Technique Talk with Julia Farwell-Clay

his month’s Boost Your Knitting designer is the supremely talented Julia Farwell-Clay, whose cleverly cute Heartgyle Socks have knitters around the world not only working intarsia, but doing it in the round! She loves a good sweater, but also has designed beautiful accessories — she’s partial to eye-catching designs and interesting techniques! She was kind enough to sit down and answer some questions about her design process and the role that new techniques play in it — and she’s got some good advice for us too!

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Knitter, know yourself...

Sometimes I astonish myself with my ability to ignore the things I know about myself.

I know that I find it hard to ignore mistakes in my knitting. And yet I will still leave a beautiful project in a bag, thinking I can ignore the error and keep knitting. Until eventually I wake up and realise that I need to rip out the mistake and correct it. More than a year later!

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Changing plans

The actions of Sockmatician (Nathan) and his husband over the past week have caused BAME (Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority), BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Colour) and marginalised members of the knitting community great hurt and have compromised their safety. This is unacceptable. Racism is unacceptable.

I (Jen) spoke briefly with Nathan at Yarningham on Sunday, and I apologise unreservedly for the hurt and harm that caused. I was mostly offline last week while we completed work on our book, and I was unaware of the full extent of damage that had occurred. Impact is what matters, and I am very sorry. Our stand at Yarningham was in a side room, and I didn’t become aware of his aggression towards Almas until I was on my way home from the show.

We recognise that remaining silent in the face of unacceptable behaviour does nothing to help dismantle the systems of oppression at work in our community.

Jim and I have set out to create a company that empowers knitters and builds confidence in their own abilities with accessible and clear patterns and tutorials. We place great value on learning and recognise that we ourselves always have more to do. Racism and exclusion have no place in the knitting community, and we are continuing to educate ourselves and to work to improve.

The stated aim of our knitalongs is that all feel welcome regardless of race, colour, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, size, ability, financial circumstances, language, or where you are from.

Including Nathan’s pattern in Boost Your Knitting is incompatible with those values. Therefore, we have taken the decision to remove Nathan’s pattern from Boost Your Knitting.

Boost Your Knitting was due to go to the printers today, and inevitably such a last minute change will have some knock-on effects. We are working hard to produce a replacement design, and to get the book finalised as promptly as possible, as well as to update our posts in reflection of this change. We are still aiming to deliver print copies of Boost Your Knitting in September, and we will communicate with our customers if that changes. Digital pattern releases will continue to occur as planned at the start of each calendar month.

Boost Your Knitting was commissioned between September 2017 and March 2018. It first went on sale in early February 2019. We fully recognise the structural racism that prevented us from knowing a wider range of designers when we commissioned the collection, as well as our part within that. Our future publications will reflect our values more fully.

We have set comments on this post to be moderated. This is not intended to stifle discussion, but rather in recognition that we have a responsibility to maintain safe spaces across our platforms. Please take time to consider any response before posting.

Edited at 17:13 on 16th July to say: We have removed our Facebook post as there was no way to close or moderate comments overnight. I am now closing comments on Instagram until tomorrow morning. And I will review blog comments and approve / address them first thing tomorrow. I have a meeting tomorrow so won't be around very much, but I will do my best to be as transparent as possible about what's happening.

Edited at 9.40 on 17th July: Thank you for your comments. I have a number to review, but unfortunately could not get to them before leaving for my meeting. When I am back online, this will be my first priority.

More Intarsia in the Round Patterns to Try!

I’ve been happily knitting away on my Heartgyle Socks, looking forward to getting to the intarsia action! If you’re casting around looking for other projects that use this technique, you might struggle initially – like dip stitches and tuck stitches, “intarsia in the round” isn’t a separate pattern characteristic field on Ravelry. So here’s a small roundup of more patterns from Julia Farwell-Clay that use this technique!

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FO: Granito Sweater

I’m so thrilled with my finished Granito Sweater! Once again, a 4ply garment has taken me around a year from start to finish, in amongst a LOT of work knitting and smaller pieces. At this point in my life I’m pretty happy with that. It would be easy to feel like I wasn’t making progress and that it would never be finished, but in reality – when I was working on it – it flew along.

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Knitting How-To: Working Intarsia in the Round (A Video Tutorial)

I’m a big fan of stranded colourwork knitting – and I know many of our customers are aficionados too! But there are times when you want a single bold colour motif that’s non-repeating, no stranding required. It’s in these situations that we turn to another type of colourwork knitting: intarsia. Working the technique in the round poses special challenges. I’ll show you how to tackle them in today’s tutorial.

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Errata – the bane of my life (part 2)

On Wednesday, I wrote about the work that we do to avoid mistakes creeping in to our publications. Thank you for all the kind feedback I have had following on from that post. I’m always going to find it hard dealing with making a mistake, but it definitely helps to feel that people understand. In today’s post, I’m going to explain what we do when we find a mistake.

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Picking Colours for the Heartgyle Socks

Julia Farwell-Clay’s Heartgyle socks, this month’s Boost Your Knitting pattern, give so much scope for playing with colour. I’ve been having more fun than I should playing with combinations of Coop Knits Socks Yeah! 4ply (the heathered shades are just so fun to mix and match) … and now I want to knit about a half a dozen pairs!

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