My Favourite Crochet Patterns of the Giftalong

Also known as the list of things I would make if I knew how to crochet. More and more lately I’ve been feeling the desire to learn how to crochet and these patterns are pulling me even more in that direction.

Apparently not only do I wish I could crochet, I also wish I still had a baby to crochet things for. If I did both I would choose these adorable items. Clockwise from top left we have Tilda Style Bunny by Justyna Kacprzak, Baby Owl Mobile by Sarah Alderson, and Bootiecat by Elif T. (All photos copyright their respective designers and used with permission)

Next up are cozy things I would wear all winter long. On the left is the  Mélo Hat by ACCROchet, and on the right we’ve got Dancing Trees Infinity Scarf & Cowl by Elitza Chernaeva. (All photos copyright their respective designers and used with permission)

And finally we have these drool-worthy creations. If these don’t inspire you to learn to crochet, I don’t know what will. On the left is Tunisian Flowers by Elena Fedotova, and on the right is Clair – continuous motif shrug (knit and crochet) by Vicky Chan. Wow!

If you don’t already know how to crochet, head out to your local yarn store and take some classes, these beautiful patterns will be waiting for you when you get back.

Next up tomorrow: Neck Things!

My Favourite Colourwork of the Giftalong

I am a sucker for colourwork. I pretty much love anything that has more than one colour, and the process of stranded knitting makes me happy. I’ve rounded up some of my favourite colourful patterns of the giftalong for your perusing pleasure. It’s a long list because, as I said, I’m a huge fan. Here we go! (Also, I’m trying out this photo collage thingy on WordPress, we’ll see how it goes…)

First up: Socks! On the left we have Pumpkin Butter by Kristen Jancuk (photo copyright Kristen Jancuk/MediaPeruana), there’s just something about that orange and cream that’s drawing me in. On the right is Jagged Edge by Jo Torr (photo copyright Brian Torr), which are complex and interesting and likely very warm and cosy.

Next we have mittens. All three of these patterns are so incredibly beautiful, I have serious designer envy. Left to right are First Snow Mittens by Aet Terasmaa (photo copyright Aet Terasmaa), Kilim Mittens Kilim Mittens by Carol Sunday (photo copyright Sunday Knits), and Bunty Mitts by Ella Austin (photo copyright Ella Austin).

And of course I love colourwork hats (having designed a few myself). These are from left to right: Electric Gumdrops by Kimberly Golynskiy (photo copyright 80skeins), Turtle Soup by Joeli’s Kitchen (photo copyright Desire2Inspire Photography), and Fall is a Color by Casapinka (photo copyright Casapinka).

More hats because I couldn’t keep it to just three. These ones are truly stunners. Left to right: Denim and Brocade Toque by Jenise Hope (photo copyright Jenise Reid), Midnight Fog by Rebekah Evelyn (photo copyright Rebekah Evelyn), and Sirona by Emmy Petersson (photo copyright Emmy Petersson).


Both of these cowls are interesting because they’ve got different patterns inside and out. And both sides of both cowls are gorgeous! On the left is Byzantine Cowl by Stephannie Tallent (photo copyright Stephannie Tallent) and on the right is Alameda by Clare Lakewood (photo copyright Clare Lakewood).

Finally, some patterns of extra interest. First is Alpine Flower by Amanda Scheuzger (photo copyright Amanda Scheuzger). Amanda does absolutely amazing things with yarn, and this hat is no different. I love the colourwork and unusual construction here. Next up is Wilkins by Varian Brandon (photo copyright Varian Brandon). Maybe when I grow up I will knit a fully stranded fingering weight jumper. Until then, I will admire Varian’s work from afar with awe. Please check out her blog for fabulous resources on stranded knitting. Finally, there is the Cluaran Tea Cosy by K. M. Bedigan (photo copyright K. M. Bedigan), which is just perfection in every way. Someday I will make one of these!

And that’s my roundup of Favourite Colourwork Patterns of the GAL. Stay tuned tomorrow for Favourite Crochet Patterns (aka, things I would make if I could actually crochet).

My Favourite Shawls of the GAL

I have a series of posts coming, each featuring a set of my favourite patterns from Indie Design GiftALong designers. This first set is a collection of fabulous shawls. Without further ado, here we go!

First up is Amille by Emily Ross. Seriously, I’ve been drooling over this pattern for years. It’s one of the most spectacular knits I have ever seen. Maybe someday I’ll get brave enough to try it.

copyright Emily Ross, used with permission

How cool is Big Dotty? I love the use of texture here by Libby Jonson, it really is perfection.

Big Dotty
copyright Libby Jonson, used with permission


Bricktown by Beverly S. is one of those great projects for using contrasting variegated and solid coloured yarn.

copyright Beverly S., used with permission

Crossfire by Jennifer Dassau caught my eye in last year’s GAL, it’s such a great way to use colours together.

copyright Jennifer Dassau, used with permission

How gorgeous is D’oiro by Ines Sousa? The colours and photography are beautiful here, but the shawl itself is a stunner too.

copyright seni, used with permission

Galcantray by Emily K Williams is another one I’ve been admiring for a while. I’m sure it would be an everyday scarf for me.

copyright Emily K Williams, used with permission

The Indulgence Wrap by Michelle Krause is a new design that I’m sure is going to be popular for a while. It is so classy and elegant.

Indulgence Wrap
copyright Leah Michelle Designs, used with permission

One of four male participating designers this year, Josh Ryks has a stunner here with Greek Fire. There’s just so much going on in this shawl, I love it!

Greek Fire
copyright swordofaknitter, used with permission


Notting Hill Gate by Toby Roxane Barna is great of using one of those beautiful skeins of handpainted yarn you couldn’t help but buy.

Knotting Hill Gate
copyright Dennis F Barna, used with permission

And here’s one that’s right up my alley, with beautiful colours and clean lines. This is Notions of Colour Shawl by Heike Campbell.

Notions of Colour Shawl
copyright Heike Campbell, used with permission

Penultimately (I really just wanted to use that word), is the Puaka Shawlette, just one of Francoise Danoy’s beautiful designs.

Puaka Shawlette
copyright Aroha Knits, used with permission

Finally, we have Yarden by Nancy Whitman, a gorgeous combination of colours and lace.

copyright Nancy Whitman, used with permission


So that’s my wrap-up of gorgeous shawls that caught my eye from this year’s GAL. Tune in again tomorrow when I’ll cover my Favourite Colourwork Patterns of the GAL.


It’s Gift-A-Long Time Again

For those of us involved in the inner workings of the Indie Design GiftALong, the excitement has been building for months. There’s a lot of work that goes into putting on the big show so for us it’s been a slow but steady buildup.

But, for the participants, now is the time to start getting excited! It’s time! Starting tonight, specifically at 8:00 pm EST November 19th, the sale begins and the crafting gets underway. The knitty-gritty of it is thus:

Infographic created by Kimberly Golynskiy


There are 335 participating Independent Designers, who offer knit and crochet patterns. They have selected 5-20 of their self-published patterns to offer at 25% with the coupon code giftalong2015. This sale will run from November 19th at 8pm EST until November 27th at 11:59pm EST. To find out which designers are participating and which of their patterns are on sale, check out this Ravelry thread. Clicking on the designer’s name in their post will take you to their Ravelry store, and further clicking on their GiftALong bundle will take you to their collection of sale items.

The next part of the fun is the actual GiftALong. Join the Indie Design Giftalong Group and join in the chat and crafting in any of the categories with any pattern from a participating designer. There will be lots of games and prizes given out, and anyone working on a not-free pattern from one of the participating designers will be eligible to win. This part of the GAL will run until December 31st at 11:59 pm.

So, if this sounds fun and interesting, as it should, head on over to the group on Ravelry and read the more comprehensive explanation and rules and join the fun! I will be posting more about the GAL and some of the talented participating designers over the next weeks, so stay tuned for more!

Giveaway – Featured Independent Designer: Michelle Krause

I was fortunate to have Michelle Krause of Leah Michelle Designs agree to an interview with me for the final installment of my designer series.


I asked Michelle my Five Questions, and here’s how she answered.

1) Tell us a little about yourself.

I live in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, which is in northern Canada. I have lived here pretty well all my life so knitwear has always been a staple in my wardrobe. I can’t imagine not living in knitwear! I learned to knit when I was young but didn’t stick with it. I always meant to get back to it but didn’t until I had my own children and decided that I was going to knit hats and mittens for them. I started knitting obsessively and haven’t stopped since.

I am still knitting for my kids, who are teenagers now, and for my husband and of course for myself. I am a teacher and school administrator but I’m on my year off right now – so I have even more time for knitting – yay!

Cables and Twists

2) How did you start designing?

I often modified the patterns I was knitting and there were certain things I always changed to fit my needs or my style. So I just eventually decided that I should write my own patterns to share those techniques or ideas that I thought were important. I gave it a try and it became very addictive! For me it brings together so many things I enjoy – knitting, creating, writing, publishing. It is very rewarding.

Boxy Cowl

3) How would you describe your design style?

That’s a hard question to answer. I just design what feels right to me and that is hard to put into words. I guess the words I would use to describe my design style would be: uncomplicated, clean, simple, symmetrical, natural, textural, luxurious. I love to work with luxurious fibres like wool, silk, and cashmere.

I design accessories, which are great for gift knitting, probably because most of my own knitting has always been accessories that I give to others.

Heavenly Stole

4) What is your favourite pattern of your own design?

That changes all the time. Right now my favourite pattern is my Fashion Forward Cowl. It is big and squishy and warm. I’m really in love with it.

Fashion Forward cowl

My first scarf pattern – Just A Little Twist – will always have a special place in my heart because it was my first paid pattern and it sold really well when I published it. It was such a thrill!

Just a little twist

5) Are you doing any gift knitting this year?

My holiday gift knitting is always primarily for my mom and for my sister. They are my biggest fans and I always knit for them at Christmas. So yes, I have ordered the yarn and I will be getting to work on that very, very soon. I can’t give away all the details here (they could be listening), but I might be knitting a Fashion Forward Hat or two this season!

Fashion forward hat

I’d like to thank Michelle so much for her great answers. It’s been a real pleasure browsing through her designs for this interview, they really are gorgeous.

Michelle has been so generous to keep the tradition of providing a free pattern to one commenter on the interview. So, leave a comment below, telling us your favourite Leah Michelle Designs pattern, before midnight MST on Tuesday, December 1st and I will do a draw the next day to choose a winner. Good luck!