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Monday, December 07, 2009

I Have a New Home!

Well, I've been thinking about this for a long time, a very long time actually, but neoknits finally has a new home! After a little push from Connie (and her beautiful new site) I decided I had procrastinated enough. It was time!

My new home will make it easier for me to share my thoughts and designs. The limits of blogger are no more! My patterns now have their own little neat corner so it's easier to browse rather than my overly crowded sidebar. It will also be easier to interact with my readers. If you've used blogger, you know the comment function doesn't make it so easy to respond to questions or even to just say thanks for the compliment. So come on over to neoknits.com and check out the new space and don't forget to change my RSS feed in your blog reader!

Friday, December 04, 2009

Go Vote! Knitscene Spring 2010 Cover

Knitscene has narrowed down their Spring Issue cover to two sweaters and they'd like you to vote on which you like best. Just so happens that one of those two sweaters is mine and I'm super excited by the possibility I could actually land the cover! So go on over and check it out.

Voting ends on Monday, Dec 7th at 2pm MST! Thanks everyone :)

P.S. It's the one on the left!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Interweave Knits Winter Preview

The Interweave Knits Winter preview is up! Check out my newest design - Deep Texture tunic.

This design started out as one of 5 designs for my Knitscene collection, but I only needed 4. So this one was odd man out - for the moment. The editor still thought it had potential so it was passed over to the Interweave team for review, and made the cut for Winter.

This is my first design knit totally in the round and I have to admit, I kinda liked it. Not having to seam up a really woolly, warm sweater in 98 degree heat was kind of a plus. Thankfully IK knitters will have a shot at this one in the correct season.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Florida and How I Met Barbara Walker

My next stop after Rhinebeck was southwest Florida to visit with my Grandmother. It was so warm and relaxing, I didn't really want to come home! And yes, if you must know, there was knitting happening by the pool.

Sunset on the Gulf

The visit seemed so short, but I manage to pack in a decent amount of activities plus have time to relax. On the first day, we took a trip up to the Marie Selby Gardens. I am a big fan of orchids, and it certainly did not disappoint.


On the way back, I wanted to do a little yarn shop exploring and I found a wonderful shop called A Good Yarn. Susan, Amy and Crew were so welcoming it was definitely my LYS away from home - so much so that I ended up coming back for knit night on Thursday and stopped in one final time on Friday before heading home. They have only been open for 6 weeks and the selection was wonderful: Madelintosh, Schaefer, Rowan, Malabrigo......I could go on and on! I didn't come back with any yarn (darn deadline projects), but I did manage to pick up Wenlan Chia's new book Twinkle Sews and a pretty cheap project bag.

And here's where the story gets very interesting - and don't mind my fan girl gushing. When visiting A Good Yarn, I had found out that I had just missed.....ready for this......Barbara Walker! Yes, The Treasury of Knitting Patterns Barbara Walker! I couldn't believe it! How could I have been so close to meeting one of the knitting greats and it got away from me? As we were talking about it, my Grandmother realized that this must be the same woman that her neighbor knows and had told her about a year or two before, she just could never remember her name.

When we returned home, a few phone calls were made and sure enough, her neighbor did know Barbara and just like that, I had a meeting set up to meet her on Friday at her home. I can't even pretend that I was cool, calm and collected when I heard the news. I was jumping up and down, twittering the news, smiling from ear to ear. I know you guys understand!

Barbara Walker and I

On Friday, I met Barbara Walker and got to see a small portion of her doll collection, actual knitted pieces from some of her books, pictures of her published designs, and sweaters she had knitted for herself, family and friends. She has knit so many beautiful sweaters over the years and many were sparkly. I was in such a state of sensory overload, I wish I had asked more questions, but we briefly talked about magazines not giving credit to the designers in the past and how the pay scale hasn't really changed much. She also talked about how she has created some 1,000 original stitches never seen before.

Barbara Walker and I

Next, she showed me a book shelf filled with books she's written, books that she wrote that have been translated into other languages, and books she has contributed to. Besides her knitting books, she has also written several feminist books. I also got to see her tarot and I Ching decks which she had done the artwork for and her extensive mineral collection. Barbara Walker is quite the amazing woman and I feel so lucky to have had the chance to have a short visit with her.

Barbara Walker and I

So I celebrated my birthday, saw some great sunsets, ate good food and met Barbara Walker. I don't know how I'll ever top this one!

Monday, October 26, 2009

My Rhinebeck Recap

I know it's a little late, but you can never have too much Rhinebeck talk, right? Just got back from Florida and finally have a little time to catch up with things!

I didn't really have much of a plan this year, just wanted to have fun and hopefully purchase some great stuff. However, when I heard that Clara Parks was signing copies of her new book, The Knitters Book of Wool, I knew Spirit Trail Fiberworks would be my first stop. I really enjoyed Clara's first book, and I knew this one would not disappoint. In fact, I haven't even had a chance to peek inside yet - must set aside some time asap!

Clara Parks!!

Before going over to meet Clara, we arrived at the festival just in time for the lunchtime Ravelry meetup and to meet Bob. Ysolda whipped this up just a few days before. So amazing! I was also so surprised to see Maritza at the meetup too. We've missed her so much at our weekly LIC knitting group and it was so nice to get to chat for a few minutes.


My only yarn purchase of the day came from Alicia Adams Alpaca. I got 3 gorgeous balls of a suri alpaca/merino blend in a heather grey color - my color of the moment apparently.

suri alpaca and merino blend

I also scored a cool new tea mug hand thrown and hand painted by Jennie Lanners. She had some very cute mugs with sheep wearing socks and things, but the leafy one called to me. Maybe I'll pick up a sheep one next year.

Leafy mug

After the festival, Colette, Gwen, Sonia and I were off to the Ravelry party and to meet up with the rest of the Astoria crew. I was worried that it would be a little chilly, but all was well. I didn't even have to break into the toe or hand warmers.

Ravelry crew
The Ravelry Crew

Kimberly and I rock our Bliss shawlettes

This Rhinebeck trip was definitely the best ever! I got to meet so many wonderful knitters and relax with friends. I can't wait til next year!

And last but not least, I leave you with a dose of cuteness.


Sunday, October 18, 2009


Well, I'm off to sunny southwest Florida for a little vacation! Rhinebeck was really, really great, but won't be able to give the full report until next week when I return. Thanks to everyone that saw me and said hello! I really enjoyed meeting you all!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Yarny Goodness

Finally got a chance to update my stash on Ravelry with some recent yarn purchases. I've been collecting special yarns for something that I have up my sleeve ;)

Lacey Lamb in Heather Grey

O-wool Classic 2ply in Sage (this picture does not do the color justice!)

Ultra Alpaca Light in Heather Teal

Greenwood Hill Farm DK (wanted to pick up a local yarn when I was in MA)

Fleece Artist Woolie silk 3 ply in Salt Spray for my next neoknits pattern

Malabrigo Lace in Sealing Wax

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Crafternoons at NYPL

Being lucky enough to be in the city this weekend, today I went to a Crafternoon being held at the New York Public Library. Every month they focus on a different craft, get a few speakers together, pull some library books, and everyone comes to make things. This month was a knitting crafternoon and the special guests were Sabrina Gschwandtner, author of Knitknit, and Teva Durham, knit designer and author of Loop-d-loop.

It was interesting to hear both designers talk about how knitting can be an artform, not just a hobby or just making a sweater. As one designer in the Knitknit book said, "it's a stream of concience." It was also fun to hear about Teva's yarn line and a little bit about how it was developed.

Annie Modesitt was also going to be there today, but sadly she couldn't make it. It would have been very interesting to chat with her a little bit about what is going on with Vogue and how to make things a little better for designers everywhere.

And speaking of Vogue, Annie updated her blog with a little clarification and mentioned at the end that Vogue wished for her to call and discuss the issue. It makes me so happy that they are finally ready to talk (hopefully about a solution). I'll be very curious how it turns out and let's hope for the best!

There was also a raffle to raise a little money for the library and I won a few balls of Teva's Loop-d-loop yarn:




Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Soho, You Make Me Sad

Way back in February, I wrote this post in reaction to Annie Modesitt's blog post on valuing our work as designers. I had made a personal decision not to submit to Soho publishing anymore for a few reasons, but had hoped that a dialogue would at least be started.

Fast forward 8 months, and I see this post on Annie's blog today. I was a little sad to hear confirmation that a dialogue hadn't been started between Soho and the designer community. Even if alienating designers is not their intention, silence sometimes speaks for you.

I suppose there is always new talent and in the scheme of things, me deciding not to submit to Soho publications certainly isn't hurting them any. Maybe speaking out is more annoying than anything, but here's hoping to a fair deal for all designers in the future.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Sweater Weather is here in NYC

It's October and I can hardly believe it! What I also can't believe is we immediately went straight to fall as soon as it hit the first. Actually, it feels almost like we went straight from spring to fall - didn't have much of a summer this year. Shouldn't complain though, cooler summers mean you can still wear cardigans :)

And with the first glimpse of fall comes the craziness of trying to put together a fall collection and preparing for important meetings with customers. All I can say is....what a week! TGIF!

When I arrived home today, there was a little package waiting outside my door and when I opened it up, I was able to forget it all. Waiting for me was a nice present from Lantern Moon.

Inside the box were a set of size 5 rosewood needles, a straight needle cover, size 6 ebony circular needles, and a wee little crochet hook used to pick up dropped stitches. (How cute! and how handy!) I can't wait to cast on with these needles. Knitting with ebony and rosewood is like knitting with cashmere - there's just nothing quite like it.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A Llama Wedding Weekend!

So my co-worker got married this weekend in Massachusetts on a llama farm. Yes, a llama farm! How cool is that?!

Saturday started off with a huge rainbow that went from one end of the sky to the other. The rain from the previous day had finally begun to break, so good news for an outdoor wedding.

Rainbow in the Mountains

Later that morning, we took a llama hike on the property which was a working farm for 200 years. The farm is long gone, and the trees have grown in, but portions of the very old stone walls used to keep the Merino sheep inside were still visible. This is Tanner, the leader of the pack who kept me company on the hike. He was part llama and part alpaca (and so very cute!)

tanner and I

The bride was beautiful, the groom was happy, and the rain managed to stay away til we were all tucked safely under the reception tent. Here we have the wedding party posing with the llamas.

Llama wedding

I was also able to see a few yarn stores in the area and walked away with some goodies. We stopped at Wonderful Things in Great Barrington on the way up. Very nice selection of yarns and the friendly cat kept my husband busy while I browsed.

On Saturday, before the wedding, we took a short drive to Lenox where we visited Colorful Stitches. It had a wonderful selection, the staff was very pleasant, and I got to see the St. Denis yarns trunk show (which I just found out will be at Knitty City on Oct 12th & 13th).

While we were at Coloful Stitches, we also got to witness the annual tubs parade. We had seen flyers, but had no idea what this meant. Well, it was a parade of horse drawn carts, carriages, coaches, fire "engines", and delivery trucks. It was certainly a site to see! Sadly, I forgotten my camera back at the farm, so couldn't take any pictures.

On Sunday, as our stay was wrapping up, we took a trip over to The Mount - Edith Wharton's estate and gardens. This is where she wrote her most famous book, The House of Mirth. The house and gardens have been under serious restoration work since 2002 and they have made tremendous progress. The house was lovely and the gardens were so beautiful. The estate is one of the mere 5% of historic landmarks dedicated to women.

the mount

view from Edith's bedroom

17th C style garden
lime walk

We will definitely have to return to the Berkshires soon! There is so much we were not able to see in the short 3 days were were there. Also, Webs is about 45 minutes away from where we stayed, so we'll definitely be back!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Knitty City Recap

Check out the knitscene blog today for a recap of the event I did at Knitty City last Thursday. It was so much fun! Big thanks go out to Knitty City for inviting me and to everyone that stopped by!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Knitty City - September 10th!

For those of you that live in New York City, I'll be doing an event at Knitty City next Thursday, September 10th. Interweave was kind enough to lend Knitty City my four Knitscene designs for a mini trunk show and I'll also have a few of my neoknits designs with me as well. I'll be discussing my collection for Knitscene, talking about designing, knitting, and whatever else you guys are interested in (you get extra credit for coming prepared with questions!).

Hope to see some of you there!

Thursday, September 10th from 6-8pm
Knitty City
208 79th Street (between Broadway and Amsterdam)
Closest subway: 1 train to 79th street

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

A Small Diversion

This past week between a deadline project (or two or three) I managed to sneak in some personal knitting time. A few weeks back Connie gave me some leftover Shepard Sock in Echo from her gorgeous Mountain View Cardigan and I knew it was destined to become a second Bliss shawlette.

I cast on last Monday, had a finished little shawlette by Friday, and it was all dry by Saturday. Bliss then took a little tour of Astoria, mainly to Martha's Country Bakery. Mmmm, best cupcakes ever!

Bliss Shawlette

Bliss Shawlette

I really like the way it turned out in the fingering weight yarn, definitely a bit more lacy. The shawl did end up blocking out to the correct size, but the length shrunk up slightly since the original Seasilk has a bit more weight to it. As far as yardage goes, I used a little over 1 skein, about 270 yards total of the Shepard sock with a US size 7 needle.

Ok, now it's back to the deadline knitting!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Back in One Piece

Just got back from a trip to Minneapolis to visit Target HQ with my company. I'm not much of a flyer, well, traveler for that matter, but I somehow managed to make it back in one piece. The first class seats my co-worker negotiated on the way there didn't hurt much either. Although I could have done without a tornado touching down a few blocks from where we were staying - luckily we were already at the airport waiting for our much delayed flight by the time it happened though. Oh, the excitement.

Tonight when I got home and checked in to Ravelry, I had such a sweet surprise waiting for me. kls1004 started a group for fans (it seems so strange to say that!) of my patterns/designs today. I'm such a shy, low key kinda girl and I have to admit I'm really blushing over here. If you're interested in joining, it's called Wehrle Birds. Love the name and it's so funny because Wehrle Bird has been my dad's nickname for years :)

On the knitting front, much more deadline knitting is on the horizon. Therefore making this a pretty boring place to be at the moment. Maybe the blog needs a few more tutorials, like the one row buttonhole I did a little while back. If so, is there anything you guys would like to see?

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Vintage Buttons

There is just something about old buttons that make me so happy! There is a store here in NYC called Tender Buttons that I just adore. It has the most interesting old buttons and is heaven for someone who adores to design and wear cardigans - although I've been know to put a button onto a garment just for the sake of putting a button on a garment.

A few weeks ago, DH and I took a trip up to Lambertville, NJ to peruse a few antique stores and I came across these great finds. There was a whole basket full of vintage buttons calling, no screaming, out to me and at $3 a card, who could resist?

Vintage buttons
Love the tiny redish/pink ones!

Vintage buttons
Various jet black buttons. Some mixed designs.

Vintage buttons
These are my favorite and the most special of the bunch. We estimated these were pretty old - maybe 30s or 40s.

So now I need to decide or design what sweater to put them on. Only a very special sweater will do, but for now they'll need to be put aside til all the deadline projects are done. They won't be very far though, the more I think about designing something for them, the faster that deadline knitting will go. They'll act as my knitter's "carrot"!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Fall 2009 Interweave Knits Preview

So I really did not expect the Interweave Knits Fall 2009 preview to be up this week too! Time to introduce Angelica's Coat:

When I designed this coat, I had something earthy and cozy in mind. Something that would be perfect to wrap yourself up in as the fall chill moves in, but could easily carry you into the colder winter months too. I added a belt to give the coat a little more fitted shape if desired, but it can certainly be worn without.

I've been a busy little knitter the past few months, that's for sure. Remember when I was having problems with the wrists? Well this was one of the projects I was working on at that time. Normally, it wouldn't have been a problem, but a blanket coat in Aran weight yarn was really a challenge for hands that were already hurting! I just hope it's well received to make it all worth it :)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Knitscene Fall 2009

Today the official preview went live on the Knitscene website! I know that a few knitters have already snagged their copy of the magazine early (official newsstand release is July 21st), but for those who haven't been so lucky, take a look here if you haven't seen already!

This project was a huge undertaking for me, but I loved every minute of it. As the featured designer, I was given the task of designing a 4 piece collection along with choosing the yarn and color story. I loved being able to start from the ground up, selecting particular yarns for the vision I was after. The color story started out as a basic idea, but in the end, it was sort of dictated by which colors were available in the yarns I chose. You have NO IDEA how hard it is to select matching colors when you are dealing with different yarns and companies plus choosing them from a computer screen!

For this collection, I was inspired by a few different things. I wanted nice yarns that enhanced an otherwise plain stockinette stitch body. I wanted the bodies to be simple to knit, but still be able to teach a more experienced knitter a few tricks. And even though they were simple to knit, I wanted to add little details here and there to make them contemporary and fashionable, yet classic - something that you'll still be able to wear and cherish a few years down the road.

And now I leave them with you! I think the best part of designing a hand knit pattern is seeing how the knitter takes the original idea and expands upon it. Whether it be a different yarn choice, adapting or changing the fit, or changing the colors - the choice is yours.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Introducing the Bliss Shawlette

by Melissa Wehrle

Bliss shawlette
A delicately stitched shawlette perfect for all seasons. Worked in a DK weight yarn, it knits up very quickly and without much fuss.


  • Handmaiden Fine Yarns Double Sea Silk (70% Silk/30% Seacell; 273yds/250m; 100g): Topaz, 2 skeins
  • OR 360 yds/329m DK weight yarn
  • 1 US size 7 (4.5mm) 24" or longer circular needle or size needed to obtain gauge
  • 1 stitch marker
  • Size E/4 crochet hook
  • Waste yarn in contrasting color
  • Tapestry needle
14 sts and 25 rows = 4"/10cm in Lace Pattern with US size 7 (4.5mm) needle, blocked

Techniques used in pattern
  • Crochet Chain Provisional cast on
  • Decreasing and increasing
  • Following a lace chart

Bliss shawlette

And The Winners Are........

I received so many great names, it was so hard to choose just one! I really enjoyed reading how you came up with them too, I could see a lot of thought went into your choices.

And the winners are.....

#1 Bliss - the knitrider
#2 Artemis - harper
#3 Océane - maryse
#4 random choice from number generator - skaro964

I'm working on the finishing touches now and the pattern should be ready by tonight or early tomorrow. When it's ready, I'll email the PDF to all of you lucky winners :)

(I've managed to contact everyone but harper. Harper, if your out there, please drop a line at neoknits AT yahoo DOT com and I'll get your pattern out to you!)

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Please Help Me Name this Shawlette

The pattern writing for the new shawlette design is well on it's way, but an interesting name for it is eluding me. So who wants to help me name it and win a shawlette pattern in the process?

Name that tune

I'll pick the top 3 name choices and throw in a 4th winner at random. Just leave a comment below and please make sure you leave a way for me to contact you. I'll leave the naming open until Monday 7/13 8pm EST. Thanks everyone!

Sunday, July 05, 2009

New Pattern Preview: Shawlette

This weekend we were blessed with such beautiful weather! So I gathered up the camera, my trusty photographer DH and headed out to Fort Mott, an old military fort along the Delaware River. There he snapped some pictures of my newest design for neoknits: a shawlette.




The pattern is not written yet, but it should be ready in a week or two. More info soon!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Finally Can Spill the Beans - Sort Of

Do you subscribe to the Knitting Daily emails? Did you happen to notice anything about the email that went out today about the next issue of Knitscene? I'll give you a clue, it's the last headline on the cover.

I've been dying to share this news with everyone since I was contacted by Lisa Shroyer way back before Thanksgiving, but I figured I'd keep it mum until the issue was about ready to go live. So I finally feel I can spill the beans! I am the featured designer for the Fall/Winter issue of Knitscene!

For the issue, I had to design a mini collection of 4 sweaters and was interviewed for a little article about me and my designs. The preview still won't be up for a few weeks though, so can't quite spill all the beans yet! I will tell you that if you got the Knitting Daily email, one of my designs was at the bottom of the page: a grey doleman pullover. The model is wearing a yellow long sleeve t-shirt underneath.

Preview goes live the week of July 21st and it should be in knitting shops and newsstands the same week. So keep your eyes peeled!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Proper Photo Shoot

I took advantage of the small glimmer of sunlight we had on Saturday night to finally have a proper photo shoot for my Desert Sun shawl. I really, really, really love the way it turned out and have worn it at least once a week since I finished it up. Luckily (or unluckily) it has been very nice shawl weather.

desert sun shawl

desert sun shawl

I've also been working on a little shawl design of my own. More details to come!