Announcements: Fasten Off YAL and a New Shopping Option

A handknit cowl, hat, cardigan, and socks.

A quick post with a couple of updates. First, when I released the Winding Stream Socks pattern, I decided to test out a new purchase option using Payhip. I’m happy to report that I am now slowly adding my other downloadable patterns to my Payhip site. This offers another option for purchasing my patterns off Ravelry, in addition to Etsy and LoveCrafts. I’m also hoping this will offer a way to easily purchase patterns through my website – it won’t be a full web shop, but you’ll be able to click through from the website straight to the pattern you want to purchase.

Second, the first ever Fasten Off YAL kicked off on Wednesday, and runs through December 5th. I am participating along with 90+ other knit and crochet designers. The Fasten Off YAL is taking place entirely off Ravelry, with community discussion being hosted on Discord. Click the button below to get all the details and join the fun. There will of course be prizes, and they’ve also created a special playlist on Spotify and there is even a bingo card. Through December 5th most of my participating patterns are 25% off with the code FO2020 on Etsy, Payhip, and Ravelry. Most of my patterns available as individual patterns are included, and you can see the full bundle in my Etsy shop.


Kerry models the blue Winding Stream Socks while wearing cuffed jeans against red brick stairs.

New Pattern Release – Winding Stream Socks

I’ve finally released a pattern that has been on the back burner for some time – the Wandering Stream Socks. I had a skein of hand dyed yarn I bought as a souvenir on a trip to Estes Park, Colorado (as one does). I wanted a pattern that would be a bit more fun to knit than plain stockinette or ribbing, and that would show off the variegated yarn without overwhelming it. So I decided on a simple cable pattern offset by purl stitches, with a short-row heel to avoid interrupting the flow of the colors. The socks are knit toe up, with both charted and written instructions for the cable, and are sized for toddler through adult XL feet.

Close-up of the left sock showing the German short row heel.

The Winding Stream Socks pattern is 15% off until November 8th. Newsletter subscribers – keep an eye on your inbox for a 30% discount code.

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Knits gifts now available

A teal and gray striped hat and mitts on a stone board lay on a bamboo mat. An evergreen bough sits to the left.
Icy Stripes Hat and Mitts. Photo courtesy of Interweave.

I’m excited to have both a pattern and a technique article (my first article!) in this year’s Interweave Knits: Gifts edition. The Icy Stripes Hat and Mitts pattern was inspired by two skeins of vintage Germantown worsted yarn that I found in a thrift shop. (If you don’t know the story behind the original Germantown yarns, you can read more in a Kelbourne Woolens’ blog post.) What better project for such a classic yarn than a classic striped hat and fingerless mitts! This hat and mitts are knitted in Blue Sky Fibers Woolstok Worsted, a deliciously soft and squishy 100% wool yarn.

The accompanying article covers two methods of knitting jogless one-row stripes in the round using helical knitting knitting techniques. You can purchase the individual pattern of the Icy Stripes Hat and Mitts or a digital edition of the magazine on the Interweave website.

Speaking of techniques, I’m planning a few technique posts here on the blog – on topics like how to memorize a cable pattern or how to choose colors for Fair Isle knitting. Stay tuned – and let me know what you’d like to see!

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Thoughts on Inclusion in the Knitting Community

There have been multiple conversations happening recently around inclusion in the knitting world, and I wanted to write my thoughts about these conversations in one place. It’s probably overdue, but it’s given me a chance to really think through all of the issues that are being discussed.

My core values as a business are sustainability, community, and integrity, and I want to talk about what those mean to me.

Sustainability

I have been concerned about environmental impact for a long time. Before starting this business I worked as an environmental engineer, and my concern about fast fashion is one of the reasons I started making many of my own clothes.

As a designer sustainability to me means, first and foremost, designing for longevity. I want you to knit a garment that will last, and that is modern and fresh but still timeless enough not to be cast aside when the next trend comes along. It also means using natural, low impact materials as much as possible. It does not mean following a certain design aesthetic. I also love to knit with yarns that are local to me and have knit myself two sweaters using only yarns available from a local farm. I am an active member of the Piedmont Fibershed, which seeks to support an equitable, local fiber economy in my region. I am exploring ways to use more local fibers in my designs while allowing for a yarn selection that is locally available to the knitter.

It’s true that sustainable materials can cost more because they reflect the true cost of manufacturing and fair labor standards. However, I do design patterns using yarns at a variety of price points that I feel are going to stand up well. I always give full yardage information and yarn content and characteristics in my patterns, and my test knitters use a range of yarns in their projects. I also give yardage information so that you don’t end up buying significantly more yarn than you need for the project, another way of making knitting more sustainable – just keep in mind that yardage requirements are estimates and may vary depending on the yarn chosen and how you knit.

Community

I unequivocally believe in a community where everyone is welcome. While I have been in engaged in anti-racist learning and action personally over the past several years, as a white woman whose sole employee is me, and who doesn’t yet have a large audience or platform, it’s tempting to sit back and dream about what I can do once my business grows. But the thing is, I already support small, local and independent businesses whenever I can. And I can do more to support independent BIPOC-owned businesses. I am currently auditing where I spend my dollars and looking for ways to align my spending with my values. And I can look for collaborations that support those businesses and makers too. I also am committed to giving a percentage of my income back to the community, and I’m making it a priority to shift my support to organizations that are run by the communities they serve.

Size Inclusivity

All of my independently published garment designs are sized to fit at least a 30-60 inch bust measurement, and I am continually working on improving my sizing. If you’d like to help with that please participate in my test knits! I will commit to working with you on any issues that arise so that you come away with a garment that you’re happy with.

Accessibilty

To tell you the truth, this is an area I am still learning about. I am looking into making my patterns, as well as my website and social media, more accessible. I do work hard to write my patterns clearly and succinctly so they are easy to follow for as many knitters as possible. I offer directions in both charted and written form where it is useful, and going forward I plan to include symbols as well as colors in my colorwork charts so they are easier to read and can be printed in black and white. Since Ravelry’s new design has made it inaccessible to many, I am working on making more of my knitting patterns available on Etsy, in both print and digital format, and most of my independently published patterns are already available on the LoveCrafts website. You can find links to those sources on my front page.

Integrity

I chose to go into business for myself because I wanted my work to align with my life and my values, and to truly reflect who I am in the world. All of this is a work in progress, and I’m not claiming to do any of it perfectly. I do commit to continuing to work toward the kind of fiber community I want to see, and to be accountable in my work.

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Backshore Pullover

My newest design, the Backshore Pullover, is now available in the Fall 2019 issue of Knitscene magazine. This design was inspired by a family trip to the Great Lakes region, near where I grew up. The Great Lakes are dotted with lighthouses, and the colorwork motifs of the sweater were inspired by photographs of the Fresnel lens, which was utilized in many lighthouses around the world.

Backshore features a classic yoke contruction, knit from the bottom up in the round. Sleeves are knit in the round and joined to the body at the yoke. It’s sized from 36 1/2 – 51 3/4 inches and is knit in Rauma Garn Tumi, a lovely and soft sport weight blend of wool and alpaca. More details can be found on the Ravelry page.

ETA: I posted a couple of pics of me modeling the sample size, and I thought it would be a good idea to post them here. I was hoping to get some better photos first – I snapped these quickly before sending the sample off – but here goes. This is the 36 1/2″ size, and I have a 38″ full bust, so the fit is a bit less slouchy on me.