Christine Guest


Christine Guest is the author of today's post, and you can find it (and so much more) on her website, here. Check out some sketches, some thoughts on reversible motifs, and some lucky kids being paid to model! 





Illicium is up today in the Twist Collecive!  It has complete written instructions as well as complete stitch charts for all three medallion motifs, and a construction schematic with color suggestions and seaming strategy for 6 sizes.



kid and blanket



My geeky soul was delighted with the reversibility of each motif: though they aren’t identical on either side. I’d flip my double pointed needles over when working on an octagon, and there would be another star anise, an even prettier one.



sketches and yarn



I love the name too, the shrub that grows star anise.  As  you read through the issue, you can find more spicy names and motifs – as well as gorgeous, interesting patterns.



more sketches



When we weighted the afghan for shipping, it was just over 3 lbs.  I watched all the Tutor Farm episodes while I worked on it, and several Backyardigans with K.  I have a history of carpal tunnel syndrome, so I proceeded carefully.  The editor actually phoned me to make sure we got a size for the photo shoot that would be big enough to look lovely wrapped around the model (and does it ever!) but not kill my hands.  I set up a quota of knitting (a skein a day), and took Sundays off.  I was also really good about going to the Y to swim and lift weights; and use good posture while knitting.  Liberty wool is a light worsted, and on the smooth side, just right for avoiding trouble.  I think getting my Celiac diagnosed (and never eating gluten on purpose) has really, really helped my wrists too, I haven’t worn my splints in 3 years.



blanket as cape



Although I used a blocking station, I still had to touch up the corners with steam in the end.  Probably because I pinned stacks of octagons, and basically eyeballed them…ahem.







We were hyper careful not to spill anything on it. K is holding an empty cup in this photo.



kid and blanket



Both kids were saving money for something at the time, so I did pay them.  Matt got bored and the sun was in his eyes, so he pretended to sleep. I was experimenting with light throughout the day to see what picked up the texture and that elusive red.




blanket in the sunshine



Everyone at the Twist Collective was lovely to work with!