Tag Archives: design

New knitting patterns!

I’m really excited to share two new knitting patterns today. Both patterns are 50% off through Tuesday, November 4, 2014 with coupon code pioneers!

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Both are inspired by pioneer women of aviation, and I had a great time taking pictures up at the Old Rhinebeck Aerodome.

Old Rhinebeck Aerodome on Underground Crafter blog

It’s a great aviation museum just about 90 minutes outside of New York City.

Old Rhinebeck Aerodome on Underground Crafter blogAlthough it rained most of the day and we didn’t get to see the famous air show, I’m still glad we visited. My friend, JS, modeled for both of these patterns.

The first pattern is the Alaskan Moonrise Scarf.

Alaskan Moonrise Scarf, knitting pattern by Marie Segares/Underground Crafter

The inspiration behind this pattern was pioneering aviatrix, Marvel Crosson, who had a wonderful, flirty sense of style.

Marvel Crosson. Image via San Diego Air and Space Museum Archive on Flickr.

Marvel Crosson. Image via San Diego Air and Space Museum Archive on Flickr.

(You can see more pictures of Marvel here on my Marvel Crosson Pinterest board.) Marvel was the first woman to earn a pilot’s license in Alaska and was posthumously inducted into the Alaska Women’s Hall of Fame in 2011.

Alaskan Moonrise Scarf, knitting pattern by Marie Segares/Underground Crafter

I love this leather jacket, which was loaned to us for the day by a phenomenal local artisan, Carla Dawn Behrle. Carla makes stunning custom-made leather clothing from her studio in New York City, but you can shop in her virtual store from anywhere!

Like many early aviation pioneers, Marvel’s life was cut tragically short. She died in a mysterious crash in Arizona during the first Women’s Air Derby in 1929 when she was 25.

The combination of the semi-circle formed by the stitch pattern and the stunning and icy blue of the Miss Babs hand-dyed yarn (in the Faded colorway) remind me of an Alaskan moonrise, something Marvel might have seen up close during one of her afternoon flights.

Alaskan Moonrise Scarf, knitting pattern by Marie Segares/Underground Crafter

By the way, with the jumbo Miss Babs Yowza! Whatta Skein!, this is a one-skein project, even though it measures 69” (175 cm) x 6.5” (17 cm) after blocking. (There’s even enough yarn left to make something small, like a pair of fingerless mitts.)

I used two different shawl pins from Michelle’s Assortment in the photos. I love her wire work. You may remember that I had the chance to meet her at Vogue Knitting Live in New York earlier this year.

If you like the pattern, please show the Alaskan Moonrise Scarf some love on Ravelry here!

The next pattern is Thaden’s Ridged Shawlette.

Thaden's Ridged Shawlette, knitting pattern by Marie Segares/Underground Crafter

This asymmetrical shawlette is inspired by a different pioneering aviatrix, Louise Thaden.

Louise Thaden. Image from the San Diego Air and Space Museum Archive Flickr stream.

Louise Thaden. Image from the San Diego Air and Space Museum Archive Flickr stream.

Thaden also had a wonderful sense of style and frequently wore neckwear. (You can see some great pictures of her on my Louise Thaden Pinterest board here.)

Thaden's Ridged Shawlette, knitting pattern by Marie Segares/Underground Crafter

This picture includes another shawl pin from Michelle’s Assortment.

Thaden won the first Women’s Air Derby in 1929, and was the first woman to win the Bendix Trophy (in 1936, the first year women could compete against men).

She wrote an amazing biography, High, Wide, and FrightenedI had the opportunity to skim through a first edition copy (held together by lace!) via interlibrary loan.

Thaden book

Thaden’s story is fascinating. Essentially, she was playing hooky from work by hanging around air fields, dreaming of learning to fly. Eventually, Walter Beech noticed her and worked out a sort of trade with her boss. Beech negotiated an entry level job for Thaden – at reduced pay – which included flight lessons. She was also able to use Beech Aircraft Company planes for many of her flights, which helped her defray the costs that became so challenging to other early pilots.

Thaden's Ridged Shawlette, knitting pattern by Marie Segares/Underground Crafter

This mostly stockinette shawlette features asymmetry in the garter ridged “stripes” and in the asymmetrical picot bind off.

Thaden's Ridged Shawlette, knitting pattern by Marie Segares/Underground Crafter

The design is perfect for the hand dyed yarn I used, Mountain Colors Twizzle, because the stitch pattern is subtle enough to let the yarn shine. This is also a one-skein project.

If you like the pattern, please show the Thaden’s Ridged Shawlette some love on Ravelry here! And, don’t forget: both patterns are 50% off through Tuesday, November 4, 2014 with coupon code pioneers!

Interview with Susana from Creaciones Susana (Hispanic Heritage Month series)

Interview with Creaciones Susana, Chilean knitting designer, on Underground Crafter blog

I’m excited to share an interview with emerging Chilean knitting designer, Susana from Creaciones Susana. Susana is also a maker who sells her finished knit projects in her Etsy shop. You can find Susana online on her (Spanish-language) blogFacebook, FlickrPinterest, Ravelry (as CreacioneSusana, in the Creaciones Susana group, or on her designer page), and Twitter. All images are copyright Susana and are used with permission. Click on the design images to link to the Ravelry pattern pages.

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Interview with Creaciones Susana, Chilean knitting designer, on Underground Crafter blog

Susana from Creaciones Susana.

Underground Crafter (UC): How did you first learn to crochet and knit?

Susana: Initially, I learned to knit crochet with my grandmother. I was about 7 or 8 years old. I remember I started with a circle in various colors, which she surprising transformed into a small bag. At 13 years old, I started to knit with two needles. My first great work was a sock for my younger brother when he was born, it had a nice yellow color and was too big.

UC: What inspired you to start selling your projects on Etsy?

Susana: I always liked to design clothes. I designed for my sisters and friends when I was young. Esty is a great platform to sell your work, allowing you to reach many countries. Also, I thought they understood the process of handmade creation and crafting, and that encouraged me to participate. When I started Etsy didn’t work in Spanish, and I can proudly say that I was part of the many artisans who urged that great change. (UC comment: You can read about Etsy in Spanish! here.)

Interview with Creaciones Susana, Chilean knitting designer, on Underground Crafter blog

Wishes Shawlette, a knitting pattern available in Spanish.

UC: What led you to start designing knitting patterns for sale? Do you think you will eventually sell crochet patterns, too?

Susana: I have always knitted my designs. My first pattern for sale I made about two years ago. I concentrated on the shawls, which are my favorites. I try to make easy, simple language, making something different on the design, in general employing the techniques looking for elegant and feminine results. I like to knit seamless, start up or down, with short-rows, shining colors and contrasts.

Expand Your Knitting Skills

About crochet designs, I have some patterns, but I need a crochet tool to make the stitch patterns. I hope to sell it very soon.

Interview with Creaciones Susana, Chilean knitting designer, on Underground Crafter blog

Whisper Shawl, a knit pattern available in English and Spanish.

UC: Some of your patterns are available in both English and Spanish. Why did you decide on a bilingual format and what are some of the challenges and benefits of being a bilingual designer?

Susana: It was interesting this aspect. I started in English because it is a more accessible market. The knitters love to find new designs on the internet. Often they have read and used patterns more than the Latin-Americans knitters. In this moment, I have some bilingual patterns; I hope to have them available next month for sale.

One of the challenges is, the language in the patterns and instructions when I use English. The symbols and names are very different in Spanish. And one of the benefits is, my English patterns have more views and sales.

Interview with Creaciones Susana, Chilean knitting designer, on Underground Crafter blog

Cuello Hojas de Primavera, a knit pattern in Spanish.

UC: Tell us about your cultural background. What was the yarn crafts scene like in Chile when you were growing up? How does that compare with the current scene?

Susana: The crafting world started with grandmothers. They trained their daughters and granddaughters. At that time, nobody was thinking about design. In my case, when I was a teenager, I designed and sold informally in a small environment, however, it was exceptional.

Actually, the handmade world is very important and appreciated. It is considered like an ancestral art and interesting commercial activity. There is much exchange between English trends and fashion influences in the general public and lovers of handmade through internet tools.

Interview with Creaciones Susana, Chilean knitting designer, on Underground Crafter blog

Blue Deep Shawl knitting pattern.

UC: Does your cultural background influence your crafting? If so, how?

Susana: It has influenced me very little. My style is a combination of techniques, several forms and materials for knitting that are very different to the textile scene in Chile.

UC: What are your favorite crochet or knitting books in your collection?

Susana: I do not have favorite books; I used few in my self-education. I have used electronic information, magazines, tips and techniques shared friend knitters. The favorite books that I have are really recent; these are two examples:

Interview with Creaciones Susana, Chilean knitting designer, on Underground Crafter blog

Chaqueta Carmencita, a knit pattern available in Spanish.

UC: Are there any Spanish- or English-language crafty websites/blogs you visit regularly for inspiration or community?

Susana: I visit daily several pages that I love so much:

Spanish:

English:

Dover Books

UC: What are you working on now?

Susana: In this moment, I’m working on new patterns for the spring and summer season (in the Southern Hemisphere). I’m focused on natural elements, soft color, and new textures for my designs. Also I’m teaching new and expert knitters.

Thank you for stopping by, Susana!

Interview with Sol Maldonado (Hispanic Heritage Month series)

Interview with Argentine designer, Sol Maldonado, on Underground Crafter blog

Today I’m interviewing Argentine multi-craftual designer, Sol Maldonado. Sol creates crochet and knitting patterns as well as sewing patterns and tutorials. Sol can be found on her website, Craftsy (in the bySol and Soles shops), Etsy (in bySol, her crochet & knitting pattern shop, and in Soles, her fabric doll/flower/toy/pattern/tutorial shop) , Facebook, Pinterest, and Ravelry (as soles and on her designer page). All images are copyright Sol Maldonado and are used with permission. Click the design images to be brought to the Ravelry pattern pages.

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Interview with Argentine designer, Sol Maldonado, on Underground Crafter blog

Floral Yummy 3d Flower Granny Square, crochet pattern by Sol Maldonado.

Underground Crafter (UC): How did you first learn to crochet and knit?
Sol: My mother, grandmother and aunts used to knit and crochet after lunch on Sunday visits during my childhood, so I learned with them.

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UC: What inspired you to start designing?
Sol: I started designing my own sweaters because I never liked what was available in shops!
In Argentina there were not many options, designs or colors in the past… but from long ago we have wonderful yarns, so I thought that making my own stuff would be easier and better.

Interview with Argentine designer, Sol Maldonado, on Underground Crafter blog

Cape Geometric Neckwarmer, knitting pattern by Sol Maldonado.

UC: You’re multi-craftual. Do you have a favorite craft or does that depend on the project or season?
Sol: I love them all, but yeah depends on climate a lot!!
These days, it’s so cold now here, I prefer to knit and crochet warm pieces, and as the summer trends start to pop up in magazines and all around, I start planning next summer projects.

UC: You’ve had over 4,000 sales in your Etsy shop. Wow! What tips do you have for new Etsy sellers?
Sol: Sell what you love most and this will guarantee your success.

My pleasure is to make new things always, so my job is to plan-make-publish and design something new again. Because of this, I’m always excited about what I’m doing…if you get bothered about your daily work it will be a loss of energy.

Be aware of what you are best in and go for it!

Interview with Argentine designer, Sol Maldonado, on Underground Crafter blog

Tribe Tapestry Granny Square, crochet pattern by Sol Maldonado.

UC: Tell us about your cultural background. What was the yarn crafts scene like in Argentina when you were growing up? How does that compare with the current scene?
Sol: In Argentina the yarn scene is high quality since forever….lots of products, colors and textures, and not very expensive.

Here winter is very cold, and knit and crochet are popular practices, like traditional craft.

Interview with Argentine designer, Sol Maldonado, on Underground Crafter blog

Bubble Zoe Purse, crochet pattern by Sol Maldonado.

UC: Does your cultural background influence your crafting? If so, how?
Sol: Yeah, it influences a lot! As a third world country there are not enough tools or books available ever!!! So, to make something you will have to figure out and work on it with the basic tools, minimize resources as much as possible because tools here are very expensive!

Interview with Argentine designer, Sol Maldonado, on Underground Crafter blog

Clamshell and Pinwheel Geometric Pillows, knitting pattern by Sol Maldonado.

UC: What are your favorite knitting and crochet books in your collection?
Sol: I do not have any collection, since I search for instructions online.

UC: Are there any Spanish- or English-language crafty websites/blogs you visit regularly for inspiration or community?
Sol: I’m totally in love with Pinterest, regular people pinning and building trends is the most exciting thing ever to happen in design!

I find inspiration and delight with wonderful photos and trends.

I think that image is everything, Spanish or English – with Google translate tool, it doesn’t matter anymore, and frankly I don’t have much time to read any post, I look only at photos!

Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your patterns with us, Sol!

Interview with Rosalia Fauste (Hispanic Heritage Month series)

HHM Rosalia Fauste

I’m continuing my Hispanic Heritage Month series today with an interview with Spanish knitting and crochet designer and blogger, Rosalia Fauste. Rosalia can be found online on her blog, El mon de Rosalia, on Ravelry (as rosalias and on her Ravelry designer page), and on Facebook. All pictures are copyright Rosalia Fauste and are used with permission.

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Interview with crochet/knitting designer Rosalia Fauste on Underground Crafter blog

Underground Crafter (UC): How did you first learn to crochet and knit?

Rosalia: When I was a little girl, less than 10 years old, I saw many women in front the doors of their houses knitting or crocheting. I usually stopped to see why her hands moved so fast and that was the way I became familiar with that skill. Later, being a complete teenager, I got my own needles and wool and asked the ladies who came to my parent’s store for teach me to knit. Then, I learned the basics. As a young lady, I was self-taught through knitting and crochet publications.

Interview with crochet/knitting designer Rosalia Fauste on Underground Crafter blog

Camino de Santiago.

UC: What inspired you to start designing?

Rosalia: I did some work for Phildar in my university years. Maybe my first creation was a cardigan for babies. I always liked to invent, creating new clothes from old clothes. My first conscious moment for design was through the shawls. I made some but I didn’t write the patterns (Camino de Santiago and Transatlàntico). Later, I considered writing to share them with others. I am right now a humble apprentice designer. I have translated some patterns to Spanish.

Interview with crochet/knitting designer Rosalia Fauste on Underground Crafter blog

On the Road, knit shawl pattern. (Click image to link to pattern.)

UC: You have quite a few shawl designs. What do you enjoy about shawl projects?

Rosalia: I like shawls that combine many techniques and stitches. They are easy to be born soon and are accessories that are always “must have.” I like the challenge posed by mathematical combinations of the stitches turning into beautiful designs.

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Right now, I’m designing a new one whose original idea came a year ago. I am inspired by Estonian stitches and lace. I will also be starting two cowl tests. I work full time, so my dedication to design is limited.

Interview with crochet/knitting designer Rosalia Fauste on Underground Crafter blog

Calendulas, a knit shawl pattern. (Click image to link to pattern page.)

UC: Your patterns are available in three different languages (English, French, or Spanish). What are the challenges and benefits of offering patterns in different languages?

Rosalia: I like to offer my designs in different languages ​​in order to reach maximum number of knitters’ or crocheters’ hands possible. Is more work but for now, but that does not matter.

UC: Tell us about your cultural background. What was the yarn crafts scene like where you were growing up? 

Rosalia: I was born in a Castilian village and went off to University at 18. I live in Catalunya near Barcelona. I’ve always been surrounded by people who have enjoyed crafts – sewing, knitting and crocheting, and embroidering as well. I have always enjoyed learning new things.

Interview with crochet/knitting designer Rosalia Fauste on Underground Crafter blog

UC: Are there any Spanish- or English-language crafty websites/blogs you visit regularly for inspiration or community?

Rosalia: When I discovered Ravelry, I extended my knowledge extraordinarily by learning how other knitters solve their projects or manage their works. I found many people with whom I have shared good moments, and that leaves a pleasant experience. It has also helped me share my designs.

Interview with crochet/knitting designer Rosalia Fauste on Underground Crafter blog

UC: Where do you find your inspiration? How do you name your designs?

Rosalia: I love many fashion designers and though they all inspire me, I have a few more favorites than others. Anonymous knitters also drive my imagination with their ideas. I am inspired by the old and the new. Also art, painting, nature, and the many colors and shapes that are everywhere. I need to invent pattern and project names that evoke something.

Shop Indie PatternsThanks for sharing your creativity with us, Rosalia!

 

Interview with Joji Locatelli (Hispanic Heritage Month)

HHm Joji Locatelli

Today, I’m continuing my Hispanic Heritage Month series with an interview with Argentine knitting designer, Joji Locatelli. Joji can be found online on Ravelry (as jojilocat, in the Designs by Joji group, and on her designer page), on the Joji Knits blog, on her Facebook page, and on Instagram. All images are copyright Joji Locatelli and are used with permission. Click on the photo to link to the pattern on Ravelry.

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Interview with knitting designer Joji Locatelli on Underground Crafter blog

Joji Locatelli.

Underground Crafter (UC): How did you first learn to knit?

Joji: My mom taught me the basics when I was a teenager, but I didn’t really learnt to make anything other than a garter stitch scarf until I was in my 20s.  I had just finished University and found myself with a lot of free time and internet… And well, I found lots of knitting blogs and patterns.  I taught myself the rest by “guessing” what knit and purl meant.

Interview with knitting designer Joji Locatelli on Underground Crafter blog

Japan Sleeves, a knit pullover pattern.

UC: What inspired you to start designing?

Joji: In Argentina, most knitters don’t follow patterns, or at least we didn’t.  When I learnt to knit, we didn’t have access to pattern books or even special yarns, so we always make the best we can with what we have on hand.  Most of the times, we would see a garment that we liked on a store and tried to recreate it. We usually wouldn’t mind if the gauge/texture or color was absolutely different, and that left place for creativity and improvisation.

That’s the way I approached all the patterns when I finally found Ravelry.  And one day, I received this very special yarn (it was Malabrigo Worsted), and it was the very first time I had in my hands one of “those” yarns I saw on the internet, you know?  I knew I wanted to make something special out of it, but I just couldn’t find a pattern that I really liked.  I had a store bought sweater that I loved and said ‘why not?  This has to work!’

So I started knitting my own interpretation of that sweater, using a very unusual construction and wondering whether it would turn out to be a wearable garment.  Other knitters seemed to be really interested in my process of posting photos and asked if I was planning to write this up.  I said ‘No!  no… I am not a designer!’  And then I said ‘Why not?’

So there, that’s when my first pattern was born :).

Interview with knitting designer Joji Locatelli on Underground Crafter blog

Looking Back, a knit cardigan pattern (with buttons in back).

UC: You primarily design garments and women’s accessories. What do you enjoy about these types of projects?

Joji: Well, it’s much easier for me to think of designing things that I can actually wear… and also I have an audience that pays much more attention to those kinds of projects, so it’s easy to be biased and always go in that direction.

Interview with knitting designer Joji Locatelli on Underground Crafter blog

Opposite Pole, a knit cardigan pattern.

UC: Most of your current designs are self-published. What do you see as the challenges and advantages of self-publishing?

Joji: I don’t see any challenges in self-publishing your designs, unless you start designing expecting to make certain money out of what you get out there.  Self-publishing can be very exciting, and a pattern can be a total success without you having to share it with anyone, or can be a total failure, and then you’ve worked for nothing.

When I started designing I was working full time somewhere else, so I didn’t have to worry about making money or not from my designs.  And I felt that self-publishing allowed me to handle my time frames (and the rights to my patterns!) the way I liked.

When you publish with companies or publishers, you have to adjust your times to their deadlines, and also your style… which might make one a little nervous! But then you get the support from this company, which will probably do their best to get the word out there about you working with them, they will probably do a lot of work with photos and layout, which is also great!  Plus, it’s not nice to work always on your own… Sometimes it’s nice to play with others too :).

Interview with knitting designer Joji Locatelli on Underground Crafter blog

Boxy and Buttony, a knit pullover pattern.

UC: You have a large group on Ravelry with over 4,000 members. What tips do you have for designers who are nervous about starting a Ravelry group?

Joji: Yeah, the group getting that big… that’s a total surprise!

I don’t think there’s anything to be nervous about!  A Ravelry group is not a commitment to do anything.  It’s just a way to communicate with people who are interested in what you do, and there are no rules about what you need to do there.  Like all groups, mine started with just 3 members (me and 2 moderators) and was really small for a very long time! I think it was just as great back then as it is now… and I just treat it as any other social media.  Knitters really like to hang out on Ravelry, so if you give them a space to share what they like and chat a little bit, they will enjoy it.

Interview with knitting designer Joji Locatelli on Underground Crafter blog

Ohlala, a knit cardigan pattern.

UC: What was the yarn crafts scene like when you were growing up in Argentina? How does that compare with the current scene in Buenos Aires?

I described in a previous question how the knitting scene was like when I learnt to knit.  It still hasn’t changed much.  Some knitters have started to use Ravelry and learnt to read instructions in English, but this is still a rather small group within a country where A LOT of women knit.

I used to work at a yarn store until recently, so I kept in touch with what knitters here liked, and what the supply and demand of products was…

Argentine knitters tend to like quick projects and heavy weight yarns, even though we barely have a couple of weeks of winter.  They still improvise most of their projects, some follow patterns but barely, none of them are scared of adjusting gauge or even the style of the garments, and they all knit with straight needles just like me!

Interview with knitting designer Joji Locatelli on Underground Crafter blog

Rocio, a knit cardigan pattern (with top buttons in the front).

UC: Does your cultural background influence your crafting? If so, how?

It probably does, but I can’t precise in which way.  I learnt to knit from a non-Argentine community, so I think most of the techniques and styles I used do not resemble my cultural background… but I think there is a little something in everything I make that has a little bit of my origins there.

Interview with knitting designer Joji Locatelli on Underground Crafter blog

Astrid, a knit scarf/shawl pattern.

UC: What are your favorite knitting books in your collection?

I don’t own many books!  Mailing things to Argentina is quite hard, and we cannot buy imported pattern books here, so I only have a couple.  I did enjoy and learn a lot from all Elizabeth Zimmermann’s.

UC: Are there any Spanish- or English-language crafty websites/blogs you visit regularly for inspiration or community?

Not really...  Most of the things I read nowadays are in English…

Thank you, Joji, for sharing your thoughts with us!