Designer Spotlight: Megan Nodecker

Today we have Megan from Pip and Pin in our Designer Spotlight. Her beautiful designs and earthy colors make me want to pick a sweater pattern and get right into fall knitting! Megan lives in British Columbia, and I know you’ll enjoy getting to know her. (All pattern links go to Ravelry, all yarn links go to The Loopy Ewe.)

Persica Sweater by Megan Nodecker
Persica © Megan Nodecker (try it in Magpie Swanky DK)


Loopy: Hi Megan! Thanks for being in our Spotlight today. How long have you been a knitter, and who taught you to knit?

Megan: Hi Loopy! I’ve been knitting since I was probably seven or eight, so about 25 years, and my grandma taught me. She tried to teach all her grandkids at one time or another, but I think I was the only one that stuck! 

Aurea by Megan Nodecker
Aurea © Megan Nodecker (try it in Uncommon Posh Fingering)

Loopy: It’s always fun when knitting has been passed down in the family. I’m sure she was really happy that you loved it and kept up with it. What is your favorite type of item to knit?

Megan: That’s a toughie! I love knitting sweaters because I love wearing sweaters, but I also love smaller projects like socks and hats for some instant gratification. And if I need to zone out a bit and give my brain a break, a shawl with lots of garter or stockinette stitch is always nice.

Ironwood by Megan Nodecker
Ironwood © Megan Nodecker (try it in Malabrigo Rios)


Loopy: Handknit sweaters are the best, and your patterns definitely have me thinking about fall sweater weather. What is the most challenging thing that you have knit to date?

Megan: My wedding dress. I knit the top half of it and used a Shetland Lace wedding dress pattern. I was just starting to really “Knit with a capital K,” so learning how to shape double-sided lace with minimal experience, a magazine-concise pattern, with the most expensive yarn I’d ever bought, to finish a dress I’d already cut the top off of, was quite intimidating, to say the least! But, it ended up exactly how I had imagined and fit perfectly! 

Less Travelled Wrap by Megan Nodecker
Less Travelled Wrap © Megan Nodecker (try it in Uncommon Thread Merino DK)


Loopy: Oh my word. That is the best “most challenging” answer we have ever had. I’m intimidated just thinking about it!! But what a cool thing to do for your wedding. I love that. When did you start designing, and what spurred that interest?

Megan: I started designing about ten years ago. My sister and I used to knit hats and scarves to sell, and when we were vending at the very first Knit City (a yarn festival in Vancouver), we were placed next to none other than Alexa Lundman of Tin Can Knits. Before that, I didn’t even really know what a knitting pattern was! We were able to chat with her all weekend, I went home with the Pop Blanket pattern, and the rest is history! 

Catbells Cardigan © Megan Nodecker (try it in Madelinetosh Vintage)


Loopy: That was a lucky placement, wasn’t it? 🙂 Do you have a favorite pattern that you’ve designed?

Megan: I don’t think I can pick just one, but the one that I wear the most at the moment is the Catbells Cardigan. I like designing very “everyday” pieces, and in the fall/winter/spring months, I really do wear that sweater every day. But, I think I am most proud of my Quesnel Cardigan. That was the pattern that made me feel like a “real” designer, so it’s always had a special place in my heart! 

Quesnel
Quesnel © Megan Nodecker (try it in Primrose Roan DK)


Loopy: Those are both gorgeous! And very wearable. What is your favorite part of your designing? And your not-so-favorite part?

Megan: It may sound a little silly, but I love making the spreadsheets for grading! I really like math, and once I start doing the numbers, that’s when it really starts to come alive for me. Also, when I’m well into knitting and can start to see how the design is coming along. My not-so-favourite part would be the very end bits, like photography and formatting, which is great because my sister Katie, the other half of Pip & Pin, does that part!

Bear Mountain by Megan Nodecker
Bear Mountain © Megan Nodecker (try it in Wollmeise Twin)


Loopy: Team effort – that’s always best! Do you do this business full-time, or on the side?  And is that hard? Do you have other jobs outside of pattern designing?

Megan: I feel extremely privileged to call this my full-time job, alongside being a stay-at-home mom to my daughter, Georgia. 

Nightshade Hat by Megan Nodecker
Nightshade Hat © Megan Nodecker (try it in Uncommon Thread Lush Worsted)


Loopy: And the stay at home mom part is also a full time job! Does anyone else in your family knit?

Megan: All the women on my mother’s side knit. My grandma was proficient, and my mom and aunt have knit some of my patterns. Years ago, my sister and I even used to sell our knitted hats, cowls and scarves at markets.

Porteau
Porteau © Megan Nodecker (try it in Malabrigo Arroyo)


Loopy: They must love that you are designing and they can knit your patterns. Fun to have a whole side of knitters in the family. Are there other hobbies that you enjoy?

Megan: I enjoy reading, cross-stitching and dabble a little bit in watercolours. I also love being outside in nature. Where I live is a beautiful rainforest, so there are so many places to explore! I love going to thrift stores to find neat old stuff and also read a bit of tarot. 

Caron by Megan Nodecker
Carson © Megan Nodecker (try it in Uncommon Thread Mer DK)


Loopy: It sounds like you have a lot of things to inspire you and motivate you creatively. I think we should all be doing something creative every day! What would be your favorite way to spend a day off?

Megan: I’d want to go somewhere quiet in nature with my family, some good food, a french press, a book, and something crafty to work on. 

Fossil & Flint
Fossil & Flint © Megan Nodecker (try it in Malabrigo Rasta)


Loopy: That sounds pretty perfect! Last questions: Morning or Night person? Coffee or Tea? English or Continental? Solids or Multicolors?

Megan: Night, Coffee, English, Solids

Loopy: Thanks again for being with us today!

Megan is offering 20% off a pattern of your choice in her Ravelry Pattern shop. The code is: LOOPYEWE and this is valid July 23-20, 2021.

Have a great weekend, all!

Sheri

August Camp Loopy Challenge!

It’s time to share our August challenge for Loopy Circus Camp! Remember, this is a virtual camp, so all are welcome and no traveling involved. Even if you didn’t participate in June or July, you’re still welcome to join Camp Loopy in August.

August Challenge:

This month we are celebrating the Main Event. The Act to top all Acts. The Best Act of the evening. The Showstopper! So pick something that is worthy of being showcased in the main ring. It could be something that challenges your skills, or something that wows with color. It could be something that incorporates multiple stitches, or something that is simple but mighty. What says Showstopper to you? Your August project must use 800 or more yards, single knit.

Camp Store Week:

We are offering a 15% discount on the yarn you are using for your August project, between July 12-19, 2021.

You will need to leave us an order comment telling us which specific yarn will be used for your project. If there isn’t a note, then we won’t be able to apply the discount.

Also, please note that you are welcome to use Loopy credit OR the discount. We aren’t able to add both. If we see that you’ve used Loopy credit, we’ll not add in a discount on top of that.

To receive Camp Points for your project, please make sure you check these boxes:
  1. Yarn for the project must be purchased from The Loopy Ewe July 12, 2021, or later.
  2. Project must use at least 800 yards, worked single (or 1600, if held double).
  3. Project must not be started before August 1, and must be completed by August 30.
  4. A photo of the completed project must be emailed to us by September 1. (support@theloopyewe.com)

Need ideas? Color opinions? Project encouragement? Join us on Ravelry in the Loopy Groupies, or on Facebook in our Loopy Ewe Knitting Circle. We all love brainstorming and seeing what everyone is working on!

Loopy Groupie Rav Groups for July (these will go up August 1):
The Ringleaders (those of you with birthdays in: December, July, April, March)
The Ticketmasters (those of you with birthdays in: November, August, June, January)
The Concessionaires (those of you with birthdays in: October, September, May, February)

Happy pattern perusing, and we’re looking forward to seeing what you choose!

Sheri and The Loopy Ewe Crew

Designer Spotlight: Irmian Design

Today we have Irina from Irmian Design in our Designer Spotlight. Irina designs many different types of projects, but I found myself most drawn to her beautiful sweaters. And with Fall around the corner, now seems like a good time to pick out a new project! (Pattern links go to Raverly, yarn links go to The Loopy Ewe.)

Irmian Design Irina
Irina of Irmian Design © Irina Anikeeva

Loopy: Hi Irina! Thanks for being in our Spotlight today. So, how long have you been a knitter and who taught you to knit?

Irina: Hi Loopy! I was 6 or 7 years old when my mom showed me how to knit. She was a very accomplished crafter (like all my family) and I wanted to learn everything from her! I remember her teaching me the Long-tail Cast On first and pretty soon I felt like I got really good at all this knitting, right until I tried to work the first row! 

Aviara Pullover Irmian Design
Aviara Pullover © Irina Anikeeva (try it in Walcot Opus)


Loopy: Ha – so you were good at the cast on and then realized that wasn’t knitting yet? Funny. What is your favorite type of item to knit?

Irina: Well, I am definitely a sweater gal, but nothing gives anybody as much instant gratification as a good cabled beanie!

Brumal Hat and Cowl
Brumal Hat and Cowl © Irina Anikeeva (try it in Dream in Color City)


Loopy: You have some beautiful cabled hat designs in your portfolio. What is the most challenging thing that you have knit to date?

Irina: Probably my Tombo Wrap. It was a bit of a challenge because of the number of stitches needed to be cast on (over 400) and the attention you need to pay, working on the mosaic pattern. But the sheer amount of happiness with this project was well worth it.

Tombo Wrap Irmian Design
Tombo Wrap © Irina Anikeeva (try it in Wollmeise Pure)

Loopy: The dragonfly design on top of another design in the middle of a third designs is amazing. And a bit mind boggling. I can see why that would be really challenging. When did you start designing, and what spurred that interest?

Irina: I started to sew before I really took on knitting, so the concept of pattern and schematics helped me a lot to figure out that I can knit pretty much anything I want, knowing the gauge and measurements. The discovery of Ravelry in 2013 gave me the idea that I can actually make patterns that other people will probably find useful and got my first pattern, Grey Dolman Cardigan, published in 2014.

Gray Dolman Cardigan
Gray Dolman Cardigan © Irina Anikeeva (try it in Cascade 220)


Loopy: That looks like the perfect sweater to curl up in on a cold winter’s day. Such a cozy wrap-around. Do you have a favorite pattern that you’ve designed?

Irina: How could anyone choose? Every one of my designs is special to me, otherwise, they would not make the final cut. Well, if I must choose one, it will probably be the Nelson Pullover, just because I like a good men’s pullover.

Pelorus Irmian Design
Pelorus © Irina Anikeeva (try it in Stonehedge Shepherd’s Wool)


Loopy: I like the cable detailing along the shoulders on that one. What is your favorite part of your designing? And your not-so-favorite part?

Irina: The thrill I feel when all the details (fit, shape, pattern) fall into place and seem to be working well with each other is my favorite feeling. Although I love all the aspects of putting the pattern together. I don’t mind math, I like the process of writing the pattern, making the sample, and working with testers. I do love my job!

Cross and Diamond Cowl
Cross and Diamond Cowl © Irina Anikeeva (try it in Magpie Swanky DK)


Loopy: It sounds like you do! Do you do this business full-time, or on the side?  And is that hard?

Irina: I am a full-time knitwear designer. As a self-employed person, you need to learn a lot, from bookkeeping to web design, but I happen to like it all.

Balboa Park Irmian Design
Balboa Park © Irina Anikeeva (try it in Uncommon Thread Merino DK)


Loopy: You wear a lot of hats when you own your own business. Does anyone else in your family knit?

Irina: I was born in Russia and all women in our family were fond of their own crafts. Sewing, knitting, crochet, embroidery of all kinds – as the first (and the only) granddaughter I had no chance to escape their wisdom. 

Air Dance Top
Air Dance Top © Irina Anikeeva (try it in Fibre Co Road to China Light)


Loopy: I bet they loved having you to teach! Are there other hobbies that you enjoy?

Irina: Since knitting graduated from hobby to occupation in my life, I had to find a new hobby and took up drawing. Over the course of 2020, I got addicted to online drawing and painting classes and I feel like it helped me to keep my sanity.

Aliso Creek Top Irmian Design
Aliso Creek Top © Irina Anikeeva (try it in Knerd String Sport)


Loopy: It was really a blessing during the pandemic that we had the internet and so many ways to continue learning. What would be your favorite way to spend a day off?

Irina: Meeting with my wonderful friends! We would be having a nice lunch in the park and knitting and chatting for hours!

Montgolfier Hat
Montgolfier Hat © Irina Anikeeva (try it in Malabrigo Rios)

Loopy: I hope we can all get together more often in the months to come. Your day off sounds perfect. Last questions: Morning or Night person? Coffee or Tea? English or Continental? Solids or Multicolors? 🙂

Irina: Definitely Morning person; both coffee or tea makes me happy, but recently I feel like gravitating towards coffee a bit more. Usually continental, but love working on my stranded knitting, holding the yarn with both hands. Can I say tonal? 

Irvine Tank Top Irmian Design
Irvine Tank Top © Irina Anikeeva (try it in Sandnes Garn Peer Gynt)


Loopy: You can say tonal! Anything else you’d like to add?

Irina: I strongly believe that there is a knitting designer in any knitter. If you ever chose a different yarn or color than the pattern calls for – you have been designing. If you have ever modified your sweater – that’s the designer’s work. If you took the shape of one garment or accessory but decided to use a different stitch pattern – you are a designer. And there is a lot of inspiration around!

Cesaria Top Irmian Design
Cesaria Top © Irina Anikeeva (try it in Cascade Superwash Sport)

Loopy: I think all knitters have a touch of design creativity inside. Thank you for the inspiration today, Irina!

Irina is offering a 20% off discount on all of her self-published patterns on Ravelry. The code is LOOPY and is valid July 9 – 16, 2021. Click here for her patterns.

Happy weekend!

Sheri

Designer Spotlight: Cassie Munksgard

Hello friends! Today we have knitwear designer Cassie Munksgard in our Designer Spotlight. Cassie lives in Northern California and I hope you enjoy getting to know more about her today. Lots of really fun striped patterns, if you’re still looking for your July Camp Project! (Pattern links go to Ravelry, yarn links go to The Loopy Ewe.)

Adalea Shawl Cassie Munksgard
Adalae Shawl © Cassie Munksgard (try it in Magpie Swanky DK)


Loopy: Hi Cassie – thanks for being in our Spotlight today. How long have you been a knitter and who taught you to knit?   

Cassie: Hi Loopy! I started knitting right after moving to California in 2007. I moved here from Iowa to be with my (now) husband and didn’t really have any friends in the area. He was working on some further education after college and so my evenings were very open and I was BORED. His sister had taken up knitting and I wanted in! My impatience found me on youtube figuring it all out, and in no time I was on my way. 

Fall Classic
Fall Classic © Cassie Munksgard (try it in Malabrigo Arroyo)

Loopy: That seems like it was a smart decision on your part. And fun to have a sister in law to sahre this with. What is your favorite type of item to knit? 

Cassie: I’m a little bit of a shawl junkie, and you’ll generally find me happy as can be stitching away on one. 

Freestone  Cassie Munksgard
Freestone © Cassie Munksgard (try it in Uncommon Thread Posh Fingering)

Loopy: I do see a lot of beautiful shawls in your designs. What is the most challenging thing that you have knit to date? 

Cassie: I don’t like knitting to be a challenge for the most part. I choose simple and soothing patterns, something to let my mind be at rest after a day of work. I’d like to think that this is the kind of pattern people are looking for when they find my designs. 

That Pizza Shawl
That Pizza Shawl © Cassie Munksgard (try it in Primrose Roan DK)

Loopy: Well that is definitely the kind of patterns I’m always looking for. I agree with you. When did you start designing, and what spurred that interest?   

Cassie: I started designing the second I picked up the needles, but I never put ink to paper with it for a long time. It took me a little while to find online resources to find patterns so I just made things up as I went. Mostly scarves for my family using stitch dictionaries. Once I found Ravelry, I no longer needed to do so and just purchased patterns from others, until a cowl I wanted just didn’t exist, and there it was born. 

Anadel Cassie Munksgard
Anadel © Cassie Munksgard (try it in Malabrigo Rios)

Loopy: Aren’t stitch dictionaries fun to experiment with? I think every knitter should have at least one in their knitting library! Do you have a favorite pattern that you’ve designed?   

Cassie: I’ve thought long and hard on the answer to this, and it’s probably the one I’m designing right now because it’s the most ME. I love simple texture and classic design elements and I’m revisiting this in a big way with a collection for fall. But in the meantime, the pattern I keep going back to is Olema. THAT shawl is what I’m all about as a designer, and you’re about to see a whole lot more. 

Olema
Olema © Cassie Munksgard (try it in Uncommon Thread Lush Worsted)

Loopy: I like the stripes in that one and am imagining it in all kinds of color combos. What is your favorite part of your designing? And your not-so-favorite part?

Cassie: I love looking at a pile of yarn I love and noodling on all its possibilities as a design. Not so much love for typing it all out. 

Barlow Cassie Munksgard
Barlow © Cassie Munksgard (try it in Sandnes Garn Smart or Peer Gynt)

Loopy: I don’t think many designers like that part so much. The creative part is just more fun. Do you do this business full-time, or on the side?  And is that hard? Do you have other jobs outside of pattern designing?   

Cassie: While knitting is my passion, I have a full time job working in finance, which I also love. It’s a good balance for me, even though we all wish we had more knitting time. Right? 

Nicasio
Nicasio © Cassie Munksgard (try it in Wollmeise Pure)

Loopy: For sure. It would help if at least the weekends could include 36 hour days. Does anyone else in your family knit?

Cassie: My Grandma Betty made intricate lace doilies and afghans when I was growing up. She taught me how and so I have a little bit of muscle memory in that department, but I don’t understand the first thing about crochet. I bet I could still whip up an acrylic pot holder that’s sure to be melted within a week. 

North Woods Cassie Munksgard
North Woods © Cassie Munksgard (try it in Uncommon Thread Lush Worsted)

Loopy: It’s special to have a grandma that taught you to knit. Carrying on the family tradition! Are there other hobbies that you enjoy?   

Cassie: My husband and I are big outdoor enthusiasts. We enjoy hiking, drives along the coast, and visiting as many National Parks as we can get to. 

Electric Autumn Cassie Munksgard
Electric Autumn © Cassie Munksgard (ty it in Dream in Color City)

Loopy: You’re lucky to be living in such a beautiful place with quick access to the ocean and those wonderful drives What would be your favorite way to spend a day off?   

Cassie: Knitting under the shade of a redwood tree overlooking cliffs on the coast. Too dreamy, right? 

Salt Point
Salt Point © Cassie Munksgard (try it in Uncommon Thread Merino DK)

Loopy: Not too dreamy at all. It sounds relaxing and inspiring, all at the same time! Ok, last question: Morning or Night person? Coffee or Tea? English or Continental? Solids or Multicolors? 🙂   

Cassie: Morning AND night? Can I choose that? Or maybe I’m neither? /Coffee in the morning, tea in the evening / Solids have my heart.

Armstrong Cassie Munksgard
Armstrong © Cassie Munksgard (try it in Uncommon Thread Merino DK)

Loopy: Maybe you’re a “middle of the day” person? That should be an option. Thanks again for being in our Spotlight this week!

Cassie has set up a code for 20% off one of her patterns through her Ravelry Pattern shop. The code is: LOOPY20 and is valid July 2 – 9, 2021.

Have a great weekend!

Sheri