Designer Spotlight: Katie Degroff

Are you ready for some beautiful accessory projects? Check out Katie’s fun socks, shawls, and mitts in our Spotlight today! (Pattern links go to Ravelry, yarn links to The Loopy Ewe.)

© Katie Degroff

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

Katie: Hi Loopy! I have been knitting since 2009. A very good friend of mine that I used to work with, Chris, taught me how to knit. And how to be a true yarn snob. He gave me some yarn and needles and I ran, never looked back. The wall of yarn in our living room is a testament to that. My very first project was a small scarf for our dog, second was socks. I went straight for it, I figured why not? Following a pattern for me has always been a challenge so the first pair of socks I tried to knit for my husband (then boyfriend I didn’t dare knit a sweater with the dreaded “sweater curse”) were a total disaster! I do still have them and look at them for a good laugh. When I first started knitting I would knit so tight my fingers would go numb. I’ve learned to loosen up over the years or that I just go up needle sizes.

Anytime © Katie Degroff (try it in Uncommon Posh Fingering)

Loopy: You know, my first pair of socks were a disaster, too. But I also still have them! What is your favorite type of item to knit?

Katie: When I first started knitting, socks were my go to. Now shawls are my favorite item to knit. They are SO versatile with color, shape, and style, anything goes.

Serene Hat/Headband © Katie Degroff (try it in Madtosh Vintage)

Loopy: True. I love how you can wear them several different ways. What is the most challenging thing that you have knit to date?

Katie: The most challenging thing I have knit, and am still working on, is my Sock Yarn Blanket. My husband always reminds me that I told him it would take me about 6 months to finish, I started it January 4th, 2012.

Serene Mitts © Katie Degroff (try it in Malabrigo Rios)

Loopy: Well – 6 months … 9 years … it’s all good. 🙂 When did you start designing, and what spurred that interest?

Katie: Prior to knitting I designed wire jewelry and wrote patterns for magazines. I have never been able to work up someone else’s pattern without changing something and making it my own. One of the first things I did when I joined the deep dark web of Ravelry, was to join mini swapping groups. Through those I met some truly awesome people. I listened to what everyone was saying about current patterns, what they liked and didn’t. Using all of that knowledge, I tried to come up with solutions to problems and work up my own thoughts.

Picture It © Katie Degroff (try it in Wollmeise Pure)

Loopy: Do you have a favorite pattern that you’ve designed?

Katie: I can’t narrow my favorite down to just one, I have three. My favorite sock would have to be “Currents”, I designed a new take on the heel. My favorite accessory would be Michonne Mitts, I designed a flap over the top that adds some really classic flair. And rounding them out is Picture It. Tons of history with this one, from my love of The Golden Girls and finding a mother/daughter dying team (The Golden Purls) to dye up some awesome colorways for it, and the size/shape is just perfect to just throw on. This is the piece that I wear the most that I have knit.

Currents © Katie Degroff (Try it in Malabrigo Sock)

Loopy: Those are all beautiful, and it’s fun to hear the your thoughts on them. What is your favorite part of your designing? And your not-so-favorite part?

Katie: Favorite Part- is seeing my ideas come to life. Both the works I knit up and others, they are like my kids. I have notebooks all over the house that I jot down ideas and some get to come to life. I don’t think we have a room that doesn’t have a project in it … Not-So-Favorite Part – tech editing. I’m terrible at it. I always welcome people to give me their honest comments on my works. If they find mistakes, I will always look into them and fix patterns as needed.  Or if someone needs more clarity on something or if they have a different way they did something, I love to hear about it and share those ideas.

Michonne Mitts © Katie Degroff (try it in Malabrigo Arryoyo)

Loopy: It’s so great when designers are responsive to comments and questions from knitters. Do you do this business full-time, or on the side?  And is that hard? Do you have other jobs outside of pattern designing?

Katie: I design patterns on the side. I am a full time Homeschooling mom to our two girls. Knitting helps to keep me sane.

Sophia Ashley © Katie Degroff (try it in Dream in Color Pet Legends)

Loopy: I bet it does! Does anyone else in your family knit? And would you like to tell us about your family?

Katie: I am happily married to my husband of 12 years and we have two girls (10 and 5). As well as two furkids, dog Sparkie and cat Joey. My husband has been in the US Navy for 18 yrs now (not many more to go!) and is a Senior Chief. So through Deployments, Underways, and countless moves, knitting has definitely helped. I hope my girls might knit someday, but if they don’t I’ll still get to knit for them.

Forever and Again © Katie Degroff (try it in Magpie Swanky Sock)

Loopy: It’s nice that the knitting goes with you wherever you move (and I’m sure is a conversation started when making new friends.) Are there other hobbies that you enjoy?

Katie: Not sure this qualifies as a hobby, but I am obsessed with The Golden Girls. Grew up watching it, named my second daughter after Sophia, and both of my girls share my obsession and we have random quote offs all the time.

Holly © Katie Degroff (try it in Uncommon Everyday Singles)

Loopy: You are a true fan, if you named your daughter after the show! What would be your favorite way to spend a day off?

Katie: Day off? I’m not sure I know what that is.  I enjoy making my family happy whether it’s cooking something special, or planning an activity. Perfect “day off” would be me cooking a giant breakfast, watching a Buffalo Bills game with tons of food, then watching a movie and knitting.

Kallie © Katie Degroff (try it in Cascade Heritage Sock)

Loopy: Ok – last questions: Morning or Night person? Coffee or Tea? English or Continental? Solids or Multicolors?

Katie: Morning person! I have always gotten up with my husband when he leaves for work and really enjoy my hour before the kids get up. Tea all the way! My husband did get me to like some “foo foo” as he calls it coffees. Black teas are something I love, no frills, no sugar, straight up. Continental knitter here. And I was a multicolor fan up until recently I have learned to appreciate the solids and their importance in certain projects.

Journey Mitts © Katie Degroff (try it in Uncommon Lush Worsted)

Loopy: Thanks again for being with us today, Katie.

Katie is offering our Loopy Blog Readers a 20% discount off of her patterns from her Ravelry Pattern Shop.

The code is: Loopy

This code is valid today through next Friday, December 25, 2020.

This is our last Designer Spotlight for 2020, but we’ll be back with another designer for you on January 8th!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from all of us here at The Loopy Ewe!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.