I have been bursting with excitement about this project for a LONG time, so without further ado, I present to you Cross-Country Knitting Volume 1.
Kate Davies and I have been knitting friends and colleagues for a few years now. We work at opposite ends of the country, but through the wonder of the internet, we have bonded over our joint love of knitting, cake, birds, TV shows and many other things. In fact there is really only one topic that we won't ever see eye to eye on... She's a tea lover, and I can't function without coffee. These are the differences that cement a friendship, I'm sure you will agree!
We decided that it would be fun to do a design project together. Something to work on together, where we could showcase our different, but complementary, design styles. We set ourselves the brief of designing a men's garment (Tom and Jim both being fans of knitwear!) that we would want to knit and that they would want to wear. These are not always compatible desires, are they?
This pair of garments is what we have come up with. Kate has designed a magnificent Fair Isle Tank Top, with a contemporary sleek shape, and beautiful traditional OXO motifs: Machrihanish
And I designed Bruton Hoody, knitted using the delicious Excelana Luxury DK (more on that in a day or two...). Jim has a few well-worn zipped cardigans, and I wanted to design something slightly more interesting, but still wearable. I've long had a love affair with Maria Erlbacher's beautiful Bavarian twisted stitch patterns (more on that soon too...), so I settled on a panel running up the front, with the cable just below the shoulder. The construction of this hoody uses some cunning picking up stitches to avoid having too many ends to weave in! It's knitted in one piece from start to finish, with the pockets and sleeve stitches picked up as you go. Tricky to explain, but very, very simple to do! I've named my hoody Bruton, after the Somerset town where Jim was at school.
© Jesse Wild
Many thanks to Corben Storey for modelling my hoody, Kim Hobley for knitting the sample, Susan Crawford and John Arbon Textiles for providing the Excelana DK for the sample hoody, and Jesse Wild for photography!
In Cross-Country Knitting Volume 1 you will find patterns for both hoody and vest, plus a feature article by Jim (aka, the inimitable Veuf Tricot) on the perils of giving and receiving hand-knits, and a cut-out-and-keep Cross-Country Knitting gift tag to attach to your finished work (if you can bear to part with it!). The eBook is now available for £5.95 via Ravelry , and the print booklet will very shortly be available via MagCloud.
Kate and I will be blogging in further detail about our designs tomorrow (or thereabouts), and if you come back at the end of the week, there will be an interview with Kate for your enjoyment! To keep track of our Cross-Country Knitting journey, you can also bookmark our website: www.crosscountryknitting.com