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Just before Christmas, I participated as a designer in the Indie Gift-along on Ravelry.  One of the best parts was the chance to get to know other designers and become familiar with their work.

Alicia Landi of Wollen Diversions is one of my new favorites and she kindly let me interview her recently!  Read on to learn more about her and gaze at some of her fabulous and wearable designs...

Why did you start designing knitting patterns and what are your favorite items to design?  I started writing knitting patterns because I had particular items I wanted to  design for myself and thought others might like to make them too.  I enjoy both  writing and teaching and knitting patterns feels a little bit like teaching  people through writing.  My favorite items to design are accessories: socks,  hats, cowls, and mitts. I have a few shawl and scarf ideas kicking around as well.

Where do you find inspiration for your designs?  Sometimes a design is based just on something I want to knit or wear: usually  something pretty simple to work with a fun detail or two to keep things  interesting.  Most of my knitting gets done on the run so it needs to be good multitasking knitting. Since I’m a biologist, I’m often inspired by nature as  well, like with my Dissipative cowl.

Can you give us some hints on upcoming designs for 2014?
  2013 was an unfortunately slow year for designs as I began a new job and worked on wedding planning and writing a science publication, which cut into my design time.  This means I have a whole backlog of designs I’ve been itching to get developed.  My first will be a sister pattern to Dissipative, a coordinating hat.
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Beribboned Wrists
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Giving Comfort
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Syrinx Shells
 
 
Have you heard about the Indie Design Gift-a-long? It’s time to prepare for
gift season and indie designers want to help. There are about 175 designers
involved in the Gift-a-long and we’re all offering select patterns at a 25%
discount from now until November 15. Check out the Ravelry group for lots of exciting information, like KALs and tons of prizes.

Look around Ravelry for the cute Giftalong tags identifying participating
designers and patterns. There’s even Pinterest boards showing all the eligible
patterns by category.

Now I’m off to shop for some new patterns and start some gift knitting of my
own! Let me know what you find to tempt you and post some photos of your
projects. I’m definitely starting with the Uchiwa mittens and hat.

 
 
It’s that time of year again… snow returns to the Canadian north… so it's time
for my annual First Snowfall Sale.  Welcome winter with a discount on patterns
designed to keep you warm and cozy as the weather turns frosty outside!

I'm offering a 25% discount on the purchase
of the patterns for Snow Flurry MittensLychgate Socks, Precambrian Cable Socks, and/or Vertigo Fingerless Gloves from October 24, 2013 
through October 31, 2013.  Offer applies only to purchases through my Ravelry
shop using the coupon code SNOW2013.  Find details of the sale in the dedicated thread in my Rav group.
 
 
 
 
Remember Penuche Twist Socks?  That pattern was my first collaboration with Suzan of Barking Dog Yarns.  She dyed a faulous caramel colourway especially for that design and we had lots of fun  offering the pattern as a KAL in her ravelry group.

Now  we're at it again!  Suzan provided me with some of her BDY Achilles sock yarn in the gorgeous Old Stone Wall colourway and asked me to design another KAL pattern.  So.... introducing Lychgate Socks....
The pattern is being featured as the July/August KAL in the Barking Dog Yarns group on Ravelry.  A coupon code in the KAL thread allows participants, and other resourceful folks, to obtain the pattern for free until August 31, 2013.  Of course, it's also available for purchase at its regular price through my Ravelry shop, on Patternfish and Craftsy, and through this website.
 
 
One of the things I love best about Craftsy is their free knitting mini-courses.  These classes are a great way to focus on a particular techinique or topic.  You can learn a lot without a huge time commitment and you can watch at your own pace and schedule.  And the free price gives you no excuses... sign up now!

The next free Craftsy mini-courses that I'm  planning to take are:
Know Your Wool:  This class promises to tell all about different types of wool and their  individual characteristics.   It could be really helpful for selecting and substituting yarns for my own designs and other projects.
Short Rows: This class teaches a variety of techniques for creating short rows.  It should prove useful for the shwal designs that I'm working on now.

And if you're into crafts other than knitting, check out all of the other free Craftsy mini-courses by clicking here.  I'm tempted by some of the quilting and sewing offerings!
 
 
Stay tuned for new patterns!  I'm feverishly working on several designs to be released soon.  There's another sock pattern for one of my favorite indie dyers... imagine twisted stitches, cables and a hint of lace.  And there's a shawl worked in two colors of laceweight yarn... floaty and pretty.  Can't give away too many details yet.
 
 
It's minus 25 degrees Celsius in Yellowknife today, but apparently spring is just around the corner!  And so Craftsy is having a spring sale on selected classes.  It's a great opportunity to sign up and new something new.  And you can view the classes whenever and as often as you want.  I've signed up for quite a few knitting and designing classes.  Now I just need to find the time to watch them. 
Craftsy
 
 
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Tundra Trails Socks
I've just released the pattern for Tundra Trails Socks.  These casual socks were inspired by the tundra of the Canadian arctic in autumn.  Just like the tundra, they appear deceptively simple but closer examination reveals hidden depth and complexity.

These socks are worked from the top down.  They feature a simple cable and rib pattern which tranforms into a more elaorate design over the instep.  Like all of my sock designs, the pattern consists of charted stitch patterns and written instructions.

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Caribou at Daring Lake
I started these socks while camping at a research station at Daring Lake in the Northwest Territories.  The tundra was spectacular with its autumn colors and we were fortunate to see several caribou while hiking on the eskers.

 
 
It’s that time of year again… snow returns to the Canadian north… so it's time for my annual First Snowfall Sale.  Welcome winter with a discount on patterns designed to warm your hands as the weather turns frosty both inside and outside!

I'm offering a 25% discount on the purchase of the patterns for Snow Flurry Mittens, Cordelia Fingerless Gloves and/or Vertigo Fingerless Gloves from October 24, 2012 through October 31, 2012.  Offer applies only to purchases through my Ravelry shop using the coupon code SNOW2012.  Find details of the sale in the dedicated thread in my Rav group.