Tag Archives: colour

Gelati now available

If you’re looking for last-minute gift ideas, Biggan has just released three new patterns.

The luscious sorbet colours of Gelati will brighten even the darkest winter day. With three individual patterns available – a miniskirt, boobtube & wristwarmer set, and scarf & beanie set – there’s a little something for everyone’s Christmas stocking.

Rainbow ruffles take home the prize

Congratulations to Christine Jones, who is the first winner of our monthly competition with her self-designed Arwen rainbow ruffle skirt.

© Christine Jones. Used with permission.

A resident of Australia’s Northern Rivers region and a knitter for almost 30 years, Christine has recently turned her hand to designing patterns. Her first published pattern, Flamenco, is featured on the cover of the current issue of Australian knitting magazine, Yarn.

“I’ve always loved colour and that’s what I really like about Biggan yarn,” Christine says. “I bought a few different colours from Biggan at a craft fair in Brisbane earlier this year, and did a couple of samples for the course I’m doing.

“I’m not sure where the actual inspiration for the skirt came from. I guess it was having all those single balls in different colours. The materials influenced the design…and I also love frills,” Christine said.

Christine is currently working on grading Arwen, so keep an eye out for this exciting new pattern.

Christine has won two 50g balls of Biggan DK/8 ply yarn in Emerald, and we hope this provides her with inspiration to design more fabulous things!

And remember, if you’re on Ravelry, why not enter our monthly competition? All you have to do is knit or crochet a project using Biggan yarn, and then share it with the Biggan Designs group so that it shows up in the “Recently Completed Projects” from group members.

We will be announcing our second winner on 1 January, so don’t forget to post your projects to the group by 31 December!

Meet Nisse

Our new recruit — Nisse is Elf in Charge of Christmas Cheer!

Just in time for the silly season, Nisse has arrived at the Biggan Design office!

In all the craziness of preparing for Christmas, it’s easy to get so stressed that we forget that this is supposed to be a time of joy. So Nisse’s job is to remind us of that here at Biggan Design.

And just look at him — who could fail to smile when confronted with this colourful little person?

Alan Dart’s patterns look so impressively complex when finished, but they are not terribly hard to knit … although they can be a bit fiddly. All in all, Nisse took less than 15 hours of knitting time! Working circularly certainly cut down the amount of finishing required too, although there were still quite a few pieces to sew together at the end.

To convert the pattern to circular knitting, I kept the stitch counts the same and simply joined the end of the first row to the beginning. I worked on four DPNs for the larger diameter sections (the head and body), and on two for the smaller diameter pieces (hat, legs, arms and neck). The more fiddly pieces, such as the shoes, hands and cuffs, I worked flat and seamed. Blocking all of the pieces lightly helped to ensure the cast-on edges didn’t roll, and made sewing Nisse together much easier.

Working on such small circular knitting pieces has given me a much greater appreciation for the elasticity of Biggan yarn; even when working on only two needles, I had no ladders to contend with at the point where I changed DPNs. And when my elf legs turned out vastly different sizes — goodness only knows what I was thinking of to change my tension that drastically! — I was easily able to block them to a more consistent length and width.

Every office needs a Christmas elf…

Our inspiration

With only three weeks left before Christmas Eve — how did that sneak up on us so fast? — Henri and I decided that we needed an extra pair of hands around the office.

Henri had bought a gorgeous Christmas elf, knitted from Biggan yarn, at Threads and More, which set us to thinking about knitting something similar as our Christmas office mascot.

I suggested that we look at Alan Dart’s whimsical Christmas toys. We eventually decided on the adorable Initial Imps, and I got to work rummaging through our yarn remnants to find a colour combination (seriously, I have the best job on earth!).

The Biggan yarn palette lends itself beautifully to Alan’s patterns and, with 64 colours to choose from, our little Nisse was always going to be the trendsetter of the Christmas elf world. I finally settled on Lime (#405), Burnt Orange (#280) and Royal Purple (#805).

 

Our office Christmas elf is still in pieces, but not for long…

I made some minor modifications to the pattern, mostly to accommodate my colour scheme eg working the stockings in three colours instead of two, and with three rows of each colour. Given our hectic Christmas knitting schedules, I also decided to knit Nisse in the round — even though it is already a quick knit, I figure I will save a lot of time by not having to seam each piece.  Leaving the stitch counts the same, and working on 3mm DPNs, I simply joined the end of the first row to the beginning and just kept knitting.

I’m a little behind schedule thanks to the arrival of my best friend’s new baby, but Nisse should be finished this weekend, so stay posted for pics of him in all his multicoloured glory.

An inspirational weekend at Harrogate

Just back from a most stimulating weekend up at the Woolaballoo yarn stall at Harrogate, with Lucy Bush and her lovely mother, Anne. This year I opted to do the Knitting and Stitching Show at Harrogate with Woolaballoo, as they have all our yarns and are doing a stellar job of selling them. I was lucky to meet quite a few loyal knitters at the stall and together we put together some beautiful individually chosen colour combinations, particularly for the Sarah sweater and the Judith vest. It always makes me happy to see other knitters playing around with my wide range of colours and using it, just as it was meant, as a colour palette of yarn to be inspired by. It was lucky that I decided to do the show with Woollaballoo this year, as I went down with the most horrendous tummy flu shortly after arriving in the UK, which knocked me for six, and no food for three days. I was very happy to have Lucy and her mum organising the stall and the running of it.

Biggan with Lucy of Woolaballoo at Harrogate Knitting & Stitching show, Nov 09

I managed to get up on the Saturday afternoon after several long standstills on the motorway for roadworks! But it was all worth it. The Harrogate Knitting and Stitching Show is definitely one of my favourites. Not only is it situated in one of the most picture perfect Victorian spa towns you can imagine, with the best shopping possible and a lot of good restaurants, but the show itself has such a variety of exquisite craft exhibitions on hand. Houston-based Cindy Hickok’s masterful machine embroidery of selected bits from famous artists’ best known works, from the renaissance until our time, had me completely gobsmacked. Her mastery of the machine and getting all these famous characters perfectly reproduced in an entirely new setting and with hilarious captions to go with it – very much tongue in cheek – had me back there twice slowly trailing every picture. I could have bought the lot, had I had the money!

Then I saw the knitted boat, yes, that’s right, the fabulous art project put together by the Sanford Goudie Gallery at the Customs House in Tyne & Wear, UK, by knitting a coat and a sail for a boat and putting it to use in the water!!! The knitting had been coordinated by very colourful knitting artist Ingrid Wagner using her enormous knitting needles. I also saw US based Tom Lundberg’s exhibition of beautifully machine embroidered artwork in the form of condensed sized badges, very skilfully executed. Lastly I ran into the embroidery duo Jean Littlejohn and Jan Beaney, whose fabulous embroidered wall hangings I was already admiring last year at the main exhibition. There they had a lot of pieces inspired by the Australian bush, which, of course, struck a special chord with me.

I’m now back in London again working on a plethora of new designs and ideas. I don’t know quite what to prioritise as they all are as much fun to develop and knit – several children’s garments, a shrug for a wedding in Adelaide in December and some commissioned work to get ready for deadlines. But it is all fun and I am brimming over with new ideas. London is a very stimulating place for me to be, as a designer. The enormous variety of art exhibitions, beautiful parks and buildings, theatres and movies make my inspiration soar.