Hello! How has the summer been treating you? I always love these months for steadily working away on knitting projects (yes, even in the heat we’ve had recently) and the changes we’ve made to our team (hello, Maylin!) has meant that this summer has already proved particularly productive. Unfortunately I can’t show you very much of that productivity quite yet.
As I look behind me, on one side of my studio, there are a couple of mannequins, wearing the brand new designs we’ll be releasing as part of the SARK collection in a few weeks time. . . .
What is SARK? Well, first and foremost it’s a book of twelve twisted-stitch designs, all knitted in and for our Ooskit yarn. The book includes some patterns you’ll have already seen, like Esk and Easwas, alongside some brand-new design work with which I’m really pleased. There are six garments and six accessories, and I think the whole collection has a lovely balance and aesthetic coherence – making it a very nice (and useful) book to knit from. SARK’s satisfying aesthetic coherence has been enhanced considerably by Tom, who, as part of the collaborative process of creating the book, has developed his own collection of monochrome photographs – of the natural world and built environment – which punctuate its pages. These images are both beautiful and thought provoking, speaking very powerfully to SARK’s overall theme of structure, line, and form. So, SARK’s a pattern collection, a photography collection, and it also includes an exploratory essay (by me) plus an inspiring conversation with Norah Gaughan about the process of designing with twisted stitches. . . .
. . . but why is this book called SARK, you ask, and what exactly does SARK mean?
I’ll explain all in a few weeks time when the book is published!
On the other side of my studio, there’s a huge pile of freshly-knit samples, among which I can see five of the new garments from our forthcoming Allover club, together with a range of colourful accessories that have recently been completed by Maylin and our brilliant new team of test knitters.
I’ve been knitting a lot too: since early spring, I’ve found myself completely unable to stop designing and knitting allover colourwork. When I find myself in a phase like this, it’s best to just go with it, and I’ve definitely been on a long, and really exciting creative roll, which you’ll see the results of in the new club this Autumn and Winter. As I look at my pile of allovers, I really enjoy how they read like a collective record of this summer and all the different places Tom and I have been able to visit and spend time (a very welcome change from the past two Covid summers!) So, I’ve been knitting allovers by the beach, in my hut, on ferries, on different Scottish islands . . . but now this part of the process is coming to an end, the collection is almost complete, and when I bound off one of the Allover club’s final designs the other day, I found myself feeling a bit bereft.
Happily, there’s a one last design remaining in the pipeline, with which I’ll be able to crack on over the next couple of weeks, as summer draws to its close.
For these warm, slow months will soon be turning toward Autumn. . . .
Our long Scottish evenings are already not quite as light as they were. . .
September is just around the corner. . .
. . .and it will soon be time for SARK and Allover!
We’ve so many fun knitterly things planned for this Autumn and Winter! I’m really looking forward to sharing them all with you.
Thanks to Tom for moon and sky photography