Knitting Designers I loved in 2014

This year has meant more knitting than it has meant spinning. Since I have had a spinning wheel, it is usually the other way around. But, this year has seen a substantial amount of stash-busting (but not nearly enough!). All of these designers had patterns that fit with my stash. Some of them even provided yardage which made it easy to knit with handspun! There are three designers I’ve discovered this year and I would like to share their work with you. (And, a bonus designer I discovered awhile ago that I fell in love with again this year!)

1. Anthony Casalena

I discovered this LA-based artist on instagram. I love his shawl construction and this year I knitted two of his patterns (tre o molti and astoria) and I bought a third. What I liked most was that his patterns are easy to follow and are great with showing off yarn. They’re even easy to adapt to hand spun; for example, the tre o molti came with yardage for each section making it simple to group similar colors of my hand spun and slot it into a section. I just had to make sure I had enough yardage (and that it was the right weight) and I was good to go! I think I missed a section, though, in my pattern reading, which just means I’ll have to knit the pattern again. That’s cool, though, I certainly have the hand spun for it.

2. Marc Smollin

I don’t know how I discovered this artist. I knitted his megalodon out of some really special yarn in my stash (some handspun, some lesceister longwool from The Ross Farm and some bamboo I bought while on vacation in Hunstville, Alabama with a friend.) The pattern was fun and had a nice rhythm to it that allowed me to do other things while knitting (like practice Tseltal or listen to audio books or read) and that made me happy. It also included a stranded color section that was easy to follow and was a nice introduction to that technique. I’m so pleased with this shawl and I can’t tell you how happy I am to have it done in time for winter. Nothing makes you cheerful on a dark morning like that neon green bamboo yarn!

3. Josh Ryks

I also found this artist on instagram. Possibly because his work is liked by one of my favorite local yarn dyers, 716 Knit? (Her colorways have Buffy inspired names!) I just finished his Scarfy Shenanigans, which we released as an MKAL over twelve days in December. The pattern has included a lot of texture, some short rows, a fun cast on (that I’d never done!) and it has been a joy to knit. I love watching it develop as the days progress! Ryks’ patterns are all textured, geometric and fun, so I look forward to knitting more of them in the future!

4. Laura Nelkin

Laura Nelkin is my bonus designer as I didn’t discover her this year. I discovered her in 2012 through her craftsy class Knitting with Beads. But, I actually got around to finishing that class this year, adding an Accola to my collection (I had a terrible time with the yarn I picked to knit with it but the end result is so beautiful! I wear it every chance I get because it is just so spectacular!) I also started her April MKAL this year, a pattern called Magnify. And, while I haven’t finished it, I recently picked it back up and I’m once again in love with it. When it is done, it will be a stunning piece because of the bead placement and construction. Nelkin really hits beaded lace patterns out of the park!

I had a lot of fun knitting this year and I can’t wait to see what 2015 has in store for my needles. (Will I cast on the Celestarium I bought yarn for? Will I complete it? Only time will tell!) What patterns did you enjoy knitting in 2014? Who did you discover?

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