Refined Knits by Jennifer Wood was our focus today on the Yarn Thing podcast with Marly Bird.
This was the first time on the podcast for Jennifer so we all got to know her together. Originally from Texas, settled in Tennessee as a young adult. It was when her daughter was in middle school and was assigned to read the Witch of Blackbird Pond that she ventured into yarn. Her daughter was attracted by the young women in the story knitting and the copy she had included knitting patterns. She and Jennifer searched more information and learned to knit together, Jennifer pursuing it even further…
Her first project was a cabled scarf. She remembers her panic that her knit stitches didn’t look like those in the pictures and then realizing those were the backside of the stitch or the purl stitches. After a few scarves and a couple of sweaters, with which she ‘changed things up’ she thought if she could design things, she could sell patterns and make enough money to by nicer yarn! She sold a few on Ravelry and then her first publish pattern was in Knitty. (See the post from last TUESDAY! with Amy Singer of Knitty.) That pattern was Emmaline in Spring + Summer 2010.
Jennifer admits she had a learning curve, for instance with sizing. When she had a piece published that appeared in Interweave (Cardiff Coat, Interweave Knits Fall 2011) the sizing didn’t work. Learning to size garments by hand and then learning to use spreadsheets and various programs (she says she uses Stitch Mastery) was time was well spent, when you view her ideas in Refined Knits.
Jennifer says she never considered doing a book, but when Carrie Bogart at Interweave approached her about it, she spent a lot of time thinking about it, and e-mailing back and forth. Jennifer really wanted to focus on mixing cables and lace, she views that as an adventure, making the stitches balance with the garment shapes. Collecting the pieces together then dividing them into sections of Cables, Lace and a mixture of both in Aran Lace. Willa Cardigan (links to Ravelry so you can see all the pictures) featured circled cables, included in the knit-in button bands, saddle shoulders and incorporating seed stitches (which we are currently loving in the Free Kal with Red Heart Yarns and Marly Bird). Adelaide is a reversible scarf which also shows her love of the nice yarns, this is merino, cashmere and silk blend. Idril is beautiful, feminine, v-necked with long sleeves pullover that began with the cables around the neckline that she loved so much, she wanted to incorporate them around MORE in the bottom of the sweater. Because of the finer gauge yarn, and the fiber being again a merino, cashmere and silk again, a hand-dyed so it has lovely marbling and great stitch dictionary. Maisie, is a round yoke, cap sleeves cardigan that features a combination cables with lace that are gradual in sizes, in a wool and silk blend that would transcend seasons. It was really the cable & lace pattern that inspired her to make that work. Camelia is a cardigan which features a pine-cone lace around the neckline to frame the face. The Corinne also draws attention up toward the face, but the back is extra special as it incorporates more of the oval cables, which also went down the sleeves. The cover design, Anwen is a rectangular shawl that is knit in different directions and grafted at the center, assembled with three different vintage lace patterns, frost flower, feather & fan and the fern stitch.
Such a beautiful book, we hope you’ll find a copy and fall in love with it as we did. You can follow Jennifer Wood at her website: www.woodhouseknits.com, her designer page in Ravelry, Pinterest and Facebook (when it’s working).
If you missed getting to hear this live, it’s still available where it aired live as an archived episode: https://www.blogtalkradio.com/yarnthing/2016/04/14/refined-knits-by-jennifer-wood or with your favorite podcast catcher like iTunes or Stitcher Radio.