24 Sep 2016

Choices, choices...

 

I see that right now there are queues of people waiting to buy the new iPhone, and every time there is an iPad upgrade it makes headline news. I have a very geriatric iPad but still love it for its ease of navigating iBooks. You can dip in and out of a book, jump ahead, go back to where you just were or read something in depth. I also love the way that it links to my computer and phone so everything stays, quite literally, on the same page. It just makes life so lovely and simple.

Our new book, Reversible Knitting Stitches, was designed for the iBookstore and looks great loaded up as you can see from the photo above. You can zip around from page to page, flick through the stitch thumbnails and make notes as you go. Zoom in to see details, click on the menu button at the top to go to the abbreviations list, search for something you remembered from yesterday etc. Super easy.

To see this on the iBookstore, then please click here. You can also download a sample book from the site and test it on your device.


However, not everyone has an iPad! So alongside the iBooks version, we worked on an alternative format for Kindle. This has a slightly longer, thinner page layout so is great for the Kindle Fire and other devices such as Android tablets and phones. It can also be viewed on an iPad, so if you like to work across a variety of platforms then this is a good option.

You can find this version on the Amazon store by clicking this link or by searching for Reversible Knitting Stitches from the main Amazon Kindle page.



Of course, tablets and phones are great when you are mobile, but I have to admit that I tend to use my computer more than an iPad when I am at home. So we really wanted a version of the book that would look good on a computer, hence the PDF E-Book version.

The great thing about this version is that you can elect to view just a single page or see two pages at a time, so it feels like a print book. Once again, you can quickly zip through thumbnail images in the Navigation Pane to scan for stitch designs that you'd like to investigate further and there is also a list of bookmarks to jump to the various chapters and sections. The E-Book can be viewed with Adobe Reader, Preview or any other pdf reader.

If you would like this version of the e-book, then please click here to go to my website.

Thanks for all the great messages about the new book - it's so good to hear that everyone is as enthusiastic as we are ourselves!

Happy Knitting!

Moira & Anna


Last Blogpost: And it's here!

Websites - Moira: www.wyndlestrawdesigns.com
                 Anna: www.knittedwonderland.com




. 24/9/16

19 Sep 2016

And it's here!


Our new e-book, Reversible Knitting Stitches, has just been published! 

I've been talking about it for a few weeks and now here it is! 

The idea behind the book was to provide a sourcebook for double-sided stitch patterns so that can dip into it any time you are designing a new project. The book features 200 reversible knitting stitches with photos of both the front and reverse sides. 


Each pattern also includes notes about the stitch and suggestions for its use. Here, for example, is the page about Twist Brioche, which is a lovely soft stitch with columns of twisted stitches.

Every stitch has a stitch chart plus line-by-line instructions so that you can follow whichever method is easiest for you. Have a look at my last blogpost to see the chart page for Seed Stitch, for example.

In addition, the book contains examples of more than 50 projects showing the stitches in use. They include clothing, accessories and items for the home with weblinks so you can find further information should you wish to purchase the separate patterns. 


So if you fancy trying a reversible stitch for your next project, then this might be just the right book for you!

To purchase the book from the iBookstore, then please click here, or search for "Reversible Knitting Stitches" from your iBooks app. There is also a sample ibook you can download to try the book on your device.

If you are not able to run the iBooks app, then please head to my website where you can read more information about the different formats available. 

Happy Reversible Knitting!

Moira


Publication Information: 
   Reversible Knitting Stitches by Moira Ravenscroft and Anna Ravenscroft, 
   pub: Wyndlestraw Publishing, 2016, ISBN: 978-1-944921-07-1

Anna's Website: www.annaravenscroft.com




. 24/9/16

14 Sep 2016

A different kind of Stitch Book


I love books of knitting stitches. I have quite a number of them now and regularly look through them all. The first one I bought was when we were living in Japan a few years ago and it's still one of my favourites. I love the large photos, the clear stitch charts and extra project photos scattered throughout the book - totally inspiring jackets, cardigans and sweaters.

So when Anna and I decided to publish a book about Reversible Knitting Stitches, that's what we planned too: not just to list the stitches but to really explore each of them and add a good number of project photos to show how the stitches can be used. In short, we wanted this to be a sourcebook about reversible knitting.

So here's the first stitch in our new book, Reversible Knitting Stitches:


There are 200 stitches in the book and every one of them shows both the front of the sample and the back - even when both faces look the same, as in the example above! 

Then alongside, we have described them: how they look, feel, and suggestions for using them. It is, after all, almost impossible to tell from a photo whether a stitch is going to be flexible and a good weight for a blanket or if it would be better-suited as a firm teapot stand. So every stitch includes a number of project suggestions.

We have also included a Difficulty symbol at the top to show whether this is a good stitch for a Beginner or Intermediate knitter, for example. There's an index at the end of the book too, so you can just look at stitches that are easier or set yourself a challenge and explore the Advanced ones!


Then on the next page there are stitch charts and full line-by-line instructions for every stitch, so you can follow whichever suits you best. 

The book is formatted so you can read it on your computer, iPad, Kindle, tablet or phone and of course you can zoom the display to really look at the details clearly. This is great for anyone preferring larger print, of course, as you can enlarge the page to check on any specific information.

Then scattered throughout the book we have included photos of more than 50 finished items to inspire you. For example, in Anna's lovely Baby Blue Sweater above, she has used Seed Stitch as a pretty trim for the cuffs, neckline and lower edge. Each of these projects includes links where you can explore the separate patterns and see more photographs and other information.


The iBook version of Reversible Knitting Stitches is due for release tomorrow, 15th Sept 2016, but can be pre-ordered on the iBookstore now! You can also download a sample book so you can see how it looks on your device. 

There will be more formats coming soon and I'll write more about that next time. Until then,

Happy Reversible Knitting!

Moira


Next Up: And it's here!

Anna's Website: www.annaravenscroft.com




. 24/9/16

7 Sep 2016

And then there were lots!


In my last blogpost I reported how my knitter-daughter Anna and I had decided to take our fascination with reversible knitting to the stage of writing an e-book. So having decided to do this, we then set to in earnest. Since Anna lives in England and I spend most of my time in the States, this was an interesting exercise!

We scoured our local libraries, dived into previously unexplored knitting tomes and unearthed School Knitting Primers from Victorian times. We swapped ideas and samples, spent endless hours on Skype, and filled many a happy day knitting, knitting, knitting.

By the next time we got together there were hundreds of knitting samples filling boxes and overflowing into cupboards and onto shelves. Then we started the fun part: trying to reduce them down to our favourite 200 reversible samples.

Now we had our starting material it helped us crystallise our ideas. We decided that we wanted this to be a knitting stitch compendium but with a vital difference: we wanted to really explore the stitches and give inspiration on how to use each of them - in short to be not just a list of stitches, but a sourcebook of reversible knitting.

More about this next time . . . . .

Happy Reversible Knitting!

Moira and Anna


Last Blogpost: A hint of what's to come
Anna's Website: www.annaravenscroft.com


. 14/9/16

1 Sep 2016

A hint of what's to come


Some years ago, I was convalescing in bed after a series of operations. Of course, being a knitter, I didn't see that having to be immobile meant I couldn't knit, or at least peruse magazines looking for knitting patterns and ideas.

So I started re-reading old magazine clippings I had been hoarding for ages. I went through looking for interesting stitch patterns and glueing them onto pages to put in a box file. By the time I was done, I had three files full of stitch patterns, notes and patterns.

This was before there were stacks of knitting magazines in every newsagents and a shelf-full of knitting books in the local library. In fact, I didn't own a single knitting book, so a file full of stitches was a tremendous resource.

I started experimenting and making up some new stitches and adding extra ones I came across, and that's when I noticed something: I loved the ones that were reversible.


Reversible stitches just drew me - the way they look great from both sides, their drape, their usefulness. 

Of course there are thousands of knitting stitches, and most of these look good from the right side. But when the wind blows your shawl and you see the other face then it can often be quite disappointing. Your beautiful design is hidden and you see a series of bumps instead. I suppose it has the name "wrong side" for a reason!

A scarf made from a reversible stitch, however, can be draped around your neck in a playful fashion without any regard to which side is on view, since both sides look good. Sometimes both faces are identical, and sometimes they have a differing character on one side than the other, but both sides have an attractive appearance. 

The scarf above, for example, is the Beckenham Scarf, a man's scarf featuring a wonderfully textural reversible stitch, Seeded Chevron.

So I started to gather the samples that were especially lovely on both sides. 

At first I had just a few swatches ... then a few more ...


Then my daughter Anna, herself a lifelong knitter, joined in and before we knew it we had a table-full! 

We stood looking at the growing pile for a while, then Anna said "We should gather these into an e-book!"

and that's what's coming this month! 

More info next time...


Happy Reversible Knitting!

Moira & Anna


Last Blogpost: Liliwen Baby Blanket
Anna's Website: www.annaravenscroft.com


. 7/9/16

31 Jul 2016

Liliwen Baby Blanket




Next year looks set to be a colourful one for the little folk, and if the forecasters are right then we will be seeing stripes and pops of colour on all children's items: summer dresses with layers of brightly contrasting shades and paint-box splashes of colour on little shirts and nursery items. 

So here's a new baby blanket pattern that is right on trend. This is the Liliwen Baby Blanket and it is worked in a wonderfully soft cotton yarn, Rico Creative Cotton DK. I love this yarn - it is easy to work with and the colours are bright and cheery. It is also a perfect weight for the warmer seasons, when babies just need a little extra layer to keep them warm.

The blanket features bright candy stripes of pink and yellow which would be a lovely choice for a little girl. However, the yarn comes in a wide range of colours and a royal blue / aqua combination would be great for a little boy.


The Liliwen Blanket is worked in Bamboo Rib, an easy reversible stitch. The pattern has strong, vertical patterning like stalks of bamboo and the blanket grows quickly.


The pattern includes three sizes so you can make a small blanket for baby's first Moses Basket / Bassinet or either of the two larger sizes as they grow into their next sizes of bed.

For more details about this new pattern, please see my website. The pattern is also available as an iBook from the iBookstore.

Until next time, Happy baby knitting!

Moira


Last Blogpost: The future looks bright




. 24/9/16

27 Jul 2016

The future looks bright


If the colour forecasts are right for 2017, we are in for a treat next year! Trend boards coming from the textile shows are showing some wonderfully bright colours, reflecting a feeling of optimism in all areas of fashion. Hues are more solid, colours more intense and the brights are vibrant and bursting with life.


Fashion trend-spotters have been speaking about an "uplifting forecast", with a real feel-good factor. The picture above shows one palette forecast with intense brights reflecting a "renewed appeal and optimism" as fantasy comes to the fore-front of fashion. 

The trend pages fairly breathe excitement and energy. Colours inspired by candy canes and the bright moments of summertime bring pinks and yellows together with tangerine orange and ocean blue to give some stunning combinations.


This is especially true in kiddies' items, where Spring/Summer 2017 looks set to be big, bold and bright! The forecast above is called Portobello Belle from Emily Kiddy, who posts wonderful colour forecasting ideas for the younger set. 

We all know that babies love bright colours, so a move towards a more colourful range of items for the little ones seems a very natural choice. 

In my next Blogpost, I will be posting details about the new Liliwen Baby Blanket pattern, so if you think there will be the patter of tiny feet somewhere near you next year then this would be a great choice of item to make ahead of time.

Until then - Happy Knitting!

Moira







. 31/8/16

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