A Gift of Thistle

Seeing your work out there in the world never ceases to be a thrill. I've always been a big list maker and an even bigger goal maker, and I've checked a lot of teaching and design goals off of my list this past year. Teaching a Craftsy class, teaching for my second time at Squam, seeing book ideas become tangible objects, teaching at retreats like Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival, and having work featured in certain publications - one of these publications being Knitty. tanis-gray_knitty1

Knitty was ahead of its time when it was started in 2002 by Amy Singer. Always free, always hip, always full of interesting ideas, designers and articles, Knitty did something no one else had done before - put free knitting patterns online in one place magazine-style, making them available to all while being cool and fresh with each issue. Knitty was instantly a hit, bringing the global knitting community together in a way that one else had before. Sure, there were scads of knitting blogs, but without Knitty, there could possibly be no Ravelry, no Twist Collective, no online force of knitters quietly taking over the world one stitch at a time.


I've been a fan of Knitty since the get go. I was still at RISD when it started in 2002 and when I began working at Vogue Knitting as the Yarn Editor in 2004, it was always a good day in the office when the new issue was posted. "Did you see so-and-so's new pattern?" and "I need to cast on for that project immediately" were the conversations of the day. I didn't think I'd ever get to the point where my designing would be good enough to get a spot on the coveted Knitty roster.


One of my knitting goals this year was to have a pattern featured in Knitty's Deep Fall issue. I'm delighted to introduce A Gift of Thistle, a matching cowl and hat set worked in the round from the bottom up. Using two different sets of gradient yarn in sport weight from Copper Corgi, one set of colors goes from light to dark, while the other goes dark to light. When worn together, this set creates an interesting effect and it's one of my favorite ways to use gradients. This set is inspired by a small bit of music by James Horner from the film Braveheart during one of the most heart-wrenching scenes - watch the quick video below to hear the music that inspired this hat and cowl...


I hope you are dying to get this Fair Isle extravaganza on your needles as much as I do every time I see something on Knitty that I can't wait to knit. It was an honor being featured and I hope to do it again soon. Onto the next goal!


Download the free A Gift of Thistle hat and cowl set here.