theme

Blumarine SS14

Catherine Malandrino SS14 Orange theme

Catherine Malandrino SS14

DKNY SS14 Orange theme

DKNY SS14

Dsquared² SS14 Orange theme

Dsquared² SS14

Pringle of Scotland SS14 Orange theme

Pringle of Scotland SS14

Tibi SS14 Orange theme

Tibi SS14

Tracy Reese SS14 Orange theme

Tracy Reese SS14

Vivienne Tam SS14 Orange theme

Vivienne Tam SS14

Vivienne Westwood SS14 Orange theme

Vivienne Westwood SS14

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The Summer Idea! Fringing!

OK so I know we’re not even into Winter here in the northern hemisphere, but if you didn’t know, the catwalks for SS14 are happening at the moment and Fashion Week is one of my busiest times of the year. So I’ve been trawling through designs and pictures and shows over the past couple of weeks and one reason was that a while ago I found a few little warning signs that a certain trend might be fighting it’s way back in for summer.

In a good way  though…… I actually don’t mind a bit of fringing, tasteful fringing I might add……… so this week was a chance for me to see if my ‘gut’ had done it again…….. and the answer is yes. The confirmation is in. Fringing has been seen on a number of the catwalk collections, so I guess it is time to start looking at summer fringing. I’m actually super excited about this. 1. because I have been updating my portfolio recently and there is a ton load of fringing prediction in there, so phewwww and 2. because I saw an idea a while back that was just so beautiful that I couldn’t resist putting it into knit. For now that is all I will say on the matter, mainly because it will be an epic pattern undertaking and honestly, I’m hoping I get it done before Christmas, but you know that there is always that chance….. the fringing trim is still in progress and I’m only 8 Rows in, which has taken 4 days……. yep, epic!

Anyway, enough of my ramblings, onto some inspiration for SS14 fringing.

Altuzarra SS14

Altuzarra SS14

Altuzarra SS14

Altuzarra SS14

Altuzarra SS14

Altuzarra SS14

Anna Sui SS14

Anna Sui SS14

Christian Siriano SS14

Christian Siriano SS14

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CHART: The 3 Colour Tartan

A three colour tartan design for knitting on hand or machine. 3 Colour check graph grid design

In this guide I’ve included a full repeatable check [ actually it’s more than 2 colours so in fact it’s a non traditional tartan ]  in chart form. It’s a modern twist on the traditional tartan or [check], with a slightly off centred mini stripe.

It plays with the idea of a traditional tartan by using the background colour to make stripes as well as moving the stripes to be less evenly spaced.

Feel free to use and abuse it in whatever way you like. Just make sure, that if you like it, that you share it……. come on don’t keep secrets from your knitting friends.

Download PDF HERE: 3 colour modern tartan

 

If you like this then you should check out the other tartan and check files!

2 Colour Check

2 Colour Worn Out Check

 

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CHART: 4 Colour Tartan

 

A four colour tartan design for knitting on hand or machine. 4 Colour check graph grid designIn this guide I’ve included a full repeatable check [ actually it’s more than 2 colours so in fact it’s a non traditional tartan ]  in chart form. It’s a modern twist on the traditional tartan or [check], with a slightly off centred mini stripe in a couple of colours with a highlight stripe.

 

It plays with the idea of a traditional tartan by using a strong highlight colour to make stripes, as well as moving the stripes to be less evenly spaced. There is also some colour suggestions for different colour combination options

 

Feel free to use and abuse it in whatever way you like. Just make sure, that if you like it, that you share it……. come on don’t keep secrets from your knitting friends.

 

Download PDF HERE: 4 colour modern tartan

 

 

 

If you like this then you should check out the other tartan and check files!

 

2 Colour Check

 

2 Colour Worn Out Check

 

 

 

SHARE THE KNITTY LOVE: These guides are all free and here to help you. Share the love. Click the buttons below to tell someone about it or leave me a comment below to tell me what you think of this guide 

 

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CHART: 2 Colour Modern Check

2 colour check pattern for knitters. Hand or machine knitting. Pattern ChartIn this guide I’ve included a full repeatable check in chart form. It’s a modern twist on the traditional check, with a degraded, worn out feel. There is also some ideas on colour combinations too.

Feel free to use and abuse it in whatever way you like. Just make sure, that if you like it, that you share it……. come on don’t keep secrets from your knitting friends.

Download PDF HERE: 2 Colour Modern Check

 

SHARE THE KNITTY LOVE: These guides are all free and here to help you. Share the love. Click the buttons below to tell someone about it or leave me a comment below to

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Checks for Winter 2013

Winter is coming! Yay…… well I know it means it’s getting colder but for knitters, winter is so full of knitting  goodness that I think all knitters have a little happiness when Winter or at leat Autumn or fall if you are American is coming. Go on admit it, you love a bit of cold to display your finest cables

Well if you love a bit of colour, and you know I do, checks will be a really great way to move into the winter weather whilst keeping that flash of colour in your knits. Now there are a few things to think about. Now a check design is designed by laying different colours of stripes to create a grid, typically the same thickness, like a chess board for example. A tartan is a more complicated version of this which was used to represent a family or clan in Scotland. These can have any number of colours, with all sorts of line and square thickness. Now I know they are different, but just for ease, lets call both here ‘check’ and bobble knits!

A way of doing a different check and tartan for knittingIn terms of colour, most people go with that traditional red or green check that is really typical of the Scottish theme, [ although most people assume it’s English- it’s OK we’ve all done it ]. Or if you go with a more typical English check, you’re looking at more browns and blues or black and white. But what about the colour part. Well traditional checks can be extremely beautiful, but if like me you want something a little different, black is a really great base to make colour just leap off the fabric. If you don’t want to be so daring, then grey is a great alternative.

Don’t forget, you don’t have to stick to the traditional colours of a check knit. Why not some fuschia? Lime green? Or what about an effect like maybe doing a 2 colour knit with diamond shapes and then overstitch a highlight colour with a tapestry yarn like the image left. There are loads of possibilities that you can try to make them look a bit different. Checks can be a typical 2 colour check, or you can add as many colours as you want for a more complex tartan.

For machine knitters, you might be limited by the amount of colours your machine can cope with or if you have a colour changer, but this could be where you could add the overstitching? Think about getting creative with the spacing, design, colour placement or even what you can add to the surface to change the design…..

I am actually getting very excited just writing about all of the possibilities…… right I’m off to get designing.

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Vintage Update for AW13

If you are following along with the Design and Trends area on our Resources Page, you’ll know about the sophisticated hoarder [click here to go to the theme page] theme. It’s a confusing trend, unless like me you have spent time around the Spitalfields Market area of East London [ as in London England ]. It’s confusing because people can’t really decide on the look. Is it vintage? Is it modern twists? Is it a specific era? Which colours? What fabrics? What shapes? Well the answer is both all and none. So there is the confusion….. The simplest way to explain it is to put your mind in a vintage era, mainly between the 40’s and 60’s and imagine that you are part of the excitement of the leaps in technology of the time. The fashion movements, the feminist developments, the progress in society. All of that excitement of progression and the future. And now mix the fashion of that time and mix it with the excitement of today’s technology, fashion etc etc….. It’s completely a mind-set and way of viewing life. Rethink the technology and details of fashion available today, combined with vintage pieces of yester year. Make sense? Well if it doesn’t, let’s grab some inspiration from the magazines. Vogue Italia for August 2013 did an amazing job of covering this trend in a few different photoshoots.

Vogue-Italia-August-2013

Vogue Italia August 2013

 

Vogue-Italia-August-2013

Vogue Italia August 2013

 

Vogue-Italia-August-2013

Vogue Italia August 2013

 

Vogue-Italia-August-2013

Vogue Italia August 2013

 

Vogue-Italia-August-2013

Vogue Italia August 2013

 

Vogue-Italia-August-2013

Vogue Italia August 2013

 

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More Flower Power

So the main trend for Summer 2014 are florals…… really that’s it. The power of flower motifs and colours will be all over everything with embroideries, prints, buttons, details, in all types of colours and styles. The key for SS14 will be light and summery but closer to home, AW13 will be more regal with elements of golds and metallics. Deeper colours and more vivid luscious colours are key for next season. Then it’s into spring and summer with a light refreshing air. Lighter colours, fresh palette combinations and that typical light aesthetic that is so typical of summer, mixing aspects of light, vivid colours and fun.

For knitting, Winter is always a great time to get your design going. A really great part of this flower inspiration will be all of the different things you can take from the inspiration. Colour is the most important thing and something really exciting. For AW there are loads of vibrant rich teals and greens with that passionate mix of tropical deep reds, blues and purples. The mix of these will be so vibrant on there own, it will make such an impact. Large single motifs will be key for jumpers, and the larger the better. All over leafy repeats will have an amazing effect. Push your flower inspiration further into embroideries, over stitching and even textures, like mixes of bobbles and cables

So a really great photoshoot was from Harper’s Bazaar UK May 2013. It sums up the feeling of summer far better than I can write and for winter, Vogue Brazil April 2013 just summed it up.

Vogue Brazil April 2013 Floral

Vogue Brazil April 2013

Vogue Brazil April 2013 Floral

Vogue Brazil April 2013

Harpers Bazaar UK May 2013 Florals

Harpers Bazaar UK May 2013

Harpers Bazaar UK May 2013 Florals

Harpers Bazaar UK May 2013

Vogue Brazil April 2013 Floral

Vogue Brazil April 2013

Vogue Brazil April 2013 Floral

Vogue Brazil April 2013

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Glove Inspiration

Nina Ricci knit gloves AW13

Nina Ricci AW13

So I’ve been focusing on gloves for a week or so and my journey to get behind these unusual and somewhat scary accessories for knitting has turned out to be something wonderful. But I shouldn’t ignore the wealth of inspiration that made me eventually take the plunge. For AW in any year, gloves are a necessary accessory. Even in the warmest countries in the world, when the temperature drops, people get cold and the hands definitely feel it.

For some of the year I go to Hong Kong to be with my partner Tim. He got a job there a few years ago and I am lucky enough that my job can be done from any location. I completely appreciate that I am truly blessed to have that kind of freedom. The strange observation from a born and bred London girl is that when we get to winter in the UK it get’s cold. We’re talking around 3-5 degrees on average, but for the last few years we’ve had snow and lots of it, sitting between -4 -2 degrees……. it sounds like I’m moaning, but actually I love the cold and snow, especially at Christmas.

Spending a winter in Hong Kong one Christmas I was so surprised to see that the local Hong Kong Chinese were all snuggled up in ski gloves, jackets, wooly hats and scarves….. and this was at 15 degrees. How funny. There was one day it was 22 degrees out and I was in a dress and cardigan surrounded by everyone else that thought it was absolutely freezing, but then it occurred to me that actually here, which has an average of 30 degrees, that must be fairly chilly and the concept of snow exists only on cards and in films….. But in either fashion proud country the idea of the winter based accessory was clear. It needs to be warm, but it also needs to be fashionable. I love that! And with the last few years seeing a resurgence of accessories again, for any time of the year, I’m loving them more and more. Bring on lace gloves for summer, parasols, and sun hats. Bring on the scarves wooly hats, snugs and snoods for winter. Bring on the leather architectural gloves for driving…….. just bring on the accessories.

So onto AW13 specifically. Nina Ricci completely dominated the wealth of inspiration on accessories for this season, where gloves and cuffs were concerned. Here’s some inspiration for some amazing gloves and cuffs, from Nina and others that inspired me to get knitting!

Nina Ricci knit gloves AW13

Nina Ricci AW13

Nina Ricci knit gloves AW13

Nina Ricci AW13

Nina Ricci knit gloves AW13

Nina Ricci AW13

Nina Ricci knit gloves AW13

Nina Ricci AW13

Vera Wang knit gloves AW13

Vera Wang AW13

Rick Owens knit gloves AW13

Rick Owens AW13

Dsquared² knit gloves AW13

Dsquared² AW13

Marc Jacobs knit gloves AW13

Marc Jacobs AW13

Marc Jacobs knit gloves AW13

Marc Jacobs AW13

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The Glove Confusion

Marc Jacobs knit gloves AW13

Marc Jacobs AW13

So you have to start knitting gloves at some point don’t you? Well to be honest, they always made me a bit nervous. You always see people with a handful of DPNs and such little rounds with a ton of loose ends and contrast yarn all over their samples……. frightening!Well I couldn’t avoid them any more.

Gloves were such a prominent feature on the AW13 catwalks that I just had to bite the DPN bullet and get in there. To be fair, I probably should have started with something a little less ambitious but you know me…. all fashion and no fear, plus the Marc Jacobs gloves with the mesh effect were such a key trend find and something I was dying to try.

So like a knitting fiend I went off and designed and swatched. A few hours later and with some glove making research under my hat, before I jumped in,  I managed to find a great video on YouTube [where else]by VeryPink Knits. Well it seems to me that actually, the ” knitting the gloves ” bit is actually really easy. The only hard bit is knowing all of the tricks to get them looking perfect as you go along. The video was really helpful and not the only one on knitting gloves, so you can find others that you prefer, but I wanted to list a few more tricks I learnt and a few adjustments to the tips that I have found making the gloves.

Now on the video, Staci from VeryPink Knits takes you through one of her knitting patterns for basic gloves, which of course you have to buy if you want to follow the video tutorial perfectly. However as a designer this bit didn’t bother me. As you follow the step by step video, each of the 9 glove knitting steps will focus on a different element of making the gloves which is great, but there were a few elements that I came across that I would and did change for my own pattern through trial and error.

The basic glove is pretty straight forward and it’s only when you get to the fingers that all of these tips really come into work. For example, on the video, Staci suggests linking the first and second finger together by picking up 1 stitch in between. Well I was knitting on 4mm needles and 1 stitch didn’t look right or fit well. Instead. as I started to knit each finger, I cast on 2 stitches each end of the round [ the bit that will make the space between 2 fingers ]. It gave me a little flat part as I knitted in the round and sat much flatter when I was trying them on. As I moved onto finger 2 it was easy enough to pick up these stitches to again make 2 additional stitches in between the front and the back of the finger. It also fit much better with 2 stitches rather than just the one. When I tried 1 stitch, I found I was getting a lot of holes where the yarn was stretching and the fit was way too tight. I wouldn’t do this at the edges of the gloves though as it will puff out the finger and look very odd.

Another point was to slip the stitches off onto contrast waste yarn when they are not in use. This is great if you want to try the gloves on, but actually if you are knitting any kind of texture like I was or with a combination of more than 1 yarn, again like mine, the contrast yarn was getting lost when I placed the stitches back on the needle and I ended up having to frog a lot of rows, just to salvage the textured stitch. I actually use this method in a lot of other projects and designs, but for some reason with gloves, it just didn’t help. My suggestion is to use either a couple of larger holding needles/stitch holders or a few smaller ones. This will give you a very clear picture of where your stitches are at all times.

My other suggestion on this same point is that I bought 2 sets of 4mm dpns so that I could also leave the stitches not being used on them whilst I knitted each finger with the others. You have to add and remove the stitches quite a bit, so this sped up my process of knitting, but you do have to be careful they don’t fall off.

My glove journey continues but I’ll keep you updated on the progress and anymore tips I come across as I go. Here is the link to the VeryPink video if you want to knit along: http://youtu.be/L6ODA0nfIIE

 Twisted Angle knitting gloves for beginners.

 

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Purple is the colour…..

For AW13, all shades of purple were spread throughout the catwalks. It is definitely one of the key colours to be looking at for design developments from bright, red based pure purples through CMYK traditional bright purples and down to blue based plum based dusky purples. All shades are acceptable as long as it’s a deep bright purple!!!

So let’s get some inspiration for this season’s colour.

AW13 Purple colour Alberta Ferretti

AW13 Alberta Ferretti

AW13 Purple colour Douglas Hannant

AW13 Douglas Hannant

AW13 Purple colour Douglas Hannant

AW13 Douglas Hannant

AW13 Purple colour Jean Paul Gaultier

AW13 Jean Paul Gaultier

AW13 Purple colour Narciso Rodriguez

AW13 Narciso Rodriguez

AW13 Purple colour Elie Saab

AW13 Elie Saab

AW13 Purple colour Tom Ford

AW13 Tom Ford

AW13 Purple colour VPL

AW13 VPL

AW13 Purple colour Gucci

AW13 Gucci

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