What to stash this week: Otterly adorable yarn

An otter with gray and brown yarn.

This month’s Knitting Our National Parks colorway from Kim of The Woolen Rabbit is inspired by this adorable photo of an otter at the Alaska Peninsula National Wildlife Refuge. Everybody Otter Knit — which is much easier to pet than an actual otter! — will be available on two bases: Pearl, an 80/20 blend of Merino/nylon, and Wren, a DK-weight Superwash Merino.

You can preorder the yarn here through Friday, December 20; it will ship the last week of January. As always, 10% of sales will be donated to the National Park Foundation.

A hand holds a white plastic bunny and silver and yellow plastic sheep.

Speaking of animals, Michelle of Crafty Flutterby Creations has added some sparkly friends to her menagerie of creature-shaped “end minders.”

A cake of blue gradient yarn with patterns.

The Yarnover Truck Happiness Gradient Yarn Club is open to new members. The second half of this club includes three packages with a gradient colorway from Apple Tree Knits, knit and crochet patterns and fun themed extras.

A maroon and taupe colorwork beanie.

Welcome the colder weather with Mona’s new Let It Snow hat pattern! This colorwork pattern is available in both tammy and beanie style.

Fuzzy teal yarn.

IU newcomer Lester of Prosper Yarns is obsessed with Goddess, her laceweight Kid Mohair/Merino.

White yarn speckled with green and red.

Victoria of Eden Cottage Yarns has a new colourway called Festive Fun that is available to preorder.

Tahoma Vista Fiber Mill has a selection of mill-spun alpaca yarns in natural colors.

The FunHouse Cowl is a new customizable crochet design from ReVe Design Co.

What to stash this week: Yarny holidays

Hanukkah collage with orange, purple, pink and gray yarn.

The dyers collaborating with me on this Indie Untangled Eight Nights of Hanukkah Kit all have their own beautiful aesthetics: Spencer and Reggie of The Fiberists create vibrant semisolids, Julia of Pandia’s Jewels has a talent for subtle speckles and Raya of Blissful Knits is known for her colorful mini skeins. While their full skeins/mini sets for the kit will be a surprise, here is an example of their talents.

Preorders are open only through the end of the day today. I hope you celebrate with us!

Pink, green and blue yarn.

Sue of Invictus Yarns is also getting ready for the holidays (it’s not too early!) and has been adding to her collection of holiday colorways, restocked some that had sold out and have added gift cards to the shop.

A beige oversized cardigan

Issue 4 of the NF Magazine comes out today and is filled with fall warmth. It includes four knitting patterns and three cold-weather recipes.

A pink scarf that looks like leaves.

Andi Smith’s newest book for Cooperative Press, called Scarves Two Ways, will make you a scarf knitter again. The book, released at Rhinebeck, includes a dozen new scarf designs using a variety of techniques. The patterns are both charted and fully written out, hence there are two ways you can create them. The motifs from scarf to scarf also riff off each other. You can save $6.95 through the end of 2019 by using the code STARGAZER on Ravelry.

What to stash this week: Fall and Frida

Gray yarn with gold and green speckles and olive green yarn labeled Aran, DK and Sock

If you want to get on the fall sweater train, tomorrow is the last day you can get on board and preorder La Bien Aimée’s Indie Untangled exclusive olive Hudson and speckled Kingston colorways on Merino DK and Super Sock. And as of “press time” there are only seven skeins of Merino Aran in Kingston and three in Hudson — enough for Andrea Mowry’s Untangled shawl and/or possibly one sweater.

Bag with Frida Kahlo fabric

A special Slipped Stitch Studios collection of bags and accessories in unique Frida Kalo fabrics and designs goes live today at 9 a.m. Pacific.

A cake of tweed blue to aqua to cream gradient yarn

Elisabeth’s new Wolle’s Yarn Creations tweed yarns are here! These 480-yard fingering-weight gradient cakes come in skin-soft cotton/silk.

Skeins of tan, blue, green and yellow yarn

Robin of Birch Hollow Fibers has debuted her super local Sojourner Sock, with U.S. Merino, New York Romney and a touch of nylon, milled at Battenkill Fibers. It will be listed in her shop today at 6 p.m. Eastern.

A drawstring bag with fall leaf fabric

Get your knitting ready for fall with Augusta of adKnits’ latest shop update! It includes a fall-themed project bag in an original fabric, new stitch markers and new stickers, including this adorable crafty bear.

A brown and purple variegated yarn

Shanna of Lambstrings Yarn has a couple of new colorways, including OOAK Leaf Pile, which is just like jumping into a giant pile of yarn leaves.

Skeins of teal, hot pink, orange, red, bright yellow and light pink yarn

Aimee of Pancake and Lulu has a new website and is offering 20% off any orders placed through September 2 with the code INDIEFRIEND.

Yellow hand-dyed yarn

Robin of October House Fiber Arts has restocked Honey Jar, one of her most popular colorways, on several bases.

Pink yarn

Seathra of Stravaigin Yarn Co. is offering 25% off select naturally-dyed yarns with the code AUTUMN25.

Yellow and berry colored yarn

Shauna of Farm Girl Fibers has some new fall-inspired colors and a Halloween color available for preorder.

A lacy ivory shawl with a rainbow at the bottom

Stacey oF Fierce Fibers has kits for Carissa Browning’s Above the Fold shawl that are 15% off until September 6.

A lace scarf in lime green, purple and ivory

Joan of White Lies Designs’ Botanical Scarf Yarn Pack comes with three balls of 100% Cashmere in the three colors shown here and the “The Botanical Scarf Collection” e-book, which contains patterns for these lacy fall foliage-themed scarves.

Summit Road Fibers just released a new fall collection.

Handmaine Knits has enamel camp mugs for sweater knitters.

Wild Hair Studio has opened preorders for Hogsmead Treat Bags.

What to stash this week: a peony for your thoughts on a night hike

Dark blue, bright pink and speckled yarn with pink peonies.

Back by popular demand is Duck Duck Wool’s popular Glaciers & Wildflowers colorway for the Knitting Our National Parks project, available on a Merino/silk single fingering and Merino DK. This Glacier National Park colorway is joined by extremely limited amounts of two new complementary semisolids — Night Hike and Peony For Your Thoughts. I just finished a Tegna sweater in the original colorway and I am in love with it.

A model in a long gray dress wears a coral lace scarf.

Selena of Sweater Sisters knows what makes for the best summer project. Her Sedona Lace Scarf Kit, inspired by the red rock mountains in Sedona, Arizona, is everything a summer knitting project should be. Kits come with a generously-sized skein of WayfaringYarns’ Shangri-La Lace (75% extra fine Merino/25% Mulberry silk) to knit the squishy garter scarf with an easy-to-memorize lace pattern. And there are five color choices, including Apex, a bright coral inspired by Selena’s childhood home, and also Pantone’s color of the year.

A glass of ice, bottles of Wolffer Estate pink gin and Fever Tree tonic water and two skeins of pink yarn.

Speaking of summer knitting, here’s a bit of a more rustic project that also meets all the requirements, and comes with some bonus sparkle. The Dye Project’s Rosé On Rambouillet colorway is pictured here with the makings for my favorite summer drink. Rosé and Rambouillet Kits also include the pattern for designer Tamy Gore’s Dusky Rose shawl and a rose gold glitter sheep pin from Nerd Bird Makery. Preorder your kit by July 5.

A silver twisted necklace in front of blue yarn.

Jen of Porterness Studio has beautiful new sterling silver Yarn Twist earrings and necklaces inspired by hanks of yarn, plus a new Knit necklace if you want to be less subtle. Get 20% off your order through Monday with the code TwistedIU20.

A gray t-shirt with a black yarn pirate and the word yarrrrrn.

If you want to be really obvious about your fiber love, grab one of Christine of Treasure Goddess Yarn’s Pirate Sheep Shirts in charcoal gray or light teal, which are on sale for $20 through July 8. Have too many T-shirts? She also has pirate sheep pins and keychains.

Black and white plastic sheep wrapped in green yarn.

Joining her Suavest Sheep and Lovable Lambs, Michelle of Crafty Flutterby Creations’ new Sensational Sheep are ready to tackle your next colorwork project. These 3D-printed notions come in two sizes for 5 to 8 yards of fingering-weight or 5 yards of worsted-weight yarn.

A hand squishes red, white and blue variegated yarn.

Melanie of Baad Mom Yarns is giving her yarn a money-back guarantee with her new Wish To Squish Program. If you don’t think the color matches the photo or the yarn isn’t soft enough for your princess skin, you can send it back within three business days.

Pink speckled yarn.

Shanna of Lambstrings Yarn has limited quantities of two new colorways available in her shop. Zodiac is a dark and moody colorway with pops of brightness and Petunia is a light peach speckle. Her shop is stocked with plenty of other lovely skeins.

The illustration of an armchair with the words Advent Calendar 2019.

Amy of Summit Road Fibers’ is taking preorders for Advent calendars that come with more than 2,500 yards of hand-dyed deluxe sock yarn, all individually wrapped and ready to count to Christmas, plus a full-size skein to open on Christmas Day.

Preorders for the Pandia’s Jewels Interstellar Yarn Travel Set close at 8 p.m. Eastern time today.

Sign-ups are open through today for the October House Fiber Arts Summer Camp Sock Club.

What to stash this week: yarn wizardry

Jennifer of Spirit Trail Fiberworks was inspired by the photo to create not one, but two colorways for the latest Knitting Our National Parks installment, including one that debuts a new base. Her speckled Winter Wizardry will be dyed on Aurora, a 100% Superwash Merino single-ply fingering, while Wizard Sky will be dyed on Flou (which means fluffy in French) a laceweight mohair/silk blend that would be perfect to carry along with Aurora.

Both colorways will be available to preorder on Indie Untangled through Friday, December 21. As always, 10% of sales will be donated to the National Park Foundation.

Tonight at 8 p.m. Eastern, Nancy of Tika Bags is holding her first ever Facebook Live sale! There will be special products just for the sale, including her Deja Vue clear box bag in new fabrics, matching Zippity Vue mini bags, mega-popular sweater-sized Zippity Vue large bags and a few Tika Bags kits that include a Deja Vue project bag with skein of Twisted Owl Studio sock yarn.

Miranda’s new Frail scarf is a garden of elegant brioche. Indie Untangled readers get 30% off until December 14 with the code INDIEFRAIL, with the pattern including a discount for the gorgeous recommended yarn.

Just in time for sweata weatha, Debbie of Murky Depths Dyeworks is debuting newest base, Neptune DK. It’s a 100% Merino that’s perfectly squishy and is available in seven saturated colors, including a new hauntingly beautiful gray called Ghost Rider.

Sign-ups are open for the Little Women installment of McMullin Fiber Co.’s Literature Society. Get a single or double dose of yarn in an exclusive colorway that celebrates the March family and their friends.

Slipped Stitch Studios has a winter collection of yarn socks and project bags available and Llamicorns will be back in the shop today at 9 a.m. Pacific. As part of the December fun, orders over $50, instead of $100, get free U.S. shipping.

Heather’s Yarn Barn has some new colorways in addition to crocheted velvet hair scrunchies with free domestic shipping. You can also spin the wheel when you visit her store and get the chance to win discounts from 5% to 25% off.

October House Fiber Arts has a new colorway called Social Graces, the perfect neutral, dyed on Robin’s incredibly soft and silky MCS Fingering.

Buy one skein from the Pandia’s Jewels Jane Austen-inspired Regency Collection and get a set of stitch markers free with the code JANESBDAY.

Michelle of Crafty Flutterby Creations’ new Warwick Reflections shawl is inspired by Warwick Castle and the River Avon. A Warwick Reflections kit includes yarn from Why Knot Fibers and a Celtic Shawl Pin.

Signups for the Yarnover Truck’s Yarn Club is open to new members until Wednesday.

Once Upon A Corgi has new enamel pins with doggies and yarn.

Kitterly gets ready for Rhinebeck

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From left to right: Kitterly co-founders Elizabeth Rowen and and Mari Bower.

This is the ninth in a series of blog posts featuring the fabulous sponsors of the 2018 Rhinebeck Trunk Show.

Can you believe it’s exactly one month until Indie Untangled — and Rhinebeck?! Before this popular knitting weekend extravaganza, I asked Elizabeth Rowen and Mari Bower, the founders of Kitterly, which sells knitting and crochet kits, to talk about their plans for Rhinebeck and their predictions for this year’s most popular Indie Untangled and Rhinebeck sweaters.

Who are you both most looking forward to seeing at the Indie Untangled Rhinebeck Trunk Show?

We’re really excited to see the variety of products, new products that inspire us and catch up with our vendors and meet new ones!

What are each of your Top 5 favorite Kitterly kits from the last year?

Mari: From a site popularity standpoint, the Sushi Scarf by Stephanie Shiman and Wonderland Yarns is a perennial favorite with our customers.

We’ve been so fortunate to work with so many amazing designers like Andrea Mowry, Isabell Kraemer and Melanie Berg, to name a few. It’s been fun to meet and feature designers from all over the world.

Liz: I love them all! Our designers as so talented and it’s always so inspiring to work with them.

Sushi Scarf by Stephanie Shiman.

Are there any indie dyers and designers that you think should be on knitters’ radars?

Mara of Aya Fibers
Steffi of Uschitita
Renee of Spun Right Round
Aimee of La Bien Aimée

There are so many more we could list but we’re running out of space!

What are you both planning to wear to Indie Untangled and the New York Sheep & Wool Festival?

Mari: Depending on weather I’m going to wear my newly knit Humulus pullover by Isabel Kraemer knit in The Fibre Company Cumbria and Spincycle Dream State. I hope to be able to finish my Rose cardigan, knit in Olann Sock Sport, in time.

Liz: I’m going bring my Sheltered poncho by Andrea Mowry, my Sipila pullover knit in Olann Singles as well as my Impressionists shawl by Helen Stewart. Hoping to have my Comfort Fade cardi in Olann complete too!

The Throwback © Andrea Mowry

What do you think is going to be the most-seen sweater at Rhinebeck this year?

Mari: I’ll think we’ll see a bunch of The Throwback cardis by Andrea Mowry, Sipila by Caitlin Hunter, Rose cardigan by Andrea Mowry, Carbeth Cardigan by Kate Davies and Weekender by Andrea Mowry.

Liz: I imagine we’ll see many Fading Points by Joji, Comfort Fade Cardi by Andrea Mowry and The Doodler by Stephen West.

Tell me the things that are currently on your needles.

Mari: Rose cardigan by Andrea Mowry and Separate Ways by Joji.

Liz: Comfort Fade Cardi by Andrea Mowry, Neridah by Ambah O’Brien and a test knit for Lesley Robinson of Knit Graffiti.

A WIP of Mix and Mingle by Andrea Mowry.

What are each of your favorite FOs from the last year?

Mari: Weekender by Andrea, Mix and Mingle, a Kitterly Special project for Kitterly by Andrea Mowry, and Kobuk by Caitlin Hunter.

Liz: Too many to name!

What to stash this week: Officially summer knitting

Shanna of Lambstrings Yarn is having a shop update tonight at 7 p.m. Eastern with plenty sock kits. The kits come with one full skein and one mini skein of Tralala Sock (75/25 Superwash Merino/nylon) in contrasting colors for heel/toe/cuff contrast. There are plenty of bright summer shades for your light summer projects.

Christine of Treasure Goddess Yarn just released the Wine Yarn Collection, a limited number of hand-dyed yarn in colorways such as You had me at Merlot…, Feelin’ Fine with Blackberry Wine and Yes Way, Cabernet! The collection has two patterns to show off tonal colorways, including the Chateau Chapeau Wine Cork Hat, which uses slices of wine corks as beads! So, no need to complain that the bottle’s not a twist-off. There are also pirate sheep stemless wine glasses to enjoy with your knitting.

You have until midnight Eastern time tonight to preorder the Leaf Peepers shawl set and full skein of The Road Less Travelled from Canon Hand Dyes. The colorways were inspired by the Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge in Maine and is perfect for your Indie Untangled shawl.

This yarn is part of the Indie Untangled Knitting Our National Parks project. Canon Hand Dyes is one of several dyers creating exclusive-to-IU colorways inspired by photos from the U.S Department of the Interior’s Instagram feed. 10% of sales this round will be donated to the National Wildlife Refuge Association.

Jennifer of Spirit Trail Fiberworks does a great collaboration with her newsletter subscribers in which she dyes colorways inspired by a photo sent by one of them. The June Subscriber Color Inspiration colorways are based on a photograph of a flower at the Ogden Botanical Garden in Utah. There’s one main colorway, called Botanical, a speckled blend of grays, browns, greens, yellow and oranges on a soft gray background, along with orange and green complementary skeins. 

Sheila of Big Foot Fibers sold out of her special Beekeeper Sets, but you can custom order yarn from her to make the buzzy BeeKeeper Cardigan by Olive Knits or Wool & Honey by Andrea Mowry.

Mona’s latest release, the Catch This Thief scarf…, is inspired by the cravat Cary Grant’s character wore in To Catch a Thief. This easy summer knit features a texture and dropped stitch motif and Mona’s sample has a sterling silver shawl ring from IU artisan Porteness Studio.

What to stash this week: Kitted up

Over the weekend, I decided to get creative and put together some kits with The Woolen Rabbit’s newest bases. I have three pairs of Silky Biffle, a blend of BFL and silk, in three different colors that are available with Laura Aylor’s Pennant shawl pattern. I also have a few skeins of Kim’s new Dove base, a Merino/yak/silk blend that I just started using for Anne Hanson’s Shared Rib. Anne designed this clever ribbed cable pattern — which comes with short cowl, scarf and infinity ring options — for the first installment of the 2017 Where We Knit Yarn Club. I love it so much that I’ve decided to include Anne’s pattern at a discount, and before it goes on sale to the general public May 15, with the purchase of a skein.

Visit The Woolen Rabbit shop on Indie Untangled to get your hands on one of the kits. As a reminder, you also get 10% off through April 30 with the code IU3.

It’s finally beginning to feel like spring, and Kim Dyes Yarn is ready with a bunch of new colorways, including the beautiful Peaches pictured above. Her shop update, which takes place at noon Eastern Time today, will include new shawl length skeins on Croissant sock, a 100% Superwash Merino fingering yarn and bulky Cream Puff Superwash Merino.

There are only a couple skeins of the exclusive Berry Colorful Yarnings Indie colorway left! It comes on her self-striping sock yarn, perfect for socks, obviously, but also accessories — cowls, hats — and baby items. You also get 10% off through April 30 with the code IU3.

Beautiful Mess Yarn Works will be having an update of sock yarn inspired by Willie Wonka and his chocolate factory tomorrow.

Pandia’s Jewels has opened preorders for her 12th Doctor Who-inspired sock kit.

Go Knit Yourself is having a weeklong challenge exploring different dyeing techniques via newsletter.

What to stash this week: Knit the force

Many of us are still reeling from one of the last losses of 2016. Laura of Slipped Stitch Studios has decided to honor our favorites princess with her Bag of the Month, a collection of accessories that goes on sale today at 9 a.m. Pacific time. 

Continuing the Star Wars tribute, Julia of Pandia’s Jewels has a batch of Star Wars-inspired items, including two kits with stitch markers and additional colorways, that will be available for pre-order through this Sunday, January 8th.

Toby Roxane Barna, a designer who has long gravitated toward indie-dyed yarns for her shawls, sweaters and other accessories, has launched a line of yarn. The yarns include both subtle and bright semisolid and variegated colorways in fingering and DK weights. You’re sure to find something that would go well with one of Toby’s designs which, coincidentally, are 20% off on Ravelry through January 15th with the code INWITHTHENEW. Oh, and the yarn on her website is 17% off, too, with the same code!

Laura’s latest design, a scarf called Yarn Chicken, is not as daunting as it sounds. It comes with options and notes so that you can maximize the yarn you have, and win your own games of yarn chicken.

Bijou Basin Ranch is giving one lucky person a chance to win two skeins of Xanadu, 100% Mongolian Cashmere yarn, enough to knit Equinox, a pair of thigh-high yoga socks in Jen Geigley’s new book, EVERYDAY.

Untangling: Gilmore Girls knits from lisa lucia

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From left, Lucia and Lisa at extras in Luke’s Diner. Lucia almost finished knitting one of their “Split Infinitive” wrap sweaters during the full day it took to film the diner scene in the “Winter” episode.

From left, Lucia and Lisa at extras in Luke’s Diner. Lucia almost finished knitting one of their “Split Infinitive” wrap sweaters during the full day it took to film the diner scene in the “Winter” episode.

Like so many knitters I know, I was very much looking forward to the new season of Gilmore Girls that premiered on Netflix November 25th. I tried valiantly to avoid spoilers on social media as I was waiting until after I came home from a post-Thanksgiving business trip to Chicago to start watching.

Instead of plot spoilers, my social media feeds blew up with photos of, and links to, two scarves worn by Rory and Paris in the first episode. I soon learned that two Chicago-based designers — Lisa Whiting and Lucia Blanchet of lisa lucia — had connected with Brenda Maben, the Gilmore Girls costume designer, who commissioned the designs, Dots & Dashes and Eponymuff. I had to learn more.

Since I was, coincidentally, in Chicago, I thought I’d be able to meet Lisa and Lucia for coffee at Lukes somewhere in the city last Monday, but they were busy launching kits for their patterns that evening. So, instead, I emailed them some questions and they filled me in on their whirlwind experience, with a written back and forth reminiscent of GG creator Amy Sherman-Palladino’s rat-a-tat dialogue.

lisa-lucia-logo

Tell me how this collaboration came about. How did you meet Gilmore Girls costume designer Brenda Maben?

Lucia: Lisa met her first — she was a regular at the LYS Lisa owned in Chicago, Sifu Design Studio & Fine Yarns, which is also where Lisa and I met as well. I don’t remember exactly when I met Brenda, but I hadn’t been teaching/working at the shop for long before I began to look forward to buckets of tea and yarn talk with Brenda around our scarred green work table.

Brenda and Lisa, taking selfies in the shop.

Brenda and Lisa, taking selfies in the shop.

Lisa: I remember exactly when I met Brenda. It was at my first Sifu location in Andersonville. She came in wanting help with a project and she sat down at that same green table and we got to chatting. She was in town for a family gathering. At this point she was living in LA working on several different TV shows. We hit it off immediately. She was mostly living in LA at that point but when she made the permanent move to Chicago, Brenda started visiting us regularly at our Edgewater location.

Cell phone photos that Brenda sent Lisa and Lucia from set. Note: Rory’s “Dots & Dashes” scarf was originally knit in Mirasol Miski yarn in “Misty Grey” and “Denim,” but these colorways have since been discontinued. For the kits, they have substituted this with The Fibre Co.’s Knightsbridge, a llama/wool/silk blend.

Cell phone photos that Brenda sent Lisa and Lucia from set. Note: Rory’s “Dots & Dashes” scarf was originally knit in Mirasol Miski yarn in “Misty Grey” and “Denim,” but these colorways have since been discontinued. For the kits, they have substituted this with The Fibre Co.’s Knightsbridge, a llama/wool/silk blend.

laine

What was it like to see your designs on the small screen?

Lucia: Oh, it was pretty exciting, but not as surreal as it was to see them on the actors on set. Lisa has a good story…

Lisa: We were on set standing outside Luke’s diner waiting to be seated in our spots and up walks Liza Weil and I gasped. Not because it was her, but because she was wearing our scarf and it looked so good on her. Then I realized that she was smiling and nodding at me. I was so embarrassed thinking she might think I was some weird fangirl that I turned to Lucia with my face all beet red. Later, Brenda told me that she was acknowledging me as the designer of the scarf. I was bowled over!

Paris’s “Eponymuff” was knit with The Fibre Co.’s Road to China light in “Tanzanite” and “Topaz.”

Paris’s “Eponymuff” was knit with The Fibre Co.’s Road to China light in “Tanzanite” and “Topaz.”

Lucia: I’ll add that I also got a real thrill out of seeing our pieces hung up and labeled with our brand name in the costume department, because at that point, they were the very first products that “lisa lucia” had ever sold. We were really in just the planning stages of creating the business in the fall of 2015 when Brenda said she wanted to feature some of our stuff in the show. We still hadn’t even closed Lisa’s yarn shop yet! So things got super-accelerated all of a sudden because the show started filming in February immediately after the store closed so during that January, I personally knit four of the six pieces commissioned for the show myself while Lisa dealt with most of…everything else, including making sure I ate regularly.

In addition to the three pieces that made it into the final cut of the show — “Eponymuff,” “Dots & Dashes,” and Lane’s “Jumbo Coffee Sweater” — Brenda also bought three other sweaters from Lisa Lucia, including their “Split Infinitive” wrap sweater (the pattern for which is already available on Ravelry & was Yarnbox’s “Luxe” box kit for the month of November) as well as two others which are upcoming in the New Year.

In addition to the three pieces that made it into the final cut of the show — “Eponymuff,” “Dots & Dashes,” and Lane’s “Jumbo Coffee Sweater” — Brenda also bought three other sweaters from Lisa Lucia, including their “Split Infinitive” wrap sweater (the pattern for which is already available on Ravelry & was Yarnbox’s “Luxe” box kit for the month of November) as well as two others which are upcoming in the New Year.

Lucia: So anyway, while it was indescribably cool to see our pieces on the set and on-screen, I’m also really looking forward to seeing finished objects of these patterns knit by people we’ve never met.

Did the characters of Rory and Paris inspire the designs and the colors you chose?

Lucia: Well, it was more like the pieces were inspired by the show aesthetic in general, because they didn’t all end up where we thought they would. “Dots & Dashes,” for example, was originally supposed to be Lorelai’s, I think, though it totally makes sense that it would end up on Rory in that case. Brenda picked pieces out of our portfolio, some of which we came up with before we heard about GG, some of which emerged in the weeks immediately after we got that news, and in at least one case (Dots), Lisa first drew it up on scrap paper while Brenda was in the room.

Proto-”Dots & Dashes” sketch. Brenda opted for the blue/gray option.

Proto-”Dots & Dashes” sketch. Brenda opted for the blue/gray option.

Lisa: We had a very grammar/language-themed collection because of the quick witty banter that happens on the show. “Dots & Dashes” was because of the telegraph style speech patterns between characters. And “Eponymuff” was named in honor of Lorelai naming Rory after herself. And seriously, how could we not do a giant coffee mug on a sweater? We both are fueled by caffeine so we relate heavily to the necessity for coffee in one’s life!

Lucia: Oh yeah, and we also picked the color scheme for the “Jumbo Coffee Sweater” based on the interior set of Luke’s Diner and made it an intarsia raglan as a nod to Lorelai’s fondness for baseball tees. While the sweater I made for the show was knit out of Cascade 220 that we had on hand, some of those colors are now discontinued and since we’re also invested in supporting other independent fiber artists, for our upcoming (mid-December) kit we commissioned Michelle Kaston of Essential Fiber to custom dye yarn for us. Something else that’s great about this collaboration is that since three of the colors are used only for the duplicate-stitch detailing, Michelle is making mini-skeins for our kits to reduce waste and bring down material costs for both us and the consumer.

Original “Jumbo Coffee Sweater” sketch.

Original “Jumbo Coffee Sweater” sketch.

Lisa and Lucia’s friend Sian de Freyssinet modeling the kit version of “Jumbo Coffee Sweater.” Photo by Kim Saar Richardson.

Lisa and Lucia’s friend Sian de Freyssinet modeling the kit version of “Jumbo Coffee Sweater.” Photo by Kim Saar Richardson.

Lucia: The timing was all so whirlwind, and didn’t always match up, so things happened like we came up with a bunch of cute, food-themed pieces inspired by Sookie before it looked like Melissa McCarthy wasn’t going to be in the Revival, but by the time she signed on, it was too late to get those into production in time. And Brenda was considering this one really fitted, vintage-inspired sweater of ours for Rory, but Alexis was pregnant up until really soon before shooting began so we couldn’t get accurate measurements in time. As a result of things like that, a fair amount of what we’ve got upcoming will be Gilmore-inspired to some degree, since as other knitwear designers will probably agree, having the image of something in your mind – or even on paper – is just the bare beginning of all the work it takes to translate that into an actual garment much less a fully fleshed-out knitting pattern.

Do you know if any members of the cast or crew of Gilmore Girls are knitters?

Lucia: Well, Brenda, obviously.

Lisa: Alexis Bledel’s mom.

Lucia: She’s not a crew member obviously, but one of the sweetest things that happened while we were on set was when Alexis came up to a table where Lisa and I were knitting and asked to take a picture of us and our knitting to send to her mom. We are actually going to be doing an interview with Brenda soon specifically about the knitting episode so we’ll find out more then, but she has told us that that episode was basically a gift to her from the producers and that a bunch of the “knitting extras” in that episode were her friends.

Lisa: I would love to do a video interview of all three of us knitting.

Lorelai Gilmore wearing one of her signature baseball tees in an early-season Luke’s Diner scene.

Lorelai Gilmore wearing one of her signature baseball tees in an early-season Luke’s Diner scene.

Who are each of your favorite Gilmore Girls characters?

Lucia: This is a hard question! Hmmm, my favorite character whose last name isn’t Gilmore is probably Paris. I love “difficult” female characters and complicated, nuanced relationships between women in my fiction (Sookie, Lane and Mrs. Kim are also in the running).

Lisa: I actually didn’t watch GG as religiously as Lucia did. I watched it if it was on but I didn’t have two different VCR players recording Gilmore Girls and Buffy the Vampire Slayer at the same time like Lucia did.

Lucia: Heh. Yeah, I was not messing around. Side note: I actually wrote my undergrad thesis about serial television narrative and the emergence of DVD box sets and Netflix back before streaming video.

Lisa: NERD. Anyway, I would say my favorite character now is Paris or Sookie. As a big girl, I tend to gravitate toward actresses who are bigger because it wasn’t always socially acceptable to be thickums. I like hearing the voices of beautiful funny rubenesque women.

Lucia: Me too, sweetheart.

Um, what else? My answer to the question that always comes up when people talk about GG – who should Rory end up with? – is multipart: a) I don’t really care, because the primary relationship for me on the show has always been between Rory and Lorelai; but, b) If I did care, I’d say Paris! In a different way, my favorite “character” is actually the town of Stars Hollow, because I grew up in a really small New England town (Marlboro, VT, population: 978) filled with eccentric weirdos and Gilmore Girls started airing the same year I moved across the country to go to the University of CA, Santa Cruz, so it was kind of a weekly tonic for my homesickness.

Lisa: Hence the videotaping!

Tell me about your design partnership and how it works.

Lucia: That’s evolving as we transition from the roots of our friendship and how we worked together in the store. It’s definitely entwined with both similarities and differences in our aesthetics, personality, strengths, etc.  

Lisa: We both have ADD/ADHD and for me specifically, I find working with another person increases my productivity because I am distracted less. We bounce ideas off each other. I have a fine art degree and have been in the creative pursuits my entire life. Lucia is, on the other hand, more academic. She is a literary genius and the best pattern editor I have ever met in person. Our aesthetic sensibilities are very similar and really meld well together. I tend to do a lot of colorwork and pieces that are technically challenging to knit. Lucia likes clean, interesting shapes that are relatively easy to knit but challenging to design.

Lucia: But even though one of our designs might be more “Lisa style” or “Lucia-esque,” we both have a hand in every piece we put out, whether it’s creative input or technical implementation.

Lisa: There is just so much to do when creating patterns. It isn’t just about putting some math down on paper and putting it up on Ravelry. We are committed to consistency, uniformity in our pattern drafting, and providing easy-to-follow, simple-yet-informative instructions so that any knitter at any skill level can pick up a pattern and feel confident they can do it. We are also writing our patterns to be a FULL range of sizes. It is hard to find beautiful designs that are outside of the range of Medium. There are a few designers who are doing a great job of this. Ysolda Teague is one of them and we really admire her for plowing that field!

To sum up, I couldn’t do this without Lucia. AND I WOULDN’T WANT TO. She is my best friend and even though we have some challenges in working with our disabilities we really are necessary for each other. She is one of my favorite humans!

Lucia: And now I’m blushing. Knowing Lisa has changed my life. In an alternate reality, I’m using my degrees to teach college kids about intertextuality and fanfiction; in this one, I knit sweaters for my favorite teevee characters, research the history and evolution of knitting pattern notation, and wrack my brain trying to figure out how to knit a cable that forms the shape of interlocking knit and purl stitches. I’m still the same flavor of nerd, but working with Lisa has helped me branch out beyond the sphere of language and analysis. Her way of being in the world reminds me that if you want to Make Something, you might as well just go ahead (and you don’t have to do it alone). We also have a larger community of knitters and artisans to help and inspire us, which includes people like Brenda. I’m so grateful for that.

In terms of the nitty gritty, there are very few practical aspects of pattern production that we don’t both take on to greater and lesser degrees, depending. Plus, even though Lisa draws all our sketches and diagrams, I have input on what a given image should look like; likewise, while I generally draft the final text of our patterns, Lisa is always involved throughout. The way we went about responding to these questions is a pretty good example of our working dynamic, actually: we both worked in the same Google doc on two separate computers, often at the same time, while also communicating with one another over email, phone, text, and in person. We talk to each other a lot when we’re physically apart, and can also spend vast amounts of time in the same room doing different things.

Lisa: IT’S ALL SO META. Because as we are finalizing this for you, we are also on the phone talking about how to end it. So I think this is where we say, THANK YOU!

Lucia: Yes, thank you!  So much!

Lisa: We really have enjoyed doing this questionnaire for you and we are excited to share more of our work in the very near future. See you all on Ravelry.