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Favorite Newest Podcast

hellogorgeous

I truly love when I run up against a podcast that I had no idea was out there.

Knitting, while nestled in my space, looking for the perfect podcast, I landed on Mandarine’s Podcast; Melody Hoffman, designs inspired by nature, folklore, and minimalism. A delightful voice to listen to, engaging, and charismatic. Pure joy.

Take a minute to listen to her. You won’t be sorry. I promise! Oh…don’t forget to grab some knitting and something to sip on.

Melody has a beautiful website too. Her photographs are stunning.

Oh my! I’m fan-girl’ing all over the place here. *smiling*

Get the Pattern Moonlight Garden Shawl

I feel it might be fun to interview her. Shhh, don’t mention this just yet, I will need to talk with her.

For now, lovely knitters, stay awesome and remember to take time for yourself.

Hugs!

~Deb

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Blogcast – Episode 2

If you’re a first time viewer, I want to say Thank You for checking me out. If you’re a returning viewer, I want to say Thank You for coming back.

Welcome
Virtual {HUG} from the Dishcloth Diva. Because, without (you), my readers, I wouldn’t be spending time writing this, showing you that, and chatting it up about whatever. 

For those that don’t know me, I’m Deb Buckingham, otherwise known as the Dishcloth Diva. I spend most days knitting and enjoying the process. I’m a yarn-a-holic, enjoy a good cup of coffee, and knitting in coffee shops and cafes. 


You can find me on Ravelry
I have a (mostly) Pattern Store on Etsy
I love to Tweet fun stuff
I enjoy sharing fun pics on Instagram
My boards are overflowing on Pinterest


Life is Good

Everyday is a gift in my opinion. It’s the part of life that I look forward to after each “sleep”. It’s another day to start over, if in fact your to-do list didn’t get touched because of lifes many adventures. A day to sit and ponder my next project, or just sit, knit, and sip on some coffee. 

I feel that I haven’t finished much, and my WIP’s continue to grow. But, for the most part, I’ve finished (some) stuff.

Life happens, right? I mean you get started on another project, only to be distracted by the fact it’s time to feed the husband. Don’t get me wrong, he’s as flexible as they get, but it’s the “wife” part of me, sometimes, that feels I NEED to cook for him. I set down my needles, and head to the kitchen where I discover the only thing available to make is mac ‘n cheese. So, what goes with that? Nothing…off to the store I go, I go, off to the store, I go!

I was able to go on a field trip with my granddaughter. That was loads of fun. 50 some 1st graders all pile out of a bus as I meet them at the Nature Center for our tour. We all sit Indian style on the floor in front of a puppet show. The kids really enjoyed it, and well…so did grandma. Then we were all arranged into groups and asked to follow the leader. There were 2 teachers and lots of parent volunteers. Good! It sure could be a challenge to keep an eye on that many. That was the highlight of my week!

WIP’s
Like I said, I feel like I have many more of these than I do Finished Object (FO’s). The one thing I really enjoy knitting on are socks. I’m working on the Jeck socks. It’s a free pattern on Ravelry. So easy to memorize. So much fun in self-striping yarn. I’m using a colorway called, The Meadow II by Fresh from the Cauldron. I picked it up at Stitches Midwest last summer. The perfect yarn for this pattern. Also, did you notice the matching fingernails. No, not planned.

FO’s 
I finished my husband’s socks. Yay! Long time coming. He’s been begging me everytime he sees me cast on (yet another) pair of socks. For me. The stripes matched up perfectly. I didn’t even try. Impressive, huh? The yarn I used was Diversity by Plymouth Yarns. The colorway is a red/grey/black/white combination. He picked it out, so I knew he’d love it. I have yarn in a pink/grey colorway that will be mine when I have time to cast on.

 

Diva Enables 
The one thing I’m always good at is enabling you with yarn, patterns, needles… I’ve discovered a fun yarn, purchased at Joanns, and loved by me. It’s called Sincerely by Pure Essence. 

I’d call it a heavy worsted. I’m designing a baby blanket using one of my dishcloth patterns, revised (pic below). My mad math skills played well here. But, this yarn is soft, it’s sturdy, it doesn’t squeak like some Acrylic yarns I’ve used. I’d rate this yarn a 10/10. Seriously! 

Dishcloth Diva recommends it! (5 stars)
*********************************************************** 


Another cool project I’ve been working on is my new Crochet Dishcloth pattern designs. It’s one of many to come. I do love a good crochet dishcloth. They are thick and full of absorbency. I crocheted this with Lily Sugar ‘n Cream cotton yarn (light blue), and Bernat Handi Cotton yarn (grey). Both I love equally! What is it about crochet that keeps me coming back? It’s only one hook, unlike with knitting, you use 2 sticks, It’s addicting, It allows for much creativity. 

I named this one Omaha. You wonder why? Well, in having a fun conversation with my husband as he sat across from me in my loft, we decided that it would be fun to have a line of crochet dishcloth patterns that resemble different cities and what they are known for. Cute, huh?

 Here’s what I wrote about Omaha

“This dishcloth is the first in a series of patterns related to cities. Cities, you ask? There are so many, why not name them for their beautiful scenery, land marks, or what they are known for. This pattern reminded me of sprawling miles of corn fields in the rural areas.”

What is it you love about Crochet? I’d love to “hear”.



Also, my daughter (up and coming crochet designer) and I have been crocheting up these fun dishcloths. No, the pattern is not mine, but I sure do love the design. The pattern is called Just Right and Big Time. It’s simply written, easy to memorize, and it’s FREE. Go grab it for yourself.

Pic from Just Right and BigTime on Ravelry

Favorite Patterns I’m Stalking
I have this thing lately with wanting to make some super cute amigurumi animals. You know, those cuddly, soft stuffed toys that will sit on your desk, or perch on the bookshelf? 

I have two favorites:

Pic From Purl Soho Ravelry page


Hedgehogs!! Super cute. Look at their little faces. This seems to be knit in one piece. In reading over the pattern there is NO sewing or grafting. You are picking up stitches along the way. The pattern is FREE here Their Ravelry page has more cute pics and details about the pattern. If you’re so inclined, they have even put together kits for the yarn on their website, whether you want the grey, blue or pink one. Or you may be like me and want all 3.  Yay Purl Soho!

The second pattern I’m stalking, OK, I bought it, is Girl Elephant in a frondy frock.

Pic From Little Cotton Rabbits Ravelry Page


Is she adorable or what! A little bit of fairaisle, seaming, and cute little details will make her sit oh so proudly on my desk. She’s knit in a DK weight yarn, and is a purchased pattern. You won’t be disappointed. When I downloaded the pattern, I was immediately impressed with Julie’s overall attention to detail.

I’m excited about my creative world, the various stitch patterns available and the ways in which I can take one of my own designs and create a totally different project.

Teasers
Like my newest, soon to be released, baby blanket. Here’s a peek… Details coming next month. One of my favorite dishcloth patterns, a few simple mad math skills, and some fantastic yarn [equals] success!

Like many of my favorite podcasters, I am participating in the monthly cross stitch pattern by The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery. It’s called Once Upon a Time Sampler.

Pic From The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery on Facebook


I haven’t been as good as I should (because I’m easily distracted) with completing each month as it’s emailed to me. But, here’s what I have so far. It’s called Once Upon a Time. I hope to have more to show you next month. I better anyway, we are into April! April! I better get busy…

This has been a fun episode. One doesn’t realized how much is going on until you attempt (I think I did pretty good) to remember all you’ve done. Maybe this is a lesson for the Diva–do episodes more often.

Giveaway

Let’s do a giveaway. How this works is you leave a comment here on the blog with your favorite part of my episode 2 (this one). Was it the enabling? Stalking? Teasers? Whatever you enjoyed, please leave it in the comments below. I will draw one winner on the on the 20th and announce it in the next episode. It will either be yarn or pattern or both! 

One final thing…if you haven’t already, please enter your email address (if you choose) in the subscribe to my mailing list box. It will be sent monthly, and always contain a coupon code.

So, until next time,

Knit On!
Deb 

 

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AH-HA Moment

Those of us that are designers, know there is a difference between knitting flat and knitting in the round, right? Have you ever wanted to, but the instructions given were so lengthy you thought, oh…forget it.

Well, I had an ah-ha moment this morning. (It may not be new to you, but if it is…) I do know how to convert the WS rows to make them work in the round, but I have to be honest, when I was first learning the “trick”, it was very confusing.

What I did was take my trusty notepad, my pen and charted out one repeat of the flat pattern. 

Like this.

Scribbles are good! 

You see my knits and purls? What I did was scribble the flat pattern. With the RS rows on the right and WS rows on the left. That’s what happens when we’re knitting flat.

To convert, I put the WS (there are no WS rows in working in the round) rows on the right in parenthesis. Because working in the round, we are ALWAYS on the RS right, right? So you read the pattern from the right to left, right to left, right to left. Get it?

I’ve written it out for you to work in the round, as an example. 

This ah-ha moment will have me out buying graph paper. No more sitting for hours trying to convert that fantastic pattern that is worked flat into working in the round.

If it’s already been done, don’t tell me. I want to feel like the genius designer this morning. *smiling*

Clear as mud? Or clear as a bright sunny day? I hope for the latter…

So, as I always say,

Knit On!
Deb

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Interview with Susan Brubaker Knapp – Quilting Arts TV Host – Author & Designer

Really?! 

I was so excited to be asked by Interweave to do an interview with this brilliant lady. Susan Brubaker Knapp. She is known for her art quilts…elegant, fun, yet inspirational. She’s a well-known author and designer. Susan mentions on her blog, “I find great joy in creating works that draw people closer and invite them to savor color, texture and form.” And it’s pretty obvious to me, that’s exactly what she does. 

I myself, am a modern (contemporary) quilter. In fact, my own dishcloth designs were inspired by the modern quilts I would make. Creativity is a lovely thing…

Susan seems so sweet and someone I could (easily) call friend, and such a beautiful person inside and out. As a designer myself, I’m completely in awe of her work, and I appreciate the attention to detail she provides in all her pieces.

There are four places you can find and follow Susan:

Facebook
Blog
Twitter
Quilting Arts TV

Meet Susan…well-know designer, author, and nationally/internationally known teacher. She reaches a diverse audience that includes contemporary art quilters to traditional quilters. Fwmedia has provided a nice article pertaining to her new role on Quilting Arts TV. I do hope you’ll have a look. Definitely worth your time!

Now let’s chat with Susan…

Hi Susan, you must be over the “Blue MOON River” with excitement that you’ve been asked to be the host of “Quilting Arts TV!” How does that make you feel?

I am absolutely thrilled. Probably the best part is that I will have a front-row seat to see some of the best fiber artists and contemporary quilters in the world while they talk about their work, and demonstrate their techniques. 

I myself appreciate contemporary quilting. As a contemporary quilter myself, I appreciate new techniques, and seeing others work. Where do you hope to take the show?

I’ll strive to continue the shows tradition of bringing in amazing guests who are well-known for their styles, techniques, and their craft. But, I also want to really focus on bringing in newcomers and fresh faces; people that our viewers haven’t heard of yet, but should. About the only criticism of the show that I’ve heard is that people want more, more, more; that they’d like some of the segments to be longer and more in depth, so that they can understand the techniques better, or see more of the guests work. We are definitely going to do that within the next year.

Sounds so exciting. I’ll definitely be tuning in. If I may ask, how many quilts have you made? And do you ever name them? 

Actually, I’ve never counted them. But, I just went to my website to count the original quilts I have documented there, and it looks like I’ve made more than 95 art quilts and 25 traditional and contemporary quilts. (I’ve also made numerous quilts from people’s patterns.) And yes, I always name them. 
 https://i1.wp.com/bluemoonriver.com/Images/Parrot150.jpghttps://i0.wp.com/bluemoonriver.com/Images/Buttons150.jpghttps://i0.wp.com/bluemoonriver.com/Images/SquareGossamer.gifhttps://i0.wp.com/bluemoonriver.com/Images/StillLifeWithCherries2150.jpg

That’s a total of 120 quilts plus those that you’ve made from others. I’m so inspired by you! As a (knitting) teacher myself, I respect the various ways in which others teach. What would you say is one of your “signature” techniques you like to teach in your classes?

Right now, wholecloth painting and fusible applique based on original photos are the techniques I teach that are most popular. When I teach, I try to keep everyone moving along at her or his own speed, so I often demonstrate multiple times. I have found that one of the most enjoyable – and at the same time, challenging – parts of teaching is the role of psychologist. People bring all their fears and insecurities to class, and part of my job is figuring out what is getting in the way of them creating the kind of work they want to make, and encouraging them to see that they can do it. I also try to offer solid, constructive criticism that will help people improve. 

A hands on teacher is what I would call you. Obviously, art quilting in your thing, do you include modern design in your work?

I include all types of design in my work. Many of what I think of as my traditional quilts (including lots of the quilts I designed for my pattern business) would be considered either contemporary or modern. Good examples are “Blueberry Jam” and “Polka Party”

Good design is good design, and using the basic principles of art when you make any kind of quilt makes it stronger.

 

https://i0.wp.com/bluemoonriver.com/patterns-Polka.jpg

I love those two quilt designs! I also love the pictures of your studio on your website. I can’t help but feel inspired myself while looking at them. How much time do you allow yourself each day/week to create new things?

It depends on the week! I have a busy family with two teenagers, and I travel to teach and speak a lot. Sometimes I only get a few minutes a day; a whole free day is a luxury! But, it is not just in my studio that I am “working”. I am trying hard to make creativity part of my everyday life. For example, when I walk my dog in the morning, I take my camera or iPhone, and photograph interesting things I see. I find that this helps jump-start my creativity each day. I take my sketchbook or handwork when I take my kids to their practices and after school lessons and appointments. I sketch in airports while waiting to board, even the more mundane daily chores – such as cooking, cleaning – can be done in ways that encourage creativity. 

I’m sure everyone asks you, but how did you become interested in art quilting?

In 2005 or 2006, I was desperate for a day out and away from my toddlers, and I signed up for a class with Bonnie McCaffery on making portrait quilts. We painted a realistic face on fabric, and at the end of the day I came home with this beautiful face, with a bald head. I decided to make her into a mermaid, since my oldest daughter was obsessed with them at the time. As I worked, I became obsessed too, but with the process of creation. It was like I was on fire. I had never realized that I was capable of making this kind of art. I barely slept the month I made “Teach Me to Hear Mermaids Singing,” and when I was done, I knew that I was forever changed. I had figured out how to harness the creativity that had been waiting inside me, and used it to get to a place in my brain and my soul that I never knew existed. It was truly an epiphany.

You know, we learn so much from others in the industry. Any industry leader can help us see things in a new light. Susan definitely can do this. 

Thank you, Susan, for sharing your story and giving us in-site as to who you are. I thoroughly enjoyed this time.

So as I always say,

Knit (Quilt) On!
Deb

Susan Brubaker Knapp will be the new host of Quilting ArtsTV, a national PBS television program where top quilt artists and modern quilters discuss and demonstrate ideas and techniques for contemporary quilting. – See more at: http://www.fwmedia.com/press-room/quilting-arts-tv-names-new-host#sthash.jN9TkDNv.dpuf
Susan Brubaker Knapp will be the new host of Quilting ArtsTV, a national PBS television program where top quilt artists and modern quilters discuss and demonstrate ideas and techniques for contemporary quilting. – See more at: http://www.fwmedia.com/press-room/quilting-arts-tv-names-new-host#sthash.jN9TkDNv.dpuf

 


 

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Enabling You

Well, it’s Friday. The perfect day to show you something else I’m sure you can’t live without. 
 
My newest book, Dishcloth Diva Knits On! Is out and available. My publisher, Cooperative Press has been amazing to work with. The creative control is something no other publisher could offer me. I had the ability to shoot my own pictures (I am a photographer, and all), and have some say in how it should look.

I hope you ‘ll love my book as much as I do. Here’s a little bit about it:
 

From the author of Dishcloth Diva comes Dishcloth Diva Knits On!, featuring 15 more charming cotton dishcloth patterns inspired by colorwork, cables, open work, and traditional rib knitting. Each pattern perfectly walks that tightrope between elegant design and workhorse appeal in the kitchen and bathroom. Throughout this collection, Deb’s modern design, clear photography, and precise instructions will give you hours of simple knitting pleasure.
The book also includes a step-by-step guide to organize your own group “lapghan” project: knit each dishcloth square with wool instead of cotton, and you have the beginnings of a beautiful blanket that is appropriate for charity giving. Deb’s helpful tips make it fun and easy to start your own charity knitting group.

I’m thrilled to show you a few pictures from the patterns so to  enable you…they are sure to be oh-so-popular. 

Ella_mae-3_small2
Ella Mae

Nellie__3__small2
Nellie
Lucillebell1_small2
Lucille Bell
Virginia__2__small2
Virginia

I’m pretty excited, no, REALLY 
excited for this book. You can purchase the e-book on Ravelry or Cooperative Press website. 

The e-book sells for $9.95 US

The print copy will also be available soon on Cooperative Press website. 

Here’s a beautiful review and forward in Dishcloth Diva Knits On!:

“The “retro” charm of the patterns and their names captured my imagination from the start…. After casting off a large and intricate lace shawl, it felt so good to settle in with a cozy mystery and do something delightfully simple. Deb’s instructions are excellent and she has a couple of little tricks I particularly appreciated – like a built in i-cord for borders on several of the washcloths. No more floppy edges!… Deb’s deceptively simple book has become a mainstay in my knitting library. — Kelley Petkun, founder of Knit Picks

So, as I always say,

Knit On!

Deb 

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Interview with Laura Linneman – Knitting Designer

If you could only see me, I’m squealing with delight as I introduce you to my newest Knitting Designer. And wait till you hear who she is and how I met her. Usually, it’s the quick realization that the pattern I just knitted of said designer, is the reason I chose, said designer.


Not in this case. Get ready for it…

She’s Laura (LaLa) Linneman from TheKnitgirllls. I know, right? *squee*  A designer, an organizer of knitting retreats, and co-podcasts with Leslie on theknitgirllls. I can hardly contain myself. I’m such a fan. Her and her fabulous co-podcaster and knitting friend, Leslie, met 5 years ago. Oh, I’m getting ahead of myself…

First, I need to tell you, I have been knitting Laura’s Persephone’s Return socks. Brilliant. Fun. Interesting. Socks. Yes, Socks! 

I have a Ravelry group, Dishcloth Diva. I saw that Laura had joined it. Sweet, I thought! Another designer, and podcast extraordinaire is joining my group. I clicked on her Ravelry page, and scrolled down to view all of her delicious patterns. I stopped when the bright green socks stared me in the face. It took me all of 4 seconds to decide I needed to knit those. Another great project added to my WIP pile. Downloaded immediately. I will add pictures to this when I have the first one done. 

Let’s chat with her!

Thanks for joining me, Laura! First of all, we would love to know how long you have been knitting socks, or just knitting in general?

Persephone’s Return Socks

My very fist project was a pair of socks when I was 8. My mom had just learned how to knit (she was and still is mainly a spinner and weaver) and the ladies in her spinning guild taught her socks as her first project as well. I got to the heel flap, put them down and didn’t pick up knitting again until I was in high school.

8 years old? Impressive. Well, as you know, I was especially inspired by your socks. You are always knitting a pair in your podcast, and I love to see what it is you’re knitting. What inspired you to design your Persephone‘s Return socks

I’m a huge fan of Greek mythology and when my LYS asked me to dye sock yarn and design the pattern for their first Spring Club shipment, I knew I wanted a bright green with just a bit of lace.

What IS your design process, Laura?

I’m a post-it note addict. I tend to sketch and then start to write on various colored post-its that then get stuck everywhere. I’m also a tech geek, so now, when I write or draw anything, I take a picture with my Ipad so that I don’t loose it.

It’s funny you say, post-its, because I used to be addicted to them until I found all these apps that can convert to pdf. I think we‘ve all gone digital with that, or most anyway. I have to know, what is your favorite yarn to knit with when making socks?

My perfect sock yarn would be a 3-ply superwash BFL/nylon blend. I would love for it to have a tight twist and a semi-solid color with depth. That being said, the majority of my stash is proof I give into the lure of self-striping and crazy variegated yarns with cashmere way too often. 

You being a designer, must have some favorite designers of your own. Who are your favorite knitting designers? 

I love Wendy Johnson, Susan B. Anderson, Clara Parkes, Lucy Neatby, Hunter Hammersen, and Cat Bordhi for their sock and other wonderful designs. Jared Flood, Elizabeth Zimmerman, Stephen West, Kirsten Kapur, and Rebecca Danger for almost anything else. Every day I look at the new designs on Ravelry and they blow me away. There are so many talented people designing right now!

Wow! I too, love Wendy Johnson and Stephen WestOkay, here’s something for you…if you were stranded on a desert island and could only have 5 knitting related items with you, what would they be?

A Barbara Walker Stitch Collection, Signature Needles, my knitting BFF Leslie, my fiber stash and my spinning wheel (we would need a bigger boat). 

We all want to be designers, so what 1 or 2 or 3 pieces of advice would you give to someone getting started in designing socks?

Above all else, be fearless. It’s just a bit of knitting. Try lots of things and if they don’t work, rip them out and try again. Know the rules and why things work so that you can break them wisely.

Great advice!  You know, Laura, I just discovered you put on something called Super Summer Knitogether in Nashville, TN in July? Can you talk about that?

My knitting BFF, Leslie, and I have a video podcast called theknitgirlllsThe more we talked with the fans of the podcast, the more we realized that most knitters are not lucky enough to have local friends that knit. Super Summer Knitogether is our way of getting a group of wonderful knitters and spinners together for a fun filled four days.  We have wonderful teachers, a market filled with lots of indie vendors, and tons of fun. We want people to leave with friendships that will last a lifetime. Our market is open to the public. Unfortunately, the 2013 retreat slots are filled. We‘ll be opening the lottery for 2014 in August.

So, what are you working on, your current WIP’s? 

Right now in the active WIP pile, I have a pair of self-striping socks with an afterthought heel, the Iced Cardigan by Carol Feller, and a new pair of socks of my own design, and a new hat design. I’m very proknitscious and can have anywhere from 10-20 nonactive projects on the needles at any one time. 

Whew! I’m glad you said that, because I’ve been thinking I have too many nonactive projects on my needles. So, I’m sure my readers are anxious to hear how you and Leslie met and got started with your podcast/website. I love you girllls! And watching your podcast while I knit. Go!

You are too sweet! I’m so glad you enjoy the show! Leslie and I met at a LYS around five years ago. She came up to the table I was knitting at and told me she was learning to knit and needed a knitting friend. We’ve been best buddies ever since. TheKnitgirllls was first a written blog. We wanted a spot where we could post projects and ideas and talk about things with all the knitting friends we had made at various retreats and festivals. I was a huge fan of audiopodcasts and convinced Leslie that we could do one. She decided it would be much more fun to show people what we were working on, and theknitgirllls videocast was born. Almost 3 years and over 140 episodes later, we still review wonderful books, and show off lots of yarn and fiber. 

I’m sure my readers are curious how you became “LaLa”, because I am. 

It was a nickname from a college roommate. When I went to create my first blog, I was in college and it was called LaLa’s Knits. 

This was so much fun, Laura. Thank you for joining me here today.

Dearest Readers, I’d be honored, and I’m sure Laura would be too, if you would check out all her fabulous designs, their Ravelry GroupThe Knit Girllls, and don’t forget to check out their blog, where all the podcasts are ready to be viewed. I also discovered they have a tutorial series of many things, such as Judy’s Magic Cast On and Twisted German Cast On.

I have linked almost every other word in this interview (not really), because there are so many great things you all need to see. Click away!

Please, tune in again where you’ll meet (yet) another fabulous designer…

So, as I always say,

Knit On!

Deb   
 
 

  
 

    

 

deb buckingham, dishcloth diva, fingering weight yarn, free pattern, hitchhiker, http://schemas.google.com/blogger/2008/kind#post, knitted scarf, knitting designer, knitting expert, knitting groups, martina behm, patterns, shawlette, the artful yarn

Interview with Martina Behm – Knitting Designer

I’m so excited to introduce you to a woman who designed the most amazing asymmetrically shaped triangle Hitchhiker Shawlette, Martina Behm. I fell in love with the way this pattern worked. The saw-tooth border evolves throughout the pattern giving it an unnatural shaping. I attend a lot of knitting groups, and I found I could carry on a conversation while knitting this brilliant piece.

She used a fingering-weight yarn called, Wollmeise Pure 100% Merino Superwash. I’ve not tried that yarn, but it receives great reviews. I definitely will, though. 

I personally used Liberty Wool Light, a fingering-weight yarn as well. I think what I love most is when you follow her directions exactly, it turns out the exact length she said it would. Gauge was right on. This is my Hitchhiker Shawlette below. I. Love. This. Will definitely make another…and perhaps another.


 

So, as always, I dug a bit deeper into her designs, and discovered ALL the lovely designs Ms. Martina had. You may want to jump over to her website and see what else she’s been up to. She’s an accomplished designer from Hamburg, Germany, with an original idea.


Let’s chat with her…

Thanks for joining me, Martina. How long have you been knitting?

Since I have been about 8 years old. That’s 30 years ago!

8 years old? That makes you…well, we won’t go there. *smiling* Moving right along…What inspired you to design the ever-so-popular Hitchhiker?

  I was very fond of the long and narrow triangular shape that my free design 22.5 Degrees featured (to the right). I was just playing around with a little drawing and a ruler trying to find other ways to knit such a triangle, and found the “Hitchhiker way.” And then, just to add a little spice, I thought, well, I could do the decreases like little teeth.

And little teeth they are. And “22.5 Degrees” is in my que next, by the way. When did you become a designer, Martina?


I think it was just a couple of months ago. I used to work as a freelance jounalist and designed a bit on the side, but now designing, answering knitters’ questions and handling my pattern business is taking up all of my workday. So now, I consider myself lucky enough to call myself a part-time knitwear designer (the other part of the day, I take care of my two kids.)


 I’m interested in knowing what got you started?

Since I learned how to knit, I modified designs and made up my own patterns. At some point I thought, well, I should try to write that down. I published a couple of free patterns which was a great way to learn (because people will forgive your mistakes more easily if the pattern is free). A very useful resource for aspiring designers is Shannon Okey’s book, “The Knitgrrl Guide to Professional Knitwear Design.”

It’s funny you mention Shannon, she’s my publisher. An amazing artist herself. So, do you draw out your design first or does your yarn lead you?

I usually make drawings for my shawlettes, because they are easy to do and they give me an idea of what I want to achieve. I also do calculations before I knit the sample. Usually, I have to knit several samples and start over multiple times before something works out as I planned. Currently, I am trying to learn how to make fashion sketches for sweaters, which is hard.

Designing is a very strategic thing, I do know. Martina, who are some of your favorite knitting designers?

Ysolda Teague, Nora Gaughan, Fiona Ellis. They design great, inspired garments, and I admire that.

I, too, have always admired garment designers. Something I have yet to try. When you’re not knitting, what else do you like to fill your time with?

I love to play the piano and I asked Santa to bring me a guitar this year. It is my favorite thing to play music and sing with my children.   

Oh, I love that! I hope Santa is good to you this year. What advice do you have for a new knitter?

Use all the cool knitting innovations like Magic Loop, Judy’s magic cast-on, knitting sweaters seamlessly top-down in the round and toe-up socks. Don’t be afraid, they really make life so much easier than the classic, old-fashioned style of knitting that your grandma taught you. Also, be on Ravelry. But that’s obvious, isn’t it?

You know, Martina, that is good stuff! Great advice. Do you have a favorite type of yarn you like to use?

Fingering-weight yarn in bright and variegated colors. But, I am learning to appreciate thicker yarn as well.

Nice! Bright and variegated, my favorite too. One last question, Has knitting changed your life in any way?

Yes! No matter what is going on in my life, knitting always provides comfort. It is challenging and rewarding when everything else is boring and dull, and it can be soothing when the rest of my life is stressful. Also, being a knitwear designer means I can work from home and have no deadlines such that any kind of child-related emergency is manageable. I am really grateful for that opportunity, and I know I owe it all to you wonderful knitters out there – and the guys at Ravelry. Thank you so much!

This was an amazing interview with Martina Behm. Seriously, she is an inspiration to all of us designers, as well as a go-to for us knitters. Her patterns are a delight to knit. 

Dear Readers, I’d be honored (and I’m sure she would too), if you’d check out her other patterns.
 
 
Many, many thanks to Martina for joining us today. Please join me here monthly to find out my next greatest designer/have-to-knit. Or if you find a pattern that you have fallen head-over-heals in love with, please write me, or comment below. I’d love to hear about it (and maybe even blog about it).


So, as I always say,

Knit On!

Deb

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Top 10 Reasons I Love to Decorate with Color

I’m all about COLOR. Anyone who know me, knows COLOR  is what gets me in a good mood and keeps me there. I’m decorating my loft/work space to reflect me.  COLOR inspiration is something that tickles me to the core. This is the COLOR  palette I’m aiming for. 

 

Wall COLOR, and accent pieces all working together to create a cohesive look. Whether it’s monochromatic or pastel, neutral or complimentary, everyone has their thing. I love to go down into my fabric stash and choose COLORs that work well together. Like this. I love to have one COLOR that just pops. In this case, It’s the pink.

 

Now…what are the top 10 reasons I love to decorate with COLOR?

1 –  Decorating with  COLOR makes me feel like a designer.

2 –  Decorating with COLOR gives me permission to go buy things that I normally wouldn’t buy.

3 –  Because when studying about COLOR, I ran across what it says about someone who likes purple, for example…artistic and unique. Someone who likes pink is happy, blissful, content, artistic (there’s that word again), and quirky. Probably. A person who likes green is balanced, relaxed, humble. (well, not sure about the humble part, in my case anyway) *smiling* How about brown…solid, dependable, stable, realistic, mature. Definitely me, well, unless you want to take mature out of there. I’m definitely a kid at heart. *smiling again*

4 –  COLOR provides the creative inspiration in everything I design from dishcloths to accessories.

5   COLOR gives me that happy feeling. 

6 –  COLOR is something that can change a room or change the look of a whole house. For example, I painted one living room wall a rich red/burgundy COLOR, and yes, it changed the room instantly.
7 –    COLOR is always the first thing my friends comment on when they walk in one of my color inspired rooms.
8 –   COLOR gives me the satisfaction in my decorating than even placing a new accessory on a table would.
9 –  Loving COLOR so much, allows me to decorate “Diva” style. 

10 –   Because I get to highlight the word  COLOR every time it comes up in a sentence. 
What about you? Why do you love to decorate with COLOR? This is where you can share all of your secrets, good or bad. A place to (maybe) learn from someone else. 
Please leave a comment. I would LOVE to hear.
This wasn’t a fiber related top ten list, because I got a little diverted due to my current WIP. Not knitting wise, design wise.
So, as I always say, 
Knit On!
Deb
 
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Knitting Help is Here

Ask Deb
Deb is the author of Dishcloth Diva. She teaches beginning knitter classes at her local yarn shop. Her specialty is helping the beginner knitter feel confident in their craft. Not one person does it the same, so she tailors the lesson to fit the student. Her designs can be found on Ravelry and Etsy in her pattern stores. You can also find her as an independent designer on Knitpicks. Deb takes great pride in her confidence with the craft.
Reasons you would need Deb’s help:
  • I don’t understand a specific term
  • I don’t have the yarn recommended for the pattern and want to use different one
  • I need help understanding the pattern details
  • I don’t understand gauge and why it’s important to my project
  • I want to make it larger and don’t know how to convert the needle size
  • I don’t understand the different yarns and what projects they would be good for
Whatever the question, Deb will have the answer. (or help you figure out how to get it)
How to get a hold of her:
 
  1. Email her at theartfulyarn@gmail.com
  2. Leave a comment on this post

Knitting help = a happy knitter. Don’t get discouraged and give up before asking that all important question.

Happy Knitting!

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Dishcloth Diva – Knitting one dishcloth at a time

http://www.cooperativepress.com/shop/dishcloth-diva/
Do you have any idea what it feels like when your publisher sends you an email saying, “time to review?”
Let me tell you, It’s the most heart pounding, tear jerking, euphoric moment one could ever experience. I downloaded the PDF file, opened it up and just stared. 
In aw. 
Was this really happening? I’ve been working on this project for a year. Dreaming about this project for as long as I’ve been knitting, about 10 years.
Yes!
Dishcloth Diva features a foreword from Kay Gardiner of Mason-Dixon Knitting, a declared fan of the humble dishcloth.
You can order directly from my publisher’s website and get the print copy, as well as the digital copy, for one price. Digital available now, Print will ship when available (soon). 

Happiness does not come from doing easy work but from the afterglow of satisfaction that comes after the achievement of a difficult task that demanded our best. ~Theodore Rubin 
 
Couldn’t have said that better myself…

So, my friends, I’m honored to be able to share with you my love for this craft. It keeps me content on a cold day, it gives me comfort when I’m alone, and it allows me to dream while I create the next diva-like dishcloth. 
 
My hope is that it does the same for you.
 
So, as I always say,
 
Knit On!
 
Deb