I always design knitting patterns with the knitter in mind, imagining them sitting down with their yarn and my pattern.
My first priority is to make it simple. I want it to be simple so they can cast on and enjoy the process, enjoy the yarn, enjoy the stitch.
Not all patterns and techniques seem simple to begin with, of course, and that’s why I opened my Skipton studio – to help knitters, so that they can chat through my design and together we can simplify what once seemed tricky.
Then they can challenge themselves with a new stitch technique which I can help them with until that too becomes simple with time and practice.
One of the most simple stitches is good old garter stitch. After – or even during – a hectic day, it’s lovely to sit and knit a few rows, to calm the mind. Garter stitch looks very effective in natural fibres.
Sometimes knitters pop into my shop and tell me: “Oh, I’m not a good enough knitter for natural fibres”. That’s not true.
Natural fibres like lovely Blue Faced Leicester (Spun locally by West Yorkshire Spinners!) help you become a good knitter, they make your knitting even and beautiful because the feeling of the smooth yarn through your hands makes you happy and when you are happy your knitting is happy too!!
Garter stitch is great for a designer because everyone can use garter stitch, from beginners to those returning to knitting who want to get used to the needles and yarn again and then experienced knitters who need an in-between project, an amuse-bouche for your knitting hands or if you need a new garment in a week or weekend.
I have lots of lovely garter stitch patterns for little ones including Billie Bootees
and for adults we have the Philippa Jumper.