Sunday, 21 September 2014

A Gallery of Ammonites

In a recent post on a new design, I briefly reflected on why I enjoy creating my own knitting patterns. It turns out that I secretly take pleasure in the hardship of the creative process: choosing yarns, counting stitches, knitting swatches, discarding those swatches and so on, until I arrive at combinations that can be turned into a viable design. 

Ammonite in Moonlight Sonata (James C Brett Yarns) 

This, however, only constitutes the initial part of the design process, i.e. the creative process. Once the piece has been completed, the pattern has been written up and  published, there comes a period of relative uncertainty. It's the time when a design meets its audience, the real life knitters. 

When I published my first pattern, Ammonite, a generously sized, semi-circular shawl, I had completed a few knitting projects and published project instructions for a very simple Knitted Cat Tunnel. If I was a novice knitter at the time (and I still class myself as one today), I was even more of a novice designer. As a result, I was very doubtful whether other knitters would trust the instructions of a newbie and actually cast - on for this project.

To my great surprise, Ammonite was well received from the start and, unbelievably, crafters made that leap of faith, despite the pattern calling for a Picot bind-off of 690 stitches. Quite a commitment. Please accept my sincerest apologies. :-) 

This is where the second part of the design process starts: Seeing the finished projects by  other knitters, their yarn choices and the unique garments they have created on the basis of the pattern.

I could write for hours on this topic, as it is immensely rewarding, perhaps the most rewarding part of pattern publishing. It suffices to say that, whenever I see a new Ammonite being born, it makes my day and motivates me to keep on creating.

Anyway, enough about the design process and the designer. It's time to showcase some of the fantastic Ammonites produced by other knitters. What follows is a gallery of Ammonites, created by crafters from around the globe on Ravelry, which I will update as and when new projects are added on Ravelry.

Many thanks to all Ammonite knitters for both jumping into the unknown and allowing me to use your project photos on this blog!

  • First up, we have Raisa's Ammonite.   

Raisa, who is based in Sweden, is zindah on Ravelry and her project notes are available here. For her Ammonite, she has used La Perla by Swedish yarn manufacturer Svarta Fåret. 

I absolutely love the look of this Ammonite. In appearance, this yarn seems very similar to  Rowan Kidsilk Haze, though the composition is slightly different. La Perla contains 22% Mohair and I imagine this shawl light and squishy with an immense amount of drape, yet able to keep the wearer nicely wrapped up due to Mohair's unique heat-preserving properties.

Ammonite in La Perla by zindah

Ammonite in La Perla by zindah (love doggy sneaking into the photo :-)

Chris is based in Virginia (United States) and crafts as CMippy on Ravelry. Her project notes are available here. Chris's Ammonite was a present for her mum, bojean on Ravelry, and she recently told me how much her mum loves her shawl, using it as a "portable blanket". As you can see below, the shawl looks fantastic. Chris used Maxima by Manos del Uruguay, a worsted weight yarn with a great stitch definition available in many beautiful colours. The yarn works incredibly well with the pattern, I think.

Bojean and her Sea Urchin Shawl in Maxima by Manos del Uruguay

Bojean and her Sea Urchin Shawl in Maxima by Manos del Uruguay

Chris, by the way, contacted me whilst knitting Ammonite. Thanks to her attention to detail, she became aware of a mistake in my pattern. So Chris, thank you once again for getting in touch at the time and pointing this out! (The pattern has since been updated and, fingers crossed, should now be free of mistakes.)  

When blocking her shawl, Chris took a picture of the project, which gives a great idea of scale and the actual size of the garment:

The box in the centre of the shawl is a DVD.

Based in Southampton (United Kingdom), Rebecca is Beccabadger on Ravelry. More information on her crafty adventures can be found on her blog, Crafterways and her Ammonite project notes are available here.

Rebecca was in fact the first Raveler, who completed an Ammonite following publication of the pattern. She used Zettl Valbella, a German 4 ply sock yarn, which is identical in composition to Knitglobal, the yarn I used for my first Ammonite. Valbella gives great definition to the cartridge rib stitch motif, as you can see in Rebecca's Ammonite below. 

Ammonite in Zettl Valbella
If you have completed an Ammonite and would like to be added to the above gallery, please contact me on Ravelry (ClariceAsquith), via Twitter, @Slipstitched or Pinterest, Clarice Asquith

If you would like to knit Ammonite, the pattern is available here.

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