It’s Gift-A-Long Time!

It’s Gift-A-Long time again! The fantastic promotion, social event that went so well last year is happening again.

GAL14_logo-800For a quick overview of what the Gift-A-Long is all about, check out the amazing infographic that was put together by designer Kimberly Golynskiy:


Quick details:

1) 293 independent designers are offering a bunch of their patterns for 25% off from November 13th until November 21st at midnight EST.

2) Thousands of knitters and crocheters are crafting along together, sharing photos of their works-in-progress and finished-objects on Ravelry. This part of the event runs from November 13th until December 31st at midnight EST.

3) There are literally thousands of prizes to be won during the event, including free patterns, yarn, notions and even interchangeable needle sets.

If you’d like to browse the patterns that are on sale you can check out the amazing Pinterest boards that a hoard of volunteers have put together.

 Hats and Head Things

Cowls, Scarves, and Neck Things

Shawls and Stoles

Sweaters and Other Garments

Hand and Arm Things

Feet and Leg Things

Baby and Kid Things (except Toys)

Toys, Home, and Miscellaneous Things

All of my self-published non-free designs are included in the sale. You can see them here in my Gift-A-Long Bundle.

GAL 2014 Collage

One of the most fun parts of the Gift-A-Long for us designers is the chance to hang out together and support each other. Really, that was the purpose of the event from the outset: Indie designers pooling their resources to lift each other up. In that spirit, I’m going to be featuring some of my favourite designers on the blog over the next few weeks. Keep watching for your chance to win some prizes too!

Featured Indie Designer – Elizabeth Green Musselman

This is an extra-special Featured Indie Designer post for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it includes an interview with the lovely Elizabeth Green Musselman of Dark Matter Knits. Secondly, it features a fantastic giveaway, which you can read about at the end of the post.

Without further ado, I’ll let Elizabeth speak for herself since she gave such great answers to my questions…

1) Tell us a little about yourself.
I’ve had a pretty itinerant life. I grew up in an Army family, so we moved about once every two years, which in some ways was tough, but I did get to live in Germany for six years in junior high and high school, and that was an amazing experience. At various times, I’ve wanted to be an architect, aeronautical engineer, and science journalist, but through some funny twists and turns ended up getting a Ph.D. in the history of science, and for 13 years I taught history at Southwestern University, a wonderful liberal arts college near my current home in Austin, Texas. I needed a change, though, and two years ago, I quit that job to pursue a career as a freelance knitting designer, editor, and teacher. I’m now the book designer for Cooperative Press, design knitting patterns with a focus on men and boys under the moniker Dark Matter Knits, do graphic design work for people in the fiber industry, and teach knitting classes. My sweet husband is a philosophy professor at another liberal arts college in town, and our nine-year-old son is one of the funniest, quirkiest people I have ever known. I pretty much adore him with every woolly fiber of my being.
2) How did you start designing?
 That started about five years ago. I had been knitting for a long time (about 25 years at that point), so I’d been fascinated to watch how the internet exploded the world of knitting design. I’d always thought of pattern design as something that only a select few professionals did, but in the mid-1990s, I started seeing younger women and men who’d been knitting for just one or two years getting their designs out there, and I thought, “Why on earth am I not doing this? It looks like so much fun!” Since I have two guys in my life whom I love to knit for, I thought I’d find a niche by focusing on designs for men and school-aged boys.
3) Which is your favorite of your designs?
That’s a tough one to answer, and I’d probably have a completely different answer tomorrow, but today I’ll choose my Modern Tartan sweater. I designed that for a pattern collection published by Hill Country Weavers, one of my LYSes and one of just a handful of stores that carries Jared Flood’s Shelter yarn. The challenge in my case was to create something for men with Shelter. I knew Flood would publish his own designs, and knew the muted, classic aesthetic he would choose, so I decided to go for something completely different: a colorful, vibrant, graphic look. I kept experimenting until I hit upon a combination of vertical and horizontal stripes that I liked. Then I structured the garment to look and fit like one of those zip-neck fleece pullovers.

My favorite of the designs that I included in the GAL—that is, of my self-published designs—might be my Cattywampus Hat. I love unusual constructions that are simple to knit, and this hat is a perfect example of that. The hat is worked up and down, and simple short rows and decrease/increase combinations are used to shape the crown and creates the biasing effect.
4) What has been your favorite part of the GAL so far?
I’ve been delighted by how much community has formed around it; I didn’t expect that. Not only have the designers themselves really pitched in to make this work incredibly successfully—Lindsay Lewchuk (aka ecochicknits) deserves particular credit for that—but also people who have purchased the patterns are having a wonderful time participating in all the KAL/CALs and playing the various games that the organizers have come up with. It’s been a huge success.
5) Are you doing any gift knitting this year?

A little—I tend not to plan on any, except gifts for my son’s teachers, but I get as many gifts knit or crocheted as I can. This year it’s looking like I’m not going to get very far! I’m sure none of you know the feeling….


I’d like to thank Elizabeth for such a great interview, it was a pleasure.

And now for the giveaway! Elizabeth was gracious enough to offer a copy of her Cattywampus Hat pattern to one of my lucky readers. Just leave a comment below telling us which of her patterns is your favorite before Dec. 21st at 11:59 pm EST.  I’ll do a random number draw and will announce the lucky winner the next day. Good luck!

Featured Indie Designer of the Day: Laura Aylor

I just finished up another project for the Indie Design Gift-A-Long! This one is Devonshire Cream by Laura Aylor.

Devonshire Cream on hangerThe cowl is knit as a tube that eventually is grafted together, with the finished project like an inner tube. The result is a cowl that has no “wrong side” and is extra warm and squishy. I used baby llama yarn that is so super soft, it will be a pleasure to wear around the neck. Unfortunately, this cowl is destined for someone else so I will not be experiencing the luxury.

Laura’s other patterns are also beautiful. Like my last featured designer, Laura’s designs are very elegant and have a very clean look. I’ve seen a number of her patterns come up in the Scarves and Cowls thread I’m moderating in the GAL, including the beautiful Oak Park and the extremely popular Tuck.

All of Laura’s paid-for patterns from her Ravelry Store are eligible for the Gift-A-Long. Although the discount period has already ended there’s still lots of time to participate in the GAL and win some great prizes. Patterns that have previously been purchased are eligible as are those that are purchased full-priced!

Indie Design Gift-A-Long


I’m so excited to announce the official kickoff for the Indie Design Gift-A-Long!

From Nov. 1 until Nov. 15 you can take advantage of a 25% discount when using the giftalong coupon code offered on over 2000 patterns from indie designers on Ravelry. For a brief catalog and list of designers involved check out this Ravelry thread.

If you are not a Raverly member you can also check out the Pinterest boards. A team of very dedicated designers (including yours-truly) pinned all of the 2000+ designs over a period of just a few days! You will be able to click through from the Pinterest boards to the pattern listing on Ravelry for purchase even if you’re not a Ravelry member. There are boards covering all the categories in the GAL and I’m planning to feature a new one here each day over the next week or so. For now you can check out the “Today’s Featured Indie Patterns” board which will slowly fill with all the patterns over the period of the discount.

Beyond the discount and knitting eye-candy, there is also the very exciting Gift-A-Long (GAL) running from November 1 to December 31. Crafters are encouraged to knit or crochet their eligible patterns along with each other in a number of threads in the GAL group. Those joining along in the fun have hundreds (that’s right, hundreds) of chances to win prizes. You can check out the prize details here.

All of my paid patterns will be included in the promotion and will be available for 25% off with the coupon code giftalong until the end of day November 15th. I’m also anticipating releasing two new patterns during the time of the GAL so you’ll be able to get them discounted right away!

I hope you all get a chance to check out some (or all) of the indie designers involved in this promotion, they are an amazing bunch of people who produce beautiful work! I’m hoping to feature a different designer each day here so stay tuned.