Craft-envy

Katy Evans

Katy Evans

30 October 2012

 

I have to admit it, I have craft-envy. Working in an office that combines Knitting, Making and Making Jewellery means there is an awful lot of creative minds buzzing away in a small amount of space. Everybody seems to have projects on the go and usually it's fun listening to their plans and progress but now I'm jealous that I don't (and with the nights drawing in and facing the prospect of it being dark until March I need something to fill my evenings). Knitting Assistant Ed Katie is making jewellery for her spring wedding AND knitting an assortment of Christmas gifts. Making's Deputy Sophie has been working hard at her Halloween party costume. Making Assistant Ed Tanya is getting to know her new sewing machine as she embarks on a steep 'learn to sew' curve and makes her first Christmas stocking and Knitting Editor Emma is getting back in touch with her inner interior decorator and painting her home in time for Christmas.

My knitting, or any kind of crafting, has been put on hold for a while as I suffer from RSI (repetative strain injury) and, as sitting at a computer and using a keyboard is my job, I try not to do anything that may antagonise it in my free time. But, having had a break of several months now, I'm itching to get stuck in to something creative and satisfying. So I have decided I'm going to learn to knit socks. 

Sox -pin -01_2

I really want (and need!) some chunky, slouchy, soft and snuggly socks for slouching about my house this winter - ideally like these lovely ones from Hush! I have a fantastic knitter who has rustled up some gorgeous socks as Christmas presents for my various family members over the years and this year (having run out of family members) I thought I'd treat myself and get her to make me some. But then I realised this would actually make a great project to get stuck into myself. I'm hoping, for my first pair, I can find a really easy pattern for a chunky weight pair of socks on large strait needles (any suggestions welcome! No, seriously, email me on katye@thegmcgroup.com!) and perhaps once I've mastered those I can progress to DPNs. So, watch this space and I'll keep you posted on my progress!  


Now I'm off to find some super snuggly, soft, chunky yarn. It's a perk of working at Knitting you know...

 

If I could turn back time

Katy Evans

Katy Evans

26 October 2012

Don't forget the clocks go back this weekend! Well, you'd be hard pressed to with this amazing Gomitolo knitted clock spotted on Tesco's website. If it's size didn't make you look again  (it's nearly a metre wide!) the price would - it would set you back £345!

Clock


Enjoy your exta hour in bed!

Clickety Click on the Clickety Clack

Katie Holloway

Katie Holloway

19 October 2012

Just in case it has escaped your attention (I'm sure it hasn't), this week is Wool Week! Love Wool UK organised a fantastic event called the Clickety Click on the Clickety Clack, which I have just got back from! 

'What on earth is that?' I hear you cry! Well, dear Internet users, I shall tell you! On Wednesday morning, 30 knitters (including some very prolific names) gathered in London to board a train and embark on the knittiest challenge the world has ever seen. We had the duration of the train journey from London to Edinburgh to knit a giant Union Jack that had been designed by Rowan's Marie Wallin. We then had the return journey the next day to sew it all up in order to unveil it at King's Cross Station. Did we succeed? You'll just have to wait and see (or scroll to the bottom of this blog post).

Knitters on the journey included Bridgette Kelly from the British Wool Marketing Board, designers Marie Wallin, Martin Storey, Lisa Richardson, Ruth Morris, Belinda Harris-Read and Melanie Porter as well as blogger Deadley Knitshade, some very promising knitwear students and more. Oh, and don't forget one very special wooly guest!

We knitted like crazy and conversation flowed, with some very inspiring results. It's amazing what ideas can be sparked and what solutions can be reached when you're in a train carriage with 29 other knitters! 

The whole idea behind this somewhat bizarre knitting feat was the promotion of British wool. Wool is a fantastic medium, it is sustainable, environmentally friendly, warm, stylish, natural, renewable, biodegradable... need I go on? It wasn't long ago that the cost of shearing sheep was more than the farmers would make when selling the fleece, but all that has changed, as wool is becoming more and more popular. Let's keep this going, and keep it British!

To find out more, visit www.campaignforwool.org 

And to read the full article on Wool Week and the Clickety Click on the Clickety Clack, check out our December  issue of Knitting magazine, on sale 22 November.

 

And here is the result! 

Clickety

Sneak peek of Nov issue on sale 25 October!

Katy Evans

Katy Evans

18 October 2012

Cover -Nov

Our gorgeous November issue has just arrived in the office and for once the weather outside and the look of the magazine is actually spot on. It's a blustery autumn day and the dusk photo shoot with its warm burning fire, lamps, candles and sparklers just makes us want to wrap up warm in our favourite knitwear and go outside and watch the fireworks (we're based in Lewes and as you might know, Bonfire Night and fireworks is kind of a big deal round here!).

We've got some lovely garments in this issue. We just love Linda Parkhouse's Striped tunic, with its fiery colours and pretty lace stitch, this is cosy chic at its best.

Striped -Jumper -Main _3838

The burnt orange and gold is a match made in heaven in Sian Brown's Rose motif stripe jumper. Beautiful autumnal colours!

Metallic -motif -jumper -Main -01_3878

Has Martin Storey ever made anything that isn't beautful? This moss stitch Leaf stitch bolero is knitted in Kidsilk Haze and Rowan Fine Lace and is so gorgeous to touch everyone will be snuggling up to you.

Moss -St -Leaf -Main -01_3885

Also in this issue:

  • EXCLUSIVE PATTERNS - Ribbon jacket, Retro cable jumper, Sequin cardigan, Bardot jumper, Lattice scarf, Triple twist lace stockings
  • EXCLUSIVE children's knit - the lovely scarlet Elva jacket by MillaMia
  • Weekend Knits - Fiery red table runner, tea cosy, place mats and cushion
  • Spotlight On - Be a Bow Belle
  • A True Original - Meet the amazing Professor Sandy Black - academic knitter extraordinaire
  • Fantasy Knitting - The ultimate fantasy knitting weekend, written by you!

And, of course, the best news, reviews, techniques, lates products and prizes you expect from your favourite Knitting magazine. 

 

 

Highlights from the Knitting & Stitching Show

Katy Evans

Katy Evans

15 October 2012

The Knitting and Stitching Show is over for another year. It was everything we we expected it to be: exhausting, illuminating and great fun.

Our stand was brilliant, and huge - you really couldn't miss it, and with the tea cozies from our lates design comp prominantly on display everyone had a good laugh voting for their favourites. 

Stand -resized

The lovely (and fiesty!) Nicky Epstein was signing copies of her latest book Knitting in Circles on our stand as well as doing demonstrations and holding Make & Takes.

Nicky -resized

Unfortunately Debbie Bliss, who had been scheduled to do something similar, was ill and couldn't make it so apologies to all those hoping to meet her!

The Knitted Textile Awards was AMAZING. I know we say it every year but I really do think the students just get better and better each year. The winners will be announced at the Knitting and Stitching Show in Harrogate at the end of November. We'll keep yoou posted.

Wedding -resized Mens -jumper -resized

Here's me chatting to our fantastic pattern checker Rachel (seriously, she is our secret weapon!) who was working with fab Scottish designer Jo Storie, on her stand.

Katy -Rachel -resized

And here is the lovely Jo Storie, with the amazing Cove cardigan and cowl she designed exclusively for us back in issue 92, August 2011 last year. Luckily for us, she has agreed to do another exclusive design for us in an upcoming issue, so stay tuned!

Jo -resized

So, thank you to everybody who came by to tell us how much you love our magazine (we really, really enjoy this), thanks to the brilliant GMC books marketing gang who manned the stand and fielded a million questions about crafts, thank you to the fabulous authors who signed books and stayed for hours chatting to readers. Let's do it all again next year!

 

Meet the team

Katy Evans

Katy Evans

8 October 2012

Now that we've launched the brand new Crafts Institute we thought you might want to get to know the team behind your favourite Knitting magazine and see who's posting on here!

 

Meet Editor Emma Kennedy

Emma -K_5582

Who are you and what is your role?

I am Emma Kennedy and the Editor of Knitting. I have a background in textiles and interiors, and have been Editor for five years. I decide on the monthly themes, commissioning the designs, which editorial features to include and organising the photo shoots from locations to which model we use - all to be delivered each month to a very strict deadline (with a little help from the team!).

Tell us something about your job that readers might be surprised at.

Having worked as muralist in a previous life, whenever we have a photoshoot that requires a painted backdrop, I step away from my desk, dig out my old brushes and whip up a backdrop. Be it a Parisienne street scene or a Winter Wonderland, I love painting and relish the opportunity to have a couple of days of 'paint therapy' in the studio with some good music and no emails, all in the name of Knitting.

The best thing about working at Knitting is...

Playing at being a fashion designer, without the hard work of having to execute the idea. A new yarn will arrive in the office and often we will have an idea of what style of garment we would like to see it knitted into. It is then a matter of choosing the right designer to swatch and sketch some ideas… and point out any reservations they may have with our ideas. Some designers are happy to work in this collaborative way, and others are happier to include the odd suggested tweak and be left alone to do their job!

The worst thing about working at Knitting is...

Having to stick to budgets - as I am sure my publisher will confirm! But then the creative fun really starts when I have to achieve exactly what I want without compromise… Or indeed limitless funds!

When I'm not working I...

Am solving teenage dilemmas (on account of having three teenage boys), going to the gym (usually to escape the former) and rewarding myself with a meal and a good bottle of wine with friends and family… before getting back to my knitting!

 

Meet Deputy Editor Katy Evans

Katy

Who are you and what is your role?

My name is Katy Evans and I'm the Deputy Editor on Knitting. I started as Assistant Editor and worked up to Deputy a couple of years ago. I help Emma with the planning of issue themes, commissioning both garments and articles and love going on the photo shoots to see our themes and commissions come alive. I organise the torrent of yarns and books and goodies that pour into the Knitting office and I've been helping organise the launch of the Crafts Institute website.

Tell us something about your job that readers might be surprised at.

I always seem to end up being the stand in for the model, if she is still having her hair and make up done, when the photographer is setting up shots and lighting on the photo shoots. There are quite a few random photos of me standing in yurts, or in hotel rooms, or fifties diners, or leaning against trees, trying to look natural. I fail at this quite a lot. My photo here, where I'm standing in the 'Winter wonderland' scene from our Christmas shoot, is a prime example.

The best thing about working at Knitting is...

Getting lovely yarns in the post, beautiful hardback knitting design books that you know will only increase in value, the moment you receive a brand new copy in the office and can see the tangible results of months of hard work, trying on the garments as they come in and plotting which ones I want to keep!

The worst thing about working at Knitting is...

Photo shoots in the torrential rain or freezing wind (the things we do for you!), biting nails over tight deadlines, really bad knitting pun jokes (the good ones are good, the bad ones are baaaaad).

When I'm not working I...

Am usually found buried in a good book. I also like experimental cooking and occasionally jetting off to exciting and far off lands.

 

Meet Editorial Assistant Katie Wood

Katie

Who are you and what is your role?

I'm Katie Wood, Editorial Assistant for Knitting. I put together some of the 'house' pages in the magazine, like Style File, Spotlight On, Chatter Box and Casting On. I also do a lot of the admin-type things that keep the magazine ticking along and stop our office being piled from floor to ceiling with garments from the last fifty issues!

Tell us something about your job that readers might be surprised at.

I am actually Team Knitting's fastest knitter, so when we need a swatch or a small sample knitted up pronto, I am called upon to whip up something in a jiffy with the office needles. Also, you know all of the yarn review swatches that Jeanette knits up for us in each issue? I'm currently in possession of them ALL and I'm sewing them into a blanket!

The best thing about working at Knitting is…

I love being able to write for a living; I always wanted to be a writer, and now I am! And I get to call on my crafting skills too-bliss! I am constantly surrounded by gorgeous patterns and yarns, which provide such fantastic crafting inspiration!

The worst thing about working at Knitting is…

It is great to be so inspired by all the lovely yarns and patterns, but I hardly have time to knit them! My 'to knit' list grows by several items daily, but with working full time, and a commute every day, there never seems to be time to knit all the things I'm dreaming of!

When I'm not working I…

Am wedding planning! I'm getting married in March, so most of my spare time is taken up with trying to bring everything together for that. I'm having a very crafty, DIY wedding, so watch this space!

 

Meet Magazine Designer Claire Stevens

Claire

Who are you and what is your role

My name is Claire Stevens and I am the Designer on Knitting. I am the creative genius behind this title, ensuring your Knitting magazine looks fabulous every month. My colleagues prepare each article for me in getting the relevant text and images and then I put it all together to make a beautiful looking issue of Knitting.

Tell us something about your job that readers might be surprised at.

You may also like to know that I am the in house model here at Knitting. Before the patterns reach you they have to be checked by our pattern checker Rachel. She requires photos of these garments so she is able to check the garment against the written pattern, so this is where I come in, Katy preps my hair and lights, camera, action, she shoots. Hey presto, one gorgeous photo of resident model, modelling the garment ready for pattern checking.

The best thing about working at Knitting is...

I love seeing the garments coming in and seeing what I could secretly have my eye on to pop in my bag. I love seeing the results of the photo shoots too, and I just love designing the magazine. There are so many elements to it and I still keep learning new things everyday. But our office environment is so much fun too. We share an office with Making magazine and between us we reckon we could give David Brent and The Office a run for its money any day.

The worst thing about working at Knitting is...

Cutting out fluffy yarn... Pages like Spotlight On, In stitches etc can ask for many yarns and garments to be cut out, this is ok until you find you have the most fluffy yarn possible. This is where my patience runs out and I go crawling to the Production team asking them really nicely to do it for me.

When I'm not working I...

Am usually found in the gym, doing spin classes, boxercise or the new dance craze that is Bokwa. If I'm not there I'm always with my fiancé and his two boys on a football pitch somewhere. I ran the London Marathon this year in 3 hours, 53 minutes and 37 seconds raising £1300 for Cancer Research. Yep, we love our sport!