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

Designer Spotlight: A Bee in the Bonnet

Today we have Lauren from A Bee in the Bonnet designs in our Spotlight. Lauren lives in Ventura, California, which is a beach city about an hour outside of Los Angeles. I love the beautiful textures that fill Lauren’s designs, and she has so many that are perfect for gift knitting for others. I hope you enjoy learning more about her today!

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

Lauren: Hi Loopy! I learned to knit in 2007. It was my first semester of law school, and I was feeling pretty stressed out as we got closer to exam time. I jokingly told one of my classmates, “I wish I knew how to knit! Then maybe I wouldn’t be so stressed.” She looked at me and said, “Well, I can teach you.” She took me to my first LYS, just a few blocks from campus, and then we split a pot of tea while she taught me the basics of casting on and the knit stitch. The internet taught me the rest.

Loopy: Knitting really is such a perfect stress relief, isn’t it? And how fortunate that the person you made that comment to, could teach you! What is your favorite type of item to knit? 

Lauren: Anything with a soothing, easily memorized stitch pattern. That’s my sweet spot and what I’m always hoping to achieve with my own designs.

Loopy: That’s one of the things I like about your designs. They look interesting, and they also look relaxing to knit. What is the most challenging thing that you have knit to date? 

Lauren: To be honest, I’m not really drawn to challenging knits. I use knitting to help myself relax and to quiet my overactive brain so I can sit still during meetings, while watching tv, etc. Challenging knits that require me to look at the pattern every few stitches are a no-go for me!

Gladening Socks A Bee in the Bonnet
Gladening Socks © Lauren Rad (try it in Magpie Swanky Sock)

Loopy: I have gotten to be more that way in the patterns I choose to knit, too. I don’t need the challenge – I just want the relaxation. When did you start designing, and what spurred that interest? 

Lauren: I started designing in late 2017, when I was on a conference call and suddenly got an idea for a cabled scarf with latticework inside the cables. I was so obsessed with the idea that I put myself on mute, pulled out a yellow legal notepad, and sketched it out. That design eventually became the Anacapa Scarf.

Loopy: That’s hilarious – and what a productive call that ended up being! Do you have a favorite pattern that you’ve designed? 

Lauren: That’s a difficult one! I think so far, I love the Crème Brulee Socks and the Shortbread Shawl. The socks are a great mix of textures (I love a good seed-stitch panel), and the shawl is my favorite shape (crescent shawls stay put so well).

Creme Brulee Socks A Bee in the Bonnet
Creme Brulee Socks © Lauren Rad (try it in Wollmeise Twin)

Loopy: Those socks just went into my Favorites list. They are beautiful and look fun to knit, with interesting things going on. What is your favorite part of your designing? And your not-so-favorite part? 

Lauren: My favorite part is the bit at the end where somebody else takes the pattern I’ve written and turns it into a creation of their own. It feels magical every time. I get an idea in my head, write it out in a strange language, and send it out into the world, and then other people can follow that strange language to make their own version of the thing that was in my head. It’s amazing.

After spending nearly a decade in a field that was a definite mismatch for me, I have to admit, there isn’t really anything in designing that I don’t like. There are things I like more than others, but all of it is a much better fit for me than lawyering ever was.

Herbary Hat A Bee in the Bonnet
Herbary Hat © Lauren Rad (try it in Cascade Heritage Silk)

Loopy: It’s so wonderful when you find the perfect fit for a vocation. I’m glad designing has been that for you. Do you do this business full-time, or on the side?  And is that hard? Do you have other jobs outside of pattern designing? 

Lauren: This is a part-time thing for me, and I also teach high school part time. I love the balance of work that feeds both my creative and rational needs. When I’m not teaching or knitting, I’m also wrangling my preschooler, who has been home with me since March 2020 because of the pandemic.

Serenity Mitts
Serenity Mitts © Lauren Rad (try it in Wollmeise Pure)

Loopy: That does sound like a good mix for a career. (And a challenge with the preschooler. But also, I’m sure it is fun to have your little one home with you, in a lot of ways, too!) Does anyone else in your family knit?  

Lauren: I’m the only knitter, and they all find it a bit baffling! My mom crochets and sews, and my grandmother was an incredible sewist, so fiber arts aren’t a mystery in our family, but my particular expression was unexpected in a lot of ways. Sometimes I envy other knitters who can trace their stitching genealogy back through generations of ancestors, but the neat thing about knitting is that it gives us a new lineage. The people who taught us and the people we teach become forever linked to us through craft.

Amicus Socks
Amicus Socks © Lauren Rad (try it in Leading Men Show Stopper)

Loopy: Yes, absolutely. You will be connected to a lot of knitters down the road, and perhaps will start a stitching lineage in your own family, moving forward, as well. Are there other hobbies that you enjoy? 

Lauren: Oh yes! I love gardening and have a modest collection of roses and dahlias. It’s a joy to make my way through the seasons with flowers. I also love beach combing with my kid, sewing (badly), and travel (when it’s safe to do so).

Frippery Cowl A Bee in the Bonnet
Frippery Cowl © Lauren Rad (try it in Magpie Swanky DK)

Loopy: I think collecting flowers of any kind would be so fun. And a constant supply of fresh flowers in the house is the bonus! I guess in California you can do that year-round. What would be your favorite way to spend a day off? 

Lauren: Wandering a museum, stitching quietly by the ocean, taking a nice nap, and enjoying a leisurely dinner cooked by somebody else.

Arroyo Verde Mitts
Arroyo Verde MItts © Lauren Rad (try it in Knerd String Sport)

Loopy: It must be wonderful to live near the ocean! Ok, last set of questions: Morning or Night person? Coffee or Tea? English or Continental? Solids or Multicolors? 🙂 

Lauren: Morning, as much as I hate to admit it! Late morning, if I’m truly honest. I’m at my best from about 8 am to noon. I love coffee and tea both, but can only drink decaf. I’m a continental knitter because that’s how I learned, but I’m thinking about learning English so I can do two-handed colorwork. I prefer solids most of the time.

Gingersnap Hat A Bee in the Bonnet
Gingersnap Hat © Lauren Rad (try it in Uncommon Thread Merino DK)

Loopy: Sounds good. Anything else you’d like to add? 

Lauren: This has been such fun! Knitting, for me, has been a place of community and support over the last decade-plus, and I hope to help others feel that way, too.

Loopy: Thanks again for being in our Designer Spotlight today, Lauren!

Lauren is offering 20% off a pattern of your choice and the code will work both on her Ravelry pattern site and on her Payhip pattern shop. Code: LOOPY20, which is valid 6/25 – July 2, 2021.

Have a great weekend, all!

Sheri

Visiting Loopy Circus Camp in July!

Loopy Circus Camp from The Loopy Ewe

It’s time to share our July challenge for Loopy Circus Camp! Remember, this is a virtual camp, so all are welcome and no traveling involved. You can participate all three months (June, July, August), or just pick the months that work best for you.

July Challenge:

This month we are celebrating stripes – like the stripes of the big top tent! You can do stripes of color, stripes of sections of stitches, stripes of beads, etc. Just so your project has stripes of some sort going on. (see some examples below). The July project must use 600 or more yards, single knit.

Camp Store Week:

We are offering a 15% discount on the yarn you are using for your July project, between June 14-21.

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 June 14, 2021, or later.
  2. Project must use at least 600 yards, worked single (or 1200, if held double).
  3. Project must not be started before July 1, and must be completed by July 31.
  4. A photo of the completed project must be emailed to us by August 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 July 1):
Awesome Acrobats (those of you with birthdays in: January, May, September, December)
Terrific Tightropers (those of you with birthdays in: February, April, June, October)
Jolly Jugglers (those of you with birthdays in: March, July, August, November)

If you aren’t camping with us in June, still feel free to jump into the ongoing June Camp groups now to get ideas and advice for your July project!

Examples of striped color patterns:
On Ravelry: Susurrus, Noncho, Evenfall, Slipestravaganza
On DreaReaKnits: The Daily, Wildwood Shawl, Hug Hug Kiss Kiss

Examples of striped stitch patterns:
On Ravelry: Dotted Rays, Pretty Ribbons, Rainforest Canopy Shawl, Boneyard Shawl
On DreaReaKnits: Moonwhistle, Fade Névé, Liminal Shawl

Examples of patterns where you could do stripes of beads:
On Rav: Holden, Traveling Woman, Afternoon Tea, Quaker Ridge Shawlette
(you can add stripes of beads to most any shawl in different rows!)

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

Sheri and The Loopy Ewe Crew

Designer Spotlight: Lucia Ruiz de Aguirre

Today we have Lucia Rodriguez in our Designer Spotlight. Lucia was born and lives in Spain. Her patterns showcase texture and color, and I know you’re going to enjoy learning more about her!

Pepita Tee Lucia Ruiz de Aguirre
Pepita Tee © Lucia Ruiz de Aguirre (try it in CaMaRose Pimabomold 2/8)

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

Lucia: Hi Loopy! Thanks for giving me the opportunity in your space! I’ve been knitting for around six and a half years and I learned by myself. My first workbook was Margaret Radcliffe’s circular knitting workshop!

Kitelochi Shawl
Kitelochi Shawl © Lucia Ruiz de Aguirre (try it in Magpie Swanky DK)


Loopy: Thank goodness for good books and videos, for those learning to knit without in-person help. Not the easiest, but at least there are options there. What is your favorite type of item to knit?

Lucia: I love knitting sweaters and jackets, although my most valued patterns are shawls.

Kokebi Sweater Lucia Ruiz de Aguirre
Kokebi Sweater © Lucia Ruiz de Aguirre (try it in Uncommon Thread Merino DK)


Loopy: You have some beautiful sweater patterns. I love the textures that come out in your patterns – whether in the sweaters or the shawls or the cowls. What is the most challenging thing that you have knit to date?

Lucia: Well, I supposed that everything has been a challenge considering that I started knitting relatively recently and designing a year less than knitting.

Craspedia
Craspedia © Lucia Ruiz de Aguirre (try it in Uncommon Thread Posh Fingering)


Loopy: That was certainly a quick jump right into designing, once you learned. What spurred your interest in designing?

Lucia: I actually learned to knit so I could design. It was my goal even before I starting knitting. I had a fashion company, and I found it very interesting to design handmade garments to sell them. Then the objective changed and I designed for others to knit.

Valentina Shawl Lucia Ruiz de Aguirre
Valentina Shawl © Lucia Ruiz de Aguirre (try it in Malabrigo Arroyo)

Loopy: That’s coming at this from the other way around – wanting to design knitwear, so you had to learn to knit! Do you have a favorite pattern that you’ve designed?

Lucia: The latest one is always my favourite one, although I have a few that I love. But i prefer to keep the secret about it!

Patricia Hat
Patricia Hat © Lucia Ruiz de Aguirre (try it in Malabrigo Rios)

Loopy: I have several of your patterns that are my favorites, now. And you’ve got me thinking about trying brioche again, because your brioche patterns are so beautiful. What is your favorite part of your designing? And your not-so-favorite part?

Lucia: I love to have the idea, and starting knitting it. I do not love so much to write the pattern, it’s a bit boring.

Easy Peasy Shawl Lucia Ruiz de Aguirre
Easy Peasy Shawl © Lucia Ruiz de Aguirre (try it in Dream in Color City)


Loopy: I think that would be my favorite and least favorite, too. Do you do this business full-time, or on the side?  And is that hard? Do you have other jobs outside of pattern designing?

Lucia: I can say that designing is my main job, although I develop other related activities such as giving online workshops and I also work for Rowan Spain as an external commercial advisor.

Justina's Cowl
Justina’s Cowl © Lucia Ruiz de Aguirre (try it in Uncommon Thread Merino DK)

Loopy: Your Rowan Spain job must be a good way to stay connected to the larger knitting community, too. Does anyone else in your family knit?

Lucia: No, no one in my family knits. My grandmothers knitted, both of them, and they did it very well. One of them was even an excellent designer, but neither taught me, and neither did I have any interest in learning. In my family, everything related to female manual labor was not transferable. Women of my generation had to be professionals outside of our home and that type of work was considered old, outdated and even sexist. Now my family is very proud of my work, but it has been a long way to raise awareness.

Andrea Shawl Lucia Ruiz de Aguirre
Andrea Shawl © Lucia Ruiz de Aguirre (try it in Wollmeise Pure)


Loopy: It’s nice that you have a family history of knitting, and then you also have the benefit of living in a time when that is more respected. I’m not surprised that they are proud of you! Are there other hobbies that you enjoy?

Lucia: I live next to the Atlantic ocean and I love going for a walk, watching the sea with music in my headphones and time to do it, because I don’t have much time. I also love the cinema and of course traveling. And what I like the most after knitting is cooking. I enjoy it so much that I couldn’t live without cooking!

Atlantico Cowl
Atlantico Cowl © Lucia Ruiz de Aguirre (try it in Malabrigo Rios)

Loopy: What a beautiful place to live – so close to the ocean. I think I would walk more if I had that view! What would be your favorite way to spend a day off?

Lucia: Being with my husband. We don’t have much time to be together so that’s the best idea I can think of right now. 🙂

Uxia Shawl Lucia Ruiz de Aguirre
Uxia Shawl © Lucia Ruiz de Aguirre (try it in Dream in Color City)

Loopy: Maybe a walk along the ocean with him! Ok, last questions: Morning or Night person? Coffee or Tea? English or Continental? Solids or Multicolors? 🙂

Lucia: Night. I can knit until 1 am almost every night. I was a coffee girl, but now I’m starting to love tea! Always Continental and solids, please!

Leonor Shawl Lucia Ruiz de Aguirre
Leonor Shawl © Lucia Ruiz de Aguirre (try it in Malabrigo Rios)


Loopy: Thanks again for being with us today, Lucia. It was lovely to get to know you a bit more!

Lucia has set up a code for her Ravelry Pattern shop. This gives you 20% off one of her patterns. The code is: theloopyewe and is valid June 11-18, 2021.

Happy Knitting, and pop back to the blog on Monday to see what our July Camp Loopy Challenge is going to involve!

Sheri