Meet the Fellows: Emily Wood


I live in Maryland with my family and our deeply-suspicious-of-anything-new dog. I began designing patterns about 10 years ago and have had patterns published most recently by Interweave Knits, Knitty, and SweetGeorgia Yarns.

How did you get into knitting & designing knitwear?
It started with a pair of socks. Sock Knitters Anonymous on Ravelry held a monthly challenge to design your own sock pattern. I labored over those socks, and by the time they were finished, I had caught the designing bug.

What designers do you admire & why?
I prefer not to name names because there’s too many amazing designers! I’m sure that I would leave out crucial people. I gravitate toward designers who make projects with clean lines, interesting constructions, or a strategic use of color. I am constantly finding new patterns to admire and add to my queue.

DSC06747-adjWhat does your design process look like?
There are three main ways that I begin to develop a design. I’m frequently inspired by the mood boards that magazines & yarn companies send out when they are putting together a collection. I’ll see an image of something in nature or of another garment, and then I’ll dive into my stitch dictionaries to match up my ideas with actual stitches.

Other times, I want to knit with a particular yarn. You know – those special skeins that you just have to buy, but then you don’t know what you’re going to do with them?  I try to think about what stitch patterns would show off the yarn best.

The third way I come up with designs is the most spontaneous and least reliable. Occasionally, I’ll be about to fall asleep and an absolutely brilliant idea for a pattern will pop into my head. Unfortunately, what seemed amazing in the foggy middle of the night sometimes won’t turn out to be workable in the light of day.

DSC06746What type of project do you like to knit/crochet most?
I keep coming back to shawls, though I like to mix things up with all different types of projects. Shawls are easy because gauge is not as important and they provide a wide-open canvas for experimentation.

What are you best known for as a designer?
I’m not sure – I’d like to be known for clear instructions and an interesting use of color and texture. Those are my goals!

What are your hobbies/interests outside of the fiber community?
When I’m not knitting, I’m taking care of my kids, working as a freelance editor, baking cookies, reading novels, and writing stories. There’s always too much to do and not enough hours in the day.

Is there anything else you’d like our knitters to know about you?
I’m so excited to be collaborating with Eat.Sleep.Knit. in the Pattern Academy! Thanks so much!

Want to see more of Emily? Check our her profile on Ravelry!

Meet the Fellows: Fiona Munro

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I’m Fiona from Aberdeen, Scotland and I grew up on Salt Spring Island in Canada.

P1030336How did you get into knitting & designing knitwear?
I have been an avid knitter since my grandmother taught me to knit when I was six years old. It was only a few years ago when I was studying as a graduate student that I realized I could design my own patterns and that I could share these new designs with others. Since then, I have continued to design these patterns on the side of my day job with the help of my two sisters.

What designers do you admire & why?
I very much admire designers that draw from traditional techniques and styles to create modern designs like Alice Starmore.

IMG_20190612_090503__01What does your design process look like?
A lot of my inspiration comes from nature and that is why I love living near the ocean and rolling hills in Scotland. I often will have an idea come to me when out for a run or as I am falling asleep at night. I then make sure to sketch it out on a scrap piece of paper or in my sketch book, whatever is closer to hand! Then, I work out a chart if there is lace, texture, or fair isle detail. I will knit a swatch or multiple swatches depending on how they turn out. I then put together a design proposal to submit to a third-party publication or write up the pattern for self-publishing.

What type of project do you like to knit/crochet most?
I love working on lace projects in the warmer summer parts of the year and larger heavier projects like sweaters and wraps in the autumn and winter. I love how a large knitting project can act like a lap blanket in the winter when it is dark and rainy!

IMG_20181121_093349__01What are you best known for as a designer?
Easy to more complex knits that draw from traditional techniques and styles such as fair isle and Shetland lace knitting.

What are your hobbies/interests outside of the fiber community?
Besides knitting & designing my main other hobbies are fiddling, long distance running, and rowing.

Learn more about Fiona on Ravelry or follow @MunroSisters3 on Instagram. Stay tuned for more designers!

Meet the Fellows: Adrienne Larsen

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I live with my husband in Fargo, ND, where I miss the lakes of my native Minnesota. I work at the local yarn shop. I have a master’s degree in Textile Engineering from a school that has since changed its name. In my free time, I enjoy eating ice cream and playing with my 3 ferrets.

How did you get into knitting & designing knitwear?
I’ve knit since my Grandma and stepfather taught me as a little kid. I was working at a theatre in upstate New York as a costume stitcher when I realized that making knitting patterns was just algebra, and therefore accessible. When I was looking at grad schools for costume construction, all anyone wanted to talk about was the sweaters I had designed. So, I figured that,if I was going to chase something impractical, it may as well be my favorite impractical thing. While in grad school, I attended the first Vogue Knitting Live event, and the talk was about submitting your design work, and I thought “Why not?” So, I submitted to a Interweave Knits call, and 4 months later, it was accepted. It’s still my most popular pattern!

What designers do you admire & why?
I admire anyone who can make something simple look elegant and innovative. I have real trouble designing anything simple.

Cedar Chest of SwatchesWhat does your design process look like?
I either start with a mood board provided by an outside source, or from something I see on TV. A color or a shape that I like. Sometimes, it comes from wondering whether a specific technique is possible. Then I usually hit the stitch dictionaries. I mark several I like, and them whittle them down. Or, if I’m pressed for time, I look through my current swatches to see if there’s a stitch I like that will fit a call.

After that, I chart the stitch pattern out in excel. I usually alter it somewhat. Then I knit a swatch, which can take a day or two of revisions if it’s a new complicated lace or cable pattern.

After I have a swatch I like, I take a picture of it, put it into repeat in Photoshop, and skin it on to either an existing sweater template or a silhouette I’ve traced on my light board & scanned in. Then I skin the silhouette with the swatch in repeat. This gives me a chance to play around with placement without having to knit anything. Then I shade the skinned fabric using the Burn tool, and sometimes use filters to make the whole thing look cohesive. I used to do watercolor renderings like I was taught in costume design class, but I find with my computer rendering is faster and achieves a better result.

What type of project do you like to knit/crochet most?
Sweaters, a weird amount without sleeves, especially since I live in such a cold climate.

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What are you best known for as a designer?
Fitted sweaters with tricky cables and lace motifs. And I hope fastidious attention to finishing details, like making the ribbing relate to the overall motif.

Photostudio and photography assistantsWhat are your hobbies/interests outside of the fiber community?
The aforementioned ferrets. Fitting into my theatrical roots, I take singing lessons, and am hoping to find a way to use them. Cooking ridiculously complicated meals with my husband that are far above our skill level (there was a whole series of standing meat pies The Great British Bake Off inspired).


Learn more about Adrienne on her Ravelry profile or follow @the_yarnslayer on Instagram. Stay tuned for more designers!

Meet the Fellows: Jen Maynulet

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I’m Jen and I spend entirely too much time every day thinking about yarn. I live in the greater Los Angeles area with my partner and a lot of air plants. We are indie game developers for a VR title featuring six-foot-tall sentient hot dogs with guns. (No, really.) When I’m not drawing hot dogs, I’m knitting, stitching, or playing games not involving processed meat products. Occasionally, housework rears its ugly head, but I try to ignore that.
I have a degree in Fine Art and 2/3 of a degree in Biochemistry. I love dinosaurs, donuts, things with tentacles, and naps.

IMG_20200102_112930How did you get into knitting & designing knitwear?

Knitting: I learned how to knit about 15 years ago while I was living in Spain. I asked my mom to teach me because one of my friends online was an avid knitter and crocheter. I started off with garter stitch scarves, then quickly moved on to colorwork hats, mainly because no one told me colorwork was supposed to be hard. Then YouTube was a thing, so I learned everything else I know about knitting from that.

Designing: Because I work with pixel art in my day job, it was a pretty natural transition into making my own colorwork charts. There was a bit of a void when it came to finding cool, quirky colorwork motifs, or at least there was to me. I wanted to do something with stranded knitting that wasn’t just more snowflake or floral motifs. I wanted to do something that was strictly me.

What designers do you admire & why?

Andrea Rangel– her AlterKnit Stitch Dictionary really helped me reimagine what a colorwork pattern could be. Also, her pattern writing is incredibly clear and (from what I’ve seen) size-inclusive.
Tin Can Knits– where do I even begin in describing how awesome they are? Their patterns are so clearly written that they’re basically the first ones I recommend to anyone who wants to knit their first sock, sweater, hat, etc. Whatever you want to knit, they have a pattern for it, and they make it so easy to follow.

What does your design process look like?

I begin by coming up with an idea, then sourcing inspirational images online. Once I find some images that speak to me, I make a rough sketch with pencil and paper. Assuming the sketch isn’t terrible, I import it into Photoshop and create a “linocut” version of it, refining lines, breaking the illustration down into two colors.
Once I’m happy with the results, I move on to the next step, which is importing it into my pixel art program. I make sure the design fits the stitch count which depends on what item I’m making & what weight I’m using.
After I have my pixel breakdown saved, I import it into the design program I use to create a gridded/numbered chart. From there, I usually knit my sample(s), figuring out shaping as I get to it. Hopefully I remember to take good notes.

What type of project do you like to knit/crochet most?

I’m definitely a sweater knitter. Not surprisingly, I like colorwork a lot, too.

IMG_20200120_120610What are you (or hope to be) best known for as a designer?
Loud, non-traditional, modern colorwork.

What are your hobbies/interests outside of the fiber community?
I do embroidery, cross-stitch, painting, printmaking, gaming (both tabletop and PC). I enjoy reading, though I don’t do it as much as I should. I’m a weirdo who doesn’t watch movies or TV.

Is there anything else you’d like our knitters to know about you?

– I’m a first generation American.
– My favorite animals are cephalopods.
– My pronouns are she/her or they/them.
– My favorite colors are green, orange, and about 15 different shades of almost-black.
– I am totally not 3 cuttlefish in a trenchcoat.

Learn more about Jen on Ravelry or follow @tentacularly on Instagram. Stay tuned for more designers!

Meet the Fellows: Shelby Hamden


I’m Shelby, I live in Houston, TX with my husband, three kids, a cat that acts like a dog and a dog that’s a scaredy cat. I work part time in a cosmetics store and I sketch far more designs that I could possibly ever knit. My favorite things to knit are hats, with shawls as a close second.

86970078_3054907674561289_850878285997932544_nHow did you get into knitting & designing knitwear?
I started knitting in middle school when I read hundreds of books in one year and won my choice of a gift from a selection donated by the local community. I chose a Learn to Knit kit and taught myself with only the instructions from the book. My first design was years later when I wanted to knit a baby hat for a friend. I couldn’t find a basic pattern at my local yarn shop and I didn’t know anything about Ravelry at the time.

What designers do you admire & why?
I love Veera Välimäki for her unique designs and mixed textures, and Stephen West for the same, but slightly more eccentric reasons. I also adore Jessie Mae Martinson for her clean and simple, but beautiful aesthetic and size inclusive designs. And not last, or least, but last for this list, Jen Maynulet, because their designs are unique and well written. I am excited to see more from them!

20200219_073518What does your design process look like?
It looks like insomnia most of the time. I tend to have trouble sleeping and I learned several years ago that coming up with the next thing I want to make helped me work through it.
Once I have a somewhat formed idea, I open up a photo app on my phone, use the drawing tool to sketch out a very rough image, and text it to myself with a short description to help me interpret it in the morning.
After that, it goes into my sketchbook and in line for a future cast on. Every once in awhile, a design will be born by casting on for a specific object and just letting it become something along the way, but that’s not often.

What type of project do you like to knit/crochet most?
I will always love hats the most! They are simple and quick to knit, but I really love knitting shawls as well.

What are you (or hope to be) best known for as a designer?
I think my goal has always been to publish designs that look beautiful and detailed but are relatively simple for the beginner or advanced beginner, designs that do not intimidate but leave the knitter feeling like they have accomplished something fantastic when they are finished.

What are your hobbies/interests outside of the fiber community?
I love many aspects of the fiber arts, including spinning, dyeing, and some crochet. Outside of that I try to make time for my vegetable garden, I love to read, especially historical fiction, and I also enjoy cooking. I am currently searching for the perfect buffalo cauliflower recipe, know any?

Is there anything else you would like our knitters to know about you?
Although I am a city girl in SE Texas now, and have been living in large cities since I turned 18, I grew up in a very rural area in the coldest parts of Northern Minnesota. I moved around a lot since then and have met so many people and enjoyed so many different cultural experiences. As a result, I know and can recall a lot of random & weird historical facts and have the ability to speak in quite a few regional accents – often times accidentally!

Shelby is the first of 7 Pattern Academy Fellows we will be featuring. Learn more about Shelby on Ravelry or follow @yesthatshelby on Instagram. Stay tuned for more designers!