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Huck’s On Patrol

Many of you read my last post, about designing for skier Tucker Perkins for the Stitch Mountain Book by Laura Zander.It was a blast to find the perfect stitch to match his skiing tracks down the half pipe. The next design challenge, Laura had for me was dear to my heart. She gave me her favorite athlete in the book to design for. His athletic accolades are already building, he finished his first solo ski in the winter of 2011, he has a standing challenge to Tommy Moe, and this very active and energetic little man aspires to be an Olympic Athlete in the 2026 or 2030 Olympic Games. He has already told many a people on the slopes that he’s so fast the ski patrol cannot even catch him!

With a name like Huck, and a standing challenge to Tommy Moe, this budding speedster had to be dressed in a zip hoodie with ski patrol markings – so he can get on their good side from the start. He can be found hitting the slopes in the Reno area. What better then to encourage him to reach his aspirations by knitting him a Ski Patrol sweater complete with matching mittens.

His mother Laura, herself recollects his earliest athletic endeavors . She said he took his first ski run at the age of six months . . . in a baby carrier behind their house in Truckee, California. A year later he moved on to greater challenges by taking on the backcountry in a backpack. Huck took to screaming “More! More! Faster! Faster!” at the bottom of every pitch, inspiring his parents to transition him to self-powered descents completing the aforementioned first descent in the winter of 2011.

When I got the book and was able to look through it my daughter saw Huck in the book and asked me if I knew him and if we could have a play date. She asked for a matching sweater so back to the needles I go to make her one. So Huck maybe when Cait is in the Olympic Games for figure skating or track and field you can get together for a play date!

Thanks again to all the amazing people and companies who helped to make this book happen. To the crew at Jimmy Beans wool, your support and dedication to the needle arts are hard to match. Thank you to Soho publishing for their hard hours tech editing and working on the book layout. To our amazing photographer Brad, you rock! Thank you also to Red Heart for helping us with yarn support.

To find the book check us out at http://www.jimmybeanswool.com and http://www.stitchmountain.com . Follow more about today’s featured athlete Huck through JBWs Facebook and twitter account @jimmybeanswool . For more on my design projects please visit my ravelry page at http://www.ravelry.com/designers/suzy-allen

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Trends of the Knitting Industry 2013

Trends of the Knitting Industry 2013

Some of the best information shared at the show was shared by panels on the 5th and 6th floor. Here is where you could interact with your favorite designers, yarn companies and publishers. One of my favorite panels included the panel lead by the hysterically funny Debbie Stoller, author of the Stitch and Bitch Book Series. She facilitated a conversation on the culture of knitting/stitching and where it is going next. Other members of the panel included Nora Gaughan from Berroco Yarns (http://www.berroco.com/), Iris Schrier (http://www.artyarns.com/) from Art Yarns and Laura Zander from Go Stitch Red and Jimmy Beans Wool (http://www.jimmybeanswool.com/).

Here are their thoughts on where the industry is going:

1)      Crochet is Hot!

Yup you heard it! Crochet is hotter than ever. It’s portability, influx of new talent and accessibility to gorgeous yarn has revolutionized crochet. Crochet has moved out of the ‘70’s and into the 21st century. Crochet is not only easy to do, it is highly portable, fashionable and has drape as well. Companies of all of sizes are recognizing the demand from a new generation of crocheters!

 

My thoughts:

As I have been to many industry shows in the recent months, I always sport one of my designs whether it be knit or crochet. This show I obviously sported more crochet as that is what I have been designing and the response was overwhelming. People literally stopped me in my tracks to ask me what design and who designed the garments. I proudly said mine and told them to check out my ravelry shop as the week progressed to find the designs.

 

One of those designs is my Garden City Vest:

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/garden-city-vest

This great design uses a bulky weight single yarn that shows off the beautiful crocheted cables. It works up super-fast and the a-line silhouette looks great on all figures. I listed this pattern yesterday and it is already in the top 20 line up on the Hot Right Now Page on Ravelry.

 

2)      Younger Stitchers every where!

That is right! There is no greater way to show the growth and strength of an industry than the fact that it is flooded with young talent. People as young as 11 are not only knitting but designing. Have you seen that amazing mitten pattern in the Fall issue of Vogue by a child in France.

 

One of my favorite memories of this weekend was hanging out on the Today Show plaza with @GoStitchRed , @JimmyBeansWool, @ hookedforlife, @Jacquline _Sava from Soak wash and @Koigu. Koigu’s founder and her daughter Kiersti came to show to support for the great cause Stitch Red (making women and others aware of the dangers of heart disease!). Kiersti had great enthusiasm and poise. She willingly sported a hat that she had knit herself as well as helped her mother knit with extreme knitting needles. She also is a model for Koigu and has graced the cover of their magazine numerous times.

3)      Stitching in Public

Trademarked in my mind by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, knitting and crocheting is en Vogue. People love their stitching so much they do not want to be separated. Accessories are now available by Yarn Pop (http://yarnpop.com/) and Namaste to make your stitching extra portable. Laura Zander of Jimmy Beans Wool, commented that she brings her stitching everywhere because she loves to keep busy. She recalled after being reintroduced to knitting by a coworker bringing it on long car trips to ski weekends. She also shared that she sees many people involved in this phenomenon. One of her greatest joys is watching the men’s snowboarding and ski team sitting on the sidelines of a competition with yarn and hook in hand. Seize the moment and start stitching. For more information check out Stitch Mountain. (http://jimmybeanswool.com/details/stitchMountain/default.asp)

 

Many people have often stopped me while stitching in public. I have stitched everywhere from book stores to the gym to my church and even have been known to on occasions stitch during parties.  When you are inspired it is hard to put down your projects. A panelist from Ireland was flabbergasted when she came to America from Ireland for the first time to share her knitting talents with us that we were so enamored by our craft. Go forth and tell all about stitching!

 

4)      Collaboration

Lastly a call to work together was a great theme to hear. In an ever changing industry due to social media and availability of information, it is time to work together. From professional publishers, to full time industry designers, to indie dyers, local yarn shops, internet retailers, hobbyists and enthusiastic freelance designers. We can all get along and work to further our common passion. With the advent of Ravelry, Pattern Fish and Craftsy the ability to collaborate has grown to epic proportions. So lets get together at our local guild, in forums, on Facebook, twitter, pinterest and Kollabra! Laura stated that 1 in 4 American Women knit. If we could make that 2 out of 4 or even 4 out of 4 what would that do for our industry? There is a place for all. All are welcome…. Come one come all I can’t wait to meet you!