New Designer of the Year

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If you subscribe to my News Update (subscribe here), then you were party to a wee secret a couple of weeks ago.

Knit Now Magazine announced the winners of their Knitter of the Year awards and I am thrilled to say that I am one of the winners of New Designer of the Year 2017.

 

 

 

fullsizeoutput_10fIt was very hard to keep this a secret until the publication of Knit Now’s Issue 70 and so far it’s been a fairly low key announcement but I’m very excited about winning and I’m looking forward to the opportunities that I hope may arise from my win.

My win follows on from two designs that I’ve had published in Knit Now: Sycamore and Snow Blossom , and a submission for a new shawl design, which will be featured later in the year (you might be able to spot a sneaky peak in one of my photos here).

 

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As part of the prize, all the winners (there were four other categories: Designer of the year; Online Innovator; Local Superstar and Charity Hero), including fellow Edinburger Jessica James proprietor of Ginger Twist Studio, are going on a day out to Sirdar HQ in Wakefield. I’m very excited about this, as I’m keen to see how they approach the design process within a large yarn company, and I’ve also been told there will be a lot of yarn to ‘oooooh’ over. Watch this space for lots of photos and blog posts after the event.

If you’d like to be one of the first to find out what’s happening with Maddie Harvey Designs in the future, including new pattern releases before anyone else and special coupon codes, sign up for my News Update (click here).

Retreat

Have you ever been on a knitting retreat?

imageOver the last few years I’ve been lucky enough to attend a couple of retreats, each of them different. Some retreats offer classes to teach you new knitting or crafting skills; some are more like conferences, with speakers and workshops on professional skills like technical editing; and some retreats are purely about relaxing with your knitting friends. These retreats involve taking some time to knit on your works-in-progress, without unwanted interruptions, perhaps picking up a few knitting tips on the way, or leafing through a gorgeous knitting book. This is the kind of retreat I went on recently with my friends from my Knit Night.

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Although we only stayed overnight at the retreat centre, we spent the whole Saturday and Sunday knitting, chatting and eating. There was a log burning stove, plenty of cosy chairs, and beautiful grounds to walk in, if we so chose. For those of us who ventured outside, there were some lovely woolly sheep and alpacas to say hello to, perfect for a group of knitters.

 

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Since I started doing more design work, I have less time to knit projects that are just for me, so I loved being able to work on my Lilian jumper in beautiful Posh Yarn Martha DK. I also had time to experiment with some entrelac knitting. Whilst my attempt at brioche-entrelac (would that be briontrelac or entrioche?) wasn’t entirely successful, it did give me some ideas for using elements of entrelac in future designs.

 

A knitting retreat doesn’t have to be anything elaborate or expensive: my Knit Night group enjoy having the odd ‘knitting day’ at each other’s houses. Whatever form they take, retreats are an important part of self-care for knitters, so take some time out with your knitting friends to knit, chat, eat and … repeat.

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I’d love to hear about your experience of retreats. Leave me a comment or connect with me on Twitter or Instagram where I’m @harveyknits

Links:

Lilian jumper by Suvi Simola – http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/lilian-4

Posh Yarn – http://www.poshyarn.co.uk