holla knits

Holla Knits Summer 2015 Blog Tour

Hello Holla Knitters and welcome to today's stop on the Summer 2015 issue blog tour! My contribution is a tutorial article 'Deconstructing the Knot Stitch' where I guide you through decreasing in pattern while knitting the knot stitch, seen in Annapolis by Kristen Jancuk.

In the article, I break down the specifics of staying in pattern while working the Knot Stitch and include some helpful tips you can apply to future lace and texture patterns. I know I'm guilty of writing "decrease while continuing to stay in pattern when possible" (ahem, Holla Back Tank!) so it's a great skill to be able to master.

If my exclusive article doesn't sell you on purchasing the issue, what about the designs? As usual, our fearless editor Allyson has selected a group of fresh and innovative pieces that take warm weather knitting to a whole new level. My two favorites are Beach House by Teresa Gregorio and Backbone by Kirsten Singer.

I'm dreaming of a Beach House in HiKoo Rylie, a super gorgeous alpaca/silk/linen blend that I pet almost everytime I'm at work. I love the bright citrusy colors and this would be perfect in a pop of coral.

beach house
beach house

The two color option of Backbone is GENIUS. I would use two coordinating colors of Manos del Uruguay Serena for an ombre effect. The only problem is choosing which color to be the main color!


Which design from the Summer 2015 issue is your favorite? Comment before end of day (EST) Friday, July 3 and I'll pick one winner on July 4 to receive a copy of the pattern of their choice!

Check out the rest of the Holla Knits blog tour for styling tips, behind the scenes info on the designers and more giveaways!

June 15: Holla Knits Summer 2015 Launch June 16:The Sweatshop of Love – pattern giveaway June 17:Klever Knits – pattern giveaway June 18: Canary Knits – Travel knitting & mag giveaway

June 22:MediaPeruana – pattern giveaway June 24:YarnGasm – Knitting with Voolenvine Podcast – magazine giveaway June 25:Cosmos and Cashmere – pattern giveaway June 26:Midwest Yarn – pattern giveaway

June 29:Emma Welford – pattern giveaway July 2:Canary Knits – Beach House styling & giveaway

Say HOLLA to Spring!

That's the plan, but of course New England weather is not cooperating. Still rocking a strictly jeans-and-jacket policy here, though once the temperatures rise I know what I want in my wardrobe...some of the hot designs from the Holla Knits Spring/Summer 2013 issue! The theme is transitional layering pieces, from El Matador and Julep Jacket which can be thrown over your outfit when heading into air conditioning or a chill summer night, to the meshy openwork of Meeting Point and my own Just Beachy. My favorites are Lady Bat, a lacy batwing pullover by Teresa Gregorio:

And Nachfalter, a cute butterfly-lace tee with deep waist ribbing by Stefanie Pollmeier:

Of course I had to style them for a summer nightlife spin, right?! Resident party animal here!Summer Nightlife

Mix and match your favorite options! Go sneaker wedges and studded bracelets for a funky vibe, or stick with silver sandals and a sleek matching skirt to create a monochrome dressed-up look. Layering over a bandeau top allows the knits--and their peekaboo lace--to steal the spotlight! Of course, Just Beachy could also take you from the poolside to the pool tables. Want to knit up your very own? I'm giving away a copy of the pattern! Leave a comment on this post by 11:59pm EST on Tuesday, April 30th to be entered. Let me know how you would style Just Beachy or your favorite look from the S/S 13 collection.

April 16 – The Sweatshop of Love April 17 - Canary Knits April 18 - Yarn Hollow April 19 - Under the Red Umbrella

April 23 - Emma Welford Designs April 24 - Pink Brutus Knits April 25 –  Rewolluzza April 26 - Knits in Class

April 29 - WEBS Yarn Store Blog May 1 - Masi Knits May 3 - Unplanned Peacock

Gettin' Beachy With It

Ahh, I love the smell of a new pattern release!

Yarn Hollow Gemini

It's been a year since I first contributed to Holla Knits and I'm back again, full circle with a design in the Spring/Summer 2013 issue: Just Beachy!

I love super-fitted, body-conscious knits. But who wants all that cling when it’s hot out? I’m letting go and relaxing with a comfortable colorblocked tee! Just Beachy has identical fron and back pieces, so it’s perfect to throw on over a bikini or when running out the door–no second glance required. Mesh sides let in a cool breeze and show off your perfectly contrasting tank top underneath…or maybe even some bare summer skin!

Valley Yarns Goshen

Check back next Tuesday the 23rd to see my post for the Holla Knits blog tour, with more sweet deets on Just Beachy and the other fabulous summery designs in the collection!

2012 In Review

Goodbye 2012, it's been a blast! Above are my projects finished this year (I technically started my Holla Back Tank in the end of 2011 but finished it in January.) 10 total, 5 of which are my own designs--very cool! I started designing in the fall of 2011 so I really took off this year. I already have designs lined up for 2013 and can't wait until I can share them all with you!

Some other great moments of 2012:

  • Started this blog and joined Twitter, both of which have helped me make new awesome online friends and develop my relationship with existing ones. I love knowing that I'm connecting with people all over!
  • Continued to grow my animal herd by taking in Tsuki, our second cat, and Josie, a lady bunny friend for Mr T.
  • Discovered the paleo/primal food community. I'm not always 100% with it but I'm really happy that it's helped me be more mindful about what I eat and it's increased my creativity in the kitchen.
  • Shot the Shit Knitters Say video with work, which was SO MUCH FUN and snowballed into a much bigger hit than I had expected.

See ya next year, world! And watch out, I'm planning to OWN THAT MOTHER.


I finished my Scallop of the Sea!

This was super addictive knitting. Even if the KAL wasn't keeping me on track, anything with stripes always keeps me going, it's that "one more stripe" aspect!

Katie made the lining for me so she could shoot the photo tutorial, which meant even less work on my end. It kind of felt like cheating, to go from knitting to sewing in a fully-made lining!

Now I just need to find the perfect strap, since I am sooo not a clutch kind of girl. Hands free for dancing, that's the way I usually rock it out!

Giveaways & KALs

Thanks to everyone who entered the Striated giveaway! The winner is Anne Sowell--check your email Anne! Holla Knits has announced their next KAL, a holiday accessories KAL. If you need some last-minute knitted gifts, or just want to sneak in a little selfish knitting time this KAL is perfect for both! Katie is going to be leading the KAL for my Wallpaper Cowl, Allyson is leading a super-quick Black Swan KAL and I'm in charge of the Scallop of the Sea KAL!

Mmm....yarn scallops!

All KAL patterns are half off (yes, only $2!) until their respective KALs begin. The Scallop of the Sea KAL runs from Monday, November 19th through Monday, December 17th. If you're nervous about the sewn lining, Katie is putting together an AWESOME photo tutorial to ease your multi-craftual fears!

And like all Holla Knits KALs, there will be awesome prizes! For Scallop of the Sea, you have a chance to win a Katie Canavan pattern/yarn kit, a 2013 HK subscription, one of Katie's patterns or some Christmas ornaments handmade by Katie. I'm super stoked about one of the prizes I'm offering for the Wallpaper Cowl KALers--a holiday manicure set! I hoard nail polish like I hoard yarn and want to turn someone else on to my obsession. Especially if you love playing with color, nail polish is a great beauty hobby!


Since Webs is so graciously giving away the yarn to make my Wallpaper Cowl,  I thought I'd post a few other color combos I picked out to give you some ideas! Photos by Lindsey Topham for Webs/Valley Yarns.

Northfield in Camel & Deep Water, Huntington in Arctic

Northfield in Natural & Avocado, Huntington in Harvest Orange

Northfield in Stone Blue & Chestnut, Huntington in Mustard

Northfield in Mauve & Haze, Huntington in Porcelain Blue

Giveaway Winner

Thank you all for entering the Wallpaper Cowl giveaway. The winner is Brenda--check your email for the pattern! I finished my pullover juuuust in time for Rhinebeck. Blocked it yesterday and have to sew my buttons on tonight. If you happen to spy me in the crowd on Saturday, please say hi! I love meeting internet friends.

Holla Knits Accessories Blog Tour

Holla Knits Accessories is finally here! Introducing my Wallpaper Cowl:

Gynx Yarns DK & Sock

Like the majority of my design ideas, I thought of this funky cowl while at work and did what I always do: scribble it down on a post-it and stash it in my design folder to marinate for awhile. (Seriously. That thing is FILLED with post-its, and I know I have at least one new idea floating around in my purse right now!) The HK call for accessories was super timely and since Allyson loves color as much--if not more!--than I do, I knew the cowl would be well received. It's a great introduction to stranded colorwork and working from charts, plus you get to try out a fun new technique with the Latvian braid details. The lining stops any annoying floats from catching as you pull the cowl on and off, which is especially perfect for anyone like me who wears glasses!

Valley Yarns Northfield & Huntington

When you send a pattern off to a magazine, you have to be willing to give up control of styling and photography. Allyson is great with both so I trust her 100%, but I was surprised when I got the results of the photoshoot and saw that she was wearing the cowl "upside down"! And then immediately realized it doesn't matter--the wallpaper design looks AMAZING no matter which way you wear it! Just make sure to pick up stitches for the lining at the side you want to be 'up,' since that way the neatest edge is closest to your gorgeous face, like so:

The "good side" of the lining

To share the love, I'm giving away a PDF copy of my pattern! To enter, leave a comment on this post OR mention @welforddesigns on Twitter. (You could even tweet "I hear that @welforddesigns likes to suck eggs" so get creative!) You can of course get two entries by tweeting and commenting, but make sure to use your email address if you comment so I can get in touch with you. The deadline to enter is October 18th at midnight EST and I will announce the winner here as well as contact them directly!

HK Accessories Collection--the gang's all here!

Don't forget to follow the rest of the tour! I can personally vouch for the stop on the 22nd....or maybe they can vouch for me? We kinda have a Monday through Friday thing going on. ;)

October 8: The Sweatshop of Love October 9: Under the Red Umbrella October 10: Rohn Strong October 11: Emma Welford Designs October 12: Knits in Class

October 15: Bumblebirch Designs October 16: Audrey’s Teashop October 17: Gynx October 18: Adaly Myles Place October 19: Canary Knits

October 22: Webs Yarn Store Blog  October 23: The Sweatshop of Love Hosts Homestead Heirlooms! October 24: Knitted Bliss October 25: Stash, the Knit Picks Staff Blog October 26: Holla Knits hosts Tara Shade!

Let there be sleeves!

One down, one to go! I'm aiming to have it finished, blocked and dried by next Saturday so I can wear it to Rhinebeck. It's my first time going so OF COURSE I have to have a Rhinebeck sweater. And why not make it one that I designed?

I'm extremely pleased since it's coming out exactly how I pictured it when I first thought of these mods. Obviously I've modded other sweater patterns before when I knit them, but nothing to this extent. I had to:

  1. Calculate a new size based on my different gauge with this yarn (6sts/1" instead of 7sts/1") and because I wanted a 34" finished bust size.
  2. Adjust the instructions for working in the round (not that hard.)
  3. Do fewer decreases at the neck and armhole so I would have wider straps and so the body would be shaped more like a pullover. I kind of winged this part but my instincts turned out to be perfect, no frogging required.
  4. Work short row sleeve caps for the first time! My first attempt was too big so I had to rip it out and start again

I've got a week and a few days left, then yarn heaven! I'm also working at the Webs booth at Stitches East this Friday, which is definitely a change of pace from my office. I did a stint there last year and managed to meet a lot of the suppliers I work with, so I'm looking forward to catching up with some of them and maybe finally meeting some others. If you happen to be attending, stop by and look for me!

I also did a photo shoot for work a few weeks ago. Here's a sneak peek...

Photo by Lindsey Topham for Webs/Valley Yarns

I wonder who designed that lovely sweater I'm wearing....? ;)

Holla Back KAL!

Thanks to the support of everyone who voted, my Holla Back Tank was chosen for the inaugural Holla Knits KAL! Pattern is available for a reduced price of $3 until August 20th, when the KAL starts. Katie Canavan (who designed Finishing School for the Spring/Summer issue) is leading the way, and she's already got posts up on the Holla Knits blog. Check out the prizes and other deets, and start swatching if you're ready to jump in! I've decided to knit a 3/4 sleeved version for a wintery Holla Back Pullover. I mentioned that brainwave on the Holla Knits Ravelry group and everyone loved it, so a bunch of us are talking sleeves! Some knitters are going to use multiple colors for their tanks as well, which will be really exciting to see. I think it's pretty much a requirement of Holla Knits to love color!

Now I just need to wait for Dream in Color Starry to come back in stock at the store...

Holla Knits KAL

Allyson really knows how to do it up! It's time for the first Holla Knits KAL, and it's up to you to decide which pattern is going to be knit. Check out the nitty-gritty and cast your vote here. This is no ordinary KAL--sure, knowing other people are furiously knitting alongside you definitely helps light a fire under my needles, but if you finish your garment in time you can also win some sweet prizes.

And the winner is...

The winner of the Holla Back Tank kit giveaway is: Karyn, who wrote "I love them all but I think I’d start with the Holla back tank and shorts or jeans. Or maybe the Umbre Louvre with white slacks…if only I could decide on a color scheme!"

Check your email, Karyn!

Thanks to everyone who entered--and for dealing with my super slow website. I'm in the process of getting that fixed so don't let it turn you off of coming back to see what I'm doing next! I read all your comments and love the way you would wear the looks from the collection, and you gave me some great ideas to make my tank sample more versatile. Hopefully you aren't too disappointed by not winning this giveaway and will still make your favorite Holla Knits pattern! Don't forget to check out the giveaways that are being hosted on the other tour stops, since your luck might change!

The tour stops here!

Welcome to Day 4 of the Holla Knits blog tour! I'm Emma and I'll be your guide today through the six super-stylish patterns of the Spring/Summer 2012 Collection. I decided to do something fun while reviewing these patterns and styled them into looks I would wear with the help of Polyvore. If you're a Pinterest addict, I'm sure you'll recognize the format of these clothing collages that are everywhere. This was my first time using it and I found the interface very intuitive, plus I love the fact that you can filter results by color.

Up first is my Holla Back Tank. I styled it as I wrote in my pattern description (since I'm apparently stuck on this one look), with skinny jeans and a leather jacket. I wish I had a cute cropped jacket like this one, which would give a great sneak-peek of the tank's lace back before you take it off for the big reveal. Perfect for that badass rocker chick look! I'd wear this one for a night on the town with my best friend.

Keep reading for more looks and a giveaway!

Here is Allyson Dykhuzien's Put a Belt On It. Allyson is the amazing creator of Holla Knits and she busted her chops with THREE designs for the premiere collection! I love gray + yellow so I couldn't resist creating an outfit for this sample. I'm lucky enough to have a job with a very casual dress code, which means I usually roll in wearing jeans and a tee. But every now and again I get the itch to dress ~fancy~ for work and I would totally rock this! A solid skirt and tank allow the gorgeous hand-dyed yarn to be spotlighted.

Like my Holla Back Tank, this pattern also features a great surprise--turning around reveals cables and a fun cropped back. I'm a big fan of back details and Allyson's vest delivers. I will admit that I don't usually knit or wear vests because I don't know how to wear them! But I love layers with deep V-necks and I think this is a great modern version of the well-recognized knitted vest.

Katie Canavan's Finishing School is a great nautical-inspired top. I can picture wearing this home visiting my mom and going out to lunch with her in Newburyport, a coastal city with a really cute downtown. Cropped red pants and a red floral headband echo the red whipstitch accents. I love headbands of all styles since they work with my hair now, though that was not always the case! Simple sandals keep the look casual and make it easy to take a leisurely afternoon stroll.

I remember reading one of Allyson's sneak peek posts of Katie's design, and her mentioning being unsure if Katie's concept would read as too costume-y. I think Katie pulled it off--this top is definitely wearable! I'm impressed with the unique construction description, I always admire when a designer comes up with a new and interesting way to get from Point A to Point B.


Allyson's Umbre Lovre is beautiful and so on-point right now! Knee-length jean shorts and strappy wedges keep the flirty vibe of the off-the-shoulder option without taking it overboard. Bracelets are my favorite type of jewelry, so I'd layer several different ones together for extra fun. This one is a Sunday outfit! Sunday is the only day of the week that both Erik (my boyfriend) and I have the whole day off. We try and do something together, whether it's watching a movie, going somewhere, or just cooking dinner at home. Even the most ordinary activities feel special if we do them on a Sunday, and I think this look is special AND functional!

I love love love how this one looks in a hand-dyed option, it really enhances the ombre effect. I agree with Allyson that the hardest part for this top would be picking the colors! Looks like a simple knit, technique- and construction-wise, but very satisfying.


Romp Around the Clock is a romper (yes, a knitted romper!) by Lilith Ubbelohde. I will admit to never having worn a romper before, so the styling for this one is pure fantasy! I love to pair aquas and teals with browns. I think the contrast of neutrals with brights is always a winner, and it's in style right now so I know others agree!  The woven detail on the belt is in tune with the cable details and would be a great waist accent. An elbow-length sweater (one of my favorite sleeve lengths) is perfect for covering up when heading into air conditioning or as the day cools down.

I love that Lily took into account the fact that most people aren't the same size on top as they are on bottom. That is truly the beauty of knitting or any kind of clothing DIY, being able to create garments that fit us in a way standard sized clothes never will. If you look closely at the pattern photos, the cable panel hits differently on the body between the two samples--another great way to customize this pattern and make it your own.


The final design is also by Allyson, In a While Crocodile. I love both sleeve versions equally, but I've been looking for the perfect pattern to try out Knit Picks Stroll Glimmer on and I think the version pictured above fits the bill. This would be the most versatile design in the collection for me, since I would wear it to work or out to play styled like this. Converse or Vans are my favorite shoes, the funkier the pattern the better! (I have Hello Kitty high-top Vans :P.) Add in a fun necklace and all bases are covered for a casual and youthful look.

A common theme in this collection is 'choose your own adventure' knitting, as Allyson would say! Having a crochet option for the sleeves is great for novice crocheters like me, looking to practice their skills, or for advanced crocheters wanting to combine their crafts into one garment. Crocodile stitch would be over-the-top if used throughout this tee, and that little hit on the sleeves is juuuust right.

I did promise a giveaway at the beginning of this post, right? Your reward for sticking around and letting me ramble on! In partnership with Gail, the wonderful Kangaroo Dyer, we are offering you a chance to win a Holla Back Tank Kit of your very own! One winner will be randomly chosen from the comments to receive:

  1. A PDF copy of my Holla Back Tank Pattern.
  2. Enough of Gail's Poet Seat Fingering yarn in the color of your choice to knit your size of the tank. (Check out Gail's fabulous colorways here!)
  3. A copy of Gail's book, Hand Dyeing Yarn and Fleece.
  4. AND a copy of Gail's new color tool, the Color Grid.

To enter, leave a comment on this entry telling me how you would wear one of the designs from the Holla Knits Spring/Summer 2012 Collection. Be sure to enter your email address when you comment so I can get in contact with you if you win! Contest closes one week later, at 11:59pm EST on April 25th. I will post the winner here and email you to arrange everything. And may the odds be ever in your favor!



Holla Knits is here! Head on over to the Holla Knits blog to see the whole collection and my Holla Back Tank. My interview with Johnny of FiberStory TV goes up on Wednesday, and don't forget to stop back here on Thursday for my review of the collection AND a joint giveaway with the Kangaroo Dyer!

  April 16th: Holla Knits Blog - Collection debut April 17th: The Sweatshop of Love - Review and pattern giveaway April 18th: FiberStory.tv - Interview with designer Emma Welford April 19th: Emma Welford/Kangaroo Dyer - Review and yarn giveaway April 20th: Knits in Class - Review and subscriber exclusive yarn giveaway, discounts April 23rd: Under the Red Umbrella - Review and pattern giveaway, subscriber exclusive yarn giveaway April 24th: Skacel - Review and yarn, pattern, and needles giveaway, additional subscriber exclusive yarn and needles giveaway April 25th: Knit Darling - Review and pattern giveaway April 26th: The Owl and the Bee - Review and pattern giveaway April 27th: Dirty Water DyeWorks - Review and subscriber exclusive yarn giveaway, discounts April 30th: Wooly Wonka Fiber Arts - Review and subscriber exclusive yarn giveaway May 1st: Knitted Bliss - Review and pattern giveaway May 2nd: FiberStory.tv - Interview with designer Lily Ubbelohde May 3rd: Knit Picks Blog Stash - Review, podcast interview with designer Allyson Dykhuizen, and pattern giveaway May 4th: Subway Knitter - Review and pattern giveaway