30 juli 2015


April 16:

Someone in my friends list on Ravelry send me a message that there is a mention of a lace shawl in the Jamieson & Smith group. They are trying to find out which shawl it is and if it is possible to recreate it.

April 16:
I read the thread and am instantly interested. I wrote:

I’ve seen a similar lace shawl in the movie A Royal Affair. Couldn’t make it out either. After watching the credits I tried to find pictures of the costume designers collection, but it wasn’t there.
This was my first step into a very large and interesting project. I didn't know if any of my experience would be needed, but I stuck my nose in anyway.

After some searching we could make out the centre pattern and did some 'cut & paste' to get something going.
In the meantime I tried to find out more about the show. "Outlander". Low and behold, it was on the tv in Belgium, Friday evening.

April 19:
Watching the show. I see a LOT of tweed. It's gorgeous. Sorry to say the story is quite 'slow'. I haven't read the book(s), but I do love the surroundings and scenes shot in Scotland.
First swatch is made:

April 21:
Together with Laura and DominiqueBe we look at swatches and compare them with the screen shot.

Pretty close, right?  Second swatch made: 

April 29: 
Now what? Am I diving in head first and make an entire (new) shawl? Or do I help with developing?
Ordered some yarn, Mohair- merino and thought that if I started with the centre pattern, the rest would come later..

May 3: 
Searching the Shetland Museum and Archives website, I find a shawl that has a similar centre pattern:

Because we couldn't find a good screenshot of the entire shawl, when the camera zooms out, the lace gets 'lost'... , this was all we had to go on.

Laura tried to get a better view of the shawl. The episode didn't air in Belgium, due to the summer break.
A friend, Belinda, helped out too with vidcaps. They tried to freeze the frame and save that image. But it was only enough to see a pointy edge.

May 6: 
Made another swatch. It didn't go well in the end, but it looked better already.
I thought it was a bit tight. The birdseyes in the top were NOT like in the screenshot.

May 10: 
The yarn came in and I started right away. Calculations were close enough to get things going.

You can see by the size of my hand, this wasn't "Delicate" lace at all. I put it aside and took some grey yarn with a finer gauge and started over.
I was a bit hesitant. Should I get involved in such a big project?

May 22: 

I got as far as with the mohair.. This was much finer, but I wasn't happy with the colour... I thought that a Shetland shawl should be made in Shetland yarn.

June 10: 
Belinda has a better screen shot. Now I can see the size of the shawl. She's wearing it double and it still is sheer.

KathyMary suggests (as others have in other threads) to make contact with the costume department.
I'm hesitant, someone else has tried it. And didn't hear back.
June 19:
Another vidcap by Belinda reveals after close inspection there is a faint zigzag in the border. I stop knitting on the grey shawl...

Also June 19:
Tweeted Terry Dresbach (the costume designer for the Outlander Series) and asked about the shawl.
The first tweet got lost but the second: 
(2/2) Can you tell us anything of a source/knitter/pattern? It's so rare to see #finelace in a costume series. Thank you 
Terry replied!
it's an antique piece I found.
Then me:
may I be as bold and ask you if you still have it?  we, a knitting group on Ravelry, are trying to recreate it. 
we do. Seriously? That's mad. I can give you a pic of the lace but not right away [...]
that would be brilliant! thank you. No rush #relief.

Oh my! It is happening!

June 24:

here you go!

Oh no!!! This is SOOOO unexpected. It's GORGEOUS! Look at those stars... The arches..
This is a whole other ball game!
I thanked Terry and told her this was all we needed.
All doubts melted away. This was an awesome chance to get some Serious Lace done. I'm in!

So... Swatching began AGAIN. Making whole new charts. Calculations.. This is big.
I even found a picture of some ladies posing with a similar shawl. The border is much wider, but the stars are the same. And you have a good indication of size too.

Conclusion 1: the shawl is an antique. That means it is handspun. That means that I will have to use very fine yarn. Gossamer at least to make the size similar. I can spin, but not as fine as the Shetland ladies back in the days.
Conclusion 2: Not everyone will make a shawl this size! I will have to make alterations in the pattern so one can choose to knit a rectangle shawl with the same patterns / parts. This way, it's available for more people.

June 25:
Ella Gordon from the Jamieson & Smith Woolbrokers informed us about the ladies in the picture being the "Sutherlands". And came up with a photo from later in life:

Later that day, Dominique send me some pictures from the Museum of a shawl with stars she saw on display. The coin dropped and I viewed back my archive and yes: I've seen the same shawl.
There are similar components, but spacing is different. But it never hurts to have a good close up.

July 6:
Charting is an ongoing process. Even when swatching I made minor adjustments.
But... it looked pretty close to the original.

 First: the edge. A little tweek here and there.

The star. It needed just a bit more room. And the upside down flower needed some more work.

I had decided earlier that (especially) an antique shawl from Shetland, should be recreated with original Shetland yarn. The only option was: 1/16NM Gossamer (1ply) Natural Jamieson & Smith yarn.
I'm working with 2mm needles (US0). I mentioned before that the original is handspun, so this is as close as I can get.
Calculations give me for the squared version over 500.000 stitches. The rectangle will have approx. 210.000 stitches. I can't tell you how large it will be, but my prediction will be around 6+ feet square.

July 8:
Casted on with the gossamer 1ply and worked the first border. My dear test knitter Sue is working on the rectangle version. She's getting rid of all bugs and makes a perfect example for you to decide whether or not to knit the square or the rectangle.
 The yarn came in on 2 cones. It's approx. 20 balls of yarn. That should be plenty.

I don't know when the pattern will be available. But somewhere later this year is the goal. Think November or December. It will be a paid pattern (not free). Credit will be given, where credit is due. (As I've done here, please notify me if I have forgotten something/someone)

And you will be able to find it under a new name: The Shetland Star Shawl.
The ORIGINAL shawl has been purchased by Terry and is not specifically designed for the Outlander series.
(copyright and other stuff...)

Ready for a cut and paste preview???

So... if you don't hear from me for a while: I'm busy...

23 juni 2015

Heritage Scarf

Soms heb je even zin in een project wat niet zo groot is. Een lange shawl is eigenlijk mijn favoriete vorm om te breien. Je kunt er best veel in kwijt, patronen kunnen mooi over lopen en je bent snel heen en weer! En dat zelfs dát uit de hand kan lopen bleek laatst.

Ik wilde een ontwerp maken wat een redelijk eenvoudig patroon had en met kleine verschillen zou overlopen in een ander patroon. Bovendien was het weer tijd voor een ColourMart wedstrijd! Ik heb genoeg liggen en ik koos voor 'Acacia'. Het ontwerp was nog lang niet af, maar ik was alvast wel begonnen. (foto hier onder, met life-line)

Sometimes you just want to knit something that is not so big. With 'no end in sight'... That's why my favorite shape for a shawl is a rectangle. You can put in lots of patterns, or not, and make them continue gently into something else. Bonus is the quick return row. Only a 100+ stitches and you can turn the needles again. But even that can run out of control!

I wanted a rather simple design, with subtle differences and easy to remember/repeat. Besides, it was time for another famous ColourMart contest! I have plenty laying around that was planned for something else anyway. I chose the 'Acacia' and started immediately, even though the design wasn't complete yet. (photo above with life-line)
 Ik had beter moeten weten. Na 5 herhalingen bleek dat het óf een korte shawl zou worden, of er iets anders moest gebeuren. Het garen was onderdeel van een 'skein-set'. 5 kortere strengen van hetzelfde soort garen in verschillende kleuren. Maar welke volgorde te kiezen?
Ik kon natuurlijk meer bestellen, ik had het niet aan tijd om het uit te halen en overnieuw te beginnen met een andere kleur... Dan maar verder met wat ik heb.
I should have known better. After 5 repeats it appeared I would run short or that the shawl would be a very short scarf. The yarn was part of a 'skein-set'. Five skeins with less yardage but in a similar colour range (not always the case, though!). But in which order should I use them? I could have ordered more of a single colour, or frog what I had so far and start over... But I didn't.

Ik koos er voor om licht en donker af te wisselen. Zo komt de prachtig diepe Mocha kleur in het midden. Of in de nek of voor aan bij het gezicht, zo wordt het niet zo gauw smoezelig. Dat patroon was eerst lastig om te kiezen. Patroon 1 en 2 leken genoeg op elkaar om soepel over te lopen. Na heel veel knoeien was de uiteindelijke keus verrassend eenvoudig. "Gewoon" het zij patroon laten terug komen zodat het uiteindelijk allemaal met elkaar verbonden wordt.

I chose to alternate with the colours, dark and light. That meant the gorgeous Mocha (above) would be used in the centre. Convenient, because when you wrap the scarf around, it will be in the neck or close to the face. It will not look smudged or 'dirty' as quick as the lighter colours.
The pattern for the third repeat seemed very difficult to chose. Pattern 1 and 2 flowed nicely and I couldn't think of anything to match it. In the end, it proved to be terribly obvious: use the pattern that is already worked in the border of the shawl. That way, it comes together perfectly!

Het zou ook mooi zijn als je de shawl draagt en het patroon weer terug komt. Dus uiteindelijk had ik het eenvoudige patroon waar ik zo graag aan wilde werken: A + B + C + B + A
Omdat er ook maar zo weinig steken op de naald stonden, de herhalingen zo fijn zijn om te breien en het ritme er zo lekker in zat, bleek het toch wel een héle lange shawl te worden!
Na het opspannen was hij toch zo maar 214cm geworden! 

It would be nice when you are wearing the scarf, the pattern would be similar on both ends.
So the decision for the working order was made easily: A + B + C + B + A
In the end, I ended up with the simple shawl I so desperately I wanted to make.
The stitches flew of the needles, repeats were easily worked and the feeling of accomplishment was so good, the shawl grew and grew!
After blocking I was surprised to see it turned out to be 
21” x 86”! 
Ik heb uiteindelijk niets gewonnen in de ColourMart Contest. Maar ik heb WEL een mooie shawl. Gelukkig had ik een hele goede testbreister en zij koos voor het zelfde garen maar in 1 kleur: Capri. Sue heeft op deze foto heel mooi laten zien dat er wel degelijk verschil is tussen de patronen maar dat het toch mooi over loopt.

Dank je wel Sue! (Seaglass op Ravelry)

 In the end I didn't win anything in the ColourMart Contest. But I DID end up with a gorgeous long scarf. I was so lucky to have an excellent (and quick!) testknitter. Sue used the same yarn, but in a single colour. You can see the patterns are different, yet the pattern continues beautifully.

Thank you Sue! (Seaglass on Ravelry)

Ik zou zeggen; brei er zelf een! Het hoeft niet zo lang en die van Sue is op dunnere naalden gebreid maar met een herhaling meer in de breedte.
I'd say: knit one yourself! It doesn't have to be as long as ours. Sue has added a repeat (horizontally) but went down a needle size. 

Pattern: Heritage Scarf (2 sizes given) €5.00 EUR  
Available on Ravelry, Etsy and if you mail me. 

ONLY IN ENGLISH! Every row is patterned!
Alléén in het engels, elke rij heeft patroon!


Needle size:  2,75mm or US2
Yardage:      1042m or 1140y
Yarn:             ColourMart Extra Fine Merino 3/48NM Acacia, Mocha, Beechnut,
                      Blonde, Waterlily. *
Size:                21” x 86” or 214cm x 55cm  

*Het kan zijn dat niet alle kleuren meer beschikbaar zijn. Check de website voor beschikbaarheid. 

Needle size:   2,5mm or US 1,5
Yardage:       1079m or 1180y
Yarn:             ColourMart Extra Fine Merino 3/48NM in Capri*
Size:               22” x 96” or 244cm x 56 cm

*Colour might not be available anymore. Please check website for available colours. 

There will be another Contest this Fall! Check out the group on Ravelry. You can join in on the fun and pleasure of working with the yarns from ColourMart. They also have a newbie group!

4 juni 2015

Carajillo for Twist Collective.

 Had je het al (misschien) gezien? Aan de zijkant stond al sinds April een foto van de Carajillo.
Een ontwerp van ... Kantwerk voor het amerikaanse online brei Magazine!

 Perhaps you've noticed the picture on the right side of this blog? It's Carajillo, an A Passion for Lace... design for the american online Knitting Magazine: Twist Collective.
(these first 3 pictures are made by C. Jarvis for Twist Collective Spring Summer 2015) 

Hoe het allemaal begon.
Aan een nieuw ontwerp beginnen gebeurt wel vaker. Soms wekelijks of zelfs dagelijks krijg ik nieuwe ideeën om te verwerken in een patroon. Op zich niets bijzonders. Maar als kleine zelfstandige moet je soms toch afvragen waar je naar toe wilt met je bedrijf. Nou.. een stukkie over de grens voor naamsbekendheid zou niet gek zijn. Waar? Knitty is natuurlijk een alom bekend online magazine met een héél groot verspreidingsgebied. Dat geeft echter een probleem. Dan moet ik zelf de foto's leveren en ik sta nu eenmaal niet graag zelf op de foto. En de patronen worden gratis na publicatie en dan heb je wel een groot publiek maar geen 'eten'. Nog niet.

 How it all began.
To start a new design isn't that difficult. I do it very often and sometimes even every day. Inspiration isn't something you plan on; it happens and needs to be handled. As a small entrepreneur you have a vision for the company and where you want to go. Building a name across the knitting world is a thing to do, but how? Well, perhaps an online knitting Magazine with a large audience? Like Knitty.com. Not bad, but it comes with a rather large 'problem'. I will have to make my own pictures and I'm not that keen to be photographed myself. And the patterns are free after publication and it reaches a very large group of knitters, but it won't bring home the bacon. Yet.
 Augustus vorig jaar begonnen met een leuk ontwerp (foto 1). Mmm. Dat duurde wel heel lang voor ik bij de volgende herhaling ben. Zo wordt het wel een heel lange shawl. Uithalen en overnieuw. Ondertussen druk op zoek naar garen wat internationaal te krijgen is in de kleur die ik vond passen bij het seizoen. Je levert het in voor Lente Zomer 2015 in September van het jaar 2014. Dus een vrolijk warm geel werd het. Old Maiden Aunt "Buttermint" (geel) en Madeline Tosh Prairie "Filigree". Goed bezig om over de grens te denken!
En ik kon 2 versies maken, een in Shetland patroon en een met averechte rijen terug.
Dat zag er wel mooi uit!

 August last year I started with the designing and knitting the pattern. I had completed a search for a nice and bright yarn. You submit your design in the fall for the issue of Spring Summer the next year. First testing (Photo 1) resulted in a very long repeat so frogged that and started over. The design allowed me to make 2 versions, one in Shetland lace (every row patterned) and one in lace (purling back). I had found a nice yellow yarn (Old Maiden Aunt "Buttermint" and Madeline Tosh Prairie "Filigree". Yarn that is internationally available. Thinking outside the box here...

Daar kon ik wel achter staan! En... opsturen naar Knitty. Even kijken wat de deadline is: 6 december. Dan houd ik nog tijd genoeg om het helemaal te breien en in te leveren.
Ineens bedacht ik me dat Twist Collective altijd ERG mooie foto's maakt, en ik had net een nieuwsbrief gekregen met een 'Call for Submissions". AAAH! Goede timing. Dan hoef ik zelf géén foto's te maken, een chique online magazine én je kunt nog leuk verdienen per verkocht patroon. Interessant. Die deadline was wel heel dichtbij: 6 oktober al. Nou ja. Moet lukken. Eerst maar inleveren wat ik heb en afwachten wat er gebeurt.

 I could send this to Knitty and be proud to have made this. Let's check the deadline: December 6th. I can live with that. That leaves plenty of time to actually knit and photograph it all and submit it.
But... I remembered that Twist Collective always made gorgeous photoshoots of their projects/ designs and their excellent timing popped a "Call for Submissions" in my mailbox that week! Excellent. That meant I didn't need to make my own pictures and make a little money for each sold pattern. The deadline was very close, October 6th. That was okay, I could submit my plans and show what I already had. And then wait for the ax to drop...

 Ik was op Shetland toen de deadline kwam en voorbij ging. Gelukkig had ik het allemaal al opgestuurd (per e-mail!)  Spannend hoor! En oktober ging voorbij. Geen woord. Nix. November. Nix. Bibber! Wat nu? Nou ja, dan maar niet naar Knitty opsturen en alles inzetten op Twist Collective.
 I was on Shetland when the deadline came and went. Fortunately I had send everything I had with e-mail to TC and then the waiting began. October passed and no word. Nothing. November came and went. Shaking in my boots. Now what? Placing all bets in on TC and didn't send anything to Knitty anymore.
 En toen... na zo lang wachten schrik je toch wanneer je de naam in je mailbox ziet verschijnen. Twist Collective heeft je ontwerp gekozen! YEAH!!! En dan begint de 8 baan! Wat nu? Verder breien? Nee. Patroon schrijven? Nee, eigenlijk ook niet. Eerst wachten op het nieuwe garen en er moeten afspraken gemaakt worden, ondertekend en opgestuurd. Ze wilden ook nog een verandering invoeren in het patroon. Ze vonden de zigzag van de rand zo mooi, die wilden ze terug zien in de rest van de shawl. Hup. Nieuw patroon schrijven. (zie foto3) en test breien terwijl je op het nieuwe garen wacht.
Foto op sturen. De Charts werden zo wel erg groot en dit bedoelden ze niet helemaal.
Dus... uithalen en weer overnieuw. Nu met een subtielere zigzag. Dat zag er al beter uit. En toen was het al januari en de deadline voor het inleveren van het gebreide ontwerp was 2 februari. Zoef!
 Suddenly it popped up in my mailbox. Twist Collective likes your design for their new collection! YEAH! Then the rollercoaster begins! Now what? Knitting? No. Pattern writing? No. First make some clear outlines and signing a contract to make sure what the rules are. Then waiting for the new yarn they have chosen. And a note they wanted to alter the pattern a bit. They liked the edge so much, they wanted it reflected in the body of the shawl. So, when waiting for the yarn to arrive, made an alteration and swatched it. Send a picture (photo 3): No, that's not what they meant. It's too much. Back to the drawing board. The charts were becoming very large and the zigzag had to be smaller.
Then it was Januari 2015 already and the deadline for the shawl was February 2nd! Quick!!!
 Het garen kwam. Ai. Die kleur. Niet helemaal mijn smaak, maar ik had al rond gekeken en het is wel DE kleur voor 2015. Okee, daar kan ik mee leven. Ik was eerlijk gezegd ook niet zo blij met de 'dikte'. Ik ben niet helemaal gewend om Shetland patronen te breien in zulk dik garen. De 'ribbels' gaan dan een 'eigen' leven leiden. Het garen heeft echter een enorm pluspunt: HET IS ZOOOOO ZACHT!!! Ongelooflijk. En het ontwerp past precies uit 1 streng. Hij was zo maar klaar én opgestuurd en ruim voor 2 februari binnen! Nu werd het nog spannender...
 The yarn came. Oh.... The colour... Not what I had intended. I browsed on the net and found it to be thé colour for 2015. Okay. To be (more) honest, I was a bit disappointed by the yardage. I wasn't used to knitting Shetland in this type of yarn, it felt 'bulky'. And the garterstitch was certainly more pronounced compared to finer yarn. Having said that: the yarn did won me over because: IT IS SOOOOOOO SOFT! Incredible! Besides, the shawl could be made with just one skein! I finished it on time and it was IN America on time for the deadline too. Now it was even more tense!
 Het patroon moest nog gecontroleerd worden en plotseling was het 21 april zo ver! Hij kwam uit!
Oh... wat had ik er naar uitgekeken. Ook kon ik het eindelijk vertellen. Geheimen houden vind ik niet erg makkelijk.
En toen was ik toch een beetje teleur gesteld. Wel een werkelijk prachtig foto model en geen outdoor photoshoot. Een scherm met gekleurde ballen die maar een fractie donkerder zijn dan mijn shawl.
De andere shawls waren ook tegen een soort kamerscherm met kleurtjes gefotografeerd.
Alles was binnen! Ik snel terug kijken op vorige edities en die hebben bijna allemaal foto's die buiten zijn gemaakt. Deze editie ademde wel vrolijke kleuren en prachtige ontwerpen, maar geen Lente. Geen zomer. Geen zon, frisse lucht en schapewolkjes.

The charts needed to be checked and then.. suddenly April 21: the issue was live!
I had been looking forward to this for the longest time. Finally I was able to tell it to the world! I'm not so good at keeping secrets.
My first impression was of slight disappointment. The models were very pretty indeed, the designs are unique and certainly worthy of publication in such a renowned knitting magazine. But no outdoor photoshoot. No sun, No flowers, No sky, No Spring. My shawl was, as others were, photographed in front of a painted screen. And the colours of the screen were a near match for the colour of my shawl. You can hardly see the difference in a small thumbnail on Ravelry! At first I thought it was me, my expectations were to high and I was over the moon that they chose me as a candidate.
I've asked others and they told me they agreed with me: it doesn't breath spring. The entire photoshoot was indoors.
 Mijn ontwerp is door deze samenwerking zéker beter geworden. Ik heb enorm veel geleerd: doseren bijvoorbeeld. Zeg ja tegen een patroon en kies wat je niet wilt. Kijk goed en streep weg. Is dit nodig? Nee, weg er mee. Wordt het sterker! Houden zo. Vormgeving. Houd het compact en duidelijk.
Omdat de shawl in Amerika blijft, heb ik geen voorbeeld meer om te showen hier in Nederland. Dus... nog maar 1 gebreid. Met cobweb garen. Groot voordeel van dit ontwerp: je kunt hem zo groot maken als je wilt! De roze heeft 13 punten in de rand, de witte wel 25 en is wel 2 meter breed (punt tot punt!).
 My design certainly got better with this experience. The people at Twist Collective learned me a lot: look at your design and see what needs to be done. Say yes to this, and no to that. Will it get better when you do this, or is it better when you don't? Be strong! And keep it short and sweet.
The shawl is in America. That leaves me with no example to show here at home. So I made another.
In cobweb. And because it's a design with possiblities; you can make it as large as you like.
The Berry version has 13 points in the edging, the White has 25 and it measures 82" wide at the top!
 Al met al een héle belevenis die ik niet had willen missen! Ik zou zeggen; brei er zelf een! Licht en luchtig in cobweb of lekker warm in 65% Alpaca, 15% Silk, 10% Cashmere, 10% Camel. 

In the end: I wouldn't have missed it for anything! I'd also like to add: knit one yourself!
Light and airy in cobweb or nice and snuggly in 65% Alpaca, 15% Silk, 10% Cashmere, 10% Camel
Pattern: Carajillo
Designer: MoniqueB
For: Twist Collective Spring Summer 2015
Pictures: C. Jarvis and Bridget Boonstra
Suggested yarn: The Fibre Company Road to China Lace in Rhodolite. 
(656 yd / 600m per 3 1/2 oz/100gr skein: 65% Baby Alpaca, 15% Silk, 10% Camel, 10% Cashmere)
Needle size: US3 or 3.25mm circular needle.
32” / 80cm long or longer.
Adjust needle size if necessary to obtain correct gauge
Wingspan: approx 61” / 155cm
Length at the center back: 26 1/2” / 67,5cm.
Notions: stitch markers, blocking pins, tapestry needle, cotton thread for life line (optional).

ERRATA: there is a small error in Chart B (page 3)

Yarn available: The Fibre Company USA or in the Netherlands: Zeven Katten
Yarn available: Jamieson & Smith UK or in the Netherlands: Great British Wool. 
(cobweb option: Jamieson & Smith Gossamer 1/16NM in natural white (3 balls = 75gr)

This pattern is also available via Ravelry: they will redirect you to the Twist Collective site.
The pattern is only available in English and has Charts only.