Here is the Rosehip Scarf, worked in Gems Merino Fingering Weight. It is knitted on a long circular needle from side to side. The scarf begins with a garter-based scalloped edging which morphs into a lace pattern. It is finished with stockinette and reverse stockinette welts. The differently patterned sections are separated with bands of eyelets. The design is inspired by the foliage and fruit of the wild rose bushes which grow along the banks of the St Lawrence river near my home.
This yarn is a delight to knit with, it has beautiful stitch definition and nice memory. The colour range is super, and the shade in which the sample is made, Candy Apple Red, is surely one of the best reds, ever.
The Hawkweed Scarf, shown here in Golden Rod, is also worked in the Fingering Weight Merino. It’s a deceptively simple pattern, easy to work and looks amazing. The central pattern is a sort of criss-crossing mesh. The scarf is worked on a biggish needle to give it lots of drape and keep the central pattern light and airy. Each of the side panels biases in a different direction, making this a very fluid design.
The Hazel Cardigan is knit in Gems Merino Sport Weight, a great yarn in a versatile weight. The knitting is fairly quick on a 3.75 mm needle, yet the garment is lightweight and comfortable to wear indoors. Inspired by the twists of corkscrew hazel, the knotted cables also appear in a panel of three on the Back of the garment, and are also bordered by twists. The cardigan has waist shaping and raglan-style sleeves. The button bands, collar and edging are worked in 2×2 ribbing. The colour shown here is Sandalwood, a warm light brown with hint of pinkness.
Also in the Sport Weight, I designed the Ironwood Shawl, a half-hexagon shape, shown here in Caribou, a lovely neutral brown.
It is the perfect size for wearing either wrapped about your shoulders or closer to your neck as a scarf. The stitch patterns are inspired by the roughly textured surface of the Ironwood tree’s bark and the linear patterns of branch shapes.
The shawl is worked from the edging up to the apex, so the number of stitches get smaller and smaller and your work just seems to fly by the further you get. Since the columns of eyelets flow in a linear manner, the chart pattern is easily learned. I think that most knitters wouldn’t have to look at the chart past the first few rows of the main pattern.
In Worsted weight, The Opaline Cardigan is a very fast knit. The leaf motif is worked on either side of the center front opening, and in a double panel at the center of the cuffs. The edging is composed of a broken rib with a little rolled stockinette trim. The rolled stockinette trim on the collar is designed to hide the buttonholes, so that when the cardigan is worn unbuttoned, the nice line of the front edge is unbroken. The neckline decreases begin at the point where the leaf-pattern decreases end, so the line flows from the pattern to the shoulder. There are a few short rows worked into the collar to give it a little shape around the back neck.
The increasing and decreasing of the leaf motif gives a little wave and dip shape to the center of the cuff. This cardigan is shown in Champagne.
The Nightjar Pullover is also worked in Gems Worsted, shown here in Steel Grey. It features a central panel composed of a mirrored eyelet pattern, set off from the background with springy rope cables. The eyelet pattern is a medley of directional decreases and garter rows. The panel is worked on the back as well.
The hem and cuffs are edged in garter stitch with a horizontal band of eyelets. The flared cuffs have a line of decorative buttons sewn along the outer edge, and matching buttons at either side of the wide neckline. The shaped waist and set-in sleeves make this a great wardrobe piece, flattering and versatile.
This was an awesome project to work on. As a designer, a collection allows more creative space to explore the themes of the projects. Working with a specific group of yarns entices you to play upon their very best qualities and to design specifically for the emphasis of those qualities.
I also styled the garments and directed the photo shoot, which is a great privilege for a designer. It is a great accomplishment to work on something from beginning to end, and to see the finished product coming out as lovely as you imagined.
The Gems family of Merino yarns are an absolute pleasure to work with. They have a firm twist and smooth surface for superb stitch definition. The yarns are worsted spun from South African Merino. These characteristics make the yarn wear very well which is important for a fine, soft fleece such as Merino. So, you get the best of both worlds, superior wearing and delicate softness. Did I mention it’s Superwash? Yay! With these yarns you can create heirloom quality garments that you won’t have to slave over to maintain.
You can find the Ravelry entries for the patterns here.
As you may be able to guess from my descriptions, I draw a lot of my ideas from the shapes and textures of plants, trees, and flowers. I enjoy spending a lot of time outdoors absorbing the colours and textures that nature has to offer, and incorporating them into my imaginings. Textiles and materials give me similar tactile impressions as flowers and seeds, and it is intuitive to me to integrate these two worlds.