This is Bronagh Miskelly's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Bronagh Miskelly's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Bronagh Miskelly
Freelance content strategist, writer and tech editor navigating her way through the changing media terrain while knitting, fencing and travelling to keep sane
Interests: travel, knitting, film, fencing, reading, writing, photography, technology
Recent Activity
I have recently republished a number of shawls originally designed for magazines in my first Beautifully Blocked collection. I used to work in theatre production and in theatre “blocking” refers to working out the movement of a performance. These days, for me, my designs are my performance so we had a theatrical photoshoot to put these eight designs in the spotlight. The patterns are available individually on Ravelry and Lovecrafts plus on Ravelry you can buy any three for the price of two or select all eight patterns for the special price of £30 (add all of them to your... Continue reading
Some goodies came in the post and my brain is full of new shawl ideas - just need to finish 4 or 5 other things. I bought these two skeins via the Virtual Wool Monty last weekend - despite not having a show to teach at I couldn't help some shopping. I've been playing with some ideas about mixing more solid and variegated yarns together and these two skeins from RiverKnits really hit the spot. When I went for my walk in the woods I started thinking about the red tile roofs and brick chimneys of various buildings that peep... Continue reading
Posted Jun 20, 2020 at The penguin with the pointy sticks
Off Kilter is a free shawlette pattern that I recently added to Ravelry. It is written for 100g/400m of striping 4ply - the sort of thing many people will have picked up at a yarn show and have to hand in their stash during lockdown. Although I don't have picture - the shawl is on lockdown with someone else - it is a great option if you have some Zauberball Crazy. After I put the pattern up, I was sorting my stash and noticed that I had a cake of Stylecraft Batik Swirl DK in the Coral Reef colourway and... Continue reading
Posted Apr 10, 2020 at The penguin with the pointy sticks
It is very lovely to be one of the designers interviewed for the 200th edition of Knitting magazine Especially as winning a garment design competition in the magazine a few years ago was one of the big spurs to my design career. The magazine mentions a collection of shawls I was planning to get online. I had hoped to have these up my the end of October but as often the case for freelance creatives, life has intervened and I have been prioritising the work that guarantees payment rather than the ones where I hope I will get sales on... Continue reading
Posted Oct 31, 2019 at The penguin with the pointy sticks
The theme for the new issue of Knitting magazine (no 192) is British Yarn and British Landscape. Because of the way my mind works this cardigan developed from seemingly disparate sources. The construction of the two part fronts to create a waistcoat effect is an idea I have been playing with since looking at the clever ways AlexanderMcQueen played with traditional tailoring. The landscape theme made me think of the famous Gainsborough picture of a couple surveying their land. So the "Mrs Andrews" cardigan has a textured "waistcoat section joined the the over jacket with the join embellished by small... Continue reading
Posted Mar 11, 2019 at The penguin with the pointy sticks
Betwixtmas kal I have recently had my first experience of one of my designs being used in a knit-a-long. Having been involved, I would recommend the experience to other designers. It came about through chats about shawls and shawl patterns with Sara Geraghty of Black Sheep Wools. She had an idea for a Betwixtmas knit-a-long that would start after Christmas days and give people a project for the period between then and the New Year. She asked me to come up with a shawl that wouldn’t be too complicated for that hazy, lazy part of the year and be something... Continue reading
Posted Jan 30, 2019 at The penguin with the pointy sticks
2018 was a very busy year for me in many ways but one of them was as a knitwear designer. How busy didn’t really strike me until I started looking back at the patterns published last year with a view to consider which magazine patterns I might relaunch on my own sites in due course. I doubled by design output last year and worked with four big magazines, Knitting, The Knitter, Simply Knitting and Knit Now. It was also the year when I was able to walk into WH Smith and see three of my designs in a row on... Continue reading
Posted Jan 24, 2019 at The penguin with the pointy sticks
On other fora a few people have said things along the lines of we use the term "photobombing" so what's the problem. Well, a friend not in the crafting world read my blog and talked about his issues photobombing. To paraphrase: that the term is making it acceptable to spoil a photo that someone might have put effort into or invested with particular meaning. An interesting thought.
I don't think there has been any suggestion of preventing people taking part in what I am more comfortable calling yarnstallation events. I had never consider the idea, until it was raised in the comments, that this type of knitting would be an either or with charity knitting. I hope that whatever you knit, it brings pleasure but we should think about our wider environment as well
That's exactly why I'm asking for well thought out yarnstallations with a reason. I get irritated with random bits of yarns like the one in Portabello on your blog.
I found myself in an interesting chat about so-called yarn bombing on Twitter this week prompted by Louise Scollay of the Knit British podcast. It started with whether we were comfortable with the use of "bombing" to describe activities where people decorate a space with knitted and crocheted items often as a unsanctioned "flash" event, but the discussion has prompted me to think harder about the whole phenomenon. I have a specific reason from finding the term yarn bombing uncomfortable. Bombing is an unredeemably negative term for someone who grew up in Belfast in the 70s and 80s and who... Continue reading
Posted Jun 13, 2018 at The penguin with the pointy sticks
It's no secret that I have a bit of a hand-dyed yarn habit. I am drawn to rich and deep colours and unusual combinations but to control myself I try to focus on choosing yarns where I can see an outcome for the skein. For a while now I have been admiring, and occasionally buying. the work of Helen Reed of The Wool Kitchen. I like the yarn bases she uses and her strong colourful dyeing style. I particularly like skeins such as these in the Cosmic Girl colourway with a saturated main colour with flashes of contrast. And for... Continue reading
Posted May 31, 2018 at The penguin with the pointy sticks
Those who follow me on social media may notice that I continue to be excited whenever one of my designs appears in a knitting magazine. I came to designing - well designing in a public and business way - later in life than many and as a designer I feel I am a mere infant. As a result every time someone understands and appreciates what I am trying to achieve, it is another milestone. In part this is what makes a design of mine appearing on a cover special. But it is more than that. For a long time I... Continue reading
Posted May 30, 2018 at The penguin with the pointy sticks
It is always exciting when I can finally share a design. For magazines I work so far ahead that I can have finished something for a few months before I can show it off. But then you get wonderful images like this in the magazines. This is my Hardy Heroine shawl in the new issue (86) of Knit Now that came out a couple of days ago. The brief was Bitish yarns and British literature, and so I came up with a shawl using Victorian stitch patterns that could have graced any of Thomas Hardy's female protagonists from Tess to... Continue reading
Posted Mar 25, 2018 at The penguin with the pointy sticks
As a knitting designer, tech editor, writer, pattern writer, teacher and all round knitting nerd, I have an ever growing collection of reference books from the iconic The Principles Of Knitting by June Hemmon Hyatt and a 1960s Odhams Knitting Encylopaedia (a lucky charity shop find), to a well over a dozen stitch dictionaries. There are books on pattern writing and garment construction, books on fibres and yarn production, books on different styles of socks, on hat shaping, etc, etc. I love learning about my craft and I use these books regularly: to find the best techniques; looking to see... Continue reading
Posted Feb 4, 2018 at The penguin with the pointy sticks
One interesting aspect of knitting is that looking at something sideways can give you a new way to create something. This is the case with the Wayward Paths scarf – a flat fringed scarf that is actually knitted in the round and cut – yes cut. This means the width of the stitch pattern repeats down the long side of the scarf – that is the rows go right along the scarf. This means you can use stitch patterns in a different way. I got the idea from my friend Juliet Bernard who used this method to create the stunning... Continue reading
Posted Jan 10, 2018 at The penguin with the pointy sticks
I have been doing a spot of emergency knitting this week. I have a couple of Christmas dinners coming up and decided on a sleeveless red, grey and black dress. Perfect as the room warms up, but what about the early evening chill and having enough layers to deal with the Baltic weather outside? Apparently I have worn out a couple of cropped cardies over the past few months and no longer had something that was smart enough and warm enough. So there was a combined search of the yarn shop sites, Ravelry and my large knitting pattern and book... Continue reading
Posted Dec 15, 2017 at The penguin with the pointy sticks
When I posted a few pictures of my Facet shawl from Knitting issue 173 (from GMC publications), there were a few people who said "lovely but I could never make something like that". This seems to be a common response to shawl patterns - there is a fear that it going to be incredibly complicated and take a very long time plus you will have to learn fiendishly evil new stitches. In fact there is nothing more complicated in Facet than a yarnover next to a decrease and once you are a few rows in the pattern repeat becomes clear.... Continue reading
Posted Oct 6, 2017 at The penguin with the pointy sticks
In my post about neat shoulders I mentioned using short rows shape shoulders and joining the seam using a three needle cast off. When you shape shoulders using short rows you end up with a set of stitches on a holder rather than cast off stitches. You can join them using the steps below. 1. Return your stitches to needles. Place the two sets of stitches from the pieces you plan to join on separate needles. I use double pointed or circular needles to make it ease to line up my stitches. 2. Hold the pieces you want to join... Continue reading
Posted Oct 5, 2017 at The penguin with the pointy sticks
I always look forward to seeing the final pictures of a pattern commission. It is often some time after I supply the sample garment when I see the eventual images from a shoot, perhaps when a magazine is published. It is of course interesting to see how a garment has been styled but I also look at how the garment sits and particularly around the armhole and shoulder because this is something I work a great deal on and have quite strong views about. So I was particularly gratified to see these detail shots for the Lily Twinset in Knitting... Continue reading
Posted Oct 1, 2017 at The penguin with the pointy sticks
It has been a while since I was a size 10, which means I don't always fit the sample garments I make to accompany my patterns for magazines. Luckily accessories don't have that problem and occasionally I decide to wear some of my hat or scarf samples. I am particularly looking forward to my Bonfire Hat and Scarf in the current issue of Knitting Magazine (172, Autumn 2017) coming back. I think it will be my go-to set this Autumn, although I think I will let the slouch of the hat drop to the side or back. One of my... Continue reading
Posted Sep 5, 2017 at The penguin with the pointy sticks
I came late to sharing my knitting designs let alone receiving commissions from magazines and yarn companies. I have had a long career as a journalist but I still remember the excitement of having a bylined piece in a major national newspaper for the first time. I had to suppress the urge to tap fellow tube passengers on the shoulder, point to the article they were reading and say "I wrote that". The same sort of thing has happened each time I have had a design on the cover of a magazine. Right now I could happily spend time in... Continue reading
Posted Sep 4, 2017 at The penguin with the pointy sticks
There has been a recent trend on daytime TV for shows such as Gok's Fill YOur House for Free and Money for Nothing that encourage making and recycling, mainly featuring specialist craftspeople. Now crafting and making it yourself has hit primetime with Channel 4's glossy cookery show style Craft It Yourself on Tuesday evenings. Having watched the first two episodes I am enjoying the show and noting good ideas but I suspect the audience will fall into two groups - the doers and the admirers (one of the factors that reminds me of cookery shows). The doers are makers already,... Continue reading
Posted Aug 5, 2017 at The penguin with the pointy sticks
As a maker and craft teacher, I really enjoy having the time to learn new skills or crafts. One that I've fancied testing out for a while is ceramics, especially learning to use a wheel. So when fellow teacher and maker told me about an opportunity to take part in a group taster session she was arranging at The Kiln Rooms I was very excited and signed up right away. The four hour session was divided into two parts. For the first half we concentrated on using the wheel and then learned about other techniques which meant we each had... Continue reading
Posted Aug 3, 2017 at The penguin with the pointy sticks
Meet Joan a very versatile knitted T-shirt that you can find in the latest issue of Knitting magazine (issue 171). Joan was inspired by Lucy Liu's character Joan Watson in the Elementary TV series. The character has a fabulous selection of knitwear and favours layers with long-sleeved t-shirts under knits, stripes and colour blocks. So I wanted to create an easy wear top that would look good on its own or over a long-sleeved tee and a design that would allow knitters to have a lot of colour options. For that reason it is knitted in Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino.... Continue reading
Posted Jul 26, 2017 at The penguin with the pointy sticks