I always have fun finding new patterns to explore on Ravelry. I keep an eye out for great designs that I can share with you on Mondays and Thursdays (for the Updates) and great designers that I can share with you in the Designer Spotlight. Today, I’m happy to introduce you to Michelle, from Leah Michelle Designs. Be sure to get in on the special offer at the bottom of the post!
Loopy: Hi Michelle! Thanks for sitting down to talk with us today. How long have you been a knitter, and who taught you to knit?
Michelle: Hi Loopy! I’ve been a serious knitter for 12 years. I learned form my grandma when I was young and started a scarf with a lightweight yarn and small needles. I eventually gave up, but I still have it! I became serious about knitting when my kids were 2 and 5. I wanted to knit hats, scarves, and mittens for them. I bought a knitting magazine, needles and yarn, and have been adding new knitting techniques to my repertoire ever since.
Michelle: I like knitting everything! If I had to pick one favorite item, I guess it would be cowls. They are quick and easy to knit, they don’t require much finishing, and because I live in a cold climate, I can wear them a lot.
Loopy: I like making cowls for those very same reasons. One can never have too many, and they’re easy to wear. What is the most challenging thing that you have knit to date?
Michelle: Hmm. I think each new technique I attempt to learn is my biggest challenge at the time. I’m knitting Jane Richmond’s Grace pattern right now. It’s the first top down sweater I have ever done, so I’d say it’s my most challenging project to date. I love to knit patterns that challenge me with new techniques, so whatever new technique I’m learning at the moment is my biggest challenge.
Michelle: I started with simple dishcloths about 4 years ago and I designed my own because I wanted dishcloths that didn’t look ‘homemade’. I wanted edges that were straight and square and didn’t curl. I wanted clean and simple lines. That desire has transferred into all of my patterns. I like clean, structure, and linear designs.
Michelle: My favorite pattern is probably my first paid pattern – Just a Little Twist. It’s a beautiful little scarf designed in Malabrigo Silky. It’s so soft and luxurious and I’m still wearing it after knitting it two years ago.
Loopy: I like that pattern! And I think I have just the yarn for it. Beautiful in semi-solids, but I also think it would be fun in a variegated. So what are your favorite and not-so-favorite parts of designing?
Loopy: Do you have other jobs outside of pattern designing?
Michelle: Yes. My ‘real job’ is in an elementary school. It’s fast-paced and sometimes stressful, so knitting and designing is how I relax and also how I express my creative side.
Loopy: So you do the designing business on the side. Is that hard?
Michelle: I only self-publish my patterns right now so that I can work at my own pace. I don’t always have time for designing, so I can’t commit to deadlines. I guess the hard part is that I wish I had more time to design.
Loopy: Does anyone else in your family knit?
Michelle: The only person in my immediate family that doesn’t knit is my husband. Even my 16 year old son knits (okay, it was one time, but still). He recently knitted a scarf for his girlfriend for Christmas! My 13 year old daughter knits, and my sister knits, too.
Michelle: When I have time, I love to bake. I also love to read.
Loopy: So what would be your favorite way to spend a day off?
Michelle: Knitting, of course!
Loopy: Good choice. And one last thing: Coke or Pepsi? Coffee or Tea? English or Continental? Solids or Multicolors?
Michelle: I’m trying to kick my Diet Pepsi habit right now. I need my daily morning coffee, but I’ve recently discovered David’s Tea. I still don’t know which is English and which is Continental. I hold my yarn in my right hand. Which one is that? I’m learning to embrace all types of color. I was always a neutral and beige kind of girl. Knitting is slowly opening my mind to the possibilities of color.
Michelle: Thanks for interviewing me – this was fun!
Michelle is offering our blog readers 20% off any one of her patterns, with the code “loopyewe”. This offer is good today through next Friday, March 7th. Hop on over to her Ravelry pattern store and pick a fun one, then pop over to The Loopy Ewe to get some yarn to go with it. Thanks for the offer, Michelle!
The Thursday Update is ready for you! Today we added in:
Biscotte & Cie Felix – this fingering weight self-striping yarn is so fun to knit up! I’ve had fun using it for socks (see them here and here) and a Sockhead hat (here), but you can also use it for fingerless mitts, mittens, gloves, cowls, and scarves. Louise does several exclusive colors for us, including Loopy Elves, Loopy’s Mountain Hike, Loopy’s Summer Garden, Loopy Kisses, Loopy’s Herman, and Loopy’s Knit Night. (Those last three colors shown below.) Need ideas? Try Turkish Bed Socks, A Time to Reap, Captain Hastings, or Blurred Lines Socks.
Biscotte & Cie Gobelin – the worsted weight version of the self-striping yarn. Of course this weight knits up even faster, and is fun for hats, scarves and mittens for adults or kids. I made this quick hat out of it last year. Or try Waiting for Winter, Be Loving, Easy Peasy Socks, or Elefante. Shown below in A Moi le Coco, Loopy’s Summer Garden, and Purple Rain.
The Loopy Ewe Loopy Cakes – we’ve re-stocked the Steampunk, Sizzle and Baby sets. Our Loopy Cake sets are all a bit labor intensive (all that winding), but just know that we’re working on them every week. If there’s a particular set that you’re wanting and it’s out of stock, email us and we’ll be sure to save you one, the next time that set gets done. Here’s a fun hat that I knit out of our Colors of Loopy set. It’s done in the Swirl Hat pattern and I just swapped out the colors as I worked my way up the hat. Next on my list is to make matching fingerless mitts. And don’t forget the Loopy Cakes Cowl, which is a quick linen stitch knit.
Moda Fabric’s Daydreams line – these colors remind me of spring and summer – pinks, yellows, teals and oranges. They would make some cute bags, if you’re doing the Loopy’s Fabric Challenge for Spring! A sampling shown below.
Moda Fabric’s Bee My Honey line – flowers, bees, honeycombs and water cans – perfect for your favorite gardener! A sampling shown below.
Have fun shopping through all of these bright colors, and we’ll get a Box of
Color Fun shipped right out to you, to brighten your day!
Sheri and The Loopy Ewe Crew
I wish all of you could come visit our fabric section in person. There are so many gorgeous bolts here at the shop, and all of them make me want to sit down and sew. Even the non-sewing Loopy Elves are plotting ways to buy fabric and whip up some knitting project bags. We’ve started thinking that maybe we need a new (and matching) project bag for each new skein of yarn we wind up to knit. Is that right or wrong? Never mind. Don’t tell me.
For our Spring Fabric Challenge, we’d like to see what you can come up with in terms of a cool bag. You can make a project bag, or a purse, or a tote bag, or any other kind of bag that you think you would use or want to give to a friend. You can use a Loopy Short Stack and make a quilted type of bag, or you can use bigger fabric pieces as a whole, or you can make the bag with one fabric and line it with another, or …. well, there are all kinds of ways to make a bag. (Fabric for the Challenge does need to be purchased here at The Loopy Ewe.) Pick something that will be fun for you to sew and useful to you afterwards. I kind of hope someone will come up with the perfect knitting bag pattern, so we can all make one later. Maybe you’re the one to come up with the pattern!
1. You may take a 15% discount off of the fabric for this project starting today and going through March 7th. You will need to leave us an order note indicating which fabric in the order is for your challenge. We will apply the discount when we print out your order. If you’re going for free shipping in the U.S. make sure that the discount will not take your total under the $75 level, because the website will add the $5.95 postage cost back in. (Discount limited to one project’s worth of fabric for the challenge. Must be ordered in one order, so calculate yardage carefully before ordering.)
2. If you purchase project fabric from us during Challenge Week (2/26 – 3/7) or later, and you upload a photo of your completed project to our gallery you could also earn an extra Loopy Credit! Assuming you complete your project and…
- upload your photo on or before March 31st, we’ll give you a Loopy Credit equal to your original discount;
- or, if you upload it in April, we’ll give you a Loopy Credit for 75% of your original discount.
For example, if you order $30 for your challenge project during Challenge Week, you’ll get a $4.50 discount on your order that day. Then, if you finish and upload your project to our photo gallery in March, we’ll put a $4.50 Loopy Credit in your account. If it takes a bit longer to finish your project and you upload it in April instead, we’ll give you a $3.38 Loopy Credit. (Note: one discount and one Loopy Credit per person.)
3. We will be setting up a Spring Challenge Bag Chat Group on Ravelry on our Loopy Groupie board. If you like chatting with others about projects, join the group and jump right in. There are a lot of wonderfully friendly people on our Loopy Groupie board, and I know you’ll enjoy them.
It has been fun to see sewing and quilting project photos being added to our Ideas Photo Galleries. We love sending you fabric bundles and seeing what you turn them into!
Sheri and The Loopy Ewe Crew
(Fabric Collections from top photo to bottom: Moda’s Mixed Bag, Moda Piecemakers, Timeless Treasures Tonga Batiks, Birch’s Ipanema, Amy Butler’s Hapi, and Riley Blake’s Giraffe Crossing.)
How is your Monday going? We woke up to freezing fog this morning. The sun was shining, but there were little ice crystals floating in the foggy air, and all of the trees looked lightly iced (as in frosted). So pretty. That started the day off right, but a colorful update at The Loopy Ewe is always the best part of Mondays for me! Just up, we added in:
Manos del Uruguay Alegria – This line continues to have some of the brightest multi-color combinations of any yarn in our shop! The colors really pop. 75% Superwash Merino and 25% Polyamid, makes it a great yarn for socks and shawls. Shown below in Cabaret, Candombe, and Carnival. (Know someone who needs cheering up? Make them a Hitchhiker or a Knit Night out of one of those cheerful colors!)
Manos del Uruguay Serena – A sport weight yarn that is 60% Baby Alpaca and 40% Pima Cotton. We’ve loved seeing the scarves and accessories that people have brought into the shop, made out of this yarn. You’ll find it in semi-solids and multi-colors. Shown below in Peony, Deep Sea and Thunder.
Universal Yarns Cotton Supreme – this 100% cotton fabric in a worsted weight is one of my favorites. It’s so soft to work with, but holds up well in the washer and dryer. Great for baby items, spring and summer sweaters, and more. Shown here in Salmon, Aqua and Yellow.
Universal Yarns Bamboo Pop – With 50% Bamboo and 50% Cotton, this sport weight yarn is cool and comfortable for kids and adults. It comes in solids and multi-colors and knits up beautifully. Pattern ideas: Milestones Baby Blanket, Girls Spring Garden Tee, Bonita Shirt, Miley Tee, or Wavy Jacket. Shown below in Brilliant Blues, Happy Birdie, and On Parade.
Rowan Fine Lace – 80% Baby Alpaca and 20% Extra Fine Merino in a soft little ball of laceweight. Need some pattern ideas? How about: Wispy Cardi, Upstairs, Boo Humbug, Starry Starry Night, or Spring Kerchief (oh, I love that one). Shown below in Leaf, Era and Quaint.
Sajou Scissors – All Sajou scissors are hand-made in small workshops in France. You can identify these scissors by their pairing marks, which indicate that the two blades have been hand-adjusted and perfectly matched. It might not be the kind of scissor that you’ll want in every knitting bag, but it is the kind of scissor you want to keep in your very favorite bag! While supplies last, we’ll also be including a special free linen scissor case that came with this latest batch of scissors. (Shown here in the Mother of Pearl style.)
Adornit Fabric’s Nested Owls and Basics – I’m still loving owls and the cute owl fabrics. You, too? These would make fun pillowcases, quilts, and totebags! (A sampling of the fabrics shown below.)
Have fun checking out the new things and don’t forget to get in on Loopy’s Challenge for Spring before the special offer ends on Wednesday!
Sheri and The Loopy Ewe Crew
P.S Our Spring Giftables Club is sold out, but do email us if you want to be on a waiting list in case we’re able to add more spots later. (email@example.com)