GuernseyGal Designs

a little peek into my designing world

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Hi Everyone! Long Time, No speak…

7 August, 2013 (18:15) | Uncategorized | By: janle


Yes, I fell off the wagon again. Blogging regularly needs to be a habit, and it is one that I have got out of.

Lots to talk about, but I will try and spread it out over a few posts to get myself back into the swing of things.

a couple of years ago , the Ladies at the Unique Sheep had a great idea. They wanted to do a book of sock patens with a difference. They e wanted them all to be for men!

Now I am not saying that ladies CAN’ T wear these sock, but more that they are all geared towards what a man will wear! The size of a mans foot and are all designed to keep the knitter from dying of boredom before finishing the said sock.

All the patterns were selected and designed , the test knitters got to work and then there was a pause. A loooong pause while they wrestled with the problem of finding a publisher . I am not privy to the background , but surfice it to say that The CoOperative Press  stepped into the breach and today the E- book is published. The paper version of the book will be shipped in a month, but in the meantime here is a little taster

Celtic Wedding Hose

more Tomorrow!




20 May, 2013 (10:51) | Uncategorized | By: janle

Sorry for the Capslocks, but I felt it was justified.

Just popping in to let you know that I am hosting an informal KAL of my Wavlettes Pattern from the Twist Collective over on Ravelry

So if you already knitting away on the design, or you just want to see what people are doing with the pattern, why not come and join us ;-)

There are quite a few knitters that have decided to knit the pattern using a set of gradiance yarn from the
Unique Sheep but as long as you have a spare 300g of any fingering weight kicking around you are good to go.

There is no time limit, you can work at your own pace and we are a friendly bunch that are always happy to help a knitter in need, so why not cast on and join us :-)

See you on the other side ….

Life on the Ocean Wave

17 May, 2013 (12:17) | Uncategorized | By: janle

Just finished the test knit for Watership Down this week , so the pattern is now safely In the hands of my test knitters Heike and Alison who will find all the mistakes that I have missed.

It is amazing how much knitting you can get done when you are stuck in a cast. I tore my ankle ligaments on Sunday and so I am using the cast as a good excuse to sit and knit the evening away.

Treasure Island is now done and dusted and up for sale in my Ravelry store

Tomorrow I am spending the day on  cruise ship that is popping in to visit St Peter Port. I am going to guest lecture on board and I get to meet a whole lot of knitters and Stephen West who is lecturing on the while cruise (lucky man)

I just hope that I can get me and all my sample on board without problems seeing as I have samples and crutches and all sorts of things to cart around….

Another New Design

3 May, 2013 (13:50) | Uncategorized | By: janle

It has been a busy few months here at Chez Guernseygal. Not one, but 2 US magazine accepted designs

In a previous post I showed you the Flanders Scarf – today it is the Wavelettes Stole , published in The Twist Collective.

Knitted in Shalimar Yarns , Breathless 4 ply in a beautifully subtle variegated colourway called Crayfish, that really did look like the subtle colours if a live shrimp or crayfish in a rock pool.

Knitted using 3.75mm (US#5)

Most of this pattern was knitted sitting bundled up in the windsurfing van watching the mad ones ( as I call them) flying around in the mid winter gales. I love my windsurfing, but with water temps down at 7 degrees I shall wait til it warms up a bit enforce I climb back on my board

Meanwhile more proof that Spring has sprung


I Must, I Must, I Must improve my…

1 May, 2013 (13:17) | Uncategorized | By: janle

Go on I dare you :-)

no not my bust, my blogging!

I have been a bad blogger, spending my time on Facebook and Ravelry instead.

Time to pull up my socks and get on with it.

Lets start with a post about one of my many ( it seems) latest triumphs


This is the Flanders Scarf from KnitScene spring 2013. Fingering weight 3.5mm needles  and only 1 skein of yarn I have had to keep this one secret for ages…

Designing with an Ipad

17 November, 2012 (18:13) | Uncategorized | By: janle

I thought today I would actually add some relevant design content .

I bought myself an iPad. I always said I wouldn’t, but having looked and tried all the alternatives I bit the bullet and a lovely 16GB black wifi Ipad is mine. I have had it for a few months now and I have to say despite my initial misgivings I am sold.

It will never replace my trusty Windows laptop, but I am very pleased with the amount I can do using it. The main reason I bought it was so that I would be able design on the move. My mother is not at all well and I am spending quite a lot of time at her bedside, She gets worn out by incessant chatter and is perfectly happy fro me  just to keep her company by knitting away or editing patterns, depending on my need at the time. I can also keep in touch with knitters and publishers while at my day job without having to monopolize my work PC.

Over the months lots of apps have found their way onto my ipad, some have been very useful, others not so much and have fallen by the wayside

The one I find the absolute most useful is

What does Dropbox have to do with knitwear design I hear you ask?

Well, 16GB isn’t really a lot of space so I keep everything “in the cloud”

The beauty of Dropbox is that it will sync between ALL of my devices

My laptop, my iPhone, The iPad, my work PC and my rooted Nook

My design folder sits in Dropbox and I work directly from it so that I always have the latest copy – no trying to remember which version I am working on.







These are the main apps I find most useful when actually designing.

1. Pages – Apple’s version of Word – well it is more like a mixture between Word and Publisher really – at a push I could layout and publish an entire pattern in this program. I can also export it as either a PDF or Word straight to my Dropbox design folder to be picked up on my Laptop.

2. KnitCompanion – I could go on for hours about this app. It is magic. I can import a pdf into it, crop it to just the charts or specific parts of the instructions. The charts once cropped have both row and stitch markers so you can never lose where you are and there are multiple counters as well as other whistles and bells. As apps go this is one of the more expensive ones I have bought ( just over £10) but well worth the money. I would recommend this app to any knitter. You can import pdfs locally or direct from Dropbox ( that app again) and it is perfect for any pattern you are working on – I found it invaluable when trying to keep my place in the complicated back piece in Conic.

3. Units – This does just what it says on the tin. It converts units – perfect for converting from inches to cm when writing patterns in multiple sizes.

4. Numbers – Apple’s spreadsheet app. Again, perfect for collating multiple sizes of a pattern. I like to write the pattern as a spread sheet adding all the relevant measurements and stitch counts for the sample size, knit the test sample to make sure the pattern actually works and then expand out to all the sizes with the help of an old fashioned calculator

5. DesignKnit – This is a pretty good charting App – I usually chart in either Knit Visualizer or Intwined Studio as both of these programs not only chart my lace, but also produce a written version too. DesignKnit doesn’t do that, but for altering charts on the fly or designing new charts when inspiration strikes it is perfect. It contains most of the “standard” symbols and that’s good enough for me.

6. Button Wizard – Again self explanatory. I always manage to foul up the numbers when working out how far apart to put buttonholes. this little app lets you plug in the number of buttonholes, number of sts in the band, how many sts you want at the top and bottom of the band and whether you want to do the buttonholes over 1 or 2 rows.  Plug in the numbers and you get a written pattern of exactly how to make your buttonholes – sometimes I don’t even have to change a word, but cut and paste the instructions directly into the pattern – perfect.

There are a couple of other honorable mentions.

iAnnotate is great for marking up a pdf. you can underline, highlight, add inserted comments etc. Perfect for making notes on either a written pattern you are knitting from or making changes on a pattern I am testing.

Not actually used as part of the design process,

The Gmail app is very good for checking my email and for emailing off patterns and corrections to magazines or test knitters.

Here is my iPad – I keep it in an Apple cover. Not the cheapest option, but I like it’s versatility. It can be used to stand the iPad  up in a variety of positions and best of all when  you close the cover it switches the iPad off and saves battery. Talking of battery life, I was pleasantly surprised by how long the battery lasts. I charge it on average twice a week and use it everyday for at least an hour.



Phew! what a post. Hopefully it will make up for a few of the missed ones over the last few days

I wonder what I will post about tomorrow – lets hope inspiration strikes. Meanwhile back to the knitting and watching Strictly Come Dancing on the BBC – got to love a few sequins :-)

And the Hilarity Continues

15 November, 2012 (21:29) | Uncategorized | By: janle

Still no photos :-) plugged the camera in to charge and nothing happened – hubby took a look and diagnosed a dodgy cable – wriggled it a bit and now it is charging fine – figures.

Designing here is a bit of a standstill – no, that is not truly accurate – I’m stuck. I’m waiting for yarn of a design for a magazine. I have been waiting for 2 weeks. Now first off let me tell you this is NOT the magazines fault. They organised yarn support straight away and the company concerned said that the yarn has been sent – but there is still no sign of it. Not a problem, more is on the way , but I am stuck. I cannot go any further until the yarn is in my hand because I have to do the ( dreaded word to some) swatch before I write the pattern.

I have other things in the pipeline, but this garment is on a hell of a deadline and I don’t want to have to stop something in the middle , drop everything to get this done and then try and pick up my train of thought where I left off . So meanwhile I sit and wait – well not sit and wait, knit and wait really. I am nearly done with Conic. Both sleeves are done and I am going round and round in endless 2×2 rib circles on the welt. Over. Six, Hundred. Stitches……. zzzzzz

So I’m going to leave you with a picture of what I will be picking back up to knit once Conic is done.


It is called Sheer Beauty and when it is done it truly will be.


Well so Much for Photos of My Fish!

14 November, 2012 (21:51) | Uncategorized | By: janle

Best laid plans and all that.

Picked up my camera to try and capture my pretty fish – ah! turned it on and and it announced that the battery was exhausted. Exhausted! What’s wrong with flat – why did it have to be exhausted?

So I tried to take photos with my iPhone – I never realised how much fish move! Damn things! Slow down! You are supposed to be restful and wafting…..

I had to half inch this one off the internet to give you some idea

This is Waffer ( well sort of)

I couldn’t find a picture even close to Wodger

If they ever slow down enough I will get some decent shots

If my camera has recovered from it’s exhaustion ;-)

Ah well tomorrow is another day…..

Ooops I did it again :-(

13 November, 2012 (22:47) | Uncategorized | By: janle

Oh dear, another 2 days missed.

Sometimes it is difficult to think of something to write about and this is the problem right now.

You know how sometimes you sit there at the keyboard and nothing appears in the brain, yup that me.

All I have for you is that I treated myself to a new fish bowl /aquarium and a pair of miniature koi that I have named Waffer and Wodger

Sort of following my daughters tradition of naming her fish after tennis players – I will leave that one with you and let you figure out who they are maned after – photos tomorrow ( hopefully)


11 November, 2012 (11:59) | Uncategorized | By: janle

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

From Laurence Binyon’s poem For the Fallen, written in September 1914

Painting by Catherine Plevin ( a very good friend of mine)