DNA

When I first started knitting faces using Katarina Breiditis’ face pattern, my plan was to knit a few faces as practice for a more complicated conceptual piece, in order to learn the structure of the features and use the structure as a jumping-off-point for my own adaptations. Then I would join the practice pieces together … More DNA

Love and Death

Yarn talks to me. Its colors tell me stories about time, place, and memory, and sometimes it tells me about the Big Issues in Life. It doesn’t happen because the colors are pretty. It happens because the colors have a message. In fact it’s more likely to happen when the colors are strange, even unappealing … More Love and Death

The Fiber Goddess Said, Forget Your Idea, This Is Better

I liked my original idea. I still do. It was going to be a machine-knit version of a felted, dropped-stitch scarf pattern called “Les Miserables,” which has a deconstructed look that attracts me, but not enough to suffer through hand-knitting all that stockinette. After machine-knitting it and gently felting it, I was going to fold … More The Fiber Goddess Said, Forget Your Idea, This Is Better

Product vs. Process

I hate personality quizzes, the sort that try to put you in a category and ask you to choose between a and b or a, b, c, or d for your most likely response to a hypothetical situation. My usual response is “it depends,” or “some of the above,” or “none of the above,” or … More Product vs. Process

Scary New Toy

Six months ago I bought a knitting machine. I never thought I would want to mechanize my chosen handcraft with a machine that has too many moving parts for my comfort, but I did it for two reasons: I love stockinette but hate knitting it, and I have a yarn stash that is so huge it could … More Scary New Toy

Presto Change-o, A Sock Turns Into A Pullover

About 7 years ago, Andie Luijk, the color genius and owner of Renaissance Dyeing, asked me to write patterns for yarn kits using her beautiful natural-dyed yarns. It was a wonderful opportunity. I was deeply flattered at being asked to do it, I tried really hard to design things that other people would want to knit and … More Presto Change-o, A Sock Turns Into A Pullover

A Conversation with Designer Kirsten Hall

Hundreds of knitters in Ravelry’s annual Tour de Sock speed knitting competition know who Kirsten Hall is: she’s the sock designer they’ll encounter after they survive the first couple of stages, who will challenge them with mental and needle gymnastics that will reward them with beautiful, ingenious socks. Her patterns are long, long, long, but are … More A Conversation with Designer Kirsten Hall

Knitting to Crochet: Abby Is Still Mine

Although I’m newly inspired by the creative possibilities of crochet, I continue to have a knitter’s sensibility. Most basically, I have not come to love the appearance of crochet’s basic building block, the double crochet stitch (U.S. terminology). Reasonable people can disagree, but I think it looks sloppy and clumsy in its straight-up form and needs … More Knitting to Crochet: Abby Is Still Mine