Thursday, 19 September 2013

Crafty Blog Tour: Stephanie Dosen's Woodland Knits



Woodland Knits, a Tiny Owl Knits Collection by Stephanie Dosen, was an absolute treat to receive in the post from my friends at Crafty Magazine as part of their book tour surrounding its release. And what could be better than reviewing it whilst on holiday surrounded by beautiful woodlands. 

When I first saw Stephanie Dosen's work I was beginning to realise knitting could be much more than just scarves and hats. I was intrigued by artists such as Shauna Richardson but found Tiny Owl Knits was much more accessible. And with the release of this book, with over 20 of her patterns, some favourites and some brand new, Stephanie's work is sure to be admired by all.


The book features a range of patterns primarily for adults but also includes children's sizes, such as the 'Deer With Little Antlers Hat' (the cover shot) and the fairy wings which fit all ages. Also with some felting projects, crochet and a little embroidery it has a challenge for everyone. 

My personal favourites are those with motifs on, with the 'Oh My Bear' being the one I'll knit first. Others such as the 'Meow Mitts' and 'Fawn Poncho' are also super cute. 

I felt perhaps the book is aimed at a slightly older audience than I, some patterns were also a little too elven for my taste, but overall it is full of inspiring and well made knits. I did feel the yarn choices for each project were gorgeous, with lots of Rowan beauties, as well an a Erika Knight Fur Wool I couldn't keep my eyes off. 




I also really enjoyed all the little descriptions and notes throughout the pages, they're a perfect way of ensuring Stephanie's personality was heard. The illustrated owl experience levels linked in perfectly with this. 



One of the things that really stood out to me was the presentation of the book and how well it represented Tiny Owl Knits as a brand. The patterns all have enchanting boarders around them and I love the darker pages with the lighter motifs. The theme is always present with everything working well together.


Although the presentation was really strong I did find in places that the photography could have been a little better. Perhaps I'm a little biased here, but I would have loved to have seen images as powerful as the cover throughout the book. 

Overall I'd definitely recommend this book to any knitter who's a fan of wildlife or forest whimsy, and especially those who have been following Tiny Owl Knits. Having the patterns in a physical form, such as a book, really suits them and it will fit in well on my book shelf. 


Follow the blog tour next with Lauren Guthrie tomorrow and Kat Goldin on Saturday! You can also see previous reviews from Emma LambEmma Varnam and Crafty.

Friday, 19 July 2013

WHAT I'VE BEEN KNITTING: SUMMER

Once again I've found myself to busy to write a simple blog post, I know its a terrible excuse, but since my last I've moved to London and officially launched my little knitting business, selling my pieces with the fabulous Molly-Meg. But lets not get ahead of ourselves!

Firstly I made some variations on my scarves, a red fox, new monkey, panda and a rather fluffy faux mink stole. I love taking custom orders and working out the pattern, especially when using lovely merino yarns.


Next I've been making lots and lots of animal heads, here's a set I made for a special celebrity client, each piece always has their own personality. Generally I'm making quite a few each month, and I really enjoy spending my time making them.




I was really lucky to actually sell some of my heads to the editor of Tatler, and have been told they're hanging in her office at Condé Nast. With this she also featured Mr. Fox on the Notes to Self page of this months Tatler, which I'm absolutely chuffed about!


Finally I've started working on a new project, mini fox head knitting kits, which will be available once my pattern's been finalised and I've had them tested! I will be on the hunt for UK knitters, so watch this space! 


I'd better get back to working on my fox pattern,

Sincerely,

Louise

xox


Friday, 10 May 2013

BODEN PRESS DAY

If you're wondering why I've been so quiet the last month its not because my wrists have finally given in and I'm awaiting surgery to become Edward knitting needle hands, its that they've been very busy on a commission for Boden

For the Mini Boden fall/winter 2013 press day I was asked to knit six taxidermy style animal heads - a fox, jack russell, rabbit, badger, deer and mole. I was also asked to knit moss stitch squares in the seasons colour palette. The press day was at Somerset House, and the effort made across each room was fabulous as you can see in the photos! The decor and props matched the beautiful clothes - I cant wait for next season. 

The pieces are humorous and quirky, following my style of knitting, I loved making them and using incredible luxury yarns. I wanted them to be quite chunky, using several strands of yarn to create different tones throughout the pieces. 

Here are some photos from the day:










The Mini Boden Room


With the squares I was given a list of the seasons colour palette, and I went out on many missions sourcing the colours. I enjoyed being able to use different types of yarn, especially the more expensive ones! I really enjoyed seeing them all together! 


Me infront of my squares!
I had such a lovely day, meeting new people and seeing my bestie Toni from www.fashionyourseatbelts.net and the fabulous Sarah Kendal! I also met Grace Woodward and Jenni Falconer whose beautiful daughter had the cutest reaction to the knitted deer head! It was so sweet. I also finally met Sprout, Johnnie's jack russell, who the knitted dog is based on. 

Toni, Sarah and I holding up Boden signs!
Jenni Falconer and Ella
Johnnie and Sprout and knitted Sprout!

The beautiful rooms at Somerset House

Foxy and I

It was pretty tough at the end of the day saying good bye to my knitted babies, but they're off to New York, which is really exciting. 

The heads will soon be available to buy at www.molly-meg.co.uk so keep watching this space :) 

Sincerely,

Louise

xox

Monday, 18 March 2013

FEATURES AND CELEBRATIONS

Hello!

Once again I am racing around working working working! But I did have time to sit down and watch myself on tv for my debut on the Alan Titschmarsh Show which you can watch here :) I have screen grabbed a couple of images from the show, it was such a lovely day. 




To celebrate the amazing reaction I have received from the show I will be giving away one of my wigs which is now on sale on my etsy.

For a chance to win simply like my facebook page, like and share this post!


Sincerely,

Louise 

xox

Saturday, 9 March 2013

WHAT I'VE BEEN KNITTING: WIG UPDATE

Hello!
 
Yet again its been a while since I've had the chance to update my blog, I have been frantically knitting away, busier than ever! From being featured by the Daily Mail I've had so many opportunities to share my work across the world. I've also got some very exciting things in the pipeline which will be revealed in due time.
 
I wanted to write a little update on my knitted wigs, which I have been working on, they do take so much time so please bear with me as I perfect the patterns. The finger wave inspired piece will be available on my etsy shop soon, and I will be donating a percentage to charity with each purchase of it.
 
Anyway here are some awful photos taken on my iphone of a couple of the pieces, they are currently on loan and once they have returned I will take some better images. I may also be giving one away on my facebook page, so keep watching this space.
 


 

 
Sincerely,
 
Louise
 
xox

Friday, 15 February 2013

WHAT I'VE BEEN KNITTING: ORDERS ORDERS ORDERS

Alongside my Chinese dragon, working part time with my knitter and answering emails and interviews I've been knitting orders. Mainly foxes but I've also made a couple more Studio Ghibli knits which I wanted to share. With the Totoro I was asked to leave the mouth off of him, so he looks super cute, as well as a little rounder. The patterns almost perfect so soon I'll be sharing it! 

My mother also walked past a closing down shop which were selling mannequins, so I've finally got my own to model my scarves. All I need is some time to photograph the foxes, as usually I dash out to post them before I get a chance to. 

I also purchased a new domestic knitting machine, which is ever so exciting. I've never really used a punchcard so my Nan spent a day with me where I learnt the basics. I've finished making my first punchcard and am half way through knitting a scarf with it. So my next post should be all about it, along with the turbans I've been making.




Sincerely,

Louise

xox

Sunday, 10 February 2013

WHAT I'VE BEEN KNITTING: CHINESE NEW YEAR

Hello! Its been a little while since my last post, since being featured by the Daily Mail it's been a bit of a whirlwind, with emails, interviews and orders. However at the beginning of January I started planning a dragon for Chinese New Year. Last year I went to an amazing night at the SU which had a beautiful lion and fantastic decoration and when deciding what to make this year a dragon was at the top of my list. 

To make the dragon I used some lovely yarns, such as Sidar's baby bamboo for the red, snowflake chunky for the white, and my favourite Twilleys Goldfingering for the gold. I also used white felt for the teeth and white under the body. Here are a couple of photos of him, one against the black and the other where he is now - hanging over the door frame downstairs. Underneath are some images of my test dragons, the first being the initial head I made and the second testing for the pattern for his body. I do have the pattern for him which I will post soon if people are interested in making one for themselves!
  







Anyway, I have been knitting so much lately, which I will be posting about in the forth coming days. I've had a lot of interest in my wigs, and the patterns. So keep watching this space as there may be one appearing on my blog soon.

Happy New Year!

Louise 

xox