May 132011

Welcome to the third stop of the blog tour for the fantastic Crafty Detour CSI sock book! I have been fortunate to be involved with this project on more than one level – as a test knitter, as a tech editor for the patterns, and for the last sock in the book, yarn dyer! I was more than thrilled to host my dear friend Heather on a blog tour :) So without further ado, let’s get to the interview!


Heather & I at Rhinebeck


What are your future hopes and dreams for your designing career?
Pie in the sky: I would love to author a book published by someone other than myself, go on a book signing tour, and be invited to teach at all the major fiber arts events. Realistically: I would like to become a designer that people remember. For example, a knitter wants to start a shawl pattern and says something like, “Hey, I have this awesome pattern in my queue by Heather Zoppetti, maybe I should cast on for that…” Maybe they do and maybe they don’t, but at least I wasn’t forgotten. Is that selfish? 

What is your favorite type of item to design?
I’ve designed everything from socks and scarves to sweaters and blankets. Socks are nice because they can be completed quickly. Sweaters are probably the most fun, but require much more work, or maybe the work is what makes it fun? I would like to develop a well rounded portfolio of designs and so it is my goal to design everything at least once, possibly with the exception of items like teapot cozies and toilet paper covers…

How did you come up with the crimes for the patterns?
For the first couple of designs, the pattern came first. So crimes were created to match the design. Mostly, Ida and I came up with a list of possible crimes ahead of time and I tried to design to one of those. We attempted to make each one something that any knitter could relate to, missing notions, trouble with gauge, etc.

Any tips for people looking to start designing?
Swatch! Seriously, if you don’t like swatching, learn to like it. Swatching allows you to explore, to test, to play; it’s a very important step especially when it comes to patterns that require grading (multiple sizes). Also, design from experience. If you want to design a hat, knit lots of hats. You will learn what you do and don’t like about hats and you will be able to create a hat exactly as you want.  Other than that, when writing a pattern, keep your audience in mind. What do you like and dislike in patterns that you have knit?

You used a variety of yarns in these patterns, which was your favorite to work with?

I really loved all the yarns. More specifically, I love the colors of Madelinetosh, they simply glow. I loved working with The Alpaca Yarn Company Paca Peds. The alpaca gives the socks a touch of luxury. I especially loved working with your yarn, Stitches N’ Rows Happy Soles. Part of the fun was requesting my own special color :) It came out exactly as I wanted and knit up fabulously.

Thank you for hosting me!


Thanks for allowing me to host a spot on the tour! Something to keep in mind everyone, is that the e-book is currently  priced at $20 with each pattern being available individually for $3.  However, in June the prices will increase to $28 for the e-book and $4 for an individual pattern.

© Heather Zoppetti


Now for the give-away! Heather has graciously given me a copy of the e-book to give away to a lucky commenter. But I’m going to sweeten the deal. Since Stitches ‘n Rows was able to supply yarn for one of the designs (Bobbie Strow) I’m going to throw in a skein of the “I Can’t believe it’s not…” colorway that Heather requested and named!  All you need to do is leave a comment by midnight EST on Monday May 23, 2011 – tell me your favorite pattern in the e-book – and I’ll draw a winner at random.  Make sure you leave a way for me to contact you!

Oct 142010

Sometimes you need to know when to quit.

There was no way I was going to finish the christening shawl by today. The edging alone has 1200+ stitches. Needless to say, I’m back to the sock commitments that I need to fulfill and hopefully will have the Zur Lederhos’n socks out to Yarnissima on Monday.

christening shawl

I’m further along than this photo shows. The shawl is now slated as a Christmas present. Hopefully M can wear it for her first holy communion or her confirmation or something.

We (Sharon and I) finally got the etsy shop up and running. Come check out our yarn and fiber selection: Stitches ‘n Rows. We also had our first vending experience at this year’s Schuylkill River Fest in Pottstown, PA. Here’s our little booth:

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random_2010 022

And a visitor to Sharon’s CPW:
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We had beautiful weather and our Cheeky came out to demo spindling and was a great sales person – we thank her for this!

Currently, I’m spinning some superwash Merino from Pigeonroof Studios, in the Squall colorway:
random_2010 028

I have some 50/50 baby alpaca/superfine merino on another bobbin and I need to take a photo of that as well.

But, mostly I’ve been knitting on socks and spending time with these two:
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I love that they hang out on the couch together!

Rhinebeck is this weekend and I’ll be there on Saturday only. Come say Hi if you see me!

Jul 162010

Almost a month again. Sheesh. I haven’t been purposely ignoring the blog, honest, just running around like a maniac.

First, I got to meet my new niece, Marisa. She took a nap on my chest while we were visiting for nephew #4’s birthday:


Marisa takes a nap

I finished my cousin’s shawl and my own shawl.  Erika’s shower was on 7/10 and she really enjoyed herself.  I got to spend most of the day with her which is nice since she lives in Pittsburgh and we don’t see each other very often.

Pattern: Haruni (ravelry link – it’s a free pdf download!)

Yarn: Wollmeise 100% superwash merino in Frühling

Cast on: 6/20/2010

Cast off: 7/2/2010


haruni in eye searing acid green wollmeise

and my lovely blocking assistant:

blocking assistant

my ever helpful blocking assistant

I’ve also been busy doing some test knitting for Heather (over at Crafty Detour and for her personal designs, at digitalnabi) which has involved another sock pattern and a shawlette pattern.  I’m now completely addicted to lace, thanks to Haruni and the new shawlette which I believe is being called Strawberry.

And since it’s July and the tour de france is going on, we spinners have the tour de fleece at the same time! Here’s what I’ve managed to spin up since the start:

superwash merino in cheshire cat

135 yards, navajo plied superwash merino in the Cheshire cat colorway

pigeonroofstudios superwash merino230 yards of 2 ply superwash merino from Pigeonroof Studios in the exit song colorway – this was a club shipment from Krista’s regular fiber club.

And finally,

the professor225 yards of 2 ply Falkland that I dyed, the colorway name is Professor Von Buren (JC came up with it, don’t ask).

I’m trying to get better with measuring the yardage I’ve been ending up with. So far so good. On the wheel currently is more superwash merino from PigeonRoof, I’m trying to spin down my stash!

forestI’m almost done the singles and hope to finish this up by the end of this weekend if I don’t completely get sucked into my test knitting which has been the case lately.

More tomorrow!

Jun 202010

Really, how does a whole month go by? Wow. Here’s what I’ve been up to:

1. Knitting my cousin’s wedding shawl, which came off of the needles yesterday

Erika's shawl - purity from Roman 43

Erika's shawl - purity from Roman 43

Lace detail

Lace detail

I dropped 3 stitches on the final row of the edging and had to figure out how to pick them back up and somehow managed it. If I wasn’t a Knitter with a capital K before this, I most certainly am now.

2. Knitting a baby sweater for my niece, Marisa who joined us on June 5th.

handspun boheme for Marisa

handspun boheme for Marisa

The pattern is Boheme (ravelry link) and it was a quick knit, done in 3 days. I love knitting with handspun, I love the accidental striping that happens. I see more of these in my future, they are a great way to use up smaller hanks of handspun!

3. I’ve been dyeing fiber like it is going out of style. Sharon and I are trying to get an etsy shop up and running and I’ll post as soon as we get everything in order :) But here’s a teaser of some of the Falkland roving I dyed:

falkland sampler

falkland sampler

I think I may just be addicted.

bagged up and ready to go

bagged up and ready to go

4. Finished two pairs of socks:

Zen toe-ups which took me over a year to finish because I hate the yarn (trekking xxl – a sin I know!).

zen toe-ups

zen toe-ups

and a pair of toe up monkey socks using yarn from my friend Debbie:

toe up popcicle monkeys

toe up popcicle monkeys

5. Some spinning has occurred but not much since I was focusing on Erika’s shawl.

Pigeonroof studios SW merino in Emperor

Pigeonroof studios SW merino in Emperor

6. And a ton of test knitting for the girls over at Crafty Detour. The next sock in the series looks awesome and I can’t wait until they launch their CSI series :)

Skinny Bugga! in Beyer's Jewel Scarab

Skinny Bugga! in Beyer's Jewel Scarab

I’ll be knitting this pattern using skinny bugga! for the first time. I can’t wait to see how it knits up and how the sock turns out. So far all of Heather’s patters have been lovely!

Hopefully I’ll be back in a few days with more to blog about!

May 012009

Hello my few and far between readers!

I really suck at this blogging thing. My new goal is to do this every day until June. Maybe it will get me in the habit.

Recent events? I have completed one test knit for the lovely Yarnissima and will be starting another one this evening. I’m a few days behind, but I see that as an okay thing, just to make sure those that have already started haven’t missed anything.  Everything is under wraps, no photos or hints, but these are two great patterns.  Wait, actually, the one, is Kiila that is being done as a mystery sock for Sock Knitters Anonymous.  Definitely go with a semi-solid or a straight solid yarn on that one my friends!

Spinning wise? I just finished plying up some 3 ply Corriedale from Zarzuela’s Fibers from the first fiber club Jessica offered.  This is from the January shipment and the final product needs to be washed and set before I can take some niec photos. Hopefully, I will post them by Sunday!

For the three lovely ladies that posted for the meme, give me a few more days but your prizes should be sent out before the 15th.  I have to go through some stuff and get myself together :) Please make sure I have your mailing addresses! (Kim, this does not include you haha!)

I’m right on schedule for another 12 pair of socks year, 4 pairs have been completed so far, and two are half done (Digitessa and Kiila) and I’m just past the heel turn on another vanilla toe up sock.

April was a crazy month: got sick, went to see Jon Stewart, went to see Travis, went to see Bruce Springsteen perform his final two shows with the E Street Band at the to be demolished Philadelphia Spectrum, and lost my wallet.  I’m in the process of replacing everything, but sheesh, this sucks!

Here are Chez Sairy we are getting over/in the midst of a horrible spring cold/allergy/sinus infection rally.  I’m at the tail end of it, the Boy is in the midst of it and is going to get checked out today.

Congrats need to go out to LittleWit on her engagement 😀 Congrats congrats congrats!

Other than that, tomorrow I will not be going to MDS&W as planned. Whatever virus has been brewing at my house needs to stay there, and so I will be instead going to NYC to hang out with Cait and her mom (read: lunch and YARN). Can’t wait!

More when I get home tomorrow 😀