Amirisu Issue 14 - Hello Again, It's 'Gneiss' To Be Back.

Hello! It has been over a year since my last blog post and a lot has changed during that time. However, I am feeling indecisive about where to start so I thought just jumping in with a pattern post would get me over that hump.

Normally, I like to blog about a pattern just when it has been released but to celebrate the re-release of Gneiss, I thought I would start here. Gneiss, was originally a part of amiriu’s collection for Issue 14, their autumn issue last year. As I eagerly await the return of the sweater I wanted to share the inspiration behind this pattern.

Photos from Pinterest.

Photos from Pinterest.

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Like most magazine submissions, I start with their mood board. I quickly see what captures my attention and begin thinking of ideas from there. Issue 14’s theme had a lot of geometric shapes and colour blocking images that I was drawn to. After being attracted to the colour block sweater, pictured above, it reminded me of a previous design that I already had in the works.

I will admit and let you know that I had drawn up Gneiss much earlier than this proposal. The first sketch was similar, in terms of its shape and construction. However, I had intended it to be worked in two solid colours and with the right side of stocking stitch visible on the lower half. It was first submitted to a different company and was not accepted. It sat in the back of my mind for a few months until amirisu’s autumn submission call. I had reservations, of course, thinking maybe since this was not accepted the first time, it might be denied again. Maybe I was the only one who liked this design? However, I had to put those negative thoughts aside. I chose to believe that this still was a strong design and it just needed to find a home.

Original sketches for amirisu.

Original sketches for amirisu.

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I will not go into too much detail about the first version since with time and some new inspiration, this second version is much better. I knew I wanted to keep this sweater two colours. However, it was the photo of pink paired with the marble texture that made me rethink the types of yarn used for this project. I decided to suggest hand dyed yarn. I love working with semi-solid colours but I pushed myself outside of my own comfort zone and suggested a speckled yarn as the second colour. I personally prefer the impact of reverse stocking stitch when working with variegated yarns. I thought the combination of texture and colour mimics the look of marble. I then decided to changed to bottom of the sweater to reverse stocking stitch.

Original swatches for amirisu.

Original swatches for amirisu.

I had not worked with speckled yarn in the past so there was none in my stash to sample with. However, I am glad amirisu was also able to invision what I was proposing. They said “yes” and suggested working with La Bien Aimée. I was happy to finally try their Merino DK for the first time. I was immediatly head over heels for the colour Ash when it arrived. It took me a little longer to warm up to Pom Pom since it was unlike anything I had used before. However, once I got into the bottom half of the sweater, I was very happy with amirisu’s decision.

La Bien Aimée's Merino DK in Pom Pom.

La Bien Aimée's Merino DK in Pom Pom.

La Bien Aimée's Merino DK in Ash.

La Bien Aimée's Merino DK in Ash.

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Here are some in-progress photos of Gneiss. Gneiss begins as a top-down raglan. Once the arms are put on hold, the front and back and are then separated and worked flat. This allows the triangle shape on the back to be worked as intarsia. The sides must be seamed together but then the sleeves are finished off in the round.

Right side of sweater.

Right side of sweater.

Inside of sweater.

Inside of sweater.

Now finally, a few shots from the photoshoot. I have loved seeing the unique colour combinations other knitters have come up with. If you would like to see some ideas, take a look at the projects page. Right now, Gneiss will be 30% off in my Ravelry shop till the end of October.

Photography by amirisu.

Photography by amirisu.

Original sketch for amirisu.

Original sketch for amirisu.

Photography by amirisu.

Photography by amirisu.

Phōs

September is always an exciting month for me because it feels like the beginning of a new year. First, it's my birthday month. Turning one year older naturally makes me reflect on the previous year and gets me thinking about what I'd like to accomplish next. Also it feels like the knitting season really kicks into high gear with anticipation to make the most out of the upcoming winter months. 

Last week I turned twenty-seven and a few days later was thrilled to announce my first pattern published with amirisu! So far I've published designs through Pom Pom and also self-published through my own Ravelry shop. I'm really excited to be reaching a new audience and new knitters with amirisu. This also marks my first pattern to be translated into another language. Each issue of amirisu is published in English and Japanese. 

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With each new submission, I take my time looking over their moodboard and requirements. Then I tend to pull the photos I fixate on. It could be because of the colour, pattern or something in the image that draws my attention. With amirisu's moodboard, I narrowed it down to these three photos and then started to sketch and swatch. I was particularly drawn to the bold geometric pattern on the left. However, I wanted a more complicated design rather than just copying the diamond shapes with colour. Working with green was this issue's theme but I knew I wanted to do colourwork when I started to get inspired by the geometric shapes. I fell in love with the neutrals paired with the dark natural greens in the photo above. From the top left photo, I especially loved how the light changed as it filtered in through the leaves. I knew I wanted to create layers of colour by mixing the two yarns together to create light, medium and dark sections.

Sometimes I have a vision of what I want to create before playing around with a sample on my needles. Other times, it's just the opposite. As I knit and unravel, the idea of what I want as an accessory starts to form. For this design I really had to spend lots of time sampling to get the right effect of blending the two colours together. Below you'll see my finished swatch and sketches I sent off to amirisu to be considered for their issue. 

For yarn, we decided on Audouin and Boreal in Chickadee by Quince & Co. This was the second time I was able to work with Chickadee. It is one of my favourites to use for colourwork projects. I had the pleasure to use it for my scarf, Selsey, published in Pom Pom's Autumn Issue 10. A massive thank-you goes out to Loop, for yarn support and supplying the Chickadee. I was lucky enough to pull the skeins off the shelf and get started right away when the final colour decision was made. I've been fortune to have the support of the shop behind me as I work on my designs. I'm a little sad I can't be on the shop floor when this new issue of amirisu arrives at Loop! 

So let me finally introduce you to Phōs! Phōs is an ancient Greek word for light. I thought it would be appropriate since part of my inspiration came from the images of light filtering through the plant leaves. Phōs is a lightweight hat which plays with combining knits and purls to create the colourwork pattern. I can't wait to get my hands on this issue. I feel the amirisu team has done a beautiful job and I can't be more pleased. I'm also excited to be featured alongside other contributors I admire and a few new ones I'm glad to discover. Phōs is also available as a single pattern through amirisu's Ravelry shop

Photo credit: amirisu

Photo credit: amirisu

Photo credit: amirisu

Photo credit: amirisu

Photo credit: amirisu

Photo credit: amirisu

Photo credit: amirisu

Photo credit: amirisu

Photo credit: amirisu

Photo credit: amirisu