Friday, 31 October 2014

Christmas Sweaters, Save the Children and Deramores

Earlier this year I was asked by Deramores to design an exclusive pattern which would be available as a free download in support of Save The Children's Christmas Jumper day on Friday 12th December. This was a great opportunity for me to publish the extra designs I had done for Merry Christmas Sweaters which didn't make it into the book.
The front of the FREE Christmas Sweater . . .

I sent a selection of three over to the Deramores team and we all decided that the Christmas Tree and Dog was the most striking design. At the time I wrote the book I thought that this design would have been the one to go in if there had been more room.
. . . and the back!

When I start working on the designs for a book like this, I chart out them out on actual size knitted graph paper so I can see exactly where the design sits and how it works. Sometimes if I do it in a smaller scale it just doesn't look right. With this sweater design, once I was happy with the angle of the dog's head (which was really important to give him the right character!) and the shape and size of the tree I transferred the design, square by square onto the computer and printed it out ready to start.

The next decision was what yarn to use? There were a few alternatives but at the time of starting the sweater the new Naturally Soft Aran yarn from Millamia had just been launched and I was yearning to use it! I love the feel of Millamia Naturally Soft Merino and have used the sportweight in a lot of my designs. The girls at Millamia kindly agreed to send me the yarn for the sweater and I eagerly anticipated the parcel arriving. I wasn't disappointed, the colours were perfect (I used Cherry Red for the main body, Emerald for the tree, the dog is in Latte and the garland and star are all in Ochre) and the yarn feels as luxurious as the finer yarn I had used in the past.

I managed to catch Katarina from MillaMia trying on the Christmas Sweater!

As the design uses Aran yarn (all the designs in Merry Christmas Sweaters do) it knitted up really quickly, and it looks as good on as it did on the needles. The sweater was a work in progress during The Handmade Fair, Yarndale and was finally finished and on display at The Knitting and Stitching Show, I am so pleased with it and I can't wait to see everyone else's versions!

If you want to download a FREE copy for yourself, then head over to Deramores! They are also very generously donating £2.50 from the sale of every copy of Merry Christmas Sweaters to Save The Children - there's still plenty of time to get knitting your own Christmas Sweater!