The name came from the photos of the wristwarmers by the Camellia bushes in Durham Botanical Gardens. They had a working title of Victorian wristwarmers as I was thinking of the fine mittens the women wore at that time.
This pattern has been a long time coming, due to the slow down and concentration problems I experienced having M.E., the pattern got shelved many times. It started back in 2008, I had knitted the Garbo jacket from Sculptured Knits by Jean Moss, and I liked the textural quality of the faggoted rib in the pattern, and picot edges and flared lace inserts in the hems of some of the other patterns. I wanted to incorporate these ideas into some wristwarmers I wanted to make for presents for Christmas, but was struggling to make it work. I was discussing my problems with Kate Davies at our local knitting group, and she suggested that I decreased into the wrist and back out again to incorporate the lace inserts, which is what I did.
The first pair I made were in black angora for my friend Sacha:
in a light DK/Sport weight. I then fell in love with a dusty mauve yarn in my local yarn shop – Debbie Bliss Donegal Luxury Tweed Aran, and had to adapt the pattern for the heavier weight yarn. I made these for Alice:
Then I wanted a pair for me and went back to a lighter weight yarn – Rowan Felted Tweed:
I wore these until they wore out and had loads of holes. I then saw Alice in her chunkier version of the gloves again and decided they were better.
So I made myself these green ones in the Donegal Tweed 2 years ago and tidied up the pattern a bit:
I was still struggling to make sense of the pattern, and then recently I bought a knitting design program – Stitchmastery, created by Cathy Scott in my knitting group, and that helped to finally get me to the end of the pattern. A real exercise in patience and perseverance.
The other pattern is Dreaming Daisy shawl, which conversely is the quickest pattern I have designed and published.
I started it because I took Amy Singer’s Plug and Play shawl tutorial on Craftsy. Amy is the founder and editor of the online knitting magazine Knitty.com, and I attended a workshop with her in Glasgow, so I knew she explained things in a clear and practical manner. I also knew about the Plug and Play concept because of the Pembrokeshire retreats she ran with Brenda Dayne from Cast-on.com.
I love knitting lace shawls, but I felt a bit out of my depth designing one, so this tutorial was great for simplifying the design process with lace and enabled me to come up with this design.
The shawl is a combination of a bold daisy motif which bounces along the waves of the Feather and Fan stitched based lace pattern. The slow self-striping/ombre/gradient yarn stripes alternating with the solid colour stripes adds to the strobing movement across the waves. I found the simple lace patterns, with plenty of plain knit and purl rows made this a fairly simple shawl to knit, with enough detail to keep you interested.
I’m looking forward to see what colour combination knitters come up with for this shawl. It could be completely knitted in one colour, or you could use a semi-solid dyed yarn instead of solid for the main yarn, or you could do every stripe a different colour! I hope to be surprised!
You will be able to buy the nice shiny new printed versions of these patterns from me at the Edinburgh Yarn Festival, this Saturday and Sunday 14th-15th March, and my Tulips for Margaret pattern for £4.00 each. I have also got some greeting cards of the Felty Folk available. I am on the Craft Tree stall which is run by members of the Tea Tree Tea group in Edinburgh, we have been kindly given this opportunity in return for volunteer work throughout the Festival by Mica and Jo, who are also members of our group. Thanks Mica and Jo. Please come and find us, there are also lovely handmade items made by other members of the group. I’m really looking forward to squidging yarn and meeting everyone at the Festival.
Thanks to Sacha Man for modelling my shawl, and Kelly Golf and S. Miller for the use of their photos.