13 January 2015

Meet me at Vogue Knitting Live! 12-1pm 1/18/15 booth #710

I'll be chatting and selling patterns in the Knitty City booth (#710) Sunday 1/18/15 from 12-1pm in at Vogue Knitting Live NYC. The rest of the day I'll be wandering the Marketplace in a wool-fume-induced haze with my dear friend Annie. So much fun - I hope to see you there!

Now, to get ready for VKL, I have to decide what to wear. This is especially fraught when I won't have any other samples with me (the booth is just too busy for me to bring (and have to keep track of) a bunch of samples. So, I'm thinking one sweater and one accessory (shawl).

I wore Sailor's Valentine to Knitty City last week, when it was very cold (it's a super-warm sweater and the wool is a little crispy to wear without a long-sleeve t-shirt underneath). Since the weather is supposed to be more amenable on Sunday, I'm thinking Sotherton (I wore it for the first time this winter about ten days ago and was pleasantly reminded of just how flattering a piece it is) or Wavelette (lightweight lace is so easy to wear in the over-heated wilds of NYC) with Upon the Spanish Main (the MCN yarn is such a pleasure) or In the Shallows (such a great go-with-anything piece)/Thistle Leaf Shawl (there's always something extra-special about the latest design, isn't there?), respectively.

Any favorites for which you'd like to put in a good word?

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!
xoxo, Kathleen

12 January 2015

Trip report: Knitty City talk 1/8/15

I had such a lovely time last Thursday! As you may know, the lovely folks at Knitty City invited me to meet their knitters at the monthly Young Designer Meet & Greet for January. I brought a couple of carry-ons filled with wool and took over every hanger in the place to share my knitwear designs.

Holding Benwick at Knitty City

Wearing Sailor's Valentine next to my rack o' wool
The knitters I met were a lovely and dedicated bunch (it was frigid that night - enough so that a pound of Bartlettyarns' Fisherman 2-ply on my upper half seemed just about right). As supportive and lovely as my family is, most of them (my darling sister excepted) don't necessarily understand the finer points of my work like an avid knitter does. So, it was fun to be able to discuss the finer points of various patterns:

  • the hood on Sailor's Valentine is basically a big turned heel that allows the Heartstrings cable to travel uninterrupted up the back and over the head, and if you eliminate the ribbing (which pulls the fabric in and gives your figure a bit of flattery without waist shaping), you would have a project suitable for any man
  • the bindoff for In the Shallows is a k1p1 rib so the edge stands up rather than turning to one side or the other - there is truly no right or wrong side, and it's a great way to knit up a special skein of sock yarn
  • Benwick has integrated epaulets in the saddle shoulders and a heart on the sleeve (individual Ravelry download coming soon)
  • only three stitches are cast on and off for the Ozark Wrap - the rest is created as you go - we also decided that with slight modifications, this would make a great blanket (Interweave Knits, Winter 2015 should be at your LYS any minute now, if it isn't already - my Quadrille Pullover is in there, too!)
All in all, a lovely wooly time! If you'd ever like me to bring my woolies to your LYS, drop me a line (greater New York, New England, and Chicagoland are places I get to on a regular basis).

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!
xoxo, Kathleen

04 January 2015

Young Designer's Meet and Greet at Knitty City 1/8/15

What are you doing Thursday? If you're in New York City, be sure to meet me from 6-8pm at Knitty City! I'll be talking about my design process, showing samples, and will have a selection of printed patterns for purchase.

Want to know which samples and patterns? 
  • Quadrille Pullover* - Interweave Knits, Winter 2015
  • Ozark Wrap* - Interweave Knits, Winter 2015
  • Kellynch Cardigan* - Jane Austen Knits 2014
  • Strawberry Picking Shrug* - Jane Austen Knits 2014
  • Thistle Leaf Shawl
  • Honest Woodsman* - Enchanted Knits 2014
  • Bloc Party Cardigan (old & new) - available free on Knittyspin
  • Upon the Spanish Main
  • A Vest for Charles* - Jane Austen Knits 2013
  • Benwick* - Jane Austen Knits 2013
  • Wavelette
  • Bloc Pulli
  • Sailor's Valentine
  • Mermaid's Cardigan
  • Hap-py
  • Castaway Shawlette
  • Sotherton
  • An Aran for Anne
  • Bixby (provided I get the zippers sewn in on the new sample)
  • An Aran for Frederick
  • Turn of the Glass - available free on Knitty
  • In the Shallows
  • On the High Seas
*Recently published in an Interweave publication, so you can check out the sample but will have to buy the pattern in the magazine or online from Interweave

Visit my designer page for more details on any of these patterns. Or let me know if I've missed a sample you want to see. My apartment smells like a sheep farm in a downpour as I wash and block the samples I plan to bring, so please let me know ASAP for anything else to have time to dry!

Do you know my favorite part of this whole thing? Aside from getting to hang out at Knitty City? ... Go back and check the post title, if you need a clue. ... Yes! It's that I'm considered a "Young Designer". Hehe! Well, I'm young at heart anyway.

Thanks for stopping by, hope to see you Thursday, and I hope your New Year is off to a tremendous start filled with knitting!

18 December 2014

Interview on Denise's Needleworks

And now my interview with the lovely Denise is up on her blog here! Had such fun answering her questions.

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!
xoxo, Kathleen

15 December 2014

The Wonders of Violently Domestic

Are you a sock knitter? Then you probably already know the talented Hunter of Violently Domestic and Pantsville Press. I had certainly heard of Hunter and seen her Cabinet of Curiosity books, but because I am (embarassingly) not a sock knitter, I didn't really know too much about her. Thanks to the 2014 Indie Designer Gift-A-Long, I got a chance to check out Hunter's lovely work.

She has 159 designs on Ravelry! one. hundred. fifty-nine. And not just socks, but shawls, hats, cowls, and fingerless gloves, too. There is even a fun, free pattern for your very own whack of tentacles!

Gripping from Violently Domestic
Hunter published her first book, Silk Road Socks, with Cooperative Press back in 2011. Fourteen lovely sock patterns inspired by Oriental rugs. I remember hearing about that book, but it was the first of The Knitter's Curiosity Cabinet books that really caught my attention:

The Knitter's Curiosity Cabinet by Hunter Hammersen

Patterns inspired by vintage botanical illustrations?! What a lovely concept (and as an art director, I'm always excited to see work inspired by print publications) to inspire 20 sock and accessory patterns. The cover socks, Chrysanthemum frutescens socks, are my favorite. The photography (and photo direction) is also lovely, and impressive. I mean, how many ways are there to photograph socks (or other small accessories), really? Yet, each one is unique, showing off the details and the yarn.

Of curiosity cabinets in general, Hunter says:

Curiosity cabinets were collections of treasures—fossils and feathers, 
plants and paintings, skeletons and statues—assembled to help their 
owners make sense of the world. Offered here is a knitter’s interpretation 
of a curiosity cabinet. This is a collection, not of rocks and seeds and 
gemstones, but of fancy edgings, delicate lace, and captivating stitches 
all brought together to create charming sock and accessory patterns. 

Doesn't that sound wonderful? Who doesn't love a collection of treasures from the natural world? Hunter followed that up with two more volumes (because it's amazing how many treasures there are to be found once you start exploring):

The Knitter's Curiosity Cabinet, Volume II by Hunter Hammersen

Volume II focused on butterflies. Socks, hats, cuffs, cowls, and a lovely shawl.

The Knitter's Curiosity Cabinet, Volume III by Hunter Hammersen
And Volume III (after my own heart) found fodder in the sea. Again, accessories covering all major appendages, my favorite is a jellyfish-inspired chapeau.

Hunter has also published patterns with Knitty, the Rockin' Sock Club, Sockupied, and other highly-regarded publications. But it's her own books that she publishes through her independent Pantsville Press that grabbed my attention. Not only is she prolific, but the production values she brings to her patterns, books, and website are great. In browsing Violently Domestic, I came across a few posts that share some of the book writing/publishing process that you might enjoy: How to Write a Book and How to Organize a Book. But don't stop there! Hunter's blog is full of socks and yarn and cats and all sorts of adventures worth exploring.

What may be most impressive about Hunter and her knitting is her inauspicious beginning as told on her blog way back in ... wait for it ... 2009 (and that post was two years after she first learned to knit!) - what a great story! You've come a long way, lady :)

So, be sure to check out Hunter's blog and book sites, if you haven't already. And don't forget all the other talented designers who are part of the Indie Designer Gift-A-Long this year.

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!
xoxo, Kathleen

16 November 2014

Livestream recording. A digital age oxymoron.

Final prep for my talk

Talking as captured by Penelope

You can hear my talk in the livestream recording here: 

I'm on from about the 8:30 mark to 15:30. The easiest thing to do is to hold down the fast forward button and advance to my talk (at least that was easiest for me - when I tried to drag the progress bar to the right spot it jumped all over). But don't just click the fast forward thing, as it will just skip to the end that way. Ah, technology. 

They have to slice the livestream recording into all the different presentations before it goes up on YouTube, but I'll be sure to send out that link when I get it. 

It was a great day. All the speakers were so interesting, and I was particularly impressed with how well the students spoke. And the workshop was fun. It's always neat to see what other people come up with. 

Penelope got to spend a little time at AJ Jacobs's workshop on the Global Family Reunion and learned that we are related to Ringo and Paul (she's a Beatles fan), as well as George Washington.  She wants there to be TED talks at school every day :)

This talk was also a good warmup for me for my designer talk in January at Knitty City. More on that as we get closer. 

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!
xoxo, Kathleen