“There is nothing like using your own hands to transform a ball of string into something beautiful.”
This week’s new pattern release comes from Jess Gore, the designer behind The Sweater Collective. She has designed a gorgeous new shawl called Edenhope as part of our Yarn Support Programme and today, she will share a little about herself and the inspiration behind this very special design.
An Interview with Jess Gore of The Sweater Collective
“I’ve been a knitting addict ever since I can remember and I’m lucky enough to now call knitwear design my job. I have a background in painting and have also studied a little bit of architecture, but crafting with wool has always been my one-true-love. I live in Adelaide, South Australia, with my partner in our little unit that is slowly becoming ever-more overtaken by the stash!”
Fun to Knit, Easy to Wear
Jess’ design philosophy can be summed up in only a few words: fun to knit and easy to wear.
“It’s really important to me that my designs layer well. I create pieces that I can see myself wearing often, but I love to add little details that break any monotony. Whether that’s a simple yet decorative row of eyelets (as you may spot on Edenhope!) or a cable technique someone may not have tried before, there are many ways we can have fun with our crafting and still create classic pieces that will be enjoyed for years to come.”
She tries to work with thoughtful, ethical and sustainable yarns whenever possible but acknowledges that it is a contradiction if the clothes she makes become textile waste because they aren’t being used. That’s why wearability is a big priority too.
“I’ve never had much luck defining myself as either a process or a product knitter. If I’m not interested in the special features of a pattern, I probably won’t bring myself to finish knitting it, but I’m also getting increasingly selective about the knitted items I add to my handmade wardrobe. I’ve made too many things in the past that never get any wear and that just feels wasteful.”
“My partner’s family live on the beautiful Limestone Coast of South Australia, and one day we were making the 6-hour drive down to visit them; me sitting in the passenger seat.
It had been raining earlier in the day so it was very dark, then the clouds started to part and the sun glinted through them. The sky looked so amazing above the beautiful green fields – all these fluffy clouds with silver linings. I immediately thought the scene needed to be interpreted into a design.
I started making scribbles with my notebook balanced on my knee in the car. Of course, they were a bumpy mess, but with hardly any design tweaks later, that was how the shawl came to be!
There’s a lovely little town in the region called Edenhope (which we had detoured to before), so of course, I had to borrow the name for the shawl.”
The ruffles on this piece are incredibly beautiful and for Jessica, they are her favourite part.
“In all honesty, I’ve never been into ruffles on manufactured clothing, but there is something rather lovely about carefully placed, knitted ones.
You knit the shawl body first in one colour, then pick up and knit each applied ruffle at the end which creates the magical effect of colours floating on top of other colours. If you want, you can even knit them in the same colour as the shawl body for an even more subtle effect!”
Road to China Light & The Edenhope Shawl: A match made in heaven
She chose our popular Road to China Light for this design, which has a glorious drape and lustre – ideal for shawls.
“It is honestly the most divine blend of fibres I’ve ever tried. It is incredibly soft and gives the shawl fabric such a gorgeous drape. As the design was inspired by clouds, what better way to knit it into being than with a cloud-like base!
I love the colourways we chose – Hemanite (dark grey) for the shawl body and Grey Pearl (light grey) for the ruffles, but I could also see a version knitted with Apatite and Blue Tourmaline, Smokey Quartz and Agate….so many combinations would be lovely!”
Jess has included a lot of tips and tricks in the pattern, such as a step-by-step photo tutorial on how to pick up stitches for the applied ruffles, so there is no need to be intimidated by techniques that are new to you.
“I always include both charted and written instructions where relevant, so your favourite method of working lace is covered. Video tutorials are included for any cast on and bind off techniques that might be unfamiliar. Just settle back and enjoy where the rhythmic stitches take you!”
Jessica Gore’s Edenhope shawl is now available for purchase on Ravelry. Until midnight (Adelaide time) on Sunday 1st April 2018, she is kindly offering knitters 20% off the pattern with the coupon code: ROADTOEDENHOPE. Enjoy!