Kaleido by Silkie B.

Knitting Designs By Silka Burgoyne

Introducing Bonnie – Accessory Collection 1 September 2, 2010

Bonnie Mitt

I am very excited that my accessory collection for the Fall is shaping up. I first introduced ‘Victoria’ yesterday and today, let me introduce ‘Bonnie’; a fingerless mitten design.

The inspiration of ‘Bonnie’ came from my dear sister ‘Bonnie’. Bonnie is my rock. I know that I can tell her anything and she is always there for me. Bonnie is always there to listen and provide her honest opinion and support. It have been a very tough year for me and without Bonnie’s support, I might not be able to pull through. I chose a rather simple lace motif with twisted curvy border; the curvy border between each lace repeat looks like the gentle wave in the water… I love the water, living in West Michigan, I am lucky to be so close to Lake Michigan.. the curvy border reminding me the wave by the lake.. it’s so beautiful and calm and relax… and my sister Bonnie, is like the gentle wave in the lake, she can always calm me down and give me an ease feeling when I am stressing out… although Bonnie is rather tense and stress out sometime.. and very intense in some occassion or many occassion.. but she will always be my calming wave. In addition, her chinese name means ‘smooth, wave, round’ so the lace motif certaily represents her well.


So to my dear sister, Bonnie, this post is dedicated to you by your always busy and stress out sister… and with your support.. I know I will always be OK. Thanks for being so supportive and being such a great sister.



Introducing Victoria – Accessory Vol. 1 September 1, 2010


As I have finished my urgent project commitment and have a little bit of time (a week to be exact) before next rounds of design submissions. I decided to start working on my first Winter Accessory Collection that I would like to be completed by fall. I am very excited to introduce ‘Victoria’ – A lace gloves and socks design features two of the Waterloo Wools; a fingerweight yarn composes of 50% merino Wool and 50% Tencel for the gloves and merino and nylon for the sock.

I wanted my 1st accessory collection to be driven by someone I know and I care about. For ‘Victoria’, I got the design inspiration from my sister, Vicky. Vicky lives in beautiful vancouver, Canada. She is a free spirit and fun loving person, a caring and a compassionate friend; a person who might look tough on the outside and often time not so easy to deal with; a stubborn person but with a delicate heart. We don’t see each other often, but I know she is always there for me when I needed her. I could not ask for a better sister. A lot of people might not think an overall lace motif will represent Vicky; but we just need to look through her outer appeal and look inside; then you will see how soft and delicate Vicky is. The tightly twisted cable inside the lace representing the tie between us.

Victoria - Sock

To my dear sister Vicky, I wrote this post on your birthday.. however, I wanted to have the pictures to come with it.. so this post is a little bit late… anyhow, this post is delicated to you by your also very stubborn little sister even though I might look more mature then you and have 3 kids.. but I am still your little sister. Cheers!


Meeting Lindsey…… August 4, 2010

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When you think of yarn, wool will most likely be one material that come into most of the people’s mind…. wool indeed a common material that make into yarn… as yarn evolves through time… nowadays almost everything can make into yarn… alpaca, camal, soy, bamboo, cotton, silk etc are very common… then comes some items that I don’t think can be possible to make into yarn… think sugarcane, seacell and even milk… Milk? How could it be possible? I have my doubt until I actually touch a skein of yarn that is 80% milk fiber… looks and feels absolutely wonderful!

But I am here not to talk about yarn evolution, I am here to talk about meeting Lindsey Ligett.

A couple days ago, with a connection from Shirley, a lady from my knitting group, introduced me to her niece, Lindsey, who happened to be in town for a visit. Lindsey is the owner of Waterloo Wools, a small business that locates in Waterloo, Ontario that specialize in hand dyed, handspun yarns and spinning fibers. I enjoy working with all type of yarns, of course everyone should know that by now.. but I am totally clueless on how yarn is made. I always admire people that can spun and dyed their own yarns… and meeting Lindsey who specialize in those 2 things is such a wonderful experience for me.

During our meeting, Lindsey has graciously given me a few skeins of her hand-dyed yarns that I attached in this post. Don’t you think the yarns look amazing? Lindsey did such a great job on the colors and they are absolutely beautiful. Amongst my goodies, one of the skein is made with 80% Milk Fiber and 20% Merino Wool, one skein is made with merino wool and seacell.. and there is one that is made with merino wool and Tencel. Of course I can’t just take the yarns and not do anything with them. In return, I will put myself into the design gear (soon after I finished my other project commitment) and design a few items that will features the yarns that Lindsey has given me so that she can showcase her yarns in the trade shows that are coming up in the middle of September and late October in Canada. It is also a good opportunity for me as an indie designer to reach out to other knitters using a different channel. So please stay tune for my designs in the next couple months that features Waterloo Wools.

Thanks again to Lindsey for the beautiful yarn and I am truly grateful.


Got my quince & Co. July 28, 2010

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I have first heard about quince & Co. from brooklyn tweed facebook page. Then quince & Co. keep popping up everywhere. I went to the website and checkout the story behind the company and the yarn that the company offer. The first impression is the simpicity of the site. It’s clean.. easy to navigate… and to the point content…. it’s a true minimalist style…. then their products.. 4 different yarns in 4 different weights and a large selection of colors…. how can one resist?!?

My order arrived today… I ordered a skein of Osprey in rosa rugosa and a couple skeins of chickadee in river… can’t wait to get my hands on them… well…. have to wait after my last project deadline….


Anticipation…. July 23, 2010

A lot of people know that I have been crazy busy lately. Mostly because I have been working on quite a few projects for different editorial release, I am also working on my own idie patterns. I enjoy submitting designs to the magazines; the idea of having my name printed on the patterns that I designed and the patterns potentially be able to reach out to the knitters all over the world, is such a joy for me. For that reason, all the late night that I spent on knitting.. it’s all worth it. The only problem for me is the waiting period for the magazine to go live. Each magazine plans each issue at least 6 months to a year ahead… the anticipation is often time quite unbearable…

I have put out a slideshow to preview what is coming to the newstands and online magazine near you… probably in the next few months. Most of them were the original design submission. Please note that the actual finished object might not exactly match the pictures and/or sketch. Often time, during the process of transforming the design to the actual abject, the design did get changed along the way.

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Imagination Vs. Reality July 20, 2010

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When I was first doing design, I often find that the ‘Reality’ – the actual object are quite often a little bit different than the ‘Imagination’ – the drawing. In the past, I would design, then work on the actual object to see whether it matches what I think, then decide whether it is worth for submitting my design to the magazine. My old way, it was a long process and I often miss the submission deadline. The reason why I worked in my old way partly because I lacked of confidence to transform my design into the actual object. It’s mainly because my inexperience in garment construction.  It’s also because I don’t want to send in a design that was way over my head that I would not be able to deliver. However, I quickly realized how time consuming it was to do things the old way.

Lately, I have adopted a new approach to my design. I told myself that I need to be confidence and stand by my design. I have to be awared that aften time, the ‘Imagination’ will not translate 100% to ‘Reality’. I should feel OK when that happen. Once I realized that, I feel more confidence and not afraid to make mistakes. The key point is to learn from the mistakes and accept them and adopt to them and sometime mistakes might transform into something wonderful. 

In my last 2 projects, the Chunky Cable Trim pullover and the Ruffles Cardigan are not exactly the same as my original ‘Imagination’. They were closed, but not 100% match. The fact is while I was working on the actual ‘Reality’, some of my imagination elements just did not translate well into the actual object. So instead of following the ‘design’ by the dot, I decided to make modification to it, and the result is better than what I was dreaming up in my head originally. I would love to share a pictures here; but I have to keep it a secret in my blog until the magazine goes life. My drawing of these 2 projects were posted in my previous blog post. Once the magazine goes live, I would definitely post the side by side picture to compare the differences in the ‘Imagination’ Vs. ‘Reality.


Yarns for Next 2 months

Filed under: Knitting Life — silkaburgoyne @ 5:18 pm

Finally, I got all my yarns from the yarn companies so that I can start my projects. With the very tight deadlines, I really have to get myself focus and be a very fast knitter. 

Above are the yarns that I will use for my projects. Here is the run down:
1) First 2 yarns, they will be transformed into a Lacy Stripe Ribbon Pullover with 8/5 deadline. The yarn is Willow Tweed by Louisa Harding.
2) The deepest red is the color that the editor choice to re-stitch my ruffles cardigin which was initially done in Amethyet. With a end of July deadline. That will be the very first project that I will tackle. The yarn is Cotton Classic and Cotton Classic Lite (Ruffles) by Takhi Yarns.
3) Cranberry Bog is light worsted tweed yarn by Berroco. It will eventually become a ruffles purse 🙂 I will not start this project until I got the other 2 projects finished. With 8/20 deadline. I think I could swing it…. hopefully.

So these 4 yarns will be my companion for the next 2 months. The good thing is that these yarns are all different, texture and color. So I won’t get too bored unlike 2 months ago, all I was working on was purple.

And now I would need to pray for miracle to have all my projects finished on time.