Today we’re chatting to a good friend of mine, Clarice Gomes, tell us a little about you Clarice.
I’m a fifty-something years old Portuguese woman with two grown-up sons and live in the Lisbon area. I have a full-time job in HR and a passion for designing knitting pieces, mainly shawls.
Marafado by Clarice Gomes
How did you get into knitting/crochet and who taught you?
My Godmother taught me how to crochet when I was 6 and my Mom taught me to knit two or three years later. I still treasure the doll clothes I made back then! While living with my parents, I knitted jumpers and pullovers for everybody at home, so now I avoid them.
What made you want to start designing?
As a young adult, I never followed knitting patterns for my projects. Magazines inspired me and taught me about shapes and stitches and I did the rest. When I restarted knitting, I discovered patterns and followed them eagerly. But at some point, it wasn’t enough.
The final thrust into designing was curiosity, realizing I could do it. And the restlessness of wanting something different, something that wasn’t available. And the will to prove that there is always a way to get the result you want. Or ten, you just have to choose your own.
Tertúlia by Clarice Gomes
What’s you favourite part of the design process?
After having knit the first sample, adjusting it to make it simpler and intuitive for others to knit.
What inspires you?
A new yarn, an unusual shape, browsing through knitting books and patterns – inspiration comes from unexpected places sometimes.
Despertares Shawl by Clarice Gomes
Are you a full-time or part-time designer and how does that fit into your life?
I’m a part-time designer only. Thinking about knitting and stitches and lace is one of the ways my brain uses to relax, so pretty much every free moment I dream of new patterns.
Do you have a favourite thing to design and why?
My favourite thing to design is shawls. I like the challenge of combining stitches in a way that looks natural like they were conceived just for that, even if they came from different sources or just my own thinking.
Aconchego by Clarice Gomes
Do you have much time to make things for yourself or for gifting?
I don’t have much knitting time, I usually focus on working my samples. I wear them all especially the shawls, but sometimes gift one (shawl, cowl or hat) to close friends or family.
If someone knitted or crocheted a gift item for you, what would you love the most?
Surprise: a shawl!
Despertares by Clarice Gomes
Do you have a favourite yarn and why?
Most yarns have something to say to me. But I love the colours of Dyed by Alfinete, an amazing Portuguese dyer. I confess to having a weakness for single-ply yarns: give me Malabrigo Mechita and I’ll knit and design happily .
What’s your favourite of your own designs and what do you love about it?
My favourite pattern is usually the one I just published, so, for now, it is Marafado. The word Marafado is a regionalism from Algarve (the south region of Portugal), and means playful, even elfish. That truly defines this pattern: when you think you know what to do next, you’re wrong, this time it’s different, it plays with you and surprises you and at the end presents you with a magnificent shawl.
Saltimbanco by Clarice Gomes
Is there anything new you can tell us about or a recent design you’d like to chat about?
I’m working with a yarn brand and this collaboration will result in a look book to be published in 2020, if all goes well.
What’s your favourite colour?
All but yellow.
Inverno by Clarice Gomes
Have you been a participating designer in the Indie Gift Along before and what do you love most about it?
It’s my 5th year already! It’s an amazing group of crafters from all over the world, chatting, changing experiences and supporting each other in the most amazing ways. One of the most enriching aspects is to get to know the persons behind the beautiful patterns of the event.
Which Gift Along 2019 designers inspire you and why?
They all are inspiring and it’s difficult to point just a few. I’ll start highlighting of our team leaders, like You Loraine, finding time in their busy schedules to devote top this project. There are amazing crochet designers on the GAL, like Natalia Knonova. We end up with a new perspective of crochet following their work. As for knitting, the way Lily Go combines lace with textures always surprises me as do the travelling stitches on Triona Murphy designs and the colour work of Sara Huntington Burch. And so many others!
How do people get in touch with you or see more of your work?
I’ve been having a good look at all the designers for the Indie Design Gift A-Long 2019 and found my Shawl favourites from this year’s patterns. I hope you love them as much as I do. I’ve included a photo, a link and why I like the particular pattern.
I loved this shawl pattern, Shake it up by Anna Johanna. I love it for a couple of reasons, anyone who knows me well would laugh, but partly because of the asymmetry and my desire to always stand out. But, I think I fell in love with the soft/muted colours and the gentle contrast of this particular shawl design. It has texture, colourwork, asymmetry and is an absolute stunner of a shawl.
Another shawl pattern added to my queue, this shawl is by Amy Van De Laar and goes with her Beeswax set. I made the hat a few years ago and wear it a lot in Winter. How could I not fall in love with the accompanying Beeswax Shawl and it’s cute hive pattern? I do have some mustard/gold coloured yarn that would be perfect for this shawl. I need more hours in the day!
This beautiful shawl pattern, Smriti by Nidhi Kansal, is so elegant and graceful. Look at the drape and shaping of it, I can see Audrey Hepburn wearing this with a sheath dress, heels and a fabulous hat, can’t you?
Time for a bit of crochet with From The Ashes Shawl by Rachy Newin. I know many of you are big fans of Rachy Newin. Rachy has gone to great lengths to show that crochet is worthy of the most amazing yarns, gradients and colour combinations and I love to see what she comes up with next.
I love this photo, the contrast of the cold background and the rich, warmth of the mustard/gold/yarn. Absolutely stunning shawl from Marie Amelie called Rauli, it’s brioche for all you brioche nuts out there. You know you want to!
I wanted to find more crochet shawls and this darling design by Michele DuNaier leapt off the page. It’s one of her Downton Abbey inspired designs and this is Violet’s Garden Shawl. I love anything purple so the colour was a winner for me, but the texture and pattern is fabulous.
I love the colour blocking and the changes of texture/pattern with each colour change of this particular shawl. The designer is a wizard with cables, check out her hats and cardigans to see more, but this is beautiful. It helps that it’s Autumnal, rich shades and I’m a Autumn. Cannot resist it!
I could have chosen any pattern from Nim’s amazing range, but this one drew me in with colours I can’t resist. This one is mosaic knitting but is really colourwork stripes with slipped stitches so you only work with one colour at a time. It can be used to create amazing patterns and is so much easier than stranding when you’re starting out.
Paola has an awesome eye for colour and her designs always stand out in any crowd but for all the right reasons. This one features brioche, stripes and a bit of lace, lots of fun for the money and you’ll learn a lot knitting it.
Who can resist that pattern name? Not me, so it’s here. I love that Barbara has created a simple shawl that allows a highly variegated skein of yarn to shine. I’m not the only one who has a ton of them with no clue what to knit or crochet. Now you know, Every Witch Way but lose, right?
Talitha’s designs definitely have an urban, edgy feel to them, just like the designer. Clean lines, blocks of colour and clever use of shape and drape for a modern look. I love this shawl, it’s unapologetic in it’s lines, stern and yet quietly confident. It definitely says you’re alright, whatever life throws at you.
A bit of crochet this time and I do love the drape and shaping on this simple shawl from Ruth Brasch, it’s clever in it’s use of highly variegated yarns and whips them into submission. No more dreaming of what to do with that skein you sit and pet or stare at, never quite know what it wants to be. I’m tell you, it needs to be a Seaweed Swirl!
I remember Allison designing this shawl and I’ve loved it ever since. Inspired by the Himalayas and using a yarn called Mr Darcy, I’d have thought this was every woman’s and some men’s dream? Either way, the changing textures to represent the landscape and the cute knitted edging speak to my heart.
I love the simple design, the pretty lace panel in the centre and the name, what girl wouldn’t want a diamond mine? I have the pattern and I’ve made this for my Mum using some superwash sock yarn, she loves it and claimed it the second she saw it.
I was recently asked by the wonderful Jody at Knotions to review the new Lacestar book by Elizabeth Felgate, many of you on Ravelry will know her designs. I love her Gaugeless range of sweaters and cardigans designed for any yarn weight.
Liz has an amazing eye for both colour and texture and whether you’re an experienced lace knitter or a newbie, you’ll absolutely love this book. Liz is known for her attention to detail and this really shows in the book, there’s a great deal of thought gone into making it easier for the knitter and to ensure any instructions are well explained before you start. There are lots of gorgeous photos and plenty of hints, tips and advice to take you through your lace projects. It’s an absolute bargain at $19.95 (plus VAT if you’re in the EU).
If you’re unfamiliar with Knotions.com, they’re an online publisher of knit and crochet patterns and their website is a virtual treasure trove of goodies including articles and some fabulous tutorials.
About the Lacestar book – a book review
The new Lacestar book is out this week and you can buy it here. (In the interests of transparency, this is an affiliate link and I’ll receive a small percentage from the sale of the book, it won’t affect the price you pay).
Lacestar by Liz Felgate for Knotions.com swatches of lace from the book
The ebook itself has over 70 pages of instructions for knitters of all levels.
how to read charts
the basics of lace knitting
more complex stitches
tips and tricks
There are clever charts and written patterns you can customize to your yarn/gauge and get the size you want. The book is organised into sections, showing the anatomy of lace stitches with clear photos and good written instructions for each pattern shown.
I love the design and layout of the Lacestar book. It’s a joy to read and the photos are fabulous. As always with Knotions.com, the page layouts are clean with plenty of white space. This makes the book easy to read and shows off any photographs, swatches and other details clearly. The book has easy to read fonts and is extremly well formatted.
How does all of this help someone who’s never knitted a lace pattern?
For starters, Liz Felgate clearly explains how lace stitches are formed, shows examples (homework) of patterns you can try with lace every other row and lace every row.
There is a section on using lifelines and I strongly suggest you read this and use them for larger lace projects.
Having ripped out a lace shawl made with laceweight mohair silk, I WISH I had used a lifeline at the time.
The sections on mirroring charts and more complex stitches like nupps were excellent and I certain you’ll find them really useful as you work your way through the book.
The suggestions for fixing mistakes and the magic of blocking will be some of the best tools in your knitting toolbox. I strongly suggest you take time to read them, you’ll learn a great deal.
I’m hoping to swatch one of the lace patterns over the weekend, unfortunately my day job has got in the way of things this last couple of weeks, but that’s all sorted out now. Check back in day or two for a swatch photo 🙂
Introducing Be As Water by Mindy Dykman aka Ravenknits
I’m a big fan of Mindy Dykman, aka Ravenknits and love her intricate patterns, often inspired by nature or the works of JRR Tolkein.
Mindy’s latest release is being published today (Pi day for those in the know) and is called Be as Water, which is part of a collection of patterns called Elements of Memory.
The ebook of six patterns does represent a HUGE saving, but if you prefer there is a discount code for 20% off the individual pattern.
Save 20% off the price of Be As Water using the code BeAsWater in your Ravelry shopping cart. Offer good until 11:59pm EST Tuesday March 19th.
I love the beading and lace details and knitted with fine yarn, it’ll be as light as a feather.
I asked Ravenknits about her design inspiration, here’s what she had to say
“Growing up in the Fraser Delta of British Columbia, with parents who attended UBC, I remember spending many days in the Nitobe Memorial Gardens.
These gardens on the UBC campus are considered to be amongst the most authentic Japanese gardens outside of Japan itself.
The deliberate plantings and symbolic statuary of the gardens are a huge part of the artistic sensibilities I have carried with me since childhood, and I wanted in some way to honour that debt of influence.
It is for this reason that, when I started contemplating the shape with which to represent the traditional elements as a shawl series, I turned to the structure of the gorinto.
Built in towers of five defining shapes, the gorinto represents elements of stability and of change, of permanence and impermanence, of the known and of the unknowable.
The spherical second level of the gorinto represents Water. Be As Water is a lace weight circular pi shawl worked from the center out.
It is worked in concentric circles with a stocking stitch ring between each ring of lace motifs.
The first two lace rings of the Be As Water Shawl use the traditional Old Shale motif.
The third and fifth lace rings of the Be As Water Shawl use a stitch that represents the word “rain,” the return of water from sea to land.
The fourth lace ring of the Be As Water Shawl uses a Japanese stitch which is an interesting variation of the same concepts found in Old Shale, suggesting that like water, the ideas that are expressible within knitting stitches are similar around the world.”
Let’s have another look at this stunning shawl by Ravenknits, Be As Water
I love the delicate beads and variety of lace patterns included in this intricate but beautiful design. It’ll be an enjoyable knit and I could have a lot of fun choosing beads to go with the yarn.
Elements of Memory is a subscription ebook which will contain a collection of 6 shawl patterns of different shapes in various yarn weights. Four of the six patterns will represent the classical elements, with a fifth pattern representing the metaphysical concept of spirit, and the sixth pattern representing the unification of the previous five concepts.
Get the latest updates on our pattern releases, sneak peaks of what I’m working on and much more in our FREE Facebook Group
There are 349 designers, 263 knit designers, 51 crochet designers and 33 who offer both knit and crochet.
I wanted to focus on shawls today, there is so much to choose from, but here are a few that caught my eye as I was helping to assemble the giant sale bundle of over 6000 patterns.
First up is this designer by Peggy Jean Kaylor, I know PJ very well and she’s created this in both shawl and shawlette versions, I’ll only show one but you can easily find the other, click on the image to go to the pattern page.
I’ve shown a close up of this one, it’d be fabulous for all the trendy speckled yarns in the shops and available from Indie Dyers at the moment and I love the pretty stitch pattern, isn’t it lovely? Click on the name of the pattern or on the image to visit the page. Marcela used 3ply/light fingering yarn but I think I’d use 4ply/fingering weight from my stash, this really is a beautiful shawl and in these colours, would be perfect for Summer.
This one is crochet, but it’s hard to tell from the photo and I just love purple, so how could I resist this? The shawl features a gorgeous zigzig pattern, achieved with chains, shells and simple stitches, nothing too taxing and it’s easy to see if you’ve gone wrong very quickly.
I’ve included this one, partly because I love the colours and simplicity of this one, great for a shawl beginner but also because it’s a good one for those self striping yarns you don’t know what do with, or using up scrap yarn and making a magic yarn ball.
I love Amy’s designs and have made her Beeswax Hat in a previous Gift Along, but this shawl, inspired by a waterfall near to Amy’s home, really stands out for me. It has lace, angles, texture and a real sense of movement.
This is a simple and quick knit, great way to use up stash, play with colour and get used to shaping a shawl. It is easy, but it’s not boring, a great knit for tv watching where you want to keep up with the plot and not lose your place in your knitting.
I had to include a rainbow somewhere and as a Sci Fi fan, to have rainbows in space was a fab combo. I love the twinkly stars and the rainbow colours. I think I’ll make this one with an Autumn coloured rainbow and an inky purple for the starry sky.
Get the latest updates on our pattern releases, sneak peaks of what I’m working on and much more in our FREE Facebook Group