Are the samples photo-ready?

I’m up to my elbows in samples this week. The photo shoot is in ten days time. I’m panicking about the amount of time I’m spending writing only a few words here rather than sewing in ends and blocking! The living-room floor is covered in blocking mats, which my kids are doing well to avoid.

I’ve got a styling session planned with a couple of friends on Tuesday. We’ll try to make outfits work and organise the themes I’ve got going on.

Playing with colours: Eden Cottage Yarns Bedale Oak, Fyberspates Vivacious 4ply Verdigris, EasyKnits Zip Light Earthern swatch, Fyberspates Gleem Lundy Island.

Playing with colours: Eden Cottage Yarns Bedale Oak, Fyberspates Vivacious 4ply Verdigris, EasyKnits Zip Light Earthern swatch, Fyberspates Gleem Lundy Island.

Myself and a few fast-knitting friends are finishing off the final swatches. I think I’ve mentioned that the book will show different ideas for the same pattern. There will be a main sample or two (or three where I’ve got really carried away) for each pattern. Then there will be swatches of ways in which you could make the pattern your own. Customise. Personalise. Modify. Re-colour. Play. I’ve got a lot to write about this too, to guide everyone along with just the right amount of help.

Choosing yarns is the most fun and hard work (honest). L-R Malabrigo worsted, Madelinetosh DK, Ginger Twist Studios Splendor, Fyberspates Gleem, Indigo Dragonfly giant skein.

Choosing yarns is the most fun and hard work (honest). L-R Malabrigo worsted, Madelinetosh DK, Ginger Twist Studios Splendor, Fyberspates Gleem, Indigo Dragonfly giant skein.

Rachel at Porpoise Fur has just gone above and beyond for me. She hasn’t just knit me a swatch; she’s dyed the fibre and spun it for me too! I really wanted to show some of the swatches in handspun, and some of the testing has been in handspun too. I wanted to do this because I get a lot of feedback that I have patterns that are good for handspun. Whilst I’m trying to spin a bit myself, I’m not up to producing a swatch in my own yarn…yet! For a whole project, I do love buying handspun though – it has such character. Meanwhile, my fibre stash is growing. That’ll be a treat after the book is done – make more time for spinning.

I’ve got one last main sample to get off the needles, hopefully today. It’s a sample for which I have swatched and swatched. And swatched. I think it was worth the effort; I just had to include a great pattern for 1 skein of variegated 4ply/fingering, didn’t I? It’s just possible I got a bit carried away with a DK option and a shawl version too… I’ve had so much fun playing with the amazing variegated colours from Countess Ablaze and Easy Knits, in particular.

At the other end of the colour spectrum, the remaining swatches to knit this week are for an elegant, solid-colour lace design. I am totally loving Eden Cottage Yarns, Nature’s Luxury and Fyberspates for this. I feel particularly lucky to be able to play with a selection of Fyberspates brand-new Vivacious colours. They are gorgeous!

One thing I’ve really enjoyed with developing all the patterns is the amount of time I’ve made to play with gorgeous yarn. I suppose you could’ve guessed that from all the yarn photos in this blog post! In designing stripes, Sweet Georgia Yarns and Miss Babs have given me the most fun through their extensive colour palettes.

Sweet Georgia Yarns DK Superwash: L-R Bison, Cayenne, Tumbled Stone. I admit a particular weakness for Cayenne!

Sweet Georgia Yarns DK Superwash: L-R Stripe combination of Bison, Cayenne, Tumbled Stone. I admit a particular weakness for Cayenne!

Really must run now. There’s that sample to finish…and all those little details to organise for the shoot. Can’t wait!

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