Info can be found at:
Sock Monkey Hat & Sweater Patterns »
Type of item: Clothing
Style: Traditional, Retro / Vintage, Cute, Funky, Casual, Classic, Hipster
Lion Brand Wool-Ease yarn (though any worsted weight would work.)
What was your inspiration?
A photographer friend asked me to make her a sock monkey hat a couple years ago. At the time, I couldn't find any knitting patterns I liked on the web and the crochet patterns were of no use to me because I don't know how to crochet. I thought I'd try my hand at designing one myself, and since my friend liked it a lot, I thought I'd publish the pattern and see if others might like it as well.
The idea of a matching sweater came from a hand full of my hat customers who took the time to e-mail me asking if I might be interested in designing such a thing. I took a few months to think about it because the image didn't pop into my head right away, but when it finally did, I was happy that it came out in real life the way I imagined it in my head!
What are you most proud of?
I'm proud that my hat pattern has become so popular on Ravelry and a couple other knitting forums. I'm proud of the sweater because it's the first sweater pattern I've published (and therefore had to do a lot of learning before I was ready to write it.) I'm also proud that it offers 3 different variations on the pattern - a plain raglan in "sock monkey colors", a design that uses duplicate stitch (shown on the baby) and a design that uses an intarsia square (shown on the little boy.)
What advice would you give someone starting this project?
Even if a project looks difficult, just take it one line at a time. Don't worry about how hard the pattern looks, just get through line 1, then you can figure out line 2. My "Knitting Guru" gave me this advice when I first mentioned that I'd like to try a pattern but thought I probably didn't know enough yet to be successful. She was right. I only learned to knit in 2007, and I started publishing my own designs in 2010.
(For the record, people often comment on how easy my patterns are to understand and I think that's because I still remember feeling frustrated when things weren't explained well. Also, I'm a teacher by profession, so if anything, I probably over-explain things! If you don't understand something in my pattern, I will always help you through it if you e-mail me.)