Japonica Wrap by Beverley Dott

The glorious Japonica Wrap by Beverley Dott, upon which lies a red walking stick

Do you remember this post? It’s an interview with Beverley Dott AKA Fair City Knits. Bev and I have stayed in touch since those early days of bonding over finding inspiration for stranded colourwork in everyday life, and I’m thrilled that the last design in KNITSONIK & Friends: Colour to Knit is one of hers.

Meet the Japonica Wrap by Beverley Dott – an iconic, maximalist statement piece that doubles up as an elegant wrap and a warm and woolly wearable blanket.

Heidi wears Japonica by Beverley Dott (Fair City Knits) - a statement wrap in corals, purples, browns and rich and verdant greens. Heidi wears a bright red dress under the wrap and is leaning on a matching bright red walking stick.

You can wear Japonica Wrap asymmetrically, joined at the shoulders with closures or shawl-pins…

Taia wears Japonica by Beverley Dott (Fair City Knits) - a statement wrap in corals, purples, browns and rich and verdant greens - it is fastened behind her back along its short edges, so that the long edges wrap around her arms like sleeves; under this she wears a bright red dress.

…or with the short edges fastened together behind your back, like so…

Back view of Taia wearing Japonica by Beverley Dott - a statement wrap in corals, purples, browns and rich and verdant greens - it is fastened behind her back along its short edges, so that the long edges wrap around her arms like sleeves and so that the main patterned section of the wrap covers her back.

…you can secure the wrap in ways that make its nifty, reversible edges behave like a collar…

Heidi wears Japonica secured at the back with the edging turned down like a lovely collar. She gazes whistfully over the edge of the collar while the colourwork that is wearing GLOWS.

…or just find different ways to snuggle into its luxurious folds comprised of 100% Real Shetland Wool Jamieson & Smith 2ply Jumper Weight yarn.

Japonica by Beverley Dott - A dramatic statement wrap bearing a complex allover pattern and beautiful coloured, ribbed edging - is worn by Taia, who looks really snug, it as she pulls it up around her neck and face. Under the wrap Taia wears a bright red dress and some coordinating leaf green eye makeup. She is smiling.

However you wear it, the back of the Japonica Wrap by Beverley Dott is as lovely as the front.

 Heidi (left) and Taia (right) hold up the large rectangular Japonica wrap; it falls forward on one side so that you can see how neat and interesting the stranded back of the work looks, and the reversible ribbed edging which borders the whole wrap. Heidi and Taia both wear bright red dresses and the background against which they stand is a joyous leafy green colour - the red and green are both picked up in the colours of the wrap.

Bev’s Japonica Wrap was inspired by the plant of the same name and, of its translation into stranded colourwork, Bev says this:

I felt the motif should be large enough to be clearly visible from a distance and to draw onlookers in to take a closer look – just like I did when I first saw this beautiful plant with its glorious colours on that frosty morning walk during early lockdown.

closeup of the Japonica plant that inspired Bev's knitting

I think there is something genius about not only translating an inspiration source, but also recreating the way that we experience and see that inspiration source – something I feel the Japonica Wrap does spectacularly well in that you look at it, notice it at once, and then immediately want to get in for a closer look.

Taia properly peeping into the wrap!

Bev’s Japonica Wrap is worked completely in the round, aided by multiple steeks which means there is no purling in the main part of the wrap, and which minimises the number of ends to weave in at the end because they are all concealed in neat Steek Sandwiches.

Like all the designs in the KNITSONIK & Friends: Colour to Knit eBook, Bev’s chapter comes with a big chunk of supportive creative content designed to empower you in adapting and understanding the pattern. Bev shares her creative process and the tools she uses to help her as a designer; there are breakdowns in the chapter of the two different sequences that produce the wrap’s stunning glowy effect – the Background and the Pattern; and there are printable pages that you can use to recolour the wrap and plan your own shading sequences, in case you want to use colours other than those Bev has used.

Heidi and Taia peep over the edge of the wrap

The release of this design coincides with completion of the KNITSONIK & Friends: Colour to Knit eBook in which you’ll find Japonica Wrap by Bev alongside Brightlingsea by Patricia Kimmitt; Cheers! by Nolwenn and Flombre by yours truly.

KNITSONIK & Friends Colour to Knit - a composite grid of images that look both like hearts and knit-stitches, and which contain photos detailing the creative process of designing stranded colourwork - coloured in drawings, grids, charts, pencils etc.

KNITSONIK & Friends: Colour to Knit grew out of my interest in using colouring-in as an aid to stranded colourwork design. Back at the start of 2020 I put out an open call in my Ravelry group for designs using colouring-in as part of their development. I pledged to work with designers who submitted ideas to turn them into a book. The idea was to create a cohesive book that dives deeply into creative process and which comes not only with beautiful patterns you can knit, but also with printable worksheets, insightful essays, and useful prompts to inspire and support you to recolour each design.

Bringing that ambitious vision to life has taken many months but I’m so happy to be sharing the fruits of our labours at last, and to be ending the preview of the patterns inside on such a glorious note.


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