Please allow me to introduce (or reintroduce) you to Kate Davies, one of my design heroes.
If I were to describe 2013 in terms of knitting then I would say, without question, that it was my year of Kate Davies knitting. I’m not sure exactly how I came across Kate’s work, but I am absolutely sure I am a different, more knowledgeable, more thoughtful knitter and (yet to be published) designer since that first encounter.
That Kate Davies is a passionate supporter of British Wool and the Shetland knitting heritage, that her patterns are generously informative and thoughtfully written, that she’s a brilliant educator, that her designs are both beautiful and fun to knit are just some of the reasons why I love her work as much as I do… but I won’t go on and on about here. Instead, I will trust that once you see my small sample of her designs you will want to go find out for yourselves here.
This following photo shows what is possibly my favourite thing I’ve ever knit (it’s hard to say definitively because my baby knits are so sentimental and cute). The funchal moebius :
My only complaint is that it can be challenging to wear draped over the shoulders, as I have it modelled above, should I need to use my arms much (which is most of the time when I’m at home with the boys). My solution to this problem is to take a page out of Karen Blixen’s style guide (at least, the Karen as portrayed by Meryl Streep in Out of Africa) and wear my funchal like this:
Notice that the colours on the inside of the moebius are reversed from the outside. That little colour reversal on opposing sides is a brilliant design idea and if you ever knit this you’ll see why. However, I won’t lie to you, this knit pushed my knitting endurance well past its usual limits but I’m so, so happy I stuck with it. By the end, I actually felt a little sad to be done with it… just one more reason why knitting is messed up; one day you’re avoiding it like the plague and the next day you’re going through separation anxiety.
Some of my other, more instantly gratifying, Kate Davies knits are a small collection of hats. For this little fashion show, I hauled my husband (thank you, dear) out for a little walkabout and I brought along my black dog too (though you can’t see him) just to keep the authentic Kate Davies spirit alive in this shoot. *If you are a dog lover, you must read Bruce’s posts on her blog… even her dog has a brilliant way with words*
First up is my Caller Herrin’ tam. I had so much fun knitting this hat and it is one that never fails to garner a compliment each time I wear it. To be honest, I think I get compliments on all her designs.
Kate’s choice of yarn for this hat (Alice Starmore Hebridean 2ply) was a complete revelation for me and for that reason alone, I owe Kate a debt of gratitude. However, I will save the Hebridean yarn discussion for another day.
I wish I had a better close up of my Caller Herrin’ for you but the light was fading fast and we had one more hat to photograph, the peerie flooers hat:
Here is a shot of the stunning crown. The crown section of her hats are always beautifully designed:
My peerie flooers hat is eagerly awaiting the arrival of spring as it makes a perfect companion for long walks when the wind still has a bit of a bite to it.
Lastly, here’s the hat that started it all, the Snawheid hat, modelled here by my beautiful and eldest son, Dieter:
And Snawheid’s cleverly charming crown:
2013 may be over, but that doesn’t mean I’m through with Kate. I know it won’t be long before I’ve got another one of her designs on my needles again. The question is: which one will it be? You see, the problem is, just when I think I’ve made my choice, she unleashes yet another pattern, just as tempting as the last.
If you would like more details about the knits above, you are most welcome to read about them in my Ravelry projects page. Better yet, you might like to check out the Kate Davies(love) group on Ravelry and see what the rest of the fan club has been up to.
And, if you do make the journey over to Kate’s website, promise me you’ll do two things: 1. Send me a postcard (c/o firstname.lastname@example.org) of your knitted Kate Davies project (because I just know she’ll inspire you to cast on, and soon!) 2. You’ll please come back to say hello every now and then.
Thanks for reading today, have a lovely day.