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Visit to Sirdar

On June 1st we got up ridiculously early to drive up to Wakefield for my visit to Sirdar Yarns (for being one of the ‘Knitter of the Year’ winners). We had a good journey and arrived in plenty of time. Our day started with coffee (very much needed after our 5am start!) in a room full of yarn πŸ™‚

We were given a tour of the warehouse – this area is where the deliveries are received – it’s massive!

When we were taken into the next area I wasn’t the only one who immediately said, “Oooh it’s like that scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark”. There’s a lot of yarn in here. I don’t feel so bad about my stash now πŸ˜‰

It was really interesting to learn about the design process and I enjoyed chatting to a couple of the pattern writers. They were both really enthusiastic and it was obvious that they loved their work. They work in a large, open-plan office, surrounded by yarn. Unlike most independent knit & crochet pattern designers who do the design and pattern writing themselves, at Sirdar they have separate designers and pattern writers. Also pattern checkers who check the numbers and text (what most indie designers would know as ‘technical editors’ – like me!) and graphic designers who do the layouts.

Hmmm – there might actually be a designer lurking under here somewhere!

After lunch we were taken to the show room. Full of finished samples – everything was beautifully displayed on mannequins. As the room was full of designs from the new collections we were asked not to share images until after they have been launched, so – no photos yet.

Kate (editor of Knit Now magazine) gave us a presentation explaining everything that goes into producing the magazine. It was heartening to listen to her explaining the process they go through for selecting designs for the magazine. If you have ever submitted something to a publication and been rejected – don’t be put off! There are lots of reasons why your design might be rejected but it doesn’t mean they didn’t like it.

After the presentation, Kate gave everyone their certificates and we also received a lovely bag of Sirdar goodies πŸ™‚

Oh, and there was cake – look!

It was a fabulous day out and lovely to meet and chat to the other winners too πŸ™‚

After managing to squeeze my goody bag into the van (which was packed full, ready for our trip to Scotland), we made our way to the Helwith Bridge Inn for some dinner and we spent a very peaceful night in their car park πŸ™‚ More about our epic 4 week Scottish trip coming soon…

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Knitter of the Year…

Excited to be able to share the news that I’m one of the winners of the ‘New Designer’ category of Knit Now Magazine’s ‘Knitter of the Year’ competition! Details of all the winners are in this month’s issue (issue 70) – butΒ  haven’t managed to get a copy yet though πŸ™

It was a great surprise to receive an email telling me that I am one of the winners and I’m looking forward to seeing my pattern in the magazine πŸ™‚

For now, here’s a sneaky glimpse of my design – you’ll have to wait until the pattern is published to see the complete item!

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Quintessential: Farmers’ Market by Jen Day

I seem to mostly be tech editing shawls! This is another recent one I have worked on, designed by Jen of Pharmhouse Wool Preserves.

Jen designed this shawl to make use of The Plucky Knitter’s “Fall Quintessential Plucky Palette“.Β  A straightforward knit with interest coming from the use of the beautiful colours (there are 12 colours in the Fall kit!).Β It’s a really nice size (approx. wingspan 95.5 inches / 243 cm; depth 59 inches / 150 cm) but should be a fairly quick knit as the yarn is a DK weight so you will soon have a beautifully warm shawl to keep you cozy!

You can find Jen’s pattern for sale on Ravelry here.

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Raspberry Cheesecake shawl by Jess LaBlache

Jess has recently released her ‘Raspberry Cheesecake Shawl’ which I tech edited for her. This triangular top-down shawl can be knit in any weight of yarn you like! The sample shown here was knit in a fingering weight yarn and used a little under 400m.

The shawl is made up of 5 different sections with some nice textured patterning. You can buy Jess’s pattern on Ravelry here.

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Sisterlove Shawl by Avril Liljekvist

Avril has recently released this lovely shawl pattern which I had the pleasure of tech editing for her.Β  This half-circular shawl is designed to be knit using a lace weight yarn (it uses between 600 – 800 metres). Instructions for the lace section are provided in both written and charted format. You can also add beads if desired.

You can purchase Avril’s pattern here.

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Eureka Shawl by Katalin Beth…

I recently tech edited Katalin’s ‘Eureka Shawl’ pattern. Knitted top-down and almost entirely in garter stitch, the lovely shale border worked in different colours adds interest and texture. The shawl is finished with a knitted-on edge – I love this technique – don’t be afraid to try it if you haven’t come across it before! It’s so much more fun than simply casting off lots of stitches πŸ˜‰

The shawl can be knit in DK or fingering weight yarn. You can purchase Katalin’s pattern here.