Today I am hosting a giveaway sponsored by Classic Cable Knits!
Christina Wall is the designer behind Classic Cable Knits and a stay at home mom of a two and a half year old little boy. While she used to design for yarn companies, she is now exclusively a freelance designer so that she can best connect with customers and be involved in their crafting experience. As I browsed Christina’s patterns myself, I noticed that she really loves lace! I know that there are many knitters out there who are intimidated by lace, so I asked Christina to share her knitting story with us, and also a bit about all that lace! You can also learn more about Christina by following her blog.
How did you get into designing patterns?
I was born into an intensely creative family. At a young age I found that I could not compete in the same areas as my mother and sisters. I could not draw, I could not paint, and as for sewing – ha! I’m terrible at sewing and spend most of my time with a seam ripper. The one area of crafting that seemed untouched was knitting and crochet and so I took off in those two areas.
When my very first sweater turned into a knitting nightmare it seemed natural to me to make up my own version. Forget the pattern that made it turn out so terribly (obviously I didn’t think it was my lack of skill!) After all, who needs patterns anyway! (I’m joking.)
Far too soon I was grown up, working as a court reporter (stenographer) taking depositions, wearing stilettos, and too busy to stop for lunch or the weekends. I got married, we bought a house in the suburbs, we got a dog and we were very, very busy. Life was slipping away and I wasn’t living it. My husband and I decided I would take a break for a little while to reevaluate things.
Early that summer, while my husband’s work took him to Japan and South Korea, I stayed home and got our house ready to sell (it never sold). I found myself filling those quiet evenings at home with knitting. It was therapeutic. I started knitting new designs and sketching out new ideas.
Late summer I was contacted by my local yarn shop and asked to work and teach for them. It seemed like a good idea. I hadn’t really decided on what was next for myself and had the time. There I thrived! A whole new world was opened up. I learned techniques I didn’t even know existed and I worked with yarn I didn’t even know existed I attended tradeshows I didn’t even know existed and met amazing designers I had never heard of. It was thrilling. Soon people started asking for the pattern to the knits I was wearing. There weren’t any – I never wrote down any of my patterns. The shop owner told me that if I wrote my patterns down she would sell them in her shop. My first sweater pattern to come out in her shop was Delia.
I discovered lace when I knit my wedding shawl. I loved it. I found that lace knitting had a rhythm and flow to it. Often lace patterns have short repeats that can be easily memorized and “off rows” where you purl the entire row and don’t have to think. For these reasons I found lace to be very soothing and relaxing. I know, most people don’t think lace is easy. But it is! One of the things I want to develop in the near future is a lace class to show people why lace is so easy. I often think people don’t know how to read lace. If you can read lace you really don’t need the pattern or the chart.
(Mamma Ruffles and Baby Ruffles)
Mama Ruffles is an excellent beginner shawl. The main body of the shawl is plain and introduces the knitter to how a triangular shawl is shaped. The lace is an edging that is knitted onto the body of the shawl. Even though it sounds daunting, it is simple. I tried to make the lace edging even easier to understand by creating YouTube videos for this pattern. Yes, I know – I sound rather silly in the videos. At the very least the videos will give you a good laugh. I hope to do videos for all new patterns this year, highlighting techniques that people may be afraid to try or are uncertain of.
Another shawl that is good for beginners is the Woodland Spring Shawl. Again, the knitter is introduced to shawl shaping before the lace pattern is introduced. If you want to try lace without the shawl shaping to bother with, Delia is a great sweater to start with. For the lace knitters who would like to have some fun, the Lamb’s Lace Cardi is my absolute favorite. I have one in wool and one in linen for summer.
My main goal in writing my knitting patterns is for the process of knitting to be fun and relaxing and engaging for the knitter. After all, that’s why I knit – as a retreat and a rest from my busy life as a mama.
For this weekend’s giveaway, Christina is offering one pattern of choice to each of 3 Small Things readers
Simply leave a comment on this post for your chance to win. Comments will be closed and a winner announced within this post on Monday, March 26. Comments are closed. The winners are:
“oh, I must make that woodland shawl! all such lovely designs! Thanks for hosting this giveaway!”
“Wow, I just can’t stop admiring Delia Cardigan. I love that open lace at the bottom. Thank you for sharing, and I would love to be the lucky winner! :)”
“Your patterns are beautiful. Some day I will try a sweater for myself, but I really like those shawls. Beautiful. I have knit lace scarves, but always for others.”
In addition, Christina is offering a 25% discount on all purchases March 24-26. Use coupon code SmallThings
Thank you Christina!