The Woman Behind The Curtain

How do you solve a problem like Susan?
How do you catch a cloud a pin it dooooowwwwn?

Those lyrics to the song "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria" from the Sound of Music rolls through my head almost every time I work with Susan. She's my expert problem solver and can pin down any idea I have into reality, making it come to life.

In Episode 202 of Knitting Myself Together, you got to meet Susan. She's the person behind the scenes here at The Violet Pie. Without her doing the million tiny and not so tiny things that are involved in building a design brand that AREN'T related to actively designing, I'd be utterly lost. On top of all that, she's also actively involved in test knitting almost every single design from now through 2019! 

And yes, you read that correctly. 2019. Because of her support, I have designs planned through 2019. How amazing is that?

We regularly have video chat meetings that work around our real lives. Since we're both parents, dealing with interruptions are both skills in our respective wheelhouses. Kids make frequent appearances and when we manage to virtually meet up post bedtime, we often celebrate with wine or vodka as we crunch knitting math, punctuated with words that don't come out around little ears. I'm perpetually and forever grateful for the internet and the space it provides to support relationships. Relationships with people like Susan and it also allows me to get to know people I would have otherwise never had the opportunity to know. People like you! 

Be sure to stop by and say hi where you're the most comfortable. You can find me most easily here on the blog, Facebook, Instagram, Ravelry, or even via email! I've loved every interaction I've had with you lovely folk. I'd love to hear from you. 

xoxo

Season Two Giveaway

We're trying something new for Season Two -- a giveaway! The prizes are pretty awesome, if I do say so myself. Grand Prize winner will receive a $25 gift card to The Nifty Knitter, who has an amazing online shop, in addition to a skein of Wollmiese in my life colors! First Prize will receive a limited run colorway skein from Tusken Knits. Pictures of the lovely prizes are below!

You have TWO chances to win! To enter, you just need to leave an honest review of Knitting Myself Together on Apple Podcasts and/or Stitcher. That's it! Be sure to follow the Rafflecopter link above so that you have the place to enter your information! By sharing your thoughts about our conversations in the podcast, you'll help other yarn lovers find us AND have a chance to win some pretty awesome prizes.

Giveaway runs 10/05/17 to 10/25/17. Winners will be contacted via email, announced over social media, and on the podcast.

Love Is There

Last week had has been a brutal past 72 hours. Incredibly stressful with quite literally no time to knit. Everything finally stopped this afternoon and the kids were begging to go to the park. I reluctantly loaded us all up and bribed myself with the idea of some quiet knitting time. 

After sitting down at the picnic table and shooing the kiddos off, I came across a rock from the #thekindnessrocksproject and it was exactly what I needed. The reminder of love and all the forms it takes. To love myself by embracing my humanity.  To take a breath. It will be okay.

 

 

Where do YOU knit?

Season 1 of Knitting Myself Together is all about knitting in public. We had some great conversations about where we knit and I want to keep the dialog going! It's been great scrolling through Instagram's #placesyoucanknit, and would love to see more, especially from my listeners, so feel free to tag me @thevioletpie. Can't wait to see where you're taking your yarn! 

Season 2 of Knitting Myself Together starts September 21st, which means you have time to catch up on Season 1 if you're behind! If you're all caught up and can't wait, consider becoming a Patreon supporter where you'll have access to my weekly videos at any level of generosity.

xoxo

Tomorrow!

Are you going to Stitches Midwest this weekend? Hopefully I'll see you there! Juxtaposition is the perfect project for that impulse yarn purchase you just can't walk away from. The low yardage and versatility of the piece lets you truly indulge in that amazing yarn that will catch your eye!

The pattern drops tomorrow but to help set you up for shopping success, I thought I'd share with you the yardage requirements a day early. My sample was knit in Plucky's DK weight yarn and modeled in the Medium size. Yardage needed for sizes S (M, L, XL) is: 740 (810, 890, 970). The sizes correspond with following bust sizes: 30-35 (36-40, 41-46, 47-52) inches.

 

 

Call Me?

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Three words. What three words come to mind when someone asks you to knit for them? Is it something along the lines of "oh hell no"? What about "warm and fuzzy"? Maybe "nervous, trepidation, excitement"? 

Whstever your response, would you leave me a voicemail and tell me what your three words would be? I'd love to feature you in the upcoming season of Knitting Myself Together!

Hope to hear from you soon. 

xoxo

{wipw} Juxtaposition Testers

by Leeduck

by Leeduck

by Lovescolor

by Lovescolor

My lovely testers for my Juxtaposition chose a wide variety of hues and tones for their shrugs. One of my favorite things about utilizing test knitters is seeing my concepts come to life in such a contrast of colors!

I can't wait to see what color you knit Juxtaposition in when the pattern releases on Friday!

Any Way You Slice It

"Right side" by Niveknits

"Right side" by Niveknits

"Wrong Side" Niveknits

"Wrong Side" Niveknits

My new pattern that is releasing on Friday is reversible! As I was swatching and designing, I became enamored with the "wrong side" of the work but opted to model the piece with the original right side facing. Turns out, some of my testers loved the inside of the shrug just as much and opted to wear it in reverse! 

I can't wait to show you all the details of Juxtaposition, my new shrug, on Friday!

{after hours} New Adventures

Oh hey!!! My last episode for Season 1 of Knitting Myself Together dropped today and it's bittersweet. The feelings of accomplishment for learning so much during Season 1 (thank you for your patience!) is amazing but knowing I need to take a break until September 21st is hard because I really like talking with you. I'll still be online on social media, doing the good ol' Instagram and Facebook but there's something about verbal communication that really makes me tick. Probably because at heart, I'm a verbal processor. Either way, I don't want to go all the way until September 21st without chatting with you!

So. Here I am, trying something new (to me). I know videos are A Thing for knitters on YouTube but I've never really gotten into it. Audio only is really where my heart is. That being said, a number of you have asked if I'd do videos, so I'm giving it a try. This first video is public and 100% free. Moving forward, all videos during the hiatus for Knitting Myself Together will available exclusively to my Patreon supporters

If you enjoyed our conversation in this new format, do me a favor and check out things over at Patreon. You'll see a wide range of ways you can support me and my endeavors. Every single level of support will receive exclusive access to these videos, but there are some great additional perks for the higher levels of support as well. Everything from access to a private Facebook group to you receiving FREE patterns at each release. There's even a level where I knit something for you! But seriously, even $2.00 a month is an incredible and humbling thing to receive from my community. 

If your budget can't support one more line item to have access to the upcoming videos (trust me, I know those feels!), the audio podcast will remain free and I'll rejoin that conversation on September 21st. 

Until next time,

Dallas Ann xoxo

{fof} Personal Project

I decided to spend my vacation last week knitting a shawl design that was created by another designer. It was the perfect choice -- no pressure to document everything I was doing or second guessing if anyone but me would like the final product. The shawl wasn't quite done before we all got home, so I delayed unpacking my suitcase until it was bound off and blocking. Call my superstitious, but projects never turn out well if I start them on vacation and don't finish before I unpack. 

I thoroughly enjoyed the pattern and the yarn was a dream to work with. While knitting up this project, my creativity was allowed freedom to roam and now I am brimming with ideas for this yarn base. Hopefully I'll be able to share them with you soon!

{moodboard monday} Boardwalk Pullover

Ferris Wheels, tufts of cotton candy, and hot summer nights were the inspiration for this sweater. As always, the goal of practicality is threaded throughout the entire top down piece; lightweight and airy with enough structure to give shape without making you uncomfortable in the heat. Cap sleeves and high-low style offers practical design elements beautifully balanced against the whimsical color work and hem statements.  The stranded color work is only on the front, to avoid accidentally snagging anything you might brush up against, and the bobbles at the hem provide just enough weight to keep the edges from curling while maintaining the charming scallop.

To see more images that inspired my forthcoming pattern Boardwalk, take a peek over at this Pintrest board!

SOURCES: SUNSET PIER, PINK BALLOONS, FERRIS WHEEL, WINDSOCKS, TICKET BOOTH

Boardwalk!!

Dallas Ann modeling her new design: the Boardwalk pullover

Dallas Ann modeling her new design: the Boardwalk pullover

Hello there! I'm Susan, a mama, a knitter, and a proud piece of the behind the scenes of The Violet Pie.I thought it would be fun to find out a little bit more about the design process that went into "BOARDWALK", the new pattern coming out on Tuesday, and floated the idea by Dallas Ann yesterday. She LOVED it! So here it is, a mini interview sharing with you a little bit of what went into this perfect for summer pattern!

The colors you used for Boardwalk are so bright and happy; were you inspired by yarn colors or did the pattern idea come first? It all coalesced at the same time! I wanted to do non traditional color work, but couldn't decide if I wanted to do non traditional color or non traditional technique. So ultimately I embraced the power of "and" by incorporating both perceived options into the project. 


What do you like best about Boardwalk?
The bobble bind off. It evokes such a sense of summer and just straight up happiness for me. 


Do you have a favorite place to find inspiration, or does it find you?
It tends to find me through experiences in life or visual combinations of color and texture I see in the wild. 


Tell me a couple of things you enjoyed from the testing group 
I loved how everyone took me literally when I said "pick what colors you want" and seeing the vibrant combinations come forth. Combinations I never would have put together have best utterly delightful to see and have made me literally squee with happiness IRL. 


Boardwalk is your first big pattern release, was it hard to put it out there? 
Technically it wasn't the first return release, my birthday shawl was, and while there is more time invested in an article of clothing, Bobble Paw held much more emotional weight for me. Boardwalk is an easy and fun summer knit where inspiration and a design coalesced into a great piece, and I'm excited for its release!"


Thank you Dallas Ann for letting us take a peek into your creative process <3 

 

Knit In Public Round Up

L-R car ride knitting, beach knitting, Field Museum knitting, random sidewalk knitting, bowling alley cast on post frogging, regained knitting in final colors.  

L-R car ride knitting, beach knitting, Field Museum knitting, random sidewalk knitting, bowling alley cast on post frogging, regained knitting in final colors.  

Finally back home after a week long adventure in the Windy City. There was a lot of knitting in public done, though I ended up frogging most of what I created. Ultimately, that was the best choice because I'm going to have a shawl I will absolutely wear instead of one I was feeling iffy on. It amazes me that color order would impact my enjoyment that much! Bottom left image is the original color line up and bottom right is what I settled on after frogging. 

Having knitting with me really helped manage life in general while out all day every day. I broke my foot 72 hours before leaving and had to find ways to keep myself busy while the rest of the family went on parts of our adventures without me. To be honest, I was really angry about the whole foot mess and having to adjust plans to accommodate my pain and ability levels. Thankfully, the family didn't have to hold back on their activities but sitting on the sidelines isn't something I'm good at. Knitting really helped me manage my feels (even though so much frogging. Ugh.) and now I'll have a shawl knit in my favorite yarn filled with great memories of our time together because we all had an amazing time.

This weekend, after catching up on adulting and grocery shopping, I'm planning on laying on the couch to ice my foot so all knitting will be happening in the privacy of my own home instead of taking part in Worldwide Knit In Public Day. But what about you? Are you participating by knitting in public? I'd love to hear about your experiences!

 

{irl} Knitting on the Road

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I'm officially on vacation for the entire week in the Windy City! Well, a trip would be the more accurate term since children are involved. As discussed in previous podcasts, vacations with young kids never actually becomes a "vacation" but rather a trip.  

I had high ambitions for my knitting productivity on this trip. I brought the supplies for a cotton Aran weight lace tank and everything needed to complete a sport weight linen blend shawl. I originally cast on for the tee, but I just wasn't feeling it on the 3 hour drive here (carsick puking kids might have something to do with it). I think tomorrow I'm going to attempt the shawl and if THAT doesn't fall into place. Well. I might have to detail plans to find a yarn store ASAP for inspiration. 

You can follow along with my knitting in public adventures in real time over at The Violet Pie Instagram. I'm trying out the IG story feature, too, which is fun. 

Xoxo

{sunday inspiration} Community

I'm loving what I'm seeing and reading over in the Ravelry group! Its amazing to see my designs come to life and bring people together. If you haven't already you should come over and join the KAL or sign up to test the latest pattern or just poke around a bit and say hi.

#whatsinyournotionsbag

Notions

I'm a knitter who loves notions. I feel underdressed for knitting if I don't at least have scissors, measuring tape, and tapestry needle! So I've compiled a notions bag that lives in my purse at all times. I never go anywhere without my purse because of my epi pen, so I'm almost always guaranteed to have my notions with me.

My notions are as follows:

  • A pair of small, snippy scissors
  • Length of smooth scrap yarn 
  • Slender crochet hook 
  • 10 stitch markers held on a safety pin
  • Tube with tapestry needles
  • Cable needle
  • Pen
  • Tape measure

All held in an amazing and wonderful bag covered in unicorns by from the seeds. This is, hands down, my favorite notions bag because it's holds just enough and doesn't let anything poke through the sides without being a hard case. Amber's currently on maternity leave to spend time with her darling new Olive, but you can catch updates on her Instagram if you want to be charmed by her sweet family and lovely creations.

What about you? What are the notions you absolutely must have? Or are you one of those crafters who live on the edge without notions at all? If you're on social media, snap a picture of your notions and share with all of us! Be sure to use #whatsinyournotionsbag so we can all follow along.

xoxo