The Southwark Collection, part 1

I've been alluding to this collection of designs that I'm working on behind the scenes, and I decided that since I'm going to self-publish them, there's no premium on secrecy. So the next few posts will talk a bit about the inspiration behind each of the designs, and give you a sneak peek. I'm hoping to get all three patterns released by mid-November.

I work near London Bridge, in a part of town known as Southwark. Each of the three pieces in the collection is inspired by an architectural feature that I see routinely around work: Tower Bridge, the Gherkin and the Shard.

The first design I'm going to talk about is actually the second one I knit, and is inspired by a building that isn't even finished yet. The Shard of Glass is currently being built right next to London Bridge Rail Station, and I can see it going up every day from the platform where I catch my train. Right now it looks like this:


But in the not too distant future, it's going to look like this. To say that this building is going to be a bit incongruous in its current surroundings would be misleading - there is nothing nearby that looks even remotely like this in the vicinity! Ah, progress...

Given that the building isn't even done yet, the Shard hat bears a resemblance to the ultimate (theoretical) finished project, but isn't a direct representation. I knit the first version in Cascade 220 heathers.

Shard prototype

It's a pretty good size, about 21 inches around unstretched, but I charted the whole thing. And I wasn't so thrilled at the prospect of doing a new chart for each size. And I wanted multiple sizes. So I decided that the easiest way to get different sizes would be to knit the same chart at varying gauges.

Shard DK prototype

Now I'm working on the DK version, with plans for sport weight and fingering weight. I'm using Drops Extra Fine Merino for the DK hat, and it is amazing yarn - soft, bouncy and superwash. What's not to love? I haven't completely bought in to an Aran weight version, but that might happen too. It's an easy knit/purl pattern, and would be equally suitable for men, women or kids - I think a lot of people in my world are getting hats for Christmas!