Parcels in the Post #2: Colours of Shetland Book

Colours of Shetland by Kate Davies

Colours of Shetland by Kate Davies. I want to knit that Scatness tam so badly!

Look what arrived in parcel #2! If you missed out on what was in parcel #1, check this blog post out. But look! My very own copy of the Colours of Shetland by Kate Davies. If you don’t know who Kate Davies is, she is an amazing designer of hand knits drawing inspiration from her life in Scotland, and particularly the Shetland Islands. She is also an accomplished writer and historian. As an archaeologist myself who has also lived a scholarly life, I really appreciate the insights and history she often shares about knitting and textile history. She is one of my favourite designers with her modern take on traditional motifs and colourwork.

Her book Colours of Shetland was published in 2012, available both as a softcover book and an e-book. If you purchase the hard copy, you will receive a complimentary free copy of the e-book too. Currently available for £14.99, I think this is an excellent price for this handsome book.

I’ll let you peek into the table of contents, outlining the 10 patterns included in Colours of Shetland. There’s also a couple of handy tutorials included in this book. And have I mentioned yet the stunning photography for the collection shot on location in the Shetland Islands? As if I didn’t want to go there badly enough before…

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I also love how she explores a design and offers it in various forms. For example, the Scatness Tam that is on the cover (which I looove) is also available as a tunic too.

kate2And here is another example, the Stevenson Sweater and Gauntlets as shown in this photo. I could happily knit any and all of the patterns in this delightful book.

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Also deserving an honourable mention here is a note about Kate Davies’ wardrobe aside from her gorgeous designs. She often wears fashions from England’s stylish¬†Cabbages & Roses. All designs and fabrics are made in England, and encapsulate fun and enduring fashion at the same time. If you don’t know Cabbages & Roses, I strongly recommend that you check them out too. They’ve also partnered recently with UNIQLO for a playful line.

In conclusion, if you haven’t picked up a copy of this book, I recommend strongly that you do. Her patterns are clear and well written, and for a connoisseur of colourwork, this book is not to be missed. As she is in the midst of relocating from Edinburgh, she has noted on her blog that only a handful of hard copies are left, so you better order quickly before they disappear. It may be some time before there is a second print run. Happy reading!

x Rena

Finished! Owlets Pullover

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I am pleased to share that I have finally finished knitting an Owlets pullover for a close friend’s baby that was born last month. For those of you who aren’t obsessed with Scottish knitwear designer Kate Davies, Owlets is the infant and child size version of her fiercely popular adult size Owls pullover on popular knitting hub Ravelry.

Don’t worry, I’m not spilling the beans prematurely here – Maia’s Mom has seen the sweater over the magic that is Skype all the way in London, UK from my home in metro Vancouver.

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The pattern was a delight to knit, both well written and nicely laid out. For Maia, the new arrival, I chose a Madelinetosh Rios superwash worsted yarn in a lovely green variegated colourway called ‘Lettuce’. I used most of two skeins. The yarn was so soft! And durable, to keep up with a young baby’s adventures. I chose to knit the 1 year old size, thinking that this will be ready for her first fall / winter later this year. I hope this clever plan works out.

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I finished by embellishing the owlet eyes by hand sewing Swarovski crystal flower buttons for eyes, secured with a small bead at the centre where a pupil should be. I am pleased with how they turned out!

Confession time: the package with this pullover should have gone a long time ago, but I was procrastinating on the underarm grafting to take care of the underarm holes made when attaching sleeves to a round yoke. Truthfully, grafting is much more simple than it would first appear. I feel kind of silly for having delayed so long. There was an excellent kitchener stitch tutorial on Knitty to ease the pain of grafting. I felt so accomplished afterward – it really does work.

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At last the parcel is truly ready to go, with another surprise in it for good measure. Now that is a secret I can keep.

x Rena