Eclectic Closet Litblog, Book Reviews & Knitting Designs

A litblog dedicated to book reviews/recommendations, as well as literary and publishing news. Now enhanced with knitting designs.

The Secret Way of Patterns

September20

This is both a happy and sad story but I’m hoping that readers can help this story have an exceptional ending.

Miriam wearing The Secret Way of Patterns

Miriam wearing The Secret Way of Patterns

My niece Miriam (7 years old) wants to be a fashion designer (and the Prime Minister of Canada but that’s another story). She spends a great deal of time drawing outfits and has had very distinct opinions on fashion style for several years. I thought it would be a great activity for us to start designing knitting patterns together and Miriam agreed.

Early in 2016 we went out to a local coffee house to discuss what Miriam wanted for her cowl. She made some initial sketches and we went through one of my Japanese stitch pattern books together, with Miriam marking down the number of the patterns she liked for about 20 pages before she got overwhelmed. She then narrowed the selection to 5 or 6 patterns after which we discussed how she’d like the cowl knit.

Of course, she had clear ideas about the direction the knitting should be done (along the length), the length of the cowl, how the patterns should go together (in bands) and the way the patterns should be repeated. She quickly narrowed down the smaller patterns to go between the larger motif but it took a bit of work before she finally managed to get it down to a final selection.

I swatched the patterns and that resulted in more fine-tuning and a change in how the smaller motifs were ordered between the larger one. After another swatch, Miriam was satisfied and I was ready to begin knitting on her cowl.

Miriam's sketch for her cowl

Miriam’s sketch for her cowl

Miriam wanted her cowl knit in a cream colour, with large blue buttons so she could wear it multiple ways. The result is the shorter sample which she is modeling in the photos. I knit this over the summer and part of it was done while in Haliburton (Ontario). My friends and I had rented a cottage there while they attended Indigodragonfly’s Stained Fingers Dye Camp. Kim McBrien Evans saw the piece and asked what I was working on and I told her the story behind the pattern. Kim got very excited and wanted to support Miriam in her design work and offered yarn support for the adult version of the cowl, which she is wearing in the photo of her and Miriam.

It was decided that the design would be “launched” at the Knitter’s Fair (held each September by the Kitchener-Waterloo Knitters’ Guild) in the Indigodragonfly booth. I was really excited because that meant I could take Miriam to the show and she could see her design on display, meet Kim and get inspired for our next design collaboration by looking at all the yarn.

Knitting was done, the pattern was written up and all was on track. Miriam named it “The Secret Way of Patterns.” We were going to have to do the photo shoot after the event but excitement was building for Miriam and I, as well as for my mother, Miriam’s grandmother. Other family members had seen the cowl since it was finished but Miriam hadn’t seen it. The plan was for it to be a surprise for her a day or two before the show. But this is where the story gets very sad.

Mom wearing Vieux Carré Stole

My Mom wearing Vieux Carré Stole

Three days before the Knitter’s Fair my mother passed away very suddenly due to health complications from a long term illness. None of us were expecting that and it was devastating to all of us, but especially to Miriam and her brother. It’s difficult to lose a grandmother at any age but it’s especially traumatic when you are under the age of 10. Friends scrambled together to get the sample to Kim for the show but we weren’t sure if Miriam and I would attend. Friday night I showed the cowl to Miriam and she suddenly started crying. I asked why and she said “Grandma won’t ever get to see it, how will she know I’m a designer now?” Luckily I was able to reassure her that Grandma did see it and thought it was beautiful. And in the end we attended the Knitter’s Fair together and Miriam got to meet Kim, show off her first design and feel like a designer for the first time, although it was very bittersweet. And even though we both felt very sad, we still had the photo shoot this past Saturday and Miriam did a great job.

Kim and Miriam at KW Knitter's Fair

Kim and Miriam at KW Knitter’s Fair

Now here’s where I’m hoping some of you can help make this story have an exceptional ending. My mother had asked that Learning For Humanity be listed as the charity for those wishing to make a donation in her name – she believed so much in education. My mom taught me to dream and passed on her love of crafting to both Miriam and I. She was always very supportive of my designing and was so excited that Miriam and I were designing together. In fact, the photo of my mother used for her funeral is her wearing my Vieux Carré Stole, a design I knit as a gift for her.

Miriam and I want to honour and remember my mother by supporting Learning For Humanity and inviting many others to support it as well. We’ve decided that 100% of the money from pattern sales of The Secret Way of Patterns will go to support the installation of Learning For Humanity educational systems in schools in Zambia until the end of 2016. Miriam is hoping that we could sell several thousand patterns (she’s hoping to raise enough to cover the costs of one school – I told her that we would need to sell 8,000 patterns to do that).

So our request is this – can you help us give this story an exceptional ending? You can buy the pattern here or make a direct donation (and receive a charitable receipt) here.

Miriam wearing The Secret Way of Patterns on a swing

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Palmaria Shawl, part of Northern Landscapes part 2

April28

Palmaria Shawl
Palmaria Shawl is inspired by the waved ridges of seaweed left on the rocky shores at Cape Norman, Newfoundland. Palmaria palmate, commonly known as Dulse, is a seaweed commonly found in the north east Atlantic.

Palmaria Shawl Stitch Detail

Patterns in Northern Landscapes, part two are available individually or as part of the collection. During the pre-order period, the ebook is available at a special, discounted price of $24.95. Tablet Braid Scarf, Långhus Blanket, A-Frame Huts Stole, Filigree and Shadow Stole, Peridotite Stole, Blennerville Stole, and L’Anse aux Meadows are already released, as is Northern Landscapes, part 1. The rest of the patterns will be published over several months and once all the patterns are available individually, the eBook version of the patterns will be uploaded (April 2016). At that time the price of the eBook rises to $35.95 (full retail price of patterns is $75).

If you choose to purchase individual patterns from the collection you will still be able to take advantage of the ebook pricing. Once you purchase the equivalent of $35.95 in patterns from Northern Landscapes, part two, the rest of the patterns will be automatically added to your cart/library.

Tablet Braid Scarf, 6th pattern in Northern Landscapes part 2 collection

April21

Tablet Braid Scarf
This pattern is inspired by examples of Viking-Style tablet weaving fabrics. Vikings produced beautiful fabrics by this method which they used to decorate their clothes, used as belts and as headbands. This scarf is a stylized cable pattern similar to a common motif found in Viking tablet weaving.

Tablet Braid Scarf

Patterns in Northern Landscapes, part two are available individually or as part of the collection. During the pre-order period, the ebook is available at a special, discounted price of $24.95. Långhus Blanket, Filigree and Shadow Stole, Peridotite Stole, Blennerville Stole, and L’Anse aux Meadows are already released, as is Northern Landscapes, part 1. The rest of the patterns will be published over several months and once all the patterns are available individually, the eBook version of the patterns will be uploaded (April 2016). At that time the price of the eBook rises to $35.95 (full retail price of patterns is $75).

If you choose to purchase individual patterns from the collection you will still be able to take advantage of the ebook pricing. Once you purchase the equivalent of $35.95 in patterns from Northern Landscapes, part two, the rest of the patterns will be automatically added to your cart/library.

Långhus Blanket, 5th pattern in Northern Landscapes part 2 collection

February28

Långhus Blanket

I’m so thrilled with my newest design release, the Långhus Blanket. The combination of the the main stitch pattern and the soft, almost flannel like quality of Bare Naked Wools Stone Soup DK results in a luscious blanket. This is the 5th pattern in part 2 of the Northern Landscapes collection and the pattern offers a range of blanket sizes, as well as an option for a wrap.

close up of stitch pattern of Långhus blanket stitch pattern

Patterns in Northern Landscapes, part two are available individually or as part of the collection. During the pre-order period, the ebook is available at a special, discounted price of $24.95. Filigree and Shadow Stole, Peridotite Stole, Blennerville Stole, and L’Anse aux Meadows are already released, as is Northern Landscapes, part 1. The rest of the patterns will be published over several months and once all the patterns are available individually, the eBook version of the patterns will be uploaded (April 2016). At that time the price of the eBook rises to $35.95 (full retail price of patterns is $75).

If you choose to purchase individual patterns from the collection you will still be able to take advantage of the ebook pricing. Once you purchase the equivalent of $35.95 in patterns from Northern Landscapes, part two, the rest of the patterns will be automatically added to your cart/library.

Interview: Cristina Ghirlanda

December23

Today’s second interview is with Italian designer Cristina Ghirlanda of Minimi Knit Designs.

Cristina Ghirlanda

Cristina Ghirlanda

Who taught you to knit/How did you learn to knit?
My mother taught me how to knit when I was maybe 5 years old. I was more interested in crochet at that time. Then I have relearned knitting from the Internet in 2006.

How did you get started designing?
By pure coincidence. I’ve designed the Minimissimi Sweater Coat for myself, then I’ve got many requests for the pattern. That’s how I got started.

Minimissimi Sweater Coat

Minimissimi Sweater Coat

What inspires your designs?
I don’t know. My ideas seem to come from the air. But I’m sure that they are unconscious elaboration of what I see on the street and on photos.

Which comes first – the yarn or the inspiration?
For garments it is almost always inspiration first. For accessories it is mostly yarn first, I don’t like collecting a stash so I design accessories to use up leftovers.

What is your favourite type of item to design?
Sweaters! I’m more interested in designing simple sweaters with unique shaping and unexpected details rather than designing sweaters with intricate stitch pattern.

Tell me about “Caffe Latte”, what is the story behind this design?
That design came to my mind one morning while I was sipping caffe latte. “Caffe Latte” sounds just the right name for a convertible cowl!

Do you have an aspirational knit – a complicated/challenging design that you want to knit “some day” when you feel ready?
No, really. I love resolving challenges as they come. Life is too short to wait 😉

What is coming next? What’s in your release queue?
A color block pullover, a drapey vest, a kids pullover and a kids hat. Check out my Ravelry group if you are interested in test knitting!

Your desert island yarn? (if you could only knit with one yarn from now on which would it be?)
Madelinetosh Tosh Vintage! It is squishy and pill-resistant.

Which is your most under-appreciated design?
La Spiga hat. It is my go-to hat since this fall, but it got far less love than my other designs.

What’s the one piece of advice you’d like to share with other knitters?
Check your gauge after about 5 inches of knitting. Swatches sometimes lie.

Any knitting/designing New Year’s resolutions?
Finish all my pending patterns and take a break!

If you could have dinner with one knitting designer (living or dead) who would it be and why?
Elizabeth Zimmermann! She’s an amazingly talented designer and knitter!

View all of Cristina’s patterns here. All photos copyright Anneh Fletcher. All images used by permission.

You can find Cristina on the following social media sites:

What is the Gift-A-Long? The GAL is a big knitting and crochet designer promotion with prizes and more than 5,000 people participating in a giant KAL/CAL. Come join the GAL group on Ravelry!

Interview: Xandy Peters

December23

My first interview today is with Xandy Peters of So, I Make Stuff.

Who taught you to knit/How did you learn to knit?
My mother taught me when I was 5.

How did you get started designing?
About 5 years ago, I was having a hard time finding work in the field of manufacturing after getting my degree in Industrial Design. I found out that Stephen West, who’s patterns I had seen in Knitty Magazine, was selling knitting patterns online. He seemed similar to my age and it was working out for him. I figured I could apply my design training to knitting at least while I was looking for work and maybe people would take interest.

What inspires your designs?
I tend to focus on interesting stitches for accessories, usually curiosity in a certain technique leads to swatches. For garments, I do some trend research and find the shapes and details that seem relevant.

Which comes first – the yarn or the inspiration?
It depends on the project, I guess sometimes I design for a yarn, but mostly I look at stitches and sketches first.

What characteristics do you try to incorporate in your designs?
I have been doing a lot of stacked stitches, mostly because it’s kind of like my “signature” thing. That means colorwork is usually a big thing for me.

What is your favourite type of item to design?
It tends to change from month to month.

Tell me about “Stacked Stuff” patterns, what is the story behind these pieces?
I was doing a lot of shoe design work, but freelancing in that world is always feast or famine. At some point I was thinking about applying to grad school for textiles so I could work in materials development and find an office job. The stacked stitches development project was going to be my application portfolio. On the off chance that there would be some interest online, I made some patterns from my swatches. The response has been surprising.

Do you have an aspirational knit – a complicated/challenging design that you want to knit “some day” when you feel ready?
I bought a book of Niebling lace designs and want to have the time to make one mostly to learn about lace design. There’s just never time to make one though.

What is coming next? What’s in your release queue?
I have some secret stuff going on. You can expect a Jersey Shore Knits Book 2 this summer, that’s for sure.

Your desert island yarn? (if you could only knit with one yarn from now on which would it be?)
http://www.ravelry.com/yarns/library/woolbearers-fingering-wool – Woolbearers fingering wool is really great. It comes in a lot of colors, and there are regular and mini size skeins. It’s mostly a colorwork yarn.

Which is your most under-appreciated design?
The boardwalk wrap is one that people just need to experience, so the online response has been pretty disappointing. More so because people really love it in real life and I’ll never get the airy lightness to come across in the images.

What’s the one piece of advice you’d like to share with other knitters?
If you are curious about something, try it. You can get all sorts of amazing things to happen when you take risks.

Any knitting/designing New Year’s resolutions?
I want to do more teaching in 2016.

If you could have dinner with one knitting designer (living or dead) who would it be and why?
I have been really lucky to get to talk to a lot of people that I respect lately, but I’ve always wanted to meet to Olga Buraya-Kefelian. I greatly admire how she’s been able to stay true to her somewhat high fashion and mathematical aesthetic while making it relatable to so many people.

View all of Xandy’s patterns here. All photos copyright Xandy Peters. All images used by permission.

You can find Xandy on the following social media sites:

What is the Gift-A-Long? The GAL is a big knitting and crochet designer promotion with prizes and more than 5,000 people participating in a giant KAL/CAL. Come join the GAL group on Ravelry!

Interview: Holli Yeoh

December22

Today’s second interview is with Canadian designer Holli Yeoh; you can find her website here.

Holli Yeoh

Holli Yeoh

Who taught you to knit/How did you learn to knit?
When I was 5 years old, my Mum taught me how to crochet and then how to knit. She taught me in the summer and I remember carrying my project (a baby pink scarf) around the neighbourhood and working on it while I was playing with my friends. Some of those rows were pretty grubby from my dirty hands! I would count my stitches at the end of each row and run home for some help if my stitch count was wrong.

How did you get started designing?
I’ve always designed, whether it was sewing doll clothes when I was a child or jewellery after I graduated from art college. It was natural that I would come to designing knitwear at some point. When we decided to start a family I knew didn’t want to be exposed to the toxins that are prevalent in the jewellery studio, so I turned to my knitting passion that was already consuming all of my evenings. My early designs were all baby sweaters but as my baby grew I began branching out, designing for everyone.

What inspires your designs?
My inspiration comes from many different places. Sometimes it’s the wake behind the ferry boat, sometimes it’s a stitch pattern on a garment I see in a store, sometimes it’s a costume on a period drama I’m watching on TV, and sometimes a complete stranger walks past me on the street and his or her outfit catches my eye.

Which comes first – the yarn or the inspiration?
My early designs using self-patterning sock yarn were definitely inspired by the yarn. But really, for me designs can come from anywhere: the yarn, a concept, a stitch pattern, a stranger on the street. When I’m deep in design mode everything I look at translates into stitches and knitting.

What characteristics do you try to incorporate in your designs?
I design for function and I like classic styles that will last. I’ve heard my designs termed “investment knitting,” meaning that it’s something you’ll want to use or wear for years to come and if it takes a long time to knit, it’s well worth the time investment. Of course, many of my designs are also quick knits.

What is your favourite type of item to design?
I love to design, knit and wear sweaters.

Tell me about “Tempest”, what is the story behind this collection?
Tempest is a book collaboration I did with Felicia Lo of SweetGeorgia Yarns. I wanted to work on a cohesive collection with one dyer’s yarns. After pitching probably 30 designs, we narrowed it down to a handful and then I continued to design more pieces along the theme that began to develop around one of the recurring stitch patterns. It was a pattern I had seen on a garment in a store. I had played with that pattern by stretching it, condensing it, pulling it and distorting it. The stitch pattern reminded me of waves and wasn’t one I had seen in stitch dictionaries so I named it Procella, which is Latin for wave. Another translation of Procella is tempest. I found tempest such a wonderful word that evoked all sorts of imagery for me. We centred on it as a theme and built the collection around both the Procella stitch pattern and handknits you might want to surround yourself with when walking on the beach on a blustery day or hunkered down inside by the fire with a raging storm outside.

What is coming next? What’s in your release queue?
I’ve been doing a lot of freelance work lately, which means that my indie releases go on the back burner. I do have an idea for another collection of patterns and I’m in the beginning stages of fleshing out the designs and conversing with an indie dyer.

Which is your most under-appreciated design?
I think Jamie often gets overlooked. It’s a really fun design because it’s knit modularly and there are no seams. The finishing is minimal. It’s knit in strips, each one joining to the one beside it. The last strip closes the body. The shoulders are joined with a three needle bind off and the sleeves are picked up around the armholes and worked down, in the round. There’s a little edging around the neck and the hem and then it’s just a matter of sewing in a few ends. I used self-patterning sock yarn because the construction plays with the width and depth of the stripes.

What’s the one piece of advice you’d like to share with other knitters?
Don’t be afraid to rip back to fix a mistake, if that’s what’s needed. If the mistake bothers you, then you’ll be much happier with the finished piece if you’ve fixed the mistake. It’s a shame to knit a whole sweater and have it live at the back of your drawer because you don’t like wearing because of a mistake. You know, most of us knit for enjoyment, so look at it this way. You’re getting more enjoyment out of the project because there was a little more knitting when you reworked a section of it.

Any knitting/designing New Year’s resolutions?
I don’t usually make resolutions, at least not in the New Year. I would like to create a self-publishing schedule and give it equal standing with the freelance work that I do.

If you could have dinner with one knitting designer (living or dead) who would it be and why?
Really, every knitwear designer would be a fascinating dinner companion. I love sharing information and learning from how another designer approaches the business or a design. I’m very intrigued with Ysolda’s rise in the knitting world and would greatly enjoy getting to know her and her approach.

View all of Holli’s patterns here. Jamie photo copyright Art of Light and Wake photo copyright Alexa Ludeman. All remaining photos copyright Rob Yeoh. All images used by permission.

You can find Holli on the following social media sites:

What is the Gift-A-Long? The GAL is a big knitting and crochet designer promotion with prizes and more than 5,000 people participating in a giant KAL/CAL. Come join the GAL group on Ravelry!

Interview: Kristina Vilimaite

December22

This morning’s interview is with designer Kristina Vilimaite from Hungary.

Who taught you to knit/How did you learn to knit?
My grandmother tried when I was six, but my first memory of knitting is about being in fury – I was knitting so tight I was not able to work the next row. Then, at 10, I was totally bored when we learnt knitting at school. My mother finished up the cowl I was so bored about so I did not get bad marks. And at 15 I remember meditation like feeling when knitting a sweater – since then I could knit.

How did you get started designing?
I made that first sweater without a pattern, though I didn’t think it was a design then, I was just making a sweater. Then, just before my daughter got born, I found out about Ravelry and started knitting again. LYS owner in Budapest issued a call for designs from their yarns. I gave it a try, and just got hooked.

What inspires your designs?
Nature and stitch patterns. I worked in environmental protection for years, so nature is always on my mind, and I just adore Estonian lace and Japanese stitch patterns. I also like watching the world around for interesting shapes and colours – be it a building, an interestingly cut coat of a passer by, or a ceramic bowl in a museum.

Which comes first – the yarn or the inspiration?
I often start with an idea and only when I like how it looks in white single ply wool (I also like to swatch with cotton), I search for a suitable yarn. Then yarn influences the final details of the design. Of course I have a lot of yarn that I’ve got because it was simply beautiful. Most of it is still in my stash.

What characteristics do you try to incorporate in your designs?
I like when it is possible to make differently looking knits from the same patten. So my shawls are in many sizes, customizable and they can be worked from different weight yarns. Currently I like complex looking stitches, which I adjust so they are easier to work but still intricate. I also love beads – even for mittens. I get little sparkling moments of happiness when I wear something with beads, such knits make me feel extraordinary.

What is your favourite type of item to design?
Shawls. Right now I am hooked on a simple triangular shape that is worked sideways. This shape is like a painting canvas and it gives me so much freedom to for my knitted flowers to grow.

Tell me about “Recowled”, your new collection, what is the story behind it?
When I design I have to make finite choices: about shape, stitches used, all other details. Sometimes I see so many options that I can’t choose. I was drafting Tulippa shawl (not published yet), and this thought was always around – “maybe this should be a cowl, this would be a great cowl”. So I decided to let them both be. All three patterns in “Recowled” will be based on shawl patterns that look equally well as cowls. I also experiment with shapes, so two of the cowls will be scowls, kind of hybrids of shawls and cowls worked top down stating with just a few stitches. One will be of a traditional shape worked sideways.

Do you have an aspirational knit – a complicated/challenging design that you want to knit “some day” when you feel ready?
I have lots of ideas for cardigans. Well, I never wore the sweater I knit when I was 15. The size was OK, but I didn’t like how I looked in it. I acquired a better body image since then, but I am still not sure that a sweater I dream up and invest a lot of time into making would fit me and others well. At some point I will probably gather my courage to make one.

Tulippa

Tulippa

What is coming next? What’s in your release queue?
I just started another collection called Lace Mittens for Snow Battle and I am almost ready with the second design from it. That knit is really addictive, so it pushed other half finished things down the queue. But probably I will release Tulippa shawl earlier.

Your desert island yarn? (If you could only knit with one yarn from now on which would it be?)
Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light. I like most of single ply yarns, but this one is dyed in such a way that it looks like as if it was shining from inside.

Which is your most under-appreciated design?
Icy Rivulet. For three years it was my favourite shawl to wear, both indoors and outdoors. It is actually my first design, but I made a very unlucky decision to publish it through a magazine. Only when I got the rights back, I could release it in the quality I am satisfied with, but the momentum was gone by then.

What’s the one piece of advice you’d like to share with other knitters?
I am not sure anybody wants my advice – but I can tell what worked for me when mastering knitting and designing. I reverse engineered a couple of hats and some stitch patterns. For me it brought a real breakthrough in understanding how to read my knitting, and helped me to understand the principles behind some techniques.

Any knitting/designing New Year’s resolutions?
I prefer to go with the flow, I mean my individual flow. I do what I like when I think the moment is right for that. I probably never in my life had a New Year’s resolution… and if I had, I do not remember, probably I didn’t keep it anyway.

If you could have dinner with one knitting designer (living or dead) who would it be and why?
Could I have a party instead? Ten different people every week? If I have to choose just one today, that would be Kate Davies. I really love her designs and she writes interesting stuff.

View all of Kristina’s patterns here. All photos copyright Kristina Vilimaite. All images used by permission.

You can find Kristina on the following social media sites:

What is the Gift-A-Long? The GAL is a big knitting and crochet designer promotion with prizes and more than 5,000 people participating in a giant KAL/CAL. Come join the GAL group on Ravelry!

Interview: Josh Ryks

December21

Today’s first interview is with Josh Ryks of Sword of a Knitter.

Josh, modeling Ad Hoc

Josh, modeling Ad Hoc

Who taught you to knit/How did you learn to knit?
I learned to knit from a learn-to-knit kit that came with a book and needles and some notions. I taught myself from that little instruction booklet on some truly horrible acrylic yarn (the stuff was splitty and just awful. My second yarn that I used was much nicer acrylic yarn!) and got going. I remember finding the cast on and knit stitch much easier than the purl stitch. I had to grab a different book for that one!

How did you get started designing?
I started designing after knitting some of Stephen West’s shawls and other “modern” designers that introduced me to the world of color and shaping and new techniques that stemmed from the base techniques of knitting and I understood the structure of it all.
The combinations of color and shape and line and texture hooked me and I actually started thinking that I could do this too. So I did!

What inspires your designs?
I find inspiration in black and white photography, architecture, shadow, and line play. I also love tessellation art and the geometric motifs found ornamenting our everyday.

Which comes first – the yarn or the inspiration?
It really depends! I find that the inspiration comes first, but (depending on the yarn!) the yarn may change everything and become the muse of the piece!

What characteristics do you try to incorporate in your designs?
Graphic, clean lines with bright, bold splashes of color and techniques that create texture and color play.

What is your favourite type of item to design?
I LOVE designing shawls! It’s the most versatile canvas we have as designers to push the boundaries of knitting and play around with color, shape, technique, line, texture, shadow, etc. It’s also a fantastic why to show off the amazing indie dyers that make such beautiful yarns!

Do you have an aspirational knit – a complicated/challenging design that you want to knit “some day” when you feel ready?
I do! It’s a shawl concept that I’ve had milling around for a long time and I will one day sit down and tackle the shaping and technical details to get it started.

Your desert island yarn? (if you could only knit with one yarn from now on which would it be?)
That’s a tough question! Hmm… At the moment it would have to be a combination of Neighborhood Fibre Company’s Rustic Fingering weight single and 716knit 716solo neon-tactic tonal color ways. I could be a very happy knitter with that yarn combo!

What’s your “comfort knitting?”
I would say shawl knitting in any shape or form or design is my comfort knitting. For me, comfort knitting is more about the yarn and the colors I’m using more so than the knitting itself.

Which is your most under-appreciated design?
I would say Color Spike. It’s one of my personal faves and the way the cables and short rows and slipped stitches and color all work together is a great shawl that speaks of Josh and his style of knitting.

Continental or English?
Continental.

What’s the best thing about knitting?
The ability to create something that’s unique, original, and handmade all the while playing with fibers and colors that you can’t get anywhere else!

What’s the one piece of advice you’d like to share with other knitters?
Have FUN knitting! Don’t stress about the techniques and any insecurities you may feel about something. Just go for it, have fun, and even if you end up with a mess, have fun and laugh and move on! Knitting is supposed to be fun and make us feel better! So don’t bring stress and obligation into it!

Any knitting/designing New Year’s resolutions?
I am hoping to finish all the mystery designs I have going on at the moment and to publish my second and third collections next year!

View all of Josh’s patterns here. All photos copyright Josh Ryks. All images used by permission.

You can find Josh on the following social media sites:

What is the Gift-A-Long? The GAL is a big knitting and crochet designer promotion with prizes and more than 5,000 people participating in a giant KAL/CAL. Come join the GAL group on Ravelry!

Blennerville Stole, 4th pattern in Northern Landscapes part 2 collection

December21

Blennerville Stole

I’m so thrilled with my newest design release, the Blennerville Stole. The combination of the graphic patterns and the lusciousness of Sweet Paprika’s Adagio yarn (a truly decadent combination of silk and camel fibres) make for an indulgent wrap. This is the 4th release in Northern Landscapes, part two collection.

Stitch detail of Blennerville Stole

Patterns in Northern Landscapes, part two are available individually or as part of the collection. During the pre-order period, the ebook is available at a special, discounted price of $24.95. Filigree and Shadow Stole, Peridotite Stole and L’Anse aux Meadows are already released, as is Northern Landscapes, part 1. The rest of the patterns will be published over several months and once all the patterns are available individually, the eBook version of the patterns will be uploaded (tentatively end of February 2016). At that time the price of the eBook rises to $35.95 (full retail price of patterns is $75).

If you choose to purchase individual patterns from the collection you will still be able to take advantage of the ebook pricing. Once you purchase the equivalent of $35.95 in patterns from Northern Landscapes, part two, the rest of the patterns will be automatically added to your cart/library.

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