The first stranded pattern that caught my eye this GAL was these Penguin mittens by Jessie McKitrick. Child sized mittens with a baby penguin motif, so cute!
Me: Hi Denise, tell me, how did you start designing?
Denise: I started designing while teaching knitting classes at our LYS. I needed some nice basic patterns with some extra directions for beginners in my classes. Then at some point the shop manager handed me a ball of yarn and said, “Make a pattern for this new yarn.” It became the Candy Wrapper Hat. I really enjoy a challenge.
Me: You have quite a collection of Christmas stockings in your pattern portfolio - how did you come to start designing them?
Denise: My first stranded Christmas stocking was a fairly simple one that I used to teach two-color knitting in the shop. Later, I had an opportunity to work with a Norwegian yarn importer and travel in Norway. I fell in love with the stranded Norwegian designs and have incorporated many of them into my stockings.
Me: So of all your stocking designs, which is your favourite, and why?
Denise:My favorite stocking is Selbu Roses Christmas Stocking. The combination of the Selbu Rose inside the star with the Endless Roses in the border really spoke to me. They are motifs that were used often in the knitting of Selbu, Norway. Visiting the Selbu knitting museum was a highlight of my trip to Norway. After I made this stocking, I saw a call for designs from I Like Knitting, December 2014. So on a whim, I submitted it. It was the first time I had every submitted one of my patterns for publication. Boy, was I surprised when they accepted it for the December issue!
Denise: I have always been drawn to colorwork and used to find ways to add some to the sweaters I made for my children and myself even before I started designing. After working with the beautiful Norwegian yarns and patterns, I was completely hooked. It can make something very simple into something special just by adding a bit of color detail.
Me: So what's next from you design-wise?
Denise: Currently, I am working something completely different. It will be a set of accessories in lovely, squishy cables set for self-publishing in December. It will include hat, cowl, fingerless mitts, mittens and boot cuffs.
Me: Thanks, Denise, for some insights into your designs. Have a good GAL!
If you like Denise's designs, there's still time to knit your very own Christmas stocking. With the designs already featured, plus Red Lilies Christmas Stocking, and the amazing Spider in the Roses, and more, there's enough to make a different stocking for everyone in the family!