Raven photography by Jade Starmore, taken from Glamourie
I am posting this week from Shetland Wool Week where I am visiting with some knitting chums, but more on that next week!
Before I left I was lucky enough to interview Alice Starmore for Mason Dixon Knitting. You can read the full article here but I wanted to share a bit more of the background with you.
I met Alice quite a few years ago and was incredibly starstruck, but this beautiful petite Hebridean couldn’t have been more kind and charming to a newbie knitting magazine editor.
Over the years I have been very privileged to stay in touch with her, even visiting her croft and spending a wonderful afternoon with Alice, her husband and her pedigree highland cattle.
She is incredibly generous with her time and very encouraging to a very low level designer like me. Every conversation inspires me to try harder and leaves me seeing my craft in a totally different way.
Her latest book Glamourie is quite an achievement. Shot over 3 years, Alice has let her creative juices run riot with a series of costumes that embody the wildlife she sees around her. They are brought to life in the original stories written by her daughter, Jade, following a long tradition of story telling in their community. Then there are the patterns, taking elements from each costume, ready for you and I to knit. I cannot recommend it highly enough, so get it on your Christmas list.
But that’s not all the Glamourie is. Alice and Jade see it as a starting point for knitters, a spring board if you like. On the Virtual Yarns website designs are, and will continue to be developed. The Raven wings have been evolved in to collars or added to other garments in a feast of creative exploration.
Hearing Alice talk about the book I delved into my stash. I had treated myself to a gift box of every shade in the Hebridean 2ply a couple of years ago and wanted to knit a Raven collar.
I unwound the hanks into balls, put them all into a bag and began to knit Raven feathers as described here. The beauty of her yarn is that all the colours work together so I didn’t look or choose, I just simply delved. What ever came out was how it was supposed to be.
The first layer of feathers have two colours. followed by a layer of solids. This will be repeated again for the next two layers before I put the collar together.
I have yet to decide which neck I will use for the collar but the book has all the patterns I need and Alice’s website will continue to inspire my choice.