Designer Spotlight: Bohoknits

Today we have Kelly McClure from Bohoknits in the Designer Spotlight. You might recognize her for any number of her patterns, but the one I have promoted a lot is the Sockhead Slouch Hat, which is a great knit for a skein of multi-colored fingering weight yarn. Also check out the Sockhead Cowl to go along with it. Both free on Ravelry! I’m glad you can get to know her better today. (All pattern links go to Ravelry).

Shepherd's Hill Trio Bohoknits
Shepherd’s Hill Trio © Kelly McClure (try it in Uncommon Posh Fingering)

Loopy: Hi Kelly! Thanks so much for being in the Spotlight today. How long have you been a knitter and who taught you to knit?

Kelly: Hi Loopy! My Mom taught me to knit when I was about 6 years old and I taught myself to crochet in university. So, I’ve been knitting for about 32 years.

Bloodlust Socks
Bloodlust Socks @ Kelly McClure (try it in Magpie Swanky Sock)

Loopy: Another knitter carrying on the tradition in the family. That’s wonderful! What is your favorite type of item to knit?

Kelly: I adore knitting sweaters because I love to wear them so much, but I try to make a little bit of everything.

Bohemian Shawl  Bohoknits
Bohemian Shawl © Kelly McClure (try it in Malabrigo Sock)

Loopy: There’s nothing quite like picking out the perfect color and the perfect style and making something you enjoy wearing. Knitting sweaters is a handy skill to have. What is the most challenging thing that you have knit to date?

Kelly: It was a heavily cabled sweater by Michele Wang called Radmere. And it was totally worth it!

Queen Mab Cowl
Queen Mab Cowl © Kelly McClure (try it in Fibre Co Road to China Light)

Loopy: That does look like a challenging pattern! When did you start designing, and what spurred that interest?

Kelly: I lived in a camper van for a while driving across Canada (for fun) and I didn’t have very much internet access (and no cell phone)…so zero pattern availability. I just made up my own designs – necessity is the mother of invention!

Then, being a regular shopper in a yarn shop in Canmore, Alberta lead to a steady job (2009), which lead to a colleague urging me to post my designs on Ravelry (a relatively new platform). My first design was the Sockhead Hat and the rest is history!

Levity Shawl Bohoknits
Levity Shawl © Kelly McClure (try it in Fibre Co Canopy Fingering)

Loopy: That was a good decision, and I like your Bohoknits name for the business. Do you have a favorite pattern that you’ve designed?

Kelly: I don’t think I can pick just one, but my top three are: Sockhead Hat, Pioneer Gloves and the Levity Shawl.

Pioneer Mitts Bohoknits
Pioneer Mitts © Bohoknits (try it in Cascade Heritage Sock)

Loopy: I really enjoyed knitting up your Sockhead Hat. And your Pioneer Gloves have been on my list forever because I love the ribbing design in there! What is your favorite part of your designing? And your not-so-favorite part?

Kelly: My favourite part is the process between the original idea and the final product, which is often completely different from my initial vision. 
My least favourite part is definitely all the math – it has never been my friend, but it does force me to check and triple check my work. 

Sockhead Hat
Sockhead Slouch Hat © Kelly McClure (try it in Hedgehog Fibres Sock)
Sockhead Cowl Bohoknits
Sockhead Cowl © Bohoknits (try it in Dream Smooshy Cashmere)

Loopy: It’s interesting that your final design is often completely different. That is quite a process you go through. Do you do this business full-time, or on the side?  And is that hard? Do you have other jobs outside of pattern designing?

Kelly: I always designed part-time with an unrelated full-time job, but I began doing Bohoknits full-time exclusively about six years ago. 
It wasn’t very hard until we had a baby! Being a stay-at-home Mom to a toddler and running a small business is 100% challenging. I really need to be on top of time management and the housework often suffers (fine, it always suffers). Luckily, I have a supportive partner who does at least half of the household chores and a lot of the childcare; and we have a great kid who encourages me, “Knit, Mama, knit!”

Honey Hat
Honey Hat © Kelly McClure (try it in Malabrigo Dos Tierras)

Loopy: Ha – that’s cute, and that was a good thing to teach him to say! Does anyone else in your family knit?

Kelly: My Mom is mainly a quilter, but she is also a knitter and is one of my best test knitters and editors. I remember begging her to knit me sweaters in high school and now I’m the one who gets to knit sweaters for her!

Iron Age Mittens Bohoknits
Iron Age Mittens © Kelly McClure (try it in Magpie Swanky DK)

Loopy: What a fun hobby to share with her, and nice that you can repay her for those sweaters she knit you! Are there other hobbies that you enjoy?

Kelly: I have many hobbies, but none that I enjoy nearly as much as knitting! I like dyeing yarn, sewing, reading, treasure hunting (in nature and in thrift stores), and tea drinking (is that a hobby?).

Dovah Shawl © Kelly McClure (try it in Uncommon Everyday Singles)

Loopy: Tea drinking can totally be a hobby. What would be your favorite way to spend a day off?

Kelly: Obviously, knitting! Other than that…a good book and a hammock. Swimming in the lake with my husband, little boy and dog. And a nice cozy campfire to top things off.

Honey Pie Cowl
Honey Pie Cowl © Kelly McClure (try it in Jamieson & Smith 2 Ply Jumper)

Loopy: That sounds like a pretty perfect day. Ok, last set of questions: Morning or Night person? Coffee or Tea? English or Continental? Solids or Multicolors? 🙂

Kelly: Night Owl since birth. Tea (since birth). I’ve never had a cup of coffee. English style, but can do both. Semi-solids!

Orbitus Hat Bohoknits
Orbitus Hat © Kelly McClure (try it in Tosh Vintage)

Loopy: Anything else you’d like to add?

Kelly: I’m so honored to be interviewed and I feel even more honored to be able to make a living sharing my ideas with all you wonderful knitters! Thanks for supporting a humble small-business. xo

Gully Gloves
Gully Gloves © Kelly McClure (try it in Stonehedge Shepherd’s Wool)

Kelly is offering 20% off one of her Bohoknits patterns of your choice through her Ravelry shop, with the code: LOOPYEWE This code is valid December 11-18, 2020.

Have a wonderful weekend, all!



  1. Thanks so much for this series of posts about the wonderful designers; as knitters we are so lucky to have so many options and without your interviews there are people I would never have known about. I really like all of Kelly’s designs and can’t wait to make some: probably starting with that great Bohemian Shawl. Thanks to you and Kelly!

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