Wednesday, April 25, 2012

3KCBWDAY3 Day Three - Knit or Crochet Hero- Kate Davies

Knit Crochet Blog Week
The Knit Crochet Blog Week topic for today is to write about someone we admire and feel inspired by. Kate Davies, of the blog Needled is such a person.

Kate Davies- artist extraordinaire.

For quite some time, I have admired this woman for her talent, her ability to teach and lead us through the traditions of the culture of her native land, and for her innate strength and perseverance. She has an eye for style that is unparalleled in my neighborhood, hence, she inspires and entertains me with the choices she combines in her outfits, her designs and the wealth of information she shares as she writes.

She is the designer of quite a few patterns, which you can view here, but many of you may have seen these two items. The first is Owls, a pullover with cables that turn into owls with a whimsical placement of buttons; over 5300 projects are listed on Ravelry. The other is Paper Dolls, another pullover with a yoke design that is embellished with cutout paper doll images; there are nearly 7000 Ravelry members who have put it their favorites list. These are older designs that have reached what I would classify as a viral following on Ravelry.

Maybe you have fallen for her pattern, Peerie Flooers, a beautiful colorwork hat.  In reading about the the design and blogging about this hat, you come to have more knowledge of traditional colorwork. 

More recently Kate has released a hat pattern called Sheep Heid and later, a throw with a similar motif of sheep and rams, called Rams and Yowes. The subtle tones of nature blend to create warm accessories that continue the tradition of Fair Isle Knitting.

While I admire her colorwork, I am still leery of venturing into that pool.  Warriston is a pullover that is more my style. The materials have been sitting in a "Need to Cast On" basket for a while now. Yarn and pattern at the ready, must get movin', even though the warmer weather is imminent.....
Warriston is included in Text Isles,  a "periodical" that Kate has self published. In it you can read about the inspiration for the pattern and view images from historical sources that relate to her research. The second edition has just been released and it covers knitted swimwear from generations ago. Both are available for purchase and include a pattern along with period images and an interesting history lesson.

At Needled, Kate writes blog posts that allow us a glimpse into her routines, her challenges, her inspection of technique, and introspection of thoughts and poetry. Her blog covers, among other things, her knitting, her dog, nature, exercise, pure joy in looking, and a sense of style.

If you navigate to this post you will see a bit of what I admire in this blog and in Kate's aesthetic.

In this photo, don't you think of a thirties screen star in styling and beauty?
Kate at the Maghera waterfall, imported from http://katedaviesdesigns.com/2012/03/26/
Kate Davies is a writer, a designer, a wonderful instructor on all things Scottish fibers related. She is a kind and thoughtful person with energy and perseverance in the face of adversity. Not all that long ago she was fighting back in her recovery from a stroke. Many of her posts give you a view into the persistence and positive attitude she employs as she continues to resume her full strength and mobility.

She had been a professor of English at university, but stepped down and now works on patterns, teaching classes and living  in the countryside that she loves so much. This post describes her reluctant release of many of the books she had shipped from her university office. If you are a lover and collector of books, go have a read. You will relate to the challenges of culling a collection that was amassed over many years.

I was not able to post many of the pictures from her blog or her Ravelry pages due to a virtual lock on her images. I did correspond with her earlier this year and she gave me permission to use her photos in a post I had hoped to write in the summer months. I wanted to share this resource with my friends who love to knit, or hike, or just look at amazing posts filled with thoughtful rhetoric, poetry and wonderful observations of nature. Please, I urge you to bookmark her blog and give it some perusal. There is so much to know and you will be glad you lingered on her pages. You will leave them enlightened and enlivened and inspired.

I have blogged about Kate Davies in past posts and if you navigate here you will see one example of her style (in the beginning of the entry) that I admire and wish to share. Another post covered Kate's promotion of Wovember, in her desire for clothing to be properly labelled as wool and not as a manufactured substitute for the real thing. Here is a post about a beautiful wool skirt she found on ebay and turned it into an original.... love her styling.

Thanks to Ravelry, and the web, and blogs that I read, I have found many artists, designers, and characters that entertain and inspire me, Kate Davies is on the top of that heap. Please, remember her name if you don't already know it, and give her blog, current and past editions, a read.

7 comments:

Hi, I'm Vicki said...

wow an awesome person to have as a hero, i love the paper dolls sweater, it's in my library. have a knitty wednesday and thanks for sharing.

juicyknits said...

Kate Davies is very inspiring. I admire her designs.

mayadulac said...

I love Kate's designs, blog and her whole attitude to life as well. I'm wearing my Owls right now (because it's still so ridiculously cold here in the UK!)

Stitched Together said...

I agree that Kate is a true inspiration on so many levels.

dozenoaks said...

Yep - I picked Kate too, she's a star. It's fun reading the different takes on her blogging career today.

Evelyn said...

Lovely post, E! I, too, admire KD and am in awe of her talents.

Voie de Vie said...

I read a few other blogs yesterday that sung Kate Davies' praises. She is definitely an inspiration to many.