Eclectic Closet Litblog, Book Reviews & Knitting Designs

A litblog dedicated to book reviews/recommendations, as well as literary and publishing news. Now enhanced with knitting designs.

Lá Bealtaine


Janelle Martin_MG_2886 sized watermarked
Lá Bealtaine
was designed for Wooly Wonka Fibers’ Celtic Year club, inspired by the Gaelic May Day festival Beltane – one of the four Gaelic seasonal festivals at which special bonfires were kindled. Lá Bealtaine is the Irish Gaelic name for Beltane.

The pattern includes three sizes for this design: a shoulder wrap with buttons, a scarf and a rectangular stole.

Janelle Martin_MG_2933 sized watermarked

Reflections on the design process


I’ve been intrigued with Victorian shawls ever since Victorian Lace Today by Jane Sowerby – you know, the pieces with the deep edgings that drape beautifully along the edges of the stoles and shawls? I was lucky enough to see the pieces in person at Stitches East that year.

At that point I wasn’t designing and didn’t feel confident enough in my lace knitting to dream of knitting a piece like that but the look of those pieces stuck in my mind. Fast forward many years to 2012 when I designed first piece with deep, attached edgings, Vieux Carré Stole and in 2013, the Flower Bell Stole.

Vieux Carré Stole

When I started thinking about a design using the Indigodragonfly Linen Silk, I knew immediately that the design had to take advantage of the amazing drape inherent in this yarn. I knew I wanted to have attached edgings and strong graphical elements in the stitch patterns.

New design using Indigodragonfly Linen Silk

Here’s a quick shot with my phone camera of the beginning edging in its unblocked state. I’m knitting the largest size of the design for my sample (there will be a medium stole size and a scarf size as well).

Next post, I’ll talk about selecting stitch patterns for this piece.

Artist-in-Residence at Shall We Knit?


Janelle Martin with her designs on display at Shall We Knit?
I was honoured when Karen at Shall We Knit? asked if I would participate in their Artist-in-Residence program. I’m among good company; in April 2013 designer Linda Choo’s work was on display and, in February 2013, Kathryn Matthews was featured.

Janelle Martin designs
For the month of June, my designs are on display in the gallery space on the second floor of the shop and each Saturday I’ll be on hand at the shop to answer questions, offer advice and chat about the new design I’m developing as part of my residency. Indigodragonfly sponsors the artist-in-residence and I’ve decided to create my design in their lovely Linen Silk. The drape and feel of this yarn has to be experienced in person. I’m using a luscious spring green – Türtljägr: For When Frögschläger Just Won’t Do. For now, all I’ll say is that I’m designing a stole with the same construction as my Vieux Carré Stole (the light blue stole in the photo below).

Janelle Martin designs

Stop by Shall We Knit? this Saturday or the next and say hi! I’ll be at the shop from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Janelle Martin designs

P.S. Thanks for the photos Dad!

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My Knitting Patterns

Audrey II

Angular Path Scarf

Cartouche Stole

Fossetta Cowl

Fossetta Hat

Sargaço Shawl

Whitman Hat

Every Which Way Cowl

Every Which Way Hat

Every Which Way Fingerless Mitts

Gothic Forest Scarf

Valencia Scarf

Branching Path Cowl

Flower Bell Stole

Whitman Cowl

New Tech Cowl

Vieux Carré Stole

Stacks Socks

Anna Perenna Shawlette

Taming of the Fox

Don't Ask Y

Cantilevering Leaves

Amplification Stole

Combs Cowl

Mindfulness Cowl

Tipsy Scarf

Gridwork Scarf
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