Monday, December 1, 2014

Interview with Denise Voie de Vie

Forged Joy Shawl
Moody Bleu Pullover
Pommi and Pearls Shawl
All pictures © Voie de Vie

Introduce Yourself!
Hi, I’m Denise and I’m the creative force behind Voie de Vie, where design + craft = an artful way of life (at least for me). I design in crochet (mostly) as well as knit, and I dabble in painting and mixed media art whenever I get the opportunity. I also write a lot, mostly on my blog at and also the Tweety thingy @DeniseVoiedeVie.

How would you describe your style?
My style is an eclectic mix of updated classics with touches of bohemia and romance. (I did say it was eclectic.)

What inspires you?
Many things: music, myth, literature, flowers, cars (preferably vintage), art, color, color, color. Oh, and did I mention color?

What is your favorite item to design?
Boy, that’s difficult to answer because I enjoy designing whatever it is I’m designing at any given moment. I expect my favorite item is the next one I haven’t yet thought of.

What is your favorite aspect of designing?
Definitely realizing the concept. I love everything about seeing an idea take shape – and of course, the ability to play with wonderful fiber is an added bonus.

Is there a design of yours that you are particularly proud of?
They are all my children; how to choose just one? (smile)

Describe your experience participating in the Gift-A-Long.
I am absolutely enjoying myself! I missed it last year, so I’m savoring it like an excellent bottle of wine (preferably of the bubbly kind). I loved helping put the Pinterest boards together; I’m super excited about the shawl patterns I purchased. Most importantly, I’m enjoying seeing how crafters are putting patterns and yarns together, and I’m meeting and getting to know new-to-me designers.

What is your favorite part of it?
Other than the above? (smile)

Were there any specific patterns that did really well in the GAL that you didn’t expect?
Hmmm … of mine? Well, that’s a difficult question to answer, since the GAL is ongoing, and though some of my jewelry and cowls are being made, I’ve had good sales of those designs plus shawls, scarves and sweaters that haven’t made it to the GAL boards.

Any new projects you would like to share with us?
Well, I have a book slated to be published at the end of the year: Leather, Lace, Grit & Grace (, the designs in which are inspired by the early women of flight. I am fairly jumping out of my skin with excitement and fear and anticipation.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Interview with Julia Trice

Julia is one of my favorite designers, and not only because she creates lovely patterns. I can't count how many times I have been encouraged by her posts on Ravelry. She always has such a positive spirit, and it shines through!

Missowski Slouchy and The Great Missowski. I love chevrons, like crazy love, so I had to add these two. There's a matching cowl as well!
Brennan Cardi
Loden Slouchy
All pictures © Mind of Winter

Introduce Yourself!

Hi! I’m Julia Trice, also known as mind of winter, which is the name of my design line. I’ve been knitting since the age of six (so 37 years!) and crocheting since 2006. I design knitting patterns for the most part, but I have also dabbled in crochet design lately.

How would you describe your style?
Organic, classic, natural. I like to play with texture and proportion. Almost everything I design can be dressed up, but it is a pre-requisite that it can be worn with jeans.

What inspires you?
Yarn and stitch patterns are where I draw my design inspiration. I work predominantly with independent yarn producers who create beautiful, unique yarns in wonderful colors. My first goal is always to determine how to best showcase my materials. I also love stitch dictionaries and I swatch constantly. If the yarn I swatch with doesn’t make the stitch pattern shine, I file it away to try again later with another yarn.

What is your favorite item to design?

What is your favorite aspect of designing?
Seeing it all come together. It generally occurs at midnight or later. I love the knitting, photography and layout the best when it comes to ranking specific tasks. Spreadsheets and schematics are lower on the list.

Is there a design of yours that you are particularly proud of?
Only one, huh? Well, I have a lot of favorites, but I think the thing I am most proud of this year is going out on a limb and publishing Etheria, a crochet infinity cowl. I made it for fun, literally auditioning stitches as I went. I had never published a crochet pattern before, and I had serious reservations about doing so. Charting for crochet is difficult and has a steep learning curve, and the market for crochet is more limited. Plus, my customers are knitters. But I loved how the pattern turned out so I took a chance and published it anyway. It has ended up being the most popular of my patterns this year.

What is your favorite part of the GAL?
The people. Hands down.

Were there any specific patterns that did really well in the GAL that you didn’t expect?
My Chalice Cowl sold very well last year, so I didn’t think it would sell as well this time around, but it definitely has.

Any new projects you would like to share with us?
I just released the Loden Slouchy, and will soon release coordinating mittens, which you can find on my project page.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Interview with Jenn Wisbeck

Ruffle Dress
All pictures © Jenn Wisbeck

Introduce Yourself! 
Hi! I'm Jenn from Midnightsky Fibers. My current obsession is knitting hats- several hundred hats later, and I am still not bored. 

How would you describe your style? 
Laidback pacific northwest. I like neutral colors with bright pops, and simple silhouettes.

What inspires you? 
Lately I have been having a lot of fun recycling yarn from cashmere sweaters. It's fun to unravel these sweaters and turn them into something new.

What is your favorite item to design? 
Hats! Can't stop knitting them, so I have been designing hat patterns lately. I like patterns that work well as travel patterns since I like to stick my knitting in my bag.

What is your favorite aspect of designing? 
Working out the numbers and the perfect stitch patterns for a particular yarn.

Is there a design of yours that you are particularly proud of? 
The Stonebridge Hat, mostly because I am currently in love with corrugated ribbing.

Describe your experience participating in the Gift-A-Long. 
It's been fun- so nice to see so many designers working together!

Were there any specific patterns that did really well in the GAL that you didn’t expect? 
The Elevation Hat is doing better than I expected, it's a great way to use up some special bulky yarn.

What is your favorite part of it? 
Getting to see all the fun patterns that I might otherwise miss seeing.

Any new projects you would like to share with us? 
I just released the Stonebridge Hat and Elevation Hat. Stonebridge is a colorwork hat, and Elevation is a quick bulky knit.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Interview with Emily Ringelman

I've seen Emily around Ravelry quite a bit, but a couple weeks ago, I discovered her blog. Her writing style is so funny and interesting to read. I knew I wanted to interview her as a part of the GAL!
Northern Lights Mittens
Over the Fence
Gather Ye Rosebuds Hat
All pictures © Emily Ringelman

Introduce Yourself! 
I’m Emily Ringelman, and I live in Baton Rouge, which is one of the more ridiculous places for a knitting designer to live, but there we are. My husband is a professor at LSU so we live the Tigers lifestyle, complete with tailgating and hating on the Crimson Tide. I’m mom to the fluffiest cat I’ve ever seen, and I make some seriously good cupcakes. Oh, and I’m a conservation geneticist. That too.

How would you describe your style? 
I think that I have more than a bit of whimsy in my style. See: knitted duck hat, knitted sword, baby unicorn hoodie. When I try to keep it sophisticated I almost always go with cables, so I guess I’ve got a whimsical cable-y thing going on.

What inspires you? 
I get a lot from stitch dictionaries, especially old 1970s ones with goofy sweater patterns.

What is your favorite item to design? 
I love, love, love top-down raglan sweaters. I would design those all day, every day if I could. They’re so fun to knit! Plus, there’s really nothing I hate more than joining sleeves to a body, so I get to skip that entirely. Let me design a top-down raglan with cables, and I’m happy as a clam.

What is your favorite aspect of designing? 
I think my favorite thing is seeing other people’s reactions to my designs. There’s nothing better than a bunch of knitters going bonkers over a new mitten design. I also love it when yarn for a new design shows up at my house because it usually comes in big boxes and it feels like Christmas.

Is there a design of yours that you are particularly proud of? 
I really love my new Niffler’s Delight Mittens. I struggled with how to keep the mittens snug around the wrist without compromising the cable pattern on the back for AGES, then one day, a light bulb went off, and people said I was clever. Doesn’t happen that often; I’ll take it.

Describe your experience participating in the Gift-A-Long. 
It’s been kind of like a non-stop flurry of activity. I suspect that this is because I’ve also been testing/have released 4 new patterns in the last week, so it’s just been Ravelry all the time for me.

What is your favorite part of it? 
I love how many new-to-me designers and patterns I’ve found! There are so many great things out there in the giftalong. I’ve already started making a pair of socks for hubs because I liked a pattern someone posted about on the KAL boards. I’m trying to limit my forum stalking so that I don’t end up with an out-of-control queue- I know, good luck with that. It’s gonna happen anyway.

Were there any specific patterns that did really well in the GAL that you didn’t expect? 
My baby viking hat pattern has taken off in the last couple of days, so that’s been fun. Vistoire, a top-down raglan (shocking! I know) has been pretty popular, too, even though I’m sure no one is making it for a gift. Well, I’m not sure, but I suspect.

Any new projects you would like to share with us? 
I actually just published a three-pattern ebook! It’s called Autumn in North Dakota and I really love it. The sweater pattern in that book is possibly my favorite sweater that I’ve ever designed. I wear it all the time, which is a weird thing for me to do because yesterday, it was 75 outside. In my head we live somewhere cold.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Interview With Natalie Servant

As part of the GAL, I'm going to post a series of interviews of designers over the next few weeks. First up is Natalie Servant, a Canadian knitwear designer whose patterns include...

...the lovely Morgaine...
..and fun Gingham Style. What can I say, I love plaid!
All pictures © Natalie Servant

Introduce Yourself!
I’m Natalie Servant and I design knit accessories. I love lace, colour (yes, I’m Canadian), and texture.

What inspires you?
I am frequently inspired by Art Deco design, particularly architecture. Other times I’m inspired by the colour of my yarn, a particular stitch pattern, or objects I see around me and wonder how I’d translate into knitting.

What is your favorite item to design?
My first love is lace shawls. While I do get ideas for many different types of fabric, I doubt I’ll ever stop designing lace. It’s so magical to block! I’m also quite fond of stranded colourwork.

What is your favorite aspect of designing?
I love that feeling that I get when I look at a finished piece of knitting and know that I’ve captured the bit of beauty that I had in mind.

Is there a design of yours that you are particularly proud of?
I’m still very proud of my Eiffel Tower Shawl. I sketched this design over a year before I finally figured out how to turn it into knitting. I’m so glad I stuck with this one.

Any new projects you would like to share with us?
My big project for 2015 is called Canadian Art Deco Knits. It’ll be a pattern-a-month subscription and includes 12 accessory/home decor patterns inspired by different Canadian Art Deco buildings. The patterns use different techniques: lace, colourwork, and texture. I’ve got lots of pictures and research (and 2 years of work) put into this project, and it’s very close to my heart. I can’t wait to share all of these designs!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Another GAL Project

I finished my second GAL project the other night:
Another gem designed by the lovely Alicia Plummer-though I added the stripes. :)
Besides that, I was interviewed by Jenn Wisbeck. The interview went live today. I did an interview with her as well, you'll be seeing it in the coming weeks...

Monday, November 17, 2014

More Indie GAL Fun

A fellow designer, Kimberly Golynskiy (80skeins on Ravelry), has compiled an awesome graphic full of GAL stats:

Too cool, isn't it?!?!?!

I've finished my first GAL project. Oaked by Alicia Plummer, whom I interviewed earlier this year. She is such a talented designer and so sweet as well! She has been a great encouragement to me in my designing.

Over the next few weeks, I'll be posting more progress of my GAL projects as well as interviews with participating designers. So stay tuned!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Indie Gift-A-Long 2014!!!!

I am very excited to announce that I am participating in this year's Indie Design Gift-A-Long!!!! The GAL begins on November 13 at 8pm and lasts until December 31 (EST). During that time you have the opportunity to catch up on your Christmas gifts, maybe knit a few things for yourself, and win some awesome prizes (including over 1800 patterns donated by designers!), all while supporting your favorite independent designers!

These patterns are 25% off with the coupon code giftalong2014 from Nov. 13 at 8pm to the end of the day on Nov. 21 (EST). You can now use coupons when you buy patterns directly from my blog! Click the 'add to cart' link under the pattern photo and a window will pop up that includes a space for coupon codes. While only this group of patterns goes on sale, all of my patterns are eligible for the KALs and winning prizes!

I'm really looking forward to participating in the KALs this year, I have a couple hats and a sweater for my little brother on the list. Come join me!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

New Design in the Works

Remember that hint about my partnership with RainCityKnits? Well, here is the finished product; the pattern is in testing right now.
Purlka Mitts! Covered in purled polka dots. Look for the pattern in a few weeks. I'm very excited about this one!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Caerulea Update

I thought I would be finished with the shawl by now. (Of course, I was hoping to have it done in July originally.) I almost finished it last week, but while I was binding off, I realized it was too small and in the shape of a funny looking bell. I was going for semi-circular. So I frogged it, and after trying to do semi-circular several ways and failing, I decided to change it to a triangle shawl.
My progress so far...
The shawl consists of an 8-row repeat, so even though I haven't finished it yet, I've posted a call for testers already. I want to publish it this month, and this seemed like a good way to do it. If you're interested, here's the test thread on Ravelry. I'd love to have you test! Especially because, at the moment, I don't have any testers. :(

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Caerulea and Other News

I'm still knitting the other shawl in the Aqua Flores e-book, Caerulea-blue in Latin:
The photo's a little blurry, but you get the idea. :)
It's knit in the same stitch as Nymphaeaceae, and worked from the top-down in a semi-circular shape. The pattern will include notes on customization, just like its sister shawl.

I'm hoping to release it towards the end of August. I said I'd publish it this summer; so it will be cutting it close! But it's self-published and I'm not partnering with a yarn company this time (though it's knit in lovely madelinetosh!), so I'm not on a strict schedule. Originally, I would have liked to publish it in July, but you can see that didn't happen. :)

As for the other news, I've partnered with another yarn company, RainCityKnits! Here's the yarn I'm using:
Rain Drop Blue in Worsted. That's all I'll say for'll see the results sometime in October, hopefully. 

Monday, June 30, 2014

Still a Chance!

You can still snag my patterns at 29% off!! Just make sure you get them before the clock strikes midnight (GMT) on Tuesday!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Birthday Sale

All my patterns are 29% off in honor of my 17th birthday on the 29th! Discount is added automatically at checkout. Sale runs June 24-July 1 (GMT).

Ravelry Store.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Poll Update and Winner!

Unfortunately, the poll reset itself. On the bright side, I picked the winner! Congratulations to Martha. She will be receiving my yet-to-be-released e-book, Aqua Flores.

The collection of two shawls includes the Nymphaeaceae shawl pattern. It will be released in a few days. Here's a picture from my photo shoot:

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Lily Wrap Update

I finished the shawl, and it is in testing right now. If you're at all interested in testing, I still need a few more knitters. Even if you've never tested before, I'd love to have you! All the info is here. (Link goes to Ravelry-you'll need an account to view it).

Well, enough of that spiel, who wants to see some finished shawl pictures?
I can't wait to get the real pictures done! (Though I have to admit, I really like the second photo.) My photographer and I are in deliberations about the date of the photo shoot. :)

If you haven't had the time to vote on the poll on the top right side of my blog, you still have a few days to do it. You're earning a chance to win my (to-be-released) e-book, Aqua Flores, which includes my Lily Wrap (that's the nickname :) and another shawl to be published this summer! Just make sure you let me know that you voted in the comment section.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Interview with Alicia Plummer

I asked several designers if they would be willing to do an interview back when the Gift-A-Long was going on. Alicia was one that I asked, but she wasn't able to get to it until now. Well, for me, it was worth the wait. :)

Introduce Yourself!
Hello, I am Alicia of AliciaPlum. I design pretty much anything other than socks!

How would you describe your style?
I would describe my style as very easygoing and laid back. Where I live--out in the sticks, as some people might describe it--there isn’t a lot of chance to get very fancy. I really need things to match my lifestyle, too, and with small children, that typically involves just throwing on something comfy and simple. I think I like to knit things that are simple, too, because I get distracted easily. Just a touch of detail and a lot of stockinette makes a project more enjoyable for me.

What inspires you?
What inspires me…so many things! Jesus, the color blue, air rushing through leaves on a sunny day…most of the pieces I design are actually inspired by specific feelings. I can be really emotional sometimes, haha! I have a shawl I’m working on now and it’s inspired by the sound of the summer rainstorms on our tin roof. I think it’s tin--maybe it’s galvanized steel or something fancy. I don’t know. My husband chose it. But it’s metal, anyways, and the rain makes the most beautiful sound when it hits.

What is your favorite item to design?
My top favorite thing to design is sweaters, hands down. Though I’m finding I love shawls too. But the expanse of blank canvas you get to work with in those things--and a lot of time, I leave a lot of it blank. Negative spaces, you know? Love it.

Any new projects you would like to share with us?
I wish I had some pictures of the latest piece I’m working on! It’s a racerback tank top in blue kestrel. I’m obsessed with Kestrel right now, because it’s getting much hotter every day. Kestrel is breezy but it’s also thick, so you get that nice instant gratification knit but it’s not heating you up in the process.

Thanks for joining me, Alicia! I can't wait to see that Kestrel tank top.
Thank you for having me! I always appreciate talking with you, you are such a sweet, down to earth person!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Summer Sale!

Buy my Tulip Mitts and get my Strawberry Patch Handwarmers 50% off!

Sale runs until May 12.

Saturday, May 3, 2014


Oh! And please have some fun filling out the poll to the right of this post! Anyone who does will be entered to win an e-book of two shawls that I'm going to publish this summer. (Let me know in a comment, email, or on Ravelry, if you voted.) Tell all your friends! :) (If you do, I'll enter your name twice!)

Giveaway will end May 31.

Lily Wrap

I'm working on a new design!!!!!!!!!

I'm very excited about this one; Dream in Color partnered with me this time. Thank you guys so much! I'm using their Perfectly Posh Sport in Fortune, which is very lovely to knit and to look at:
Not the best picture, I know. Speaking of which, I am very happy to announce that I am not going to be the photographer this time. Yep! For this pattern, I have the help of someone who actually knows something more than average about photography, has a nice camera, and takes beautiful pictures. YAY!!!!!

I also sent a submission off into the wild this week...

And I just want to say to all who read this, whether you're family, friend, or friendly-nice-person, thank you for supporting me by following along!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Fingerless Gloves Sale!

This sale is now over.

Both Diagonal Rib Mitts and Strawberry Patch Handwarmers are 25% off shown price until my Tulip Mitts pattern becomes available. After which, the price will go up to $4.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Tulips for Spring!

Right now, I'm working on a pattern to be published this spring, hopefully in a few weeks! I had a lot of fun knitting these mitts and am very excited to release them into the wild. You may notice the stitch from the proposal I sent to Knitscene a few years back.

The pattern is in testing now. I can't wait to see everyone's versions!