London Designer JimiKnits and the Firebirds

Fruity Knitting Podcast - Episode 11 - Click on the image to view
Fruity Knitting Podcast – Episode 11 – Click on the image to view

In Episode 11 we meet London-based designer Jimenez Joseph a.k.a. JimiKnits, whose designs hint at her background as an accomplished sportswoman.

Knitters of the World features not one but two special guests. Sarah and Rob give us a little glimpse into their most beautiful surroundings in northern Maine. This is a treat.

And we have a chat about finished projects, continuing projects and some new projects. We would love you to join us.

Interview – Jimenez Joseph – JimiKnits

Jimenez Joseph
Jimenez Joseph

Our interview guest for this episode is Jimenez Joseph – or JimiKnits. Jimi is a London based designer, and with a background as a track and field athlete, her designs are modern, fashionable and easy to knit. You can find Jimi and her designs at:

Jimenez Joseph - JimiKnits
Javelin by JimiKnits
Jimenez Joseph - JimiKnits
“Tower of Strength” by JimiKnits

Bring and Brag

Amaryllis by Marie Wallin

Andrea’s Amaryllis by Marie Wallin is complete and every bit as beautiful as it was promising to be. The approach of Fair Isle in the flat, which meant some purled Fair Isle, together with the mix of Fair Isle and Intarsia turned out to be ideal for this project. The pattern uses Fair Isle as a feature, on the front of the cardigan and on the cuffs of the sleeves, so it is significantly less than the full garment. It also only uses the two colors. This means it is a great project to try Fair Isle or purled Fair Isle for the first time.

Amaryllis by Marie Wallin
Amaryllis by Marie Wallin

Andrew’s Socks

I have completed my second pair of socks. The pattern was based on Susan B Anderson’s simple sock pattern. The wool was Rowan’s Fine Art, a beautiful mix of merino, mohair and mulberry silk produced in South Africa, now being discontinued by Rowan. This is a lovely yarn, so if you’re interested, we suggest you keep your eyes open for end lots or de-stashes.
As my third project overall, knitting the socks was a reasonable challenge. I did a lot of the work with both socks on circular needles. The big attraction of this approach is that the socks are automatically the same length – without any counting. I do, however, find it a little more awkward than using double pointed needles. After doing the heel flaps I think I completed each sock separately, using the circular needles for the simple foot section, and going back to DPNs for the toes. The most challenging part was probably picking up stitches in the heel.

Andrew's Socks - Completely Kitchenered
Andrew’s Socks – Completely Kitchenered

The Rowan Fine Art wool was easy to work with. It seems to be very forgiving, producing a beautiful fabric without me giving any real though to tension. The needles generally went where they were meant to – no split yarn, etc.

Under Construction

Blossom by Marie Wallin

Blossom is another pattern from Marie Wallin’s Springtime collection. It uses eleven colours in total, including the two colours from the Amaryllis, so I can use up the rests from that project. I may add waist shaping and make it a bit longer. The charts in the book are very small to work from, so I went to a copy shop and got enlarged copies made. There are ten little rose intarsia motifs around the hem, with each rose using five colours in addition to the avocado background. That means 50 little bobbins hanging off the work for the first section. I’m planning to wind little bobbins with a slip knot. Some of the threads will be so short that they won’t need winding at all.
I’m using the Rowan Felted Tweed which is the yarn recommended in the pattern.

Andrew’s Hiking Jacket

I have actually made some progress on my hiking jacket. We mentioned in the last episode that we were planning to do a “peek-a-boo” contrast color in the hem, cuffs and collar. Diane, KnotJustHats on Ravelry, gave us some very helpful tips here:

  • Use a provisional cast-on, and remove the cast-on when joining the edge to the main work. This is less bulky than if you use a normal cast-on and do a three-needle bind-off to join the edge to the main work.
  • Start the edge with a few rows of the main color before switching to the contrast color. This avoids the contrast color “shadowing” through the main color at the join.
  • For the fold, include an extra row of purl to make the fabric fold cleanly. For me that meant that I purled three rows together, instead of purl, knit, purl.
Hiking Jacket showing the folded hem from the inside
Hiking Jacket showing the folded hem from the inside

We took on all three suggestions and the results were great. Andrea did the knitting for the first two – that was too complex for me, and I don’t need to master everything at once!!

Hiking Jacket hem from the outside
Hiking Jacket hem from the outside

Firebirds by Jade Starmore

Jade Starmore, daughter of Alice Starmore, is a designer and fashion photographer and studied at the Glasgow School of Art. Jade has a collection of really modern Fair Isle designs which you can find at VirtualYarns.

Firebirds yarns
Firebirds yarns

The pattern is inspired by the Slavic legend of the Firebird, a large bird with majestic plumage. The feathers of the Firebird glow brightly, even when removed from the bird, and a single feather can light an entire room. The legend involves the hero finding a glowing feather, then undertaking a difficult quest to find and capture the bird. In Jade’s pattern the bird is turning to admire it’s own fine tail.
This pattern was originally designed as a child’s garment but then, in response to requests, Jade released the design as a woman’s cardigan. I’m changing it to a gentleman’s (?) jumper. Not sure whether I will do set-in sleeves.
The colours Clover, Wild Orchid, Sundew and Corncrake all have a fiery feeling to them. The other colours are like a garden of rich foliage – Machair, Bogbean, Lapwing and Calluna.
I need to do a swatch to test my gauge and will then plan the measurements for Andrew.

Knitters of the World – FiberTrek

Our guests on Knitters of the World are Sarah and Rob, from northern Maine. Sarah hosts the beautiful and informative FiberTrek podcast, where she shares her passion for and knowledge of all things fiber, particularly place-based and breed-specific yarns. Her show has featured island visits for sheep shearing, and a close-up tour of the spinning process. Her podcast is definitely worth a visit, and both she and Rob share their beautiful environment on the Instagram feeds.

Sarah (from FiberTrek) and Rob
Sarah (from FiberTrek) and Rob

KAL News

Our KALs are continuing, and Andrew is very pleased to have started on his own contribution!

As mentioned in Episode 10 and in the Ravelry threads, we would love to have your little video contributions for our “interim review” for each of the KALs. See the Ravelry threads for details of what we are after and how to submit your contributions. We have only had one submission so far. This may be because of the current holiday period, but if you have any concerns or queries, please let us know. We can provide some help on technical issues, and will try to address any other concerns. And if you just don’t want to do it – that is of course fine! We are really happy to have you all involved.

You can find the Ravelry threads for the two KALs here:

Other bits

We mentioned that Madeleine is off with a couple of friends doing volunteer work on an organic farm.  The organisation which supports this is called “WWOOF” – Willing Workers on Organic Farms, and they are indeed all around the world.

Madeleine and the Firebird
Madeleine and the Firebird

3 thoughts on “London Designer JimiKnits and the Firebirds”

  1. What a wonderful pod cast.! It had a bit of everything. I always enjoy seeing the projects that the two of you are working on. Then there was the little bit about your daughter. What an amazing person! I will have to look into Working on Organic Farms. I’m retired now and I can do that sort of thing if I want to.

    The interviews were so well done!! I was pleasantly surprised to see Sarah from Fiber Trek and her husband. She does speak of him on the podcast, but it was the first time I’d ever seen him. You are right, Andrea, he should make an appearance on Fiber Trek. He came across quite well on camera. Not everybody does. you have to think about the fact that you are speaking to a group, even though you can’t see them.

    Jiminez Joseph is a new designer to me. I love the way just jumped into designing and did it her own way. The use of color in the pattern instructions would make reading patterns so much easier. I have trouble keeping my place and that would help immensely. What I usually do is print out the charts and color in the knit stitches, then the changes stand out. I usually ignore the written instructions once I’ve cast on and gotten the general idea of the pattern.

    I hope you will continue the pod cast for a long time. I’m really enjoying it.

  2. Andrea, you mentioned giving Andrew some pointers to increase his knitting speed. Would you please share them with us? Thank you!

    1. Hi Ruth, Andrew here. I haven’t had any brain capacity available for improving my technique deliberately, so up to now any improvement has been through practice. Maybe I’ll have the energy to take on some proper coaching during the holidays. Cheers, A.

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