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Can You Flamingo?

Fiona Brennan

We have been super busy in Sonic Knits HQ this week because it's flamin-gone crazy over flamingos. You can now buy the notions bag in our Sonic Knits Boutique. They have been so popular that they are now limited and having only a few left in stock once they are gone, they are gone.

But do not fear, we have flamingos 2.0 on its way. This week we have a couple of announcements to make along with how you can get your hands on a notion bag in our give-away.

Did you know there are now only 162 knitting days left until Christmas? Crazy to be planning for something so cold when that great big yellow ball in the sky has only just decided to make an appearance.

Plus we have an interview with July's pattern designer, Karen Butler. Karen works as a tech-editor for some of the UK's best designers. Read on to find out how she got into this line of work, how to enter our competition and join us for a Christmas special.

An Interview with Karen Butler

Karen has knit from the age of 4, taught by her mother; knitting has been passed through the generations of her family. Karen is the technical editor for designers including Tin Can Knits, Anniken Allis and more recently Susan Crawford. We talked to Karen about how she got into knitting, how she became a technical editor and a designer.

“I was taught to knit by my Mum, who was taught at school rather than my grandmother, but my grandmother knit and crocheted. My aunt was taught to knit socks by my great-grandmother at the age of seven as my great-grandmother knit socks for an income. But there is quite a bit of my family history related to the textile industry around Mansfield where the girls became spinners and parts of the family were framework knitters, bleachers or dyers. The crafts have come down through the family and I haven’t found many crafts that I’ve not been able to do.

“ In the 1990s my children no longer wanted hand knitted jumpers. The knitting petered out a bit and I took up other things, like cross stitch, canvas work and bobbinlace."

Karen’s lull in knitting coincided with her living in Portsmouth where there was no local yarn store to feed her knitting needs. She felt knitting with cheap wool wasn’t much fun and without the online shops at that time, she turned to other crafts which could be sourced locally. It was a move to Coventry and the emergence of Ravelry which ignited the knitting again and a chance conversation took Karen to become a full time technical editor.

“Within a short space of time of starting knitting again I’d been introduced to Ravelry and that set things off. I’d met Ann Kingstone a couple of times before but I was knitting one of her patterns at the same time as a friend. My friend had problems with it because she knits everything according to the pattern whereas I am the opposite and will question everything in a pattern and often tie myself up in knots. So I approached Ann and said ‘my friend is having problems and I can see why. I am knitting the pattern again, would you like me to send you the notes of what I do, so you can edit the pattern?’ She said yes and that was the start of things as shortly afterwards she asked me to tech-edit for her.

“I had the editing skills, the knitting skills and knit a wide range of things but I had never tech edited before so said I would give it a try. Since the summer of 2011 I’ve tech edited all Ann's self published patterns.

“I didn’t know a tech editor existed before my contact with Ann. I knew what an editor was and as a breastfeeding counsellor, I used to write and edit a lot of breastfeeding literature. But once I was old what a tech editor was I got the grasp of it. It suits me, I get very pedantic over the smallest of things such as consistency of capital letters and full stops where they should be; I always enjoyed maths and algebra, which is one of the most useful things in tech editing along with geometry.

“A lot of tech editing is fairly basic algebra. I do calculations in my head and refer to the spreadsheets that designers send to me, but I don’t rely on them as it is easy to put the wrong calculation into a spreadsheet and can then be very difficult to spot. Sometimes I can do the maths from the numbers written on the pattern, but usually they get written down and checked, ensuring any patterns line up the way they need to.”

Karen is an inspirational and incredibly interesting woman who is one of the most passionate knitters we have talked to. Karen is a supporter of her local arts scene, patronising an independently run book shop which puts on folk and acoustic acts in Coventry. Karen love of music and how it influences and structures how she works has meant she’s been a big inspiration to last month’s folk-themed play list.

You can find out more about Karen here and check out her patterns here.

162 Knitting Days Left Until Christmas

Yes, we went there and said the C-word in July. We know it is too early. We also know that we ourselves do not think about the gift buying until way past the last minute. So this year we have some gift-giving specials in the planning to help out all the hand made gift-givers who may be winging it like us. We have some great exclusives planned and unlike our monthly subscriptions we will be letting you in on the secrets so you can figure out who you want to gift them to.

We are not quite ready to release all the details just yet but if you want to know more, sign up on the form at the bottom of this email and we will send out an update much closer to the gift-knitting time.

Flamingos and other animals

Finally, our lovely pinkies have been flying the nest like winter was coming. While we only have a few of this particular design left in stock we will be able to make it to order once we have sold out. There is an updated version of the design in the making and we'll let you know when this is available.

We also have three other designs available: firefly, rhinoceros and woodland. All in the same style as the flamingos, these are ideal for transporting small projects, such as socks as well as storing all your notions. I can also testify to their dual use as a make up bag since the little people in my house destroyed my existing bag earlier this week.

Want to get your hands on one? Just comment at the bottom with which design you would like to win and we will announce a winner 29 July.

Christmas Specials

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  • Marte on

    I would like to win the flamingos.

  • Shelley on

    What a fab blog you have. I found you recently through instagram.
    I love all your bags but the woodland creatures one is super cute.

  • Carmen N on

    I like them all but I think the flamingos are slightly more in favor :)

  • Julie Kearney on

    Love them all but if I had to choose I love the rhino one, such a vibrant background.

  • Glynis on

    I love the Woodland design – very whimsical.

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