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As the Gift-A-Long got underway this year and the stats starting coming in about where the participating designers were located, I had noticed that I was all by myself in Mississippi! Well, it turned out that Elizabeth Elliot in Birmingham, Alabama was also the lone representative of her state! So we banded together immediately to represent the Deep South! And I am so excited to feature her and her beautiful designs today! I am obsessed with her colorwork!

You can find Elizabeth’s patterns here on Ravelry and she has fourteen patterns on sale during the Gift-A-Long Sale (which ends TONIGHT at 11:59 pm EST so go quickly and stock up!)!

I asked Elizabeth about how she got started knitting and designing and about what’s next for her…

A: Tell us a little bit about yourself! How long have you been knitting?

E: My gran taught me to knit when I was quite young. She was an Englishwoman of the WWII generation, and she rarely sat down without knitting in her hands. (I still remember her Rules of Knitting: 1. Wash your hands before touching the yarn. (I was a messy kid.) 2. Always finish the row before putting down your knitting. 3. Never, ever, ever stick your needles in your yarn ball, or you’ll split the yarn. 4. Don’t sweat small mistakes; one or two are good luck, and show that the item was made by a person, not a machine.) My mum also knits (and crochets, and weaves, and spins — she’s a big inspiration), so she helped me figure things out when I ran into problems. I went through phases with knitting over the years, making the odd sweater or scarf but not really improving my knowledge, until I discovered Ravelry (and online yarn shopping). Then knitting became an obsession, and my skill set and ideas about what knitting could be just exploded, thanks in large part to all the amazing Ravelers and their willingness to share their knowledge.

Firenze Cowl | photo © Nusha Elliott

A: How did you get into designing?

E: I’d been tinkering with structure and stitch patterns for a while, and was talking to my mum about an idea for a baby blanket with a hood that was worked with short rows, when she told me I should really consider writing out some of these ideas as patterns. Knit Picks had just started their Independent Designer Program, so I sent them the blanket idea (Sweet Lullaby Seamless Hooded Blanket), and they accepted it (and were great to work with as a total newbie designer). After that, I was hooked.

Gyre | photo © Elizabeth Elliott

A: What is your favourite type of item to design?

E: That changes a lot; I’m sure you can relate. I love doing stranded colourwork, especially working within the constraints of the basic mitten shape. Something about the mathiness and strict geometry in mittens really gets me going. I also like messing around with structure, though — I got into deep moebius hoods for a bit, and am on a bias knitting kick right now — and I’m finally sharpening my sweater designing skills, so those things are my favourite this month.

Jazz Age Mittens | photo © Nusha Elliott

A: Which of your patterns are you most proud of and why?

E: I’m pretty pleased with the last couple of mitten patterns, Jazz Age and Firenze. I feel like the colourwork really clicked on those, and I think that with those patterns I nailed down the mitten structure I want to work with in future. Lulu (an extra-deep, narrow moebius) is another one I’m pretty proud of. I’ve never been a hat person (and really, we don’t get much hat weather down here, do we?), so I like that you can wear it just as a cowl, and if you need to wear it as a hood, the moebius shape keeps it from gapping below the chin. (I really hate having a cold neck, can you tell?)

Firenze Mittens | photo © Nusha Elliott

A: What is your favorite thing about designing? And what is the least favorite?

E: I love seeing other people’s projects from my patterns. When another knitter has taken one of my designs and made it their own, whether through yarn and colour choices or by tweaking the design so it better suits who they are, and they’ve got a finished object that they’re really happy with and excited to share with their friends, it’s such a delightful feeling. Gyre has been especially rewarding that way: so many gorgeous colour combinations that would never have occurred to me.

I think my least favourite thing is when an idea that seemed so perfect in my mind, and even looked pretty good as a sketch, completely fails to work out right on the needles. Often I’ve had to leave ideas like that behind and move on, but now I’m trying to structure the workload so that I have time to go back and tinker, to see if there’s another way to make those ideas work.

A: What is on your needles now?

E: Right now I’m working on a cardigan design for my husband — for a knitter’s spouse, he’s woefully lacking in hand knits — and a prototype for a big, cozy wrap. Well, I say prototype, but really I just want one that I can keep for myself. I’ve become such a wimp about cold in this winterless wonderland, and a giant, woolly wrap seems like just the thing right now.

Backroad Scarf | photo © Nusha Elliott

Elizabeth just released her latest pattern, the Backroad Scarf, yesterday! It’s a great uni-sex scarf that would make a perfect gift for anyone! The pattern includes instructions for a worsted weight, aran weight, and bulky weight scarf in multiple lengths and instructions on how to make it a cowl! (and no matter which “version” you buy, you’ll still get instructions for ALL versions) With all of the different options it’s like getting nine patterns in one! Genius! And she’s offering it for 25% off for the first week using the coupon code backroad (offer ends Nov. 28 at midnight CST).

I want to thank Elizabeth for taking the time to answer my questions! I am so glad to have discovered her work and I hope that you are, too!

Indie Design Gift-A-Long!

Indie Design Gift-A-Long

The Indie Design Gift-A-Long on Ravelry is starting TONIGHT at 8pm EST!

What is the Gift-A-Long you ask?
The Indie Design GAL is a multi-designer promotion to help you kick your holiday gift-making into high gear while also supporting independent designers (like me!)!

There’s a sale, too!
From Nov. 13 at 8pm EST through – Nov. 21, 2014 at 11:59pm EST the 293 participating indie designers will be discounting between 4 – 20 of their patterns 25% for this event (there are 3,822 patterns on sale)! All of my paid patterns are included in the sale! Just use the coupon code giftalong2014 during the sale period to get 25% off any of my patterns!

Join us! And win stuff!
You can knit along with us in the Indie Design GAL group and be eligible to win LOADS of fabulous prizes! There will be games and chit-chat and tons and tons of FUN! All paid patterns by the participating designers are eligible for prizes (not just those offered in the sale!). That’s 11,512 eligible patterns! I am moderating the Shawls & Stoles thread so if you’re knitting/crocheting a shawl during the GAL, you get to hang with me!

What designers are participating?
You can see all 293 designers (along with photos of their patterns) in this thread and a full list of designers here. There are also Pinterest boards that have the sale patterns categorized (scarves and cowls, shawls, etc) for easy browsing!

Some neat stats about this year’s GAL
Here is a map of participating designers (I’m all by myself in Mississippi!) and here is an ever-growing map of the GAL participants!

And here is a mind-boggling amount of data about this year’s GAL! It’s so fun to see all the stats!

I hope you’ll join us for this year’s Gift-A-Long! Whether you’re making gifts for loved ones or yourself, it’s much more fun to do so with friends!

Entrelac Scarf by Allison LoCicero

To everyone who voted in the Craftsy Pattern Design Awards, THANK YOU!

My Entrelac Scarf pattern was chosen as the WINNER of the 2014 Craftsy Pattern Design Award for Knitting! To have one of my patterns rise to the top out of over 98,000 (!!!) knitting patterns on Craftsy is both thrilling and humbling, to say the least!

But now is not the time to rest on my laurels! There is work to do! I’ve got more patterns in the pipeline! And I have more exciting things to tell you about later this week! So stay tuned! Things are about to get REALLY fun!

Picabia

Picabia by Allison LoCicero

Picabia is now available on Ravelry, Craftsy, Etsy, and Patternfish! This is a warm and squishy cowl knit in the round using only one skein of Madelinetosh Tosh DK (the color in the sample is Candlewick).

Picabia by Allison LoCicero

I named this pattern after the cubist painter Francis Picabia because the stitch pattern reminds me of a cubist painting.

This is a super quick knit that you could complete in probably two or three evenings so it’s perfect for gifting! And the stitch pattern is easy to memorize!

Picabia by Allison LoCicero

The pattern includes both charted and written instructions so no matter your preference, you’re covered!

Also, voting is still open in the Craftsy Pattern Design Awards! See my previous post on how you can vote to make my Entrelac Scarf pattern a winner! Voting ends tomorrow (Thurs, Nov. 6) at midnight (US-MST). Thanks for voting! And remember, your vote could win you a FREE Craftsy class!

 

CraftsyAwards

 

Exciting news!  I’m one of FOUR finalists in the Knitting Category of Craftsy’s Pattern Design Awards!

My Entrelac Scarf pattern has been chosen by Craftsy members as one of their favorite patterns and I could use YOUR help to make it a winner! I need your vote!

VOTE HERE! (scroll down to the knitting category)

Voting ends at midnight MT this Thursday, November 5th!

Your vote will enter you in a drawing for a FREE Craftsy Class!

Thanks for your vote!

Pesto

Pesto by Allison LoCicero

Pesto is now available on Ravelry, Craftsy, Etsy and Patternfish!

Pesto is a garter stitch shawl with lace border knit in one piece from end to end. It can be knit with one skein of sock yarn. The size of the shawl can be customized depending on the amount of yarn you have so it is the perfect pattern for making the most of a special skein of yarn! Instructions on how to do this are included. The pattern instructions are both charted and written.

Pesto by Allison LoCicero

When I first started designing this shawl I knew I wanted it to meet three important criteria. It needed to be simple. It needed to be quick. And it needed to use only one skein of yarn. The sample is knit using only one skein of SweetGeorgia’s Tough Love Sock in the color Lettuce Wrap. I came up with the name because the vibrant green and the little leaves running along the edge remind me of yummy pesto!

This shawl can be knit up in less than a week so it makes for perfect gift knitting with the holidays just around the corner! Or make it as a gift for yourself!

Pesto by Allison LoCicero

 

Addiena

Addiena shawl pattern by Allison LoCicero | Freckles & Purls

My newest pattern, Addiena, is now available on Ravelry, Craftsy, Etsy and Patternfish (whenever their admins post it to the site)! Pin it for later! Ravelry users will get 20% off for the first week! (No coupon code needed! Sale ends at 11:59 pm Wed., Aug. 27 CDT)

This is a half-circle shaped lace shawl that is based on Elizabeth Zimmermann’s pi shawl formula. It calls for approx. 865 yards of lace-weight yarn. The sample is knit with Madelinetosh Pure Silk Lace.

Addiena shawl pattern by Allison LoCicero | Freckles & Purls

It is knit from the top down using US size 4 needles and the finished size is around 53 in x 30 in (you could probably block it out larger, too! I just ran out of room!).

Addiena shawl pattern by Allison LoCicero | Freckles & Purls

The pattern has been test knitted and professionally tech-edited and both charted and written instructions are provided. Wear it draped over your shoulders or wrapped around your neck! It’s large enough to wear many different ways!

Addiena shawl pattern by Allison LoCicero | Freckles & Purls

I think I want another one in a deep red for winter and the holidays! Maybe in a solid wool? So many options to think about! I had a blast designing and knitting this shawl and I hope that you love it as much as I do!

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