Inspiring knits and beautiful photography, yet again we are falling for the latest pattern books! Two esteemed designers, Gudrun Johnston and Kate Davies offer us their newest designs in The Shetland Trader Book Two and Yokes.
As with her first book, The Shetland Trader Book Two draws its inspiration from Gudrun’s home land of the Shetland Isles. The beautiful landscape is captured with yarns such as Brooklyn Tweed Loft which echos the earthy tones in its tweedy texture.
Gudrun also pays homage to fair isle with the Northdale jumper design, this style of colour work of course well known as a traditional aspect of Shetland knitting. Two versions of this jumper, again using the Brooklyn Tweed Loft, play with neutrals and contrasts to create a beautiful geometric design.
The history of knitting in Shetland is partly due to such wonderful yarn produced from that part of the world. To match your Shetland lace inspired Belmont cardigan we have the Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift in over a hundred colours. This pure wool 4ply yarn is ideal for garments and the huge colour range also makes it perfect for fair isle.
As well as lots of gorgeous pure wool designs, Shetland Trader Book Two also features a stunning linen top, Balta. Quince & Co Sparrow is the yarn used to bring crisp stitch definition for the detail of lace at the neck and to add a sweep of drape to the length.
All these patterns and more are featured in Gudrun Johnston’s latest book The Shetland Trader Book Two. These patterns are only available as a collection, and as they are so beautiful together it would be a shame to spilt them up!
Now voyaging a little further inland, but still staying in the north of Britain where Kate Davies new book focuses on the many variations and styles of yoked garments in knitting. With a fascinating history of this design through the decades and different countries, the patterns draw on the influences and style of yokes past.
Kate likes her choice of materials to have a genuine connection to the landscape in which she lives and works, and prefers to use yarns from UK and Irish producers, processors and distributors in her designs. For example the Toft DK as used for Epistrophy which is a blend of the finest British fleeces spun in Yorkshire available in the softest natural shades – and now also black which just arrived this week!
“Yokes are fun to knit. I am happy spending my days working away on acres of plain stockinette, if, at the end of it, there is the yoke’s delicious promise. For me, a yoke is pure treat knitting – a creative pleasure to be hotly anticipated and thoroughly enjoyed” Kate Davies, Yokes.
And what could be a more delightful treat than a pretty row of bluebells or foxgloves? These botanically themed garments suit any 4ply yarn, but we love them because it gives us the chance to sing the wooly praises of Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift again!
If however you’re not a fan of colour work, then a textured detail could be more your style of yoke. Kate has chosen one of Loop’s favourite yarn Old Maiden Aunt for Fintry. Dyed in Scotland it captures why we love hand dyed yarns with its soft undulation of the springy green ‘Ghillie Dhu’.
For a final delicate evening piece, Frost at Midnight uses beads to transform the yoke into jewellery . Use a laceweight, like Eden Cottage Theseus Lace, to create a luxurious garment with a sparkly band of tiny leaves.
Finally – an exciting announcement for all of you who have been waiting patiently for the Madelinetosh Merino DK to arrive – it’s here! We’ve been busy sending off parcels of this yarn for those of you who are eager to cast on for our Sous Sous knit along starting 1st February. We hope you join us – find out all the details and keep up to date with tips and tutorials on the Loop Ravelry forum page.