Tag Archives: kollabora

Quiet around here…

I’ve been away from the blog for a little bit, working on some secret projects.  But I’ll be back to regular posting soon.

Until then, you may want to read this Behind the Brand interview with me that was posted on Kollabora this week.

Kollabora logo

If you’re not familiar with Kollabora, it’s a multi-craftual maker community online where you can post all types of DIY projects, buy supplies, and check out tutorials.  Currently, knitting and crocheting live harmoniously in their Knitting category, but they are soon adding a separate Crochet category.

Vogue Knitting Live, Day 1

Yesterday, Vogue Knitting Live 2013 opened in New York.  If you’re in the New York area this weekend, you should stop by!  Here’s a quick wrap up of some of what I’ve seen so far.


The gallery exhibits were being set up in the morning, and I had a chance to photograph most of them before it got too crowded.  Here are some of the highlights.  (And speaking of highlights, keep in mind that these photos were taken in dimly lit hotel corridors.)

Colorful Stitches had an awesome array of knit food displayed like a picnic table.  This bowl of cereal with a strawberry was my favorite!

Alyssa Ettinger is a ceramic artist with a studio in my native Brooklyn.  I love the soothing pastels of her work.

Rhonda Fargnoli‘s continuing education students at the Rhode Island School of Design created some beautiful designs with mill ends from Koigu.

I got to meet Anna Hrachovec of Mochimochi Land fame.  I’ve been an admirer of Anna’s work since I first saw it at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio in 2011.  We’ll both be at the 9th Annual Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet Festival in March.  (I’m teaching and she’s exhibiting.)

Adrian Kershaw is a crocheter and knitter working with upcycled VHS tapes as yarn.  Because her work is black and the lighting was so dim, the pictures don’t really convey the projects.  They’re pretty cool!

Carol MacDonald is a printmaker who makes prints, cards, and tags using her images from her knitting.

Edwina Sutherland is a fiber artist working primarily with needlefelting.  She shared her secret for successfully transporting her projects for display with me – wrap them in quilt batting.

And last – but certainly not least – was the crochet artist, Jo Hamilton.  I’ve seen her crochet portraits online and was really looking forward to seeing them in real life.  They are much cooler in person because there is much more texture and subtle color variations than a photo can convey.

Interview Teaser

I met with Danielle Chalson from Makewise Designs for a quick interview after lunch.   Until I publish it, I’ll just share this picture of Danielle’s enthusiastic smile.

Send your happy thoughts her way. She'll be working at the String booth at the Marketplace tomorrow!

The Marketplace

Apparently I wasn't the only one trying to get into the Marketplace when it opened.

With over 70 vendors, the Vogue Knitting Marketplace alone could take up many blog posts.  So I’ll just concentrate on the colleagues I visited and my purchases.

Kollabora's booth during set up.

I stopped by Kollabora‘s booth a few times to say hi and to see my samples on display.  Here’s a sneak peak of two of my upcoming crochet designs that they are debuting at Vogue Knitting Live.  (The patterns aren’t available yet.)

It was also cool to see two of my other designs featured in their ad in the program.

The patterns for the Givin’ Me Fever Pom Pom Hat (knit) and the Chevron Shell Cowl (crochet) are available as free downloads.

I also took a picture of their schedule so I can remember to stop by their events. With a program this packed, every reminder helps!

Then I got the chance to meet Shannon Okey (a.k.a. Knitgrrl) in person.  I have a pattern in one of the upcoming Cooperative Press Fresh Designs: Crochet books so we chatted about that briefly.  I somehow forgot to take a picture of Shannon, but here is a picture of the Cooperative Press booth :).I had a chance to check out Dishcloth Diva by Deb Buckingham in person.  It looked just as scrumptious as I thought it would!  (And I love that I can feel glamorous about making dishcloths!)

You may remember from Vogue Knitting Live last year that my first purchase was at the Kinokuniya booth.  Well, ever since I bought this awesome Japanese knitting stitch guide from Knitty City in the fall, I’ve realized that I don’t know nearly as much about knitting stitch symbols as I do about crochet stitch symbols, and I’ve been thinking about buying Clear & Simple Knitting Symbols.

A taste of the crochet selection at the Kinokuniya booth.

And then I saw the North Light Fibers booth.  I was drawn in because their tagline is “Block Island made,” and MC used to vacation in Block Island as a kid.  In addition to great natural fiber yarns, they sell these cozy alpaca socks.

After that, I saw a local vendor, the Long Island Livestock Company.

This chair from the Long Island Livestock Company booth is made from three spinning wheels from the 1930s.

I had a great chat with the owner and her husband, and I was drawn to their natural care products.

So what did I end up buying?

I bought a pair of cozy alpaca socks for MC, a book for me, and some handmade soap and lip butter from a local company.

You’re probably saying, “What?? No yarn??”  You know I’ve been working on stashbusting for the past 13 months.  I’m not sure if I’ll buy yarn at Vogue Knitting Live, but I promised myself that I wouldn’t on the first day.  I wanted the chance to look at everything and sleep on any potential yarn purchases…  Let’s see how I hold up today!

Holiday Stashdown Challenge, Week 31

(Join along with me any time if you need a head start or moral support for your holiday crafting.  You can read more details here.)

I think I’m officially finished with holiday crafting for this year.  (I say “I think” because you never know how I might be feeling about starting a last minute project!)  But if you’re still trying to get in some last minute gifts, I will take this moment for a little shameless self-promotion.

In the past few months, I’ve had several patterns published that make great last minute gifts.  For the ladies in your life, you might want to crochet the Chevron Shell Cowl or the Ribbed Mobius Cowl.  If you’re a knitter, the Givin’ Me Fever Pom Pom Hat is a funky option.  All three work up quickly and the patterns are available for free on Kollabora.  (And if you don’t have the appropriate yarn in your stash, you can buy the yarn on the same page as you can find the pattern.)

If you’re looking for a fun gift for anyone, why not join in the Chubby Sheep CAL.  Crochet one of these cuties with us through January 31 for your chance to win prizes while (virtually) meeting other crafters!  You can download the free pattern here.  There’s even an option to convert it into a Christmas ornament, if you’re in the holiday mood.

And if you haven’t already, you may want to check out my giveaway for Crocheted Granny Squares (Twenty to Make) by Val Pierce, courtesy Search Press, here.

How’s your holiday crafting coming?  Are you working on any last minute projects?

FO Friday: Fever

I actually finished this hat a few weeks ago, but I had to keep it secret until the pattern was released.

I wish I could take credit for this picture, but it is (c) Kollabora.

You can download the free pattern for the Givin’ Me Fever Pom Pom hat here on Kollabora.  If you haven’t already checked out Kollabora, you should :).  It’s a newish maker community with a focus on women’s fashion.

Here's another great shot (c) Kollabora.

I generally forget to take progress photos of my secret designs.  But this time, I actually took quite a few.

The brim band is knitted flat to start.

The band is a garter ridge rib.  Actually, the whole pattern uses very simple stitch combinations, so this is a very beginner friendly pattern.

And then you pick up stitches along the edge and work the rest of the hat in the round.

I used 40″ circular needles and the magic loop method, but of course you could use DPNs or two circular needles, too.

This is the self portrait I took before adding the pom pom.

Kollabora took a nice picture of the hat all finished so you can see the relative size of the pom pom.

(c) Kollabora.

This hat knit up pretty quickly because I held two strands of yarn together throughout.  The brim band is made with Like a Rolling Stone and Let’s Shag.  It is super soft because of the alpaca and silk content in Like a Rolling Stone.  The rest of the hat is made with two strands of Let’s Shag.  I love the fun texture the mohair in the yarn makes.  If you like the look, too, you can buy the yarn directly from the project page on Kollabora.

The pattern name reminds me of Peggy Lee‘s Fever.

YouTube Preview Image

For more finished objects, visit Tami’s Amis.  If you’re looking for a quick holiday project, or something fun for January, check out the Chubby Sheep crochet-a-long!

Good news!

This past week, I’ve gotten great news on several different fronts, and I really wanted to share the excitement with my readers!

New Patterns

On Tuesday, two of my designs were released in new pattern books: Quick and Simple Crochet Scarves: 9 Designs from Up-and-Coming Designers! and Quick and Simple Crochet Hats: 8 Designs from Up-and-Coming Designers!  I have one design in each book.  You can buy the books through Jo-ann Fabric and Craft Stores or online.  The interesting thing about this book series is that it features indie designers and the designers retain the rights to sell the patterns individually online.

© F+W Media (Photos by Corrie Shaffeld of 1326 Studios)

The Wide Ripple Scarf is one of my first self-published patterns.  I made this version using just over two skeins of Stitch Nation Bamboo Ewe in Periwinkle.  I love the long length, and you may have noticed that I’m a big fan of ripples.

I designed the Twisted Cable Hat because I love the look of mini cables and twisted stitches.  My version was made with just over one skein of Patons Classic Wool in Leaf Green.  It is super warm and thick because of the way it is crocheted.  I haven’t decided yet when I’ll offer a PDF version of this pattern.

Kollabora also published another one of the secret projects I made for their display at Vogue Knitting Live in Chicago.

(C) Kollabora. The pattern is actually crocheted even though the model is holding knitting needles ;).

The Lattice Shell Tunic is available as a free pattern on their website.  (Side note: The schematic hasn’t been uploaded yet, so if you’re getting started on the project, let me know and I can email it to you.)  The small is a great one skein project using a jumbo skein of Kollabora’s Nora’s Pantry yarn, which is a soft alpaca.

It’s always fun to see your designs published, but there was other great news this week…


Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet Festival

I’ll be teaching two classes at the Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet Festival in March, and my mom and I have decided to make it a weekend road trip!  I’m really looking forward to spending a few days out of town with my mom.  I booked the hotel this week and am already thinking about what to pack.  (Can you tell I don’t travel much??)  I’ve been wanting to check out Pittsburgh for a while, so this is a great opportunity.   And, since my mom is driving us up, we’ll have a car to get around town with, too.

Knitting Cables 101 (left) and Bruges Lace Basics (right).

If you’re in the area (or are planning a road trip, like me), I’d love to see you at either of my classes: Knitting Cables 101 on Saturday morning or the Bruges Lace Basics Stitch Sampler on Sunday afternoon.  Also, if you have any Pittsburgh tourist suggestions, let me know!

But wait, there’s more good news!


Press Pass


I was granted a press pass to Vogue Knitting Live in New York City!  You may remember that I went last year and had a lot of fun.  I later interviewed two vendors I met in the Marketplace: Liz Cooper from Seabury Organizers (here) and Vivian Osborne from Arctic Qiviut (here).  I’m thrilled to be able to spend three days focused on yarn in my home town.  I’m looking forward to blogging and Tweeting from the event!

Awesome Crochet Blog Award

And as if I hadn’t already had enough excitement for the week, yesterday I learned that I won the 2012 Awesome Crochet Blog Award for Best Interviews from Kathryn at Crochet Concupiscence!

When I won the award last year, I was thrilled, but this year I’m even more excited.  It may not be evident, but I put a lot of work into my interviews – probably more time than for any other type of post.  But (even without these two awesome awards!!) it is completely worth it because I learn so much from the interviewees and I’ve been able to “meet” some of my crochet heroes by contacting them for an interview.

When I started blogging, I naively thought interviews would be a good way to have content on days when I didn’t know what to blog about.  You know how they say that ignorance is bliss?  If I would have known then what I know now about interviewing, I might have never started ;).  About half of the people I contact may never respond while others may be interested but aren’t available to answer the questions for months because their schedules are so tight.  Each interview can require hours of research before I even write the questions – everything from reading the interviewee’s books to searching the web for information about their background.  Once the interview answers are returned, taking the time to organize the pictures and links for the posts, as well as editing out typos and adding in my own comments, adds in another hour or two.  I feel so honored that Kathryn would highlight my interviews again this year, and I hope you’ve all enjoyed them.  You can find all my interviews here.  (I’m also planning a recap of my favorite interviews from this year later this month.)

This has been an amazing week for me, and I hope yours has gone just as well!

Free Pattern Alert: Ribbed Möbius Crocheted Cowl at Kollabora

You might remember that I was working on secret projects a few weeks ago.  The first one was just revealed today!

Teaser revealed!


(c) Kollabora

You can download the free pattern for the Ribbed Möbius Crocheted Cowl here.  If you aren’t already a Kollabora member, you should check it out!  It’s a great, multi-craftual maker community.  (You don’t need to be a member to download the free pattern, by the way.)  This is a great one skein project that works up really quickly with a bulky yarn.  Enjoy!

FO Friday: Scrapbusting scarf and other goodies

It’s been three weeks since I last participated in F.O. Friday, but I’ve actually finished quite a few projects in that time.

I made three secret projects using this yarn, along with about eight swatches, for Kollabora, a new maker community.

A poorly lit teaser.

The big reveal was supposed to be this week, but it was delayed due to the after effects of Sandy.  Rumor has it that pictures may be posted early next week, and once that happens, I can share all the details with you.

I’ve also been crocheting ripples like mad as part of the Ripple Mania Crochet-A-Long.  If you like ripples (or have always wanted to try them), join in!  We have some great prize sponsors including Red Heart, Leisure Arts, and Magique Enterprises (makers of the Eleggant Hooks I reviewed here).

I just finished this scrappy ripple scarf last night.  I was greatly aided by my new post-Sandy commute (2+ hours each way).  In all seriousness, I’m grateful that I fared so well during Sandy.  So many people have lost their homes and businesses or are still without power.

I really loved the color of these flowers so I asked MC to take a dawn picture of me in front of them.

I used up about 300 yards of stash wool yarn.  The question now is whether I should felt it.  I love the texture but I’d like to gift it to someone who definitely isn’t the handwashing type.  What do you think?

Prior to that, I finished this eyelet ripple infinity scarf which I’ve been wearing almost non-stop for the last two and a half weeks. At first, I wasn’t sure how I felt about the colors, but they have really been cheering me up during the many grey days that New York has been experiencing.

In case you're wondering, I didn't get a makeover :). That's one of the models I've been working with to take pictures of my patterns.

And, because my cat would definitely be disappointed if he didn’t get something out of all this crocheting, I made him a cat blanket a few weeks ago.

We put it on top of an end table and positioned it next to my desk.  The blanket has helped a lot when my cat wants to walk all over my desk while I’m typing.  Now I can just push him onto the blanket and he will sit down and be (slightly) less disruptive.

All three stitch patterns are included in Ripple Mania.  It’s free to join in by November 21.

For knitters and crocheters, today is the last day to enter my giveaway for Voie de Vie‘s Accessories: Autumne 2012 pattern collection here.

For more Finished Objects, visit Tami’s Amis.


Year of Projects, Year 2: Detour

I haven’t made any progress on my Year of Projects goals this week because I’ve been sidetracked by other projects.

The first (and most time sensitive) project is a part of some work I’m doing for Kollabora.  (You can see the poorly lit – yet tantalizing – snapshot of some of the yarn involved here.)  I’m not allowed to share details until later, so I took an ultra super close up to give you a little teaser.

The second is my Ripple Mania CAL.  Yesterday, I was out taking some pictures of one of the projects with two models.

Initially, I was going to give this sample to one of my cousins as a holiday gift, but I fell in love with it.  I’m actually wearing it right now :).  I have a few more ripple samples to make for the final week, and, of course, I need to format the PDF that will go live on Wednesday for the second week of the CAL.

In other news, thanks to everyone who left suggestions about the pattern for my mom’s milestone birthday blanket on last week’s post.  I decided not to switch my pattern to the Tree of Life Afghan.  Many of you mentioned that I probably wouldn’t have enough time to make it, but it was really the comment from Minding My Own Stitches that made up my mind.  She thought the branches looked a little thorny, and I definitely don’t want to give my mother a bedspread and find out my mom thinks it looks thorny!

I hope to be finished with these other projects so I’ll have more time to focus on my YOP goals by the end of the week.s

For more Year of Projects updates, visit Come Blog-a-long on Ravelry.

There’s still time to win a copy of  Caitlin Sainio‘s 100 Snowflakes to Crochet, courtesy of St. Martin’s Press, here.

I’m  blogging daily throughout October.  Visit I Saw You Dancing for more Blogtoberfest bloggers and CurlyPops for Blogtoberfest giveaways.  Search #blogtoberfest12 on Twitter.


Yesterday, I had to make an emergency visit to Downtown Yarns to pick up a Royal Ball Winder.  Yes, it’s true, I do already own a Simplicity Boye Electric Yarn Ball Winder.  But I got a last minute call for some freelance work that would require a whole lot of yarn winding on short notice.  (Like almost 2.5 pounds of yarn worth of winding.)  I thought there was a good chance my neighbors would kill me if I ran the electric winder after getting home from work at 9.

I wish I could tell you more about what I’m working on, but I’m supposed to keep things under wraps until the agreed upon moment for the big reveal.

A poorly lit teaser.

I will mention that I’m working with Kollabora, a new and awesome online maker community.  If you haven’t heard of Kollabora, definitely check out the site and their blog.  Be aware that the “Knitting” community includes both knitting and crocheting.  (Crochet Concupisence had a great post about crocheters being welcomed by “knitting” entities last week, by the way.)

I’ll probably be online less than usual this weekend, since I’ll be feverishly knitting and crocheting…


A quick reminder:

Crocheters, join in my Ripple Mania CAL!  Check out this post for more details.

I’m  blogging daily throughout October.  Visit I Saw You Dancing for more Blogtoberfest bloggers and CurlyPops for Blogtoberfest giveaways.  Search #blogtoberfest12 on Twitter.