Tuesday, September 2, 2014


As a lifelong designer and admirer of fashion, I was delighted to receive a copy of The Gospel According to Coco Chanel, Life Lessons from the World’s Most Elegant Woman by Karen Karbo, published by skirt!  Chanel was a fashion legacy who continues to inspire women all over the world. This book is a funny and stylish take on Coco Chanel, full of relevant life lessons for modern women. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Out of the Garden

OK knitters, it’s time to come out of the garden and think about your autumn knitting projects. It’s been a beautiful summer here in Maine, but fall is in the air, which always gets my knitting gene in gear. It’s the perfect time to come up with plans for your holiday gift knitting, too…

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

New Patterns

Here are my latest two patterns, and I've just released a mini collection. My dress patterns are all best sellers, so I am including a dress design in every collection. The Smocked Daydress sports a charming smocked bodice, which is quite easily knit. The Swedish Sailor pullover is a color blocked sweater worked entirely in garter stitch…perfect for beginners and experts alike. enjoy! You can find them here.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Best Materials

When I began designing, oh so many years ago, children’s patterns were knit on tiny needles in soft color palettes. Often the yarns were synthetic, as they were meant to be washed. I have always counseled knitters to use the very best materials available and there are wonderful yarns available today. When developing my MinnowMerino® we searched high and low for a yarn that could be machine washed, but one that was also lovely to knit. We finally sourced the pure merino in Peru. Most “super wash” yarns, as they are called, are made by spinning and dyeing the yarns, and then they are treated with chemical products that result in yarns that are slippery, without a lovely hand. They also can come apart in the wash, a very distressing result. My yarn, however, washes the shorn wool before spinning and dyeing; the result in a beautiful yarn with a micron count one point away from cashmere, yet it is definitely machine washable. Hope you’ll try it out if you haven’t already!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014


I’ve been designing and publishing for over twenty years and the photo shoots never cease to amaze me. We have a simple set, a white seamless and a few thoughtful props, but the giant banked lights are intimidating. Intimidating for anyone, never mind a two year old. We have had many a melt-down, but we always get our shot, and only once have we had to reschedule the shoot. My photographer, Nina Fuller, is amazing, working magic with the little ones. Never a dull moment!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

How to Make a Gauge Swatch

Even if you're knitting for your family pet, you need to get the correct gauge so the garment will fit properly. You should always do a gauge swatch before starting any project using the yarn and needles called for in the pattern.

To begin your swatch use the needles suggested in the pattern, and please remember they are only a recommendation, a place to begin!  Cast on the number of stitches necessary to make a 4”/10cm swatch, plus 6. Knit 3 rows. Always knit 3 garter stitches at the beginning and end of every row, and work straight in the pattern called for until the piece measures 4”, then knit 3 rows and bind off. Lay the swatch on a flat, smooth surface. Measure inside the garter stitch frame; you should have 4”/10 cm exactly. If your swatch is too big, or you have too few stitches per inch, change to a needle one size smaller, and repeat the process. If your swatch is too small, or there are too many stitches per inch, change to the next larger needles. Changing one needle size either up or down at a time and keep knitting swatches until you achieve the correct gauge. Eventually you will begin to know your knitting style; I personally start my swatch one needle size down from the recommended size, as I knit fast and loose. The number of stitches per inch or centimeter is the most important. If the row gauge is eluding you, you can adjust as you work through the pattern, but you may not have enough yarn. We all knit differently with various needles and yarns. Always do your gauge swatch with the exact needles you will be using for the specific project too…there can be a difference in gauge between plastic, metal or bamboo needles on the same yarn! Check your gauge again after working about 4 inches just to be sure you’re still getting the correct gauge.

You will be a happy knitter for life if you get the correct gauge!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Nicky Epstein's Signature Scarves Review

Everyone loves Nicky Epstein's fabulous patterns, and incredible technical prowess. In this book she has adopted her hallmark embellished style for a collection of over 40 scarves. All knitters from beginner to advanced will be delighted with this very creative collection. Published by Nicky Epstein Books.

Visit www.nickyepstein.com.