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Global traveller mood boardI’m surrounded with my new  fibre discoveries for the season, a bit of eco wool alpaca, an uber chunky Alpaca blend roving and a fabulous alpaca chainette, and then something occurs to me? It’s all about the alpaca... I know I’m drawn to it because I have an unhealthy relationship with luxury yarns, having spent a large proportion of my career surrounded by cashmere. But this season it just  seems like everyone is  pushing it.  And I couldn’t be happier, it creates just the right balance of bulk without the extra weight and adds a soft halo to everything that’s produced in it, much like cashmere but a fraction of the cost.

 

It’s especially cost effective as it works up very light and I’ve found that I can usually work my designs in a needle or two sizes bigger to give me even more air and loft. I put in my yarn order today and have already started to mutilate the yarn cards that have tiny shreds of my favoured fibres.  Armed with a new sketchbook and with my mood boards taking shape I’ll be counting the days until my yarns arrive.

Posted in Yarns By Jo Storie

Alternative yarns - part 2

16/09/2011 18:00

Kelly in cashmereThere are so many beautiful yarns out there at the moment, my stash is a little obscene (don’t tell my husband, but thank goodness for Ikea storage!)

 

I’ve just picked up a fabulous yarn called Alpaca chunky from Rowan which is an Alpaca blend and is for chunky 10mm needles – right up my street.  It’s a chainette yarn which I can’t wait to swatch up and staple it in my sketch book. I used to drool over yarn like this at Pitti Filati (yarn trade show in Florence) when I was designing for the American market. They were usually too expensive for retailers though.

 

With my own collection and without the worry of how I’m going to manufacture it, I can work with what I love which is nice. Naturally though some of my finds are too difficult for all knitters to find and I’m now working hard to try to find alternatives. I blogged a little while ago about a design called ‘Kelly’ which started life in chunky Italian cashmere (swoon!) I’ve been struggling to find a worthy match and started the search with Rowans Pure life wool but the end result just wasn’t what I was looking for, however  I think ’alpaca chunky’ will do the trick, so on with the development. I think it would be great to hear from other knitters what their favourite yarns are at the moment and I can take some of the guess work out of my research.

 

Here are some of the swatches I worked up in Alpaca Chunky for the ‘Kelly’ design.

Kelly swatch in chunky alpaca

Kelly swatch in chunky alpaca

Posted in Yarns By Jo Storie

My Stash

14/09/2011 11:08

My yarn stashI have an obsessive, compulsive habit and I feel the need to off load it. Don’t worry it’s all clean and legal, read on......

 

I can’t stop hoarding yarn. I have baskets within boxes within great big cupboards and it’s spilled out of my home studio and into my husband’s office. I’ve bags under beds, in the loft and even in the car! Shocking right? It feels good to confess. I recently started to give it away. It wasn’t easy and I still miss it, although the recipient was thrilled!

 

But enough is enough, my son needs the storage for his obsessive compulsive habit of hoarding transformer toys (mmm sounds familiar?) And so I’ve decided to use it for small scale runs of limited edition accessories and sell them to probably buy more yarn.

Posted in Yarns By Jo Storie

Last day of summer

06/09/2011 17:03

Aspen cardigan31st August 2011 - Found myself in Edinburgh for my wedding anniversary and just had to do a bit of window shopping. First stop was Harvey Nichols to check out what designers are up to. Stores switched from summer to Autumn in early July so all the Fall collections were in.

 

This really is my favourite time of the year when I get to see how all the designers have interpreted the trends of the season.

 

Cove hatThere were lots of oversized beanies and super chunky cable knits, lots of cape like silhouettes and plenty of snoods. It’s always a wee bit of a relief to see my designs are on trend and are in keeping with what’s on sale.

 

The price tags make me shudder though and it’s here that I realize that making it for yourself really does pay off.

 

Knitting your own designer cardigan or hat really is cheaper than buying it and you don’t need to worry about bumping into someone wearing the same design especially if you customize it.

Posted in News By Jo Storie

More photos - part 2

17/08/2011 16:16

I’ve now got my own Flickr account and have started uploading images from the Modern Heritage collection. There are some that do not appear on this website, and I will be uploading images from earlier collections, including my Cashmere collection.

 

The link to my photostream is http://www.flickr.com/photos/jostoriehandknitpatterns/

 

Please visit and share the images with you friends and other knitters!

Posted in News By Jo Storie

More photos - part 1

17/08/2011 16:08

Nick Callaghan logoNick Callaghan, the photographer who does all my shoots, has uploaded a set of images from the July shoot for the Modern Heritage collection.

 

Although the images will be appearing on my site soon, in the gallery and on the pattern pages, I thought you may like to know that you can visit his site to get a sneak preview. And you can also see the other great work he does!

 

Click on his name above to visit his site.

Posted in News By Jo Storie

Alternative yarns

08/08/2011 21:57

Some of the emails I've received from people who have read the Knitting Magazine article have asked whether it's possible to use alternative yarns to those suggested in the patterns and on the product pages on the website.

 

The team has now added the tensions to the product details for each pattern so you can consider whether there is a different yarn that would be suitable. We'd always encourage you to knit a tension square before starting the full pattern, as not all yarns will give a like for like result.

 

As I work on the new patterns, I'll be selecting a wider range of yarns and indicating on the website what would be suitable alternatives to the main yarn listed.

Posted in Knitting questions By Jo Storie

Nick and Sarah on photo shoot

 

Following on from my earlier post, here is an image from behind the scenes at the photo shoot at the end of July.

 

The photo shows Nick Callaghan (www.nickcallaghan.com) – the photographer who has done all my photography over the years - setting up a photo of Sarah, who always does a great job modelling the garments!

Posted in News By Jo Storie

Knitting Magazine Feedback

08/08/2011 20:13

Cover of August Knitting MagazineI’ve had some great feedback from people who’ve read the article in Knitting Magazine (August edition), which included the pattern for Cove cardigan.

 

 I’m very grateful for all the emails I’ve received and the comments people have made saying how much they enjoyed the article and like the designs.

 

 A number of people have asked me when the designs featured in Knitting Magazine will be available – Kimono cardigan is in the final stage of the QA process and will be available very soon; Kelly cardigan should be available later this month.

Posted in News By Jo Storie

I’m starting to pull together my mood boards for the next season and getting excited about all the new designs ahead of me. My knitting needles are poised and at the ready! I’m thinking of continuing with the modern heritage collection as it seems so appropriate to the trend forecasts I’ve seen to date. There seems to be a real revival for all things handmade and artisan in feel which is perfect for hand knitting.

 

Winter collections are hitting the stores now and I’m getting excited that my designs seem so relevant for the season ahead.

 

My son bought me a knitting kit for knitting a miniature Ninja. Very cute!

Posted in News By Jo Storie

Photo shoot for new patterns

01/08/2011 21:09

Oscar wearing dog coat

Had a great photo shoot with Nick Callaghan last week for my new collection ‘Modern Heritage II’. It went without a hitch, we managed to get it all into one day and I am thrilled with the results. This means we can get the next batch of patterns out next week.  Look out for my niece modelling the Morgan snood and my dog Oscar in his coat. Sarah did another great job modelling the new collection.

 

The graphics team are going to try to put up a gallery of the images to get everyone’s creative juices flowing. Check out the Gallery to see the images as they're posted.

Posted in News By Jo Storie

Royal Highland Show

13/07/2011 11:48

Royal highland show logoWe were lucky enough to have some of our designs shown on the catwalk at the Royal Highland Show in Edinburgh on 23-26th June 2011. The designs  ‘Aspen’, ‘Alaska’,’ Cove’, ‘Madison’, ‘Bramble’ and ‘Savannah’ were all featured.  

 

Bramble, Alaska and Aspen are now available to purchase as a hand knit pattern in downloadable form from the online shop.

 

You can see the new designs and the ones currently available in the Gallery. The others will feature as part of the Modern Heritage II collection available in the Autumn.

Posted in News By Jo Storie