I am very excited to have been accepted to teach a class in September at this year’s Fiber College of Maine! This event is one of the most popular fiber arts educational events of the year. Held at the Searsport Shores Ocean Park and Campground, Searsport, Maine it is the largest Fiber Arts education gathering on the East Coast. Classes on everything fiber: knitting, crocheting, weaving, spinning, fiber preparation, rug hooking, quilting, lace making, wood working and more. You can check out their excellent website to explore all their offerings and logistical details for this year.
One of their traditions is to profile some of their instructors on their blog and I have been lucky enough to be featured first! They sent me a thoughtful set of interview questions and I must admit it was a bit like sitting for an essay exam to answer them all! But I am very happy with the final profile. Check it out HERE.
The class I will be teaching is called “Conquer Your Fear of Knitting Charts”. I am amazed at how many knitters are intimidated by working from charts. In today’s knitting world charts are almost the given for many types of knitting including stranded color work, cabled patterns, and certainly lace. Hopefully this class will give participants the skills and confidence to knit from charted patterns.
Remember, if you are intrigued by the offerings at Fiber College this year, don’t wait too long to sign up. This is a popular event! Registration is open now. See you there!
March 14th is Pi Day! 3.14 – get it? It is also Einsteins’ birthday just to make it better for math geeks! I love the mathematical aspects of knitting! I guess that is why designing and writing knitting patterns is such a passion of mine! I have actually designed three different hat patterns that are obviously based on geometry – though sadly not on pi (I’ll have to design something based on circles someday). So how about a flash sale? 30% off any of my three geometrical hat patterns: Fun With Triangles Hat, Baby Triangles Hat, and Garter Geometry Hat in my Ravelry Store only. Use coupon code: pi to get the discount. In consideration of other time zones this promotion will run from 3pm Monday, March 13, through noon on Wednesday March 15th, 2017 – times being Eastern US time zone.
What a fun way to celebrate Pi Day! Start a geometric knitting project! Of course baking an actual pie would be good too.
Winding Trail Headband is my newest design – released just in time for a windy March in Maine! Even with the snow and cold you can feel Spring in the air. All my adult children are active outdoor types, and headbands fit the bill for keeping their ears protected from the wind. My son, Joe, served as photographer for this design with his lovely Katie as his model. You can see more of his close-up photos on the pattern page, but I just love this photo of Katie playing in the snow with the dog and wanted to feature it here. It sums up how I imagined this headband being worn when I designed it. But I admit, I’ve been wearing mine around in the house! In the soft, cozy Malabrigo Merino Worsted it just feels so good!
You can find out more about this design HERE or on Ravelry.
My Young at Heart Hat Pattern is the perfect Valentine’s gift – either the knitted up hat, or the pattern for a valentine that knits! I recently re-knit the pattern myself, choosing colors that highlighted the design better than the originals did. My son, Joe, got some great photos of his girlfriend modeling the finished hat. So I decided to offer a 15% off sale on this pattern to celebrate! The sale is taking place only at my Ravelry Store – HERE . Use the coupon code heart though the end of day (Eastern US time) February 14, 2017. Happy Valentine’s Day!
I actually have a lot of trouble with spacial relationships, so it is surprising to me that I keep being fascinated with knitting geometric forms. (Fun With Triangles Hat and Baby Triangles Hat involved this geometry also.) Here is my newest design that required quite a bit of spacial thinking (and re-thinking when I got it backwards!) Garter Geometry Hat plays with diamonds and two different ways of forming triangles between them. I had the image in my mind of how I wanted the central decrease diamonds to just fit right into a field of garter stitch – as if they had been inserted. Easier imagined than done! And I wanted it straight forward to knit – no intarsia, no sewing, no stranding, and not a million ends to weave in. A tall order! Be prepared for some scrutiny from your knitting friends!
Two different Berroco Ultra Alpaca greens were in my stash and a trip to Webs while visiting in Massachusetts provided the perfect blue to complement them. I think Ultra Alpaca knit up in garter stitch has got to be one of my favorite knitted fabrics ever! But this hat would look great in any standard worsted weight yarn – Cascade 220, Wool of the Andes etc.
Knitting this hat really is fun – though it is not a beginner’s project. The skill level is considered “experienced” due to the techniques used, but everything is clearly explained in the pattern directions, and I think an adventurous intermediate knitter would enjoy knitting this.
Check out the details HERE or on Ravery.
My newest design, “Cable and Flare Scarf”, incorporates little cables that are identical on the front and the back of the scarf. In fact, the whole scarf is perfectly reversible! A very simple 2 stitch lace separates the cables that unwind into graceful flares at each end. The pattern is easily memorized and makes for some very satisfying knitting when you need a project that doesn’t require a lot of attention, yet isn’t boring. I knit most of this scarf either in the car (in the passenger’s seat of course!) or during my weekly knitting group meetings.
One of the best things that happened with this project is that I found a wonderful local photographer willing to work with me on making the best possible photos of my designs. Melissa Newcomb captured the spirit of the design in the photo above – and still was able to show the reversibility aspect and the detail of the cables and lace. Photographing knitting takes special considerations. I am so excited to work with Melissa again! In fact, we’ve already done a photo shoot for an upcoming sweater design. More on that in 2017!
See more about “Cable and Flare Scarf” HERE, or on Ravelry
This adorable little dog was my mom’s dog. A year ago, when mom moved in with us, I took over Daisy’s care. Now mom is living in a nearby assisted living facility and we find ourselves real dog owners for the first time. I’m a total newbie at this dog stuff – I actually called the vet one morning when she slept a little late. Turns out she was tired! Who knew?
When Daisy first arrived and I started walking her I would always forget the little baggies (necessary here in the village), and I frequently would end up with cold ears because Miss Daisy can decide to be mighty particular sometimes. So my newest design, “Walking Miss Daisy”, was born of shear practical necessity with big roomy pockets and a nicely fitted cozy hood. And it works up fairly quickly in bulky yarn. I had fun with playful i-cord designs on the pockets, but my testers all preferred their pockets plain – knitters choice!
My friend Mary Ann, who helped out with my mom and often walked Daisy, is my model for this pattern. I think Daisy approves!
See more about this pattern HERE , or on Ravelry, or Patternfish.
My latest pattern has been so much fun to design! I was lucky enough to meet Stephanie Griego last Fall at Knit East in St. Andrews, New Brunswick. Stephanie is the talented dyer behind Dirty Water DyeWorks and dyes incredibly beautiful yarn! I came home with a skein of “Bertha” – a fingering weight merino, cashmere, nylon blend in a yummy, subtly variegated “Chocolate Raspberry” color and immediately started playing. I knew I wanted socks with texture – something ribbed to fit nicely, but not boring to knit. I came up with just the thing in my newest design: Two-Block Socks.
I have a background in weaving and spent many years working with weaving drafts, which can often be broken into “blocks” to design with. As I played with a stitch pattern from an old Mon-Tricot stitch dictionary I realized that it could be broken down into two design blocks and that those blocks could then be rearranged in many different ways. Not being able to make up my mind which arrangement I liked best, I decided to present the pattern in such a way that a knitter could knit socks in one of two block arrangements I detail, or they could play with the blocks to make their own arrangement. So many possibilities from one pattern!
Check out more about Two-Block Socks on the pattern page HERE, or in my Ravelry , Etsy, or Patternfish stores.
There is no end to the fun things going on in the Ravelry community! In March the group Malabrigo Junkies is hosting a month long event with KALs and contests and great promotions on patterns! Check out all the happenings for “Malabrigo March”. I was thrilled to be asked to participate as a designer who has been part of the Malabrigo Quickies program. I am offering 25% off each of my patterns that I designed for that program – Shapely Legs Legwarmers and Perfect Pitch Scarf. The coupon code for my promotion is Malmarch .There are many more designers participating and lots of great deals! What a lovely way to pass the often cold, dreary month of March – with a cup of tea and a yummy Malabrigo project on the needles!
I’m so excited to once again be a participating designer in the Indie Design Gift-A-Long on Ravelry – GAL for short! If you haven’t experienced the fun of the GAL before, be sure to join us this year. What is it? It is 6 weeks of fun activities, contests, prizes and knit-a-longs hosted on Ravelry and featuring patterns by independent designers. The whole thing starts off with an incredible sale! From Thursday, November 19th at 8:00 pm US EST to Friday, November 27, 2015 at 11:59 pm US EST over 300 indie designers will be discounting between 5 – 20 of their patterns 25% for this event. That is thousands of patterns! Use coupon code: giftalong2015 when you check out. For the first time I actually had to choose some patterns to exclude from the sale since I now have 24 patterns for sale in my Ravelry store! But 20 of my patterns that would make great gifts are included. The link for the participating designers’ patterns goes live on the 19th and I will be sure to post it here. Each designer is represented by a collage with a link to their patterns. You can see my collage for the event at the top of this post. Here a link to the thread with ALL participating designer’s collages, which link to their Ravelry stores.
This year I am again part of the behind the scenes “Pinning Team” for the event. We pin every pattern that is included in the sale part of the GAL to appropriate boards on Pinterest. That makes a great way to browse designs by category. Search for “GAL 2015” on Pinterest to find the boards for hats, shawls, sweaters, etc. (They will be live at 8 pm on Nov 19th.) We have a crochet board as well. Doing this job puts me up close and personal with many designs and I am just so impressed by the creativity and talent among my fellow independent designers!
And don’t forget about the GAL once the sale period is over! Join one of the forums on Ravelry (links to come) to knit your gifts and see others. Those participating in the forums will get chances to win free patterns and a range of donated knitterly gifts. Oh, and you are not limited to the sale patterns for this part of the GAL – you can knit any paid pattern by any of the participating designers. I had fun knitting some other people’s designs last year and seeing other’s finished projects. For me the GAL has become an eagerly anticipated part of the holiday season – come join us!
To see more about the gift-a-long visit the Indie Design Gift-A-Long forum on Ravelry.