Echoes of Heather and Stone
Did you know that I’m working on a new book? (Ok, you probably do as I’ve been dropping hints for quite a while!).
We’re reaching the end stages of the editing so I’m going to reveal a few details to you!
By the end of July the book should be on it’s way to the printers and I’ll put it up for presale then. I’ll have a special presale discount available until the general release that I’ll be sending out when it goes live (make sure you’re on the mailing list to get the code). When you buy the print version of the book on presale you’ll immediately get the complementary digital download so you can start knitting immediately!
We’ve even done a press release that will be going out later this month, I think that it explains the book really well, giving a feel for the inspiration as well as a little peek at all of the designers that are involved in the project!
Echoes of Heather and Stone is a timeless collection of 8 garments and accessory handknits inspired by Ireland’s ancient past. Ireland is a small nation, on a small island, but with a rich history and geography that has inspired artists and crafters for generations. The book uses Stolen Stitches ‘Nua’ yarn that has a subtle palate that allows each design to shine. The designs use different levels of knitwear techniques allowing the knitter to add to their existing toolkit as they work through each exquisite pattern. As an introduction to the collection, each designer describes their thought process and design inspiration in their own words along with supporting essays on Ireland’s heritage and locations by Nadia Seaver and photography by Joseph Feller .
Carol explains “ For this book, I invited seven talented designers to draw inspiration from this deep well of living heritage. I didn’t want to produce just another book of Aran sweaters. I wanted designs inspired by Ireland on a deeper level, combined with each designer’s personality and aesthetic to become something beautifully unique. ”
You will be instantly transported to Ireland with designs such as Lucy Hague’s Newgrange Shawl with its interconnected Neolithic spirals, Jennifer Wood’s Ahenny sweater that has complex cable details inspired by high crosses, Carol Feller’s Epona Cowl with rhythmic spiral colourwork, Isabell Kraemer’s Aine sweater using torc-like yoke colourwork, Justyna Lorkowska’s Shamrock sweater with gentle cable patterns that mimic the fields, Amanda Schwabe’s Talamed cardigan that weaves an interconnected sea of coloured cables almost like the book of Kells, Karie Westermann’s Knowth shawl inspired by prehistoric stone carvings and finally Woolly Wormhead’s Trittico hat that uses 3 connected motifs inspired by religious artefacts.
Now as you’ve already seen the front cover I can reveal that this is the Newgrange shawl by Lucy Hague. I’m currently knitting a test version of the pattern and I’m completely obsessed. It is a fairly complex pattern but each section is worked in a small manageable chunk which makes it easier to tackle.
It begins by working each of the 9 spirals separately. They start with a provisional cast-on and work all the way around using a combination of cables and short rows. When you are finished you undo the provisional cast on and graft it with the final stitches. As you are working several spirals they really speed up after a couple when you start to memorise the pattern.
Once the spirals are complete you begin joining them together in panels. I’ve completed the first 2 panels and I’m half way through the third one.
To create each panel you pick up stitches all the way around the joined spirals and then work short row cable ‘wedges’ to fill in the gaps between the spirals.
The final step (that I’ve yet to complete) will join each of these wedges with a stockinette stitch panel and final border. This is truly one of the most beautiful and unique shawls I think I’ve ever seen.
Over the next few weeks I’ll be releasing details on each of the patterns with videos, interviews and guest blog posts. Keep an eye out for the pre-sale, it’s coming very soon…are you as excited as I am?