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Self published Orchid Thief

September 27, 2012


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Orchid Thief was first published in the book Brave New Knits a couple of years ago and it remains one of my favourite designs (shhh… don’t tell the others!). It’s one of the few of my own patterns I’ve knit more than once, in fact I’m almost done with the third.

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There’s something rather fascinating, I hope you’ll agree, about the petals flow into the geometric diamonds to re-emerge at the edging.

The publisher’s contracted exclusivity period is now up which means I’ve been able to self publish the pattern. Patterns in books generally need to fit into a much more restricted amount of space than a single pattern which means that the patterns need to be as concise as possible. Unfortunately that sometimes means that they’re not quite as easy to follow as I’d like. This was the perfect opportunity to pay attention to feedback from knitters, on this and my other patterns, and completely revise the pattern. The charts have been clarified and full written directions have been added, resulting in a pattern that takes up more pages but should be much easier to follow.

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Orchid Thief seduced all of us here at team Ysolda and all three of us ended up casting on new shawls as we worked on the new version of the pattern. Unusually I’m ahead of Sarah and Rebecca, although I may have had a bit of an advantage in that I didn’t need to wait for the finished directions to be ready! Still, since I haven’t picked mine up for almost a fortnight and I’m expecting yarn to arrive for a deadline project this week, they’ll probably be done before me.

I knit most of it on a recent trip to teach at This is Knit in Dublin, here we are enjoying a brief spot of sunshine between showers on a bench outside the Trinity College library.

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It felt rather perfect to be knitting with a naturally dyed yarn (even Tinier Annapurna from A Verb for Keeping Warm) after reading about the different pigments and dyes used in the Book of Kells and other manuscripts.

Rebecca is visiting family this week and she just texted me this photo, looks like she made good use of this morning’s train ride!

Sarahis also knitting her’s in blue, in an indigo dyed yarn that I brought back from the cutest little dye studio on Iceland.


Want to knit an Orchid Thief with us? To celebrate the pattern launch we thought it would be fun to host a knitalong. You can find full details on the Ravelry thread, there are even prizes to make things a little more competitive fun – including a skein of Sarah’s beautiful handspun from the fibre pictured below! We’d love it if you would join us, I’m excited to see the yarn you choose.

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I’m off to knit night, where I’ll try and finish the swatch I’m working on as quickly as possible so I can make a little more progress on my shawl!


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