Unwind and Dieuwke van Mulligan

If you're the kind of person who watches the 'What's Hot' lists on Ravelry regularly, you will have noticed a fair few patterns from this lovely designer. Dieuwke has been the kind of knitter that makes indie dyers very happy for a little while now: her projects are beautifully executed and carefully worked to showcase their yarns to perfection. It wasn't surprising that when Dieuwke turned her knitting attentions to design, the designs were incredibly popular. 

It didn't come as shock either that when voting for the Unwind design competition was announced, one of Dieuwke's designs was in the final short list. Even better news is that Dieuwke launched a new shawl today that is one of the official KAL patterns and it's a beauty!

Aileron starts with a triangle worked in short rows before short row sections keep the angled striping pattern. An icord edge, worked simultaneously with the shawl shaping, gives the semicircular shape a strong finish. The shawl comes as part of a collaboration with Juno Fibre Arts to celebrate the launch of the Milly Sleek Singles range at Unwind. I've been lucky enough to be involved in this process and it's part of what I love so much about Unwind: so many talented people joining forces and making beautiful knitty things happen. Hurrah!

I asked Dieuwke to share a few insights into her designing and knitting life and here's what she said...


What you're most looking forward to at unwind

Do I really have to choose? All the people! All the yarn! All the fiber crafts! All the classes! And all the KAL projects!

When Dani first announced Unwind, I was so excited - and it has become better and better the nearer we get to the event. All the activities and other things that make people come together in preparation is amazing, and I am very much looking forward to meet a lot of people I have chatted with on Ravelry, but never seen in real life. I am going to be completely high on socialising and yarn fumes! :)


Tellus about the inspiration for both Unwind shawls

The idea for Aileron has been in my mind for over a year. I knew exactly what it was supposed to look like, I just couldn't really get it down into physical form. When Asti of Juno Fibre Arts approached me, asking if I wanted to do a design in her new yarn base, Milly Sleek Singles, I knew this was the perfect yarn - so I spent a lot of hours trying out different techniques and methods. I've learnt sooo much designing this shawl, and I'm so happy about the way it turned out! As a side note, Milly Sleek Singles withstand a bit of frogging very very well ;)

Brighton Beach happened when Dani announced the design competition. I wanted something relatively simple but with some intricate details, so I looked through a stitchionary and found this stitch that looked very wavy and foamy. It looked perfect for the image I have of Brighton beach. It took some calculating and slight modifications of the stitch pattern, but in the end the shawl just flew off the needles!

How did you come to start designing? 

I have been knitting since I was very little - I don't remember the exact age when my grandma taught me to knit. She was always knitting beautiful things for all of us 10 grandchildren, most often colourwork or textured sweaters, and it really looked like magic to me. I don't remember my first knitting project, but I knitted quite regularly as I got older, using knitting as a way to relax. My mom supported me in this, and she also always had a WIP going. As Ravelry came about and I saw how much inspiration is out there, the designing just kind of started without me noticing it. As I learned more and more techniques, I had an urge to try it all out - resulting in new patterns! My main inspiration is what I see out there, and also my (ahem - kind of huge) yarn stash. I want everything to become something perfect, and very often the yarn tells me what it wants to become.

My grandma (now 94 years old) doesn't knit anymore as she has bad sight and numb fingers, but every time I see her we almost only talk about knitting. She is my number one knitting idol, and I love the way her face lights up as soon as she sees something new I'm working on!



If you'd like to win a copy of the pattern, I've got 3 copies to giveaway. All you need to do is leave a comment on this blog post by midday on the 5th June 2014 and I will announce the winners using random number generator. Good luck!