Thursday, November 27, 2014

Gift-A-Long 2014 Continues! Artesanity Interview

Through the end of the year, join me and 292 other independent designers in Gift-A-Long 2014 on  Chat it up in threads, crochet and knit! holiday gifts, and be eligible for many fabulous prizes. The Gift-A-Long extravaganza will last through the end of the year.  It is our gift to you to thank you for supporting Independent Designers!
One of these inventive indies is the bistitchual Annina Päivärinta AKA Artesanity.

How did you first learn to knit/crochet? 
Knit: in 4th grade. I hated it. I remember I made a head wrap and ended up having 1/3 more stitches than when I started :)
Crochet: It was summer I could had been 10 y-o, in the beginning of 90’s coz we had jeans jackets my cousin and me when granny taught us to crochet flowers.

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What inspired you to start designing? 

The fact that I wanted something that was not for sale, didn’t exist or was so expensive that I couldn’t afford it. I wanted to do Super Cool things for my friends and family.
And the fact that I can’t follow patterns. I’m too impatient. And coz the creativity has to come out somehow :)

What led you to start designing patterns for sale? 

Greed, the deadly sin. No… It was a lady that interviewed me after I got honorary mentioned in a mittens designing competition. She said “wouldn’t it be nice if this pattern got you rich”. Well yeah! Didn’t happen though. But I am currently putting my bf through university so the little extra I get from patterns sales is really a lot!

Dark Clouds

What are your favorite knit/crochet books ? 

I don’t have any. If I need to know some stitch or pattern, I google.

What are you working on now? 

A sleeves wrap thingy. I love long and wide sleeves and thumb holes and big collars and this has just that, nothing more nothing less. I hope to go public with it soon, but Christmas is coming and I have a big to-do pile of DIY presents.

Websites/blogs you visit regularly for inspiration or community? 

Ravelry of course for community. Google and eBay for inspiration. I can type in a word and get all these images come up. It’s not like I’m copying other ppl’s designs, I just get inspired from them, it can be a stitch, a detail, color, background anything and then I start to build my design around that detail.

I also watch a lot of movies and tv-series. I’m a sci-fi girl and sometimes that shows in my designs. I’m also a fan of steam punk.

Low Winters Sun

What are your favorite tools? 

Paper and a pen.

What is your favorite stitch? 

K tbl. Somehow I’m fascinated about the different it makes to knit in the back of a stitch.

Do you have a favorite fiber? 


Do you have a favorite yarn weight? 

DK or thicker. I’m no lace knitter, it’s an impatient thing.

Do you teach or have you taught knitting/Crochet? 

Nope. I once tried to teach a 6 y-o to knit, it didn’t work out. But I would love to be a teacher! Either in hand crafts or cooking. I have a day job as a cook.

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Monday, November 24, 2014

Independent Designer Gift-A-Long 2014: RebekahEvelyn Interview

Through the end of the year, join me and 292 other independent designers in Gift-A-Long 2014 on  Chat it up in threads, crochet and knit holiday gifts, and be eligible for many fabulous prizes. The Gift-A-Long extravaganza will last through the end of the year.  It is our gift to you to thank you for supporting Independent Designers!

One of these inspiring indies (and perhaps the youngest) is RebekahEvelyn.

How did you first learn to knit/crochet? 

My paternal grandmother crocheted each of my siblings and me an afghan when we were born. One time when she was working on one for a sibling that wasn’t born yet, she helped a few of us try to crochet. I took crochet lessons a few years later, then learned to knit, and I’ve been using yarn ever since!
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What inspired you to start designing? 

Since the beginning, I’ve improvised and modified. I didn’t think of it as designing, just a normal adaptive process. :)

What led you to start designing patterns for sale? 

I started designing seriously in 2012. I had tried to make some money selling finished objects, but I didn’t enjoy it. And I think knitting is supposed to be fun! So when I found out about self-publishing designs, I decided to try my hand at that. While I started because I wanted to earn money, I decided later that I like designing for the process itself. Even if I never make a “decent” amount on it, I love doing it! So far, I’ve poured a lot more into it than I’ve gotten out of it. And that’s okay!

What inspired you to start blogging? 

I’ve always loved to write. I probably have six full diaries sitting on my bookshelf. I’m from a large family (10 siblings at the moment :), and I would type up newsletters about our doings and send them to friends and family. When I was nearly 13, I decided to start a blog as an easier way for people to connect with my family. When I started designing, it just felt natural to start a new blog specifically about my designs.

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What are you working on now? 

Right now I’m taking a break from designing to knit Christmas gifts and other things that I’ve pushed aside for a while. But I can never stop the design ideas from flowing into my mind. That’s what a sketchbook is for!

What websites/blogs you visit regularly for inspiration or community? 

Ravelry is a must! I also really enjoy reading Knitted BlissTanis Fiber Arts
and He Sows and She Sews is one that I am always encouraged and inspired by.

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What are your favorite tools? 

Knitting needles!!! And once I got some foam floor mats, I started to like blocking a whole lot better!

What is your favorite stitch? 

1x1 ribbing. I always come back to it. At times, I’ve made myself not use it just so I have more practice with other stitches. :)

Do you have a favorite fiber? 

Alpaca, hands down. It’s sooo soft!

Do you have a favorite yarn weight? 

I’ve knit more worsted than anything else, but I like to switch it up a lot. I knit a lot of sport and dk weight this year, so when I knit a chunky hat, it felt nice and fast!

Are you still in high school? 

Yes. I’m a senior in high school, and graduating in the spring.

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What are your favorite knit/crochet books? 

I use a lot more magazine patterns than books. My favorite is Knitscene. But one book deserves special mention. The book that introduced me to knitting was Knitted Babes by Clare Garland. I saw the dolls on the front cover, and I knew I needed to learn how to knit so I could make them. My first knitting project was a doll, not your typical scarf. Here’s a picture of her wearing my glasses. :) 

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Do you teach or have you taught knitting/Crochet? 

I taught two of my little sisters how to knit and crochet, and they’re both great at it! Over five years ago, I tried to teach a large group of girls to knit; it was a good experience, but as a preteen, it was very stressful for me!

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What are your plans for the future? 

I’m definitely going to keep designing. I couldn’t bear to stop! My dream is to be a stay-at-home-mom and knitting designer. My big designing goals are to publish a garment design (maybe I’ll get the gumption to do it this coming year!), have a design accepted to a major publication, and maybe, just maybe, write a book.

You can find RebekahEvelyn's work here and her blog here.

Friday, November 21, 2014

CHEMUNG New Cable Crochet Hat Design

I am so excited about Chemung! It is still not finished but I couldn’t wait to post about it. This thread will ultimate become the posting thread. The idea has pushed past ll the others in queue and said, ”I’m new, I’m next!”
These are shots of the second one -- I couldn’t finish the first because I ran out of yarn.
However the first one -- in worsted -- seemed to want to be in dk.

So I began again, refined the pattern and made the body of the second hat.
Now the part that is not yet completed is the brim, but now that I’ve seen and felt it without the brim -- I think I will present the hat with both versions.
It is named for the river which runs through my micropolis and the Valley we inhabit which shares the same name. It is said to mean “land of the saber tooth” but since they predate humans I don’t think it’s an accurate translation of the indigenous name.
I love how the cable says river and hills and valley -- that it resembles the terrain here -- and that you can wear it to look like a helmet, or a side braid.

The brim went very fast-- i guess it was slower the first time because I was making it up. I really love this hat as an evocation of place and time. It can be worn with its peak or pulled down as the beanie it is. As soon as I write up finishing directions, I’m ready to test.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Gift-A-Long 2014: 293 Designers 3,822 Patterns on Sale and C/KALs

A rising sea raises all ships and thus in the spirit of mutuality and cooperation 293 independent crochet and knit designers from around the world  have organized
Gift-A-Long 2014.

The Indie Design Gift-A-Long is a 2 month crochet-along/ knit-along of holiday gifts made from patterns designed by a 293 independent designers.

From Thursday, November 13th at 8:00 pm US EST through Friday, November 21, 2014 at 11:59 pm US EST,  these independent designers will each offer a 25% discount on 4 to 20  of their patterns.

Once you’ve selected your Gift-A-Long patterns, you are encouraged to join a relevant KAL/CALon  (For instance, if it is a cowl, join the cowl KAL/CAL.) KAL/CAL participants are eligible for lots of lovely prizes.

KAL/CALs will run from Thursday, November 13 at 8pm (US-EST) through the New Years Eve party, Wednesday, December 31 at midnight (US-EST), plenty of time to finish all your holiday knitting and crocheting.  The event includes games, tons of prizes, great conversation, and a lot of fun, so pull up a chair and join us!
For more details: visit.
Here's a map of the designers
This is the second year of my participation.

Here's a snap shot of 16 of the 20 patterns I am offering for sale:

Friday, November 7, 2014

Science Fiction Crochet

My Radiant Necklace and Topography Hat are included in the new collection 
Stitch Seekers Edition Two: Futurenauts versus Retrobots by Stitch Seekers from New Zealand .

I've been a science fiction fan since before I was born. I read Animal Farm in the 4th grade, 1984 in the 5th grade and Brave New World in the 6th grade, when I wrote my first science fiction poem. About the same time I learned to crochet, I was given a subscription to Analog, edited by the sf great John Campbell. So I've been reading scifi just a couple years longer than I've had a hook in my hand, about half a century.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Spirit Vest

My Spirit Vest is included among the creations of the 2014 International Free Form Challenge book, released today.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Pattern Discovered, New Pillow

So in looking for one thing, I was lead to another, a handsome Russian( pattern)
that I found so very compelling.

Its sinous curves and arches looked like towers and minarets, or softened oinion domes. The chart was clear but challenging.
I finally came to understand it as an attenuated/elongated wave chevron pattern - with gathers over 5, 7, or  19 stitches, with pillars of stitches rising above the deep gathered valleys.
It can be found here:

The colors in the tiny image are lovely and color continues to be a challenge for me.
But I put my favorites -- yellow and purpe to gether  thinking working from dark to light and add a contrast (green).

'Tis is the year of the figurative in freeform for me, so the pillow edges have two spirt women.  One of my  smack my forehead moments was realziing that framing the figures, extended them in an easy to use way.

This National Crochet Month I spent time working on objects for my home -- for the first time. My yellow leather couch is enhanced by this pillow: