Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Good riddance, December 2014.

This has been a terrible month. I have been to the dentist four times this month, to the tune of many hundreds of dollars. My cat has started barfing up hairballs every night due to some skin issue, so that's been fun. I didn't get a job I needed. A submission I was positive would get accepted didn't. The new EU VAT laws have caused me (and all other designers) a world of trouble and worry, resulting in me having to close my Craftsy store. A couple days ago, I had an emergency doctor visit and now I'm on antibiotics with no alcohol allowed... and it's new years, so champagne. To top it off, Roto Rooter just left my house, because a huge rainstorm a few days ago backed up our sewer system and sewage was coming out of the shower drains. So I say: GOOD RIDDANCE 2014. Here's to a 2015 full of knitting, laughter, and better luck.

2015 was not all bad. I had three third-party pubs this year:

The Admiralty in Holla Knits Home Collection

 Delaware is for Cables in Knitty, First Fall

Coronis in PomPom Quarterly Issue 10 (on the cover, even!)

And I self-published 19 patterns, including two e-books.

My 2014 goal was 6 pairs of socks, which in hindsight was an easy goal. I think I made 10 pairs, including 4 gift pairs. My sock goal for 2015 is "use up the sock yarn you've got before buying more." I think it's an admirable goal. My yarn storage is limited, and I get overwhelmed with a large stash, so I want to try to knit socks only from the stash. We'll see how long that lasts.

Other 2015 goals include publish more patterns with magazines, be better about blogging regularly, improve my limited photography skills, and try to branch out away from top-down raglans in my design work.

Happy New Year's to you, and I hope your December was better than mine.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

GAL designer interview with digitalnabi

As part of the 2014 Gift-A-Long on Ravelry, I'm interviewing fellow designer Heather Zoppetti (digitalnabi on Ravelry). A bit about Heather that I shamelessly stole from her Ravelry page:

Heather Zoppetti is a knitwear designer, teacher, and author of Everyday Lace (Interweave, 2014). She lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania with her husband and yarn collection. Her patterns have been published in many Interweave publications and by yarn companies such as Manos del Uruguay, Baah!, Reywa Fibers, The Alpaca Yarn Company, and Universal Yarns.

Here are a couple of my favorite digitalnabi designs: 
Mormorio, a sock yarn wrap thing

And now, my questions, and some answers.

Who are you? What do you do? Are you a full time designer?

I'm a full-time designer and small business owner. I'm the founder of Stitch Sprouts (check us out on, which really has become my full-time job. We distribute wholesale patterns, yarn, and stitch markers to yarn shops across the country (and even some internationally). We also provide services like graphic design and technical editing.

You wrote a book, so that's pretty awesome. What's your preference: individual self-published patterns, third-party pubs, or a large project like a multi-pattern book?

I love working on big projects like books. Something about having a huge goal is satisfying. However, small self-published patterns have a more immediate it's a hard decision. I'm going to take the easy way out and say that I like both for different reasons. 

What's first for you: yarn, stitch pattern, pattern name, general idea, something else?

Any and all. Some patterns start with a stitch pattern that I've fallen in love with. Others start with a specific request from a yarn company. It's always a new and exciting process ---that's what I really love about designing, it never gets boring. 

Do you ever knit other designers' patterns, or is there just not time? If you do get to knit things by others, is it mostly for you or do you make things as gifts?

Unfortunately, I almost never have time to knit others' patterns. Sometimes I don't even have time to knit my own (I hire sample knitters)! If I do make something from another designer, it almost always ends up as a gift for someone else. Which is kind of sad; I have very few knitted things that I get to wear myself. 

Was this your first year participating as a GAL designer?

Yes. Last year I was too late to sign-up and was sad that I missed out on all the fun. 

Thursday, December 4, 2014


If you're on Instagram, you've probably seen pictures of knitted socks in various states of completion with the hashtag "operationsockdrawer."
"But what does that mean?" you ask. "It sounds so serious!"
I was hoping to find out that it's a group effort to introduce more handknit socks into the world, or a motivator to finish one new pair a month, or even an encouragement to knit socks from your stash sock yarn before buying new sock yarn, which is something I could definitely use some help with, but no. From what I can tell, there is no actual Operation Sock Drawer, there is only a hashtag. It means nothing except that "Hey I made/am currently making these socks and now they're on Instagram." Oh well. No idea where this got started, but I like showing off what I've made, and I like seeing other people's socks, so I'll keep using it.

So! This is my actual sock drawer. It makes me happy. #operationsockdrawer

The self-patterning pair in the middle is my newest addition. I finished them just before the Christmas knitting extravaganza started, and by that I mean that I needed the needles they were on for Christmas knitting so I had to hurry up and finish the socks. And... I sort of hate these socks. 1) They're goofy. 2) They're not that warm, which is super weird, because they're wool socks. 3) They're not very soft, probably because the yarn has a bit more nylon than most sock yarns. 4) They're goofy.

The yarn is Berroco Sox and I have to say... I won't buy it again. That's fine, because my sock yarn stash is getting a bit out of control. I think I have enough sock yarn to double my current sock collection. I know that a lot of knitters would laugh at that, but I try to keep the stash in check. No point in having oodles of yarn just sitting there in your sewing room, taunting you, because you currently have eleventy million things on the needles so you can't (ahem, shouldn't) cast on anything else even though that skein of Miss Babs is calling your name... no. Best to keep the temptation out of the house, that's what I always say.