Knitwear Designer and Author Andrea Jurgrau

New Vintage Lace Cover

New Vintage Lace, published June 2014

Knitwear Designer and Author Andrea Jurgrau was today’s guest on the Yarn Thing podcast with Marly Bird.

Andrea was taught to knit by family, Grandmother and great-aunts were all knitters. They didn’t use patterns so for a long time, neither did she until she had a copy of an Elizabeth Zimmerman book. She became serious about knitting when in college during lecture hall at about the time she got that EZ book, where she learned patterns were always ok but not necessary.

When a friend started a yarn company, she supported her friend by creating patterns using the yarn, and that was the beginning of her design career. She also wrote a blog and shared designs through there.  She still has a blog: The name Bad Cat was inspired by a kitty they owned named Lucy Fur who lived up to her name!

Enchanted Knits cover

Enchanted Knits, published 2014

Writing patterns made her realize ‘how imprecise’ the language of patterns can be, and using charts and tech editors has been an adventure. She knits for her own pleasure any type of projects, from socks to sweaters, and loves to knit lace. When designing, she shares her love of knittin glace and in her new book New Vintage Lace, many of her designs are beautiful shawls, scarves, doilies and hats. They were inspired by Andrea’s collection of vintage patterns, many of doilies, some of which came without written instructions. The challenge was recreating these patterns to lie flat, fix mistakes in the stitch counts and to work-up in a modern way. The patterns are set up in the book that a beginner could start at the beginning and work through.

SIDE NOTE from Tammy: Recently, Andrea’s design made the cover of the special edition magazine Enchanted Knits (both the magazine and the book are from Interweave). The design shown in red is one of a pair in the magazine inspired of Snow White and Rose Red, and there is a Udine Shawlette inspired by mermaids and a Giant Slayer Vine Scarf in the magazine.

Find Andrea Jurgrau in Ravelry too:

Hopefully, you heard the program today, if you missed it, it aired at this link: Also, available at iTunes:



Yarn Pop by Top Shelf Totes

Yarn Pop by Top Shelf Totes, owner Lori Jordan, our guest today on the Yarn Thing podcast with Marly Bird. And we LOVE our Bags, don’t we?


Lori was taught to crochet by an aunt at about 12 years old, and her first project was a blanket. About 10 years ago, she picked up knitting because she was inspired to knit socks! She says socks are still her favorite GO-TO project and that she taught herself and later on, through her local yarn store.

Lori Jordan was working at Paramont Pictures to get movies uploaded in services like iTunes and Netflix, at the time knitting was her zen, she says. She and her husband decided to start their own tech company. While on the plane, she realized it would be nice to have a bag that prevented her yarn from rolling down the aisles. She sewed when she was at home, and began with a bag with grommets for the yarn to thread through. Someone suggested taking her bags to Stitches West. Her first time there, she realized that while she thought she had enough, she ran out of inventory by Saturday of the show and spent the rest of it knitting and handing out business cards.

That was the moment of clarity when she realized she’d found her bliss.

She found manufacturers close to her, in fact, the prints are all milled, made and printed in the US. The fabric is a heavier canvas that resists stains and hold their shape and still be machine washable. The prints she uses are great for making the bags coordinate while not ‘matchy-matchy’ although lots of people like having their various bags all the same print.

YPSinglebagShe loves working with the community, the people, the other vendors at shows, the yarn stores and doing the trunk shows. It’s obvious that these are the things that love her products too!

The first bag was The Single. The yarn threads through the grommet, as stated earlier, and your project can be tucked back in the, there’s a gap that allows the yarn not to get caught in the zipper. She created this bag in this size to be perfect for her socks. Naturally, The Double came next as an option for attendees at the shows, for sock two-at-a-time. Later came The Gadgety, with a pocket for a cell phone with a place to thread the headset cord through. The Commuter came with room for the larger devices like tablets to carry your pattern around with your project. And then the POPULAR Toteable to carry everything!

The bags are becoming collectibles because Lori tries to keep themes and update them. People like the Owl prints, and other people will love the Giraffes. The company is known for the Dandelion print as well.

If you didn’t get to listen to this visit yet, here is the link for where it aired originally: or you can find it in iTunes:

Crochet Scarf Pattern and Youtube Video: Game Day Scarf

NEW PATTERN RELEASE! This Crochet scarf pattern and Youtube video are the newest in a series of beginner projects designed to teach the new crocheter a fantastic skill and how to create a wonderful new project. Let me introduce you to the Game Day Scarf pattern and YouTube video on the Single Double Combination Stitch.

Game Day Scarf (crochet) 

Show your team spirit every day with this simple crocheted scarf. The pattern can easily be customized to the colors of your favorite team. Create the perfect crocheted scarf for someone you loved, or for yourself.

 *small print: this is for a .PDF download of the pattern, not the actual finished product*

Skill level: Easy

Sizes: one size fits most

Yarn: Red Heart, “With Love” (100% acrylic; 370 yds 338 m/198 g): MC Peacock, 1ball; CA White, 1 ball; CB Mango, 1 ball.

Hook: Size H/8 (5 mm) or size needed to obtain gauge


Need a little help? Here is a YouTube Video by me, Marly Bird, for the Single Double Combination Stitch.


Joji Knits


Joji Locatelli

Joji Knits, designer Joji Locatelli was today’s guest on the Yarn Thing Podcast with Marly Bird, all the way from Argentina! This made for a Great adventure for a live program.

Joji (pronounced Ho-Hee) says she learned to knit at about age 8, mom taughter her to a garter stitch scarf. Not exciting and the yarn was not a thrill so that was it till she was in University she started thinking about taking crafts up. At 24, she was about to get married but decided to quit smoking. Her mom had left some needles at her house and she picked up knitting again.

At first she didn’t have access to patterns, with her mom’s help she was able to improvise in her knitting. Then she found Ravelry. There she was able to follow her favorite designers and improve her skills, till she became a designer herself.


Joji and her current favorite design, Boxy

When she starts a design, she has an idea of what she wants to make but it sounds like the particulars work themselves out in process. In the beginning, she was so engrossed with what she was working on, she would forget to write things down as she worked on them. Even without completely understanding English her designs communicate classic beauty.

In spite of the changes in import/export laws, which makes it hard for someone like Joji to purchase yarn. she says ‘Don’t Worry’ she has a good supply at hand. Malabrigo is from Uruguay, right next door to Argentina! Sometimes, the colors she is sent by a yarn designer is not what she had in mind, and then she finds the design becomes based on the yarn itself.

Her latest design, Japan Sleeves, based on another of her cardigan designs, Old Romance, incorporates lacework from Japanese charts, and has been very popular among JojiKnits fans. Old Romance was very well received, which inspired her to continue the thought of the lace panels down the sleeves and the rest of the sweater constructed from that. Then she was sharing her inspiration for Japan Sleeves and the thought of stripes and her friend reminded her stripes in this would be like shawls that you see often. Working out the stripes in the short rows, but she loves that the design came together well.


Her website, She can also be found on Facebook:

Another of Joji’s designs that is popular is Boxy and Buttony. a next step after Boxy, by their nature as oversized and their boxy shape becomes comfortable and drapey. (Joji later shared that she personally likes the Boxy design so much she wears it all the time!) She also discussed how the feminine shape of Meridien comes together.

Joji says she gets most of her designing done in the evenings after her two boys go to bed. Her husband does freelance work as well, so this works for her family very well! Check out her designs in Ravelry:

If you missed listening LIVE, the show can still be heard at: or if iTunes is more convenient:

Pepperberry Knits Yarn

Pepperyberry Knits yarn, creator Heidi Hennessy, was the guest on the Yarn Thing Podcast today with Marly Bird, and it was all about the CASHMERE! Marly wanted to meet Pepperberry Knits at TNNA in May, but the booth was so busy. Those that did get in are still talking about it!


Heidi Hennessy, of Pepperberry Knits

Heidi is the mom of four boys and after her third son was born, she picked up a booklet and knit gloves using double-pointed needles, then a cable sweater. She found herself hooked, as it made sense to her. She shared with others at yarn group what how to cable, or other techniques, which progressed to teaching. Recommending yarns to others lead her to wonder about creating her own yarns.


Being entrepreneurial, she began with deconstructing cashmere sweaters found at the thrift stores, plying on her Ashford spinning wheel, and selling recycled cashmere. Of course, knitters LOVE cashmere and wanted a sweater’s worth. Heidi searched sources that would sell smaller quanities. The cones of color would come in laceweight and she would ply them together in solids and marled colorways. In two years, the work has grown into Pepperberry Knits


Karen Double Layer Mitts

Heidi has been so busy creating skeins to fill the demand, but amazingly has had some time to design a bit. Some designs come to her in her sleep. That’s where The Karen Double Layer Mittens came about.

THIS pattern available to fans of the Yarn Thing podcast till SUNDAY NIGHT, September 7th. You can pick up this pattern at the Pepperberry Knits website and get 50% off with codeword yarnthing (yes, all one word and all lower case). Isn’t that great? Marly wants to add to this: to assist those that have not knit mittens or gloves she has a Craftsy class, use this code and get 50% off!  CLICK HEREFunsizebundle

What people were so excited about at TNNA was mini skeins, in theme colorways and put together in Fun Size Bundles that can be used to create cowls. It’s a great introduction to using cashmere and at very reasonable, unexpected prices.

They will be at VKLive NYC in January and StitchesWest in Santa Clara, CA, in February, then in Colorado for Interweave in April. Bookmark her Ravelry page for details:

If you missed getting to hear this live it was originally broadcast from this link: it’s also available in iTunes, if that’s easier for you.

Creation Crochet


Lorene Eppolite

Creation Crochet is the featured subject, Lorene Eppolite was kind enough to join Marly to let us know what’s going on with her!

Lorene is relatively new to crocheting, only 5 years ago, taught herself. She sold finished products and was approached for patterns. Two years ago, she started her website Cre8tion Crochet and publishing patterns. At this point her finished products have completely gone away!


She works from home now (raising her kids) and finds most of her designing happens at night.  Her best designs and most popular are those that she just picked up a crochet hook and yarn and went to work as the idea strikes her.


The Owl Stuffy

Writing the patterns is still a challenge for her, but one that she meets well as is obvious by the quantity of her patterns listed in Ravelry and even as her skills improve finds a need to go back and tweak the older ones.

The Owl Stuffy has become the most favorited in Ravelry. Toys aren’t generally her favorite but these fun little guys are cheerful and bright. Perhaps that’s why they are so popular, with their friendly expressions! Well, the fact that it’s a free pattern can’t hurt either…

Lorene has become the Crochet Designer of choice for A Darn Good Yarn. Her patterns so far include hats and scarves made of their wonderful recycled fibers. Follow that website, too, to see the new patterns as Lorene creates and they are published there.

One thing that was cool to hear on the program is that Lorene considers’ Laurinda Redding a mentor. Coincidentally, Laurinda will be a guest on the Yarn Thing podcast with Marly Bird later this month!

If you missed hearing this episode you can go to the original program live, this is the link in Blogtalk:, Tammy shares the iTunes link because it’s easier for her to rewind if she missed something.

Knitting Expert Candace Eisner Strick

Knitting Expert Candace Eisner Strick learned to knit at the tender age of three! Her mother taught her to knit and play piano. While music has always been a part of her life, knitting has been the thing she loved.


Candace Eisner Strick and ‘the parrot who owns her’ 

Deciding she wanted to write a book about Harrisville designs, she approached them and heard the owner ‘Give Candace any yarn she wants’! She picked one of every color… Well, who wouldn’t? She created designs and put together ideas and began approaching publishers until finally Down East said they would publish her book for her. That first book Sweaters from a New England Farm Next came Sweaters from New England Sheep Farms … she has become known for her fearless designs, which include cables, lacework, steeks. Socks fit into her  talents easily with fun because of the beautiful colorways, self-striping and techniques. Thus Strick-ly Socks which she convinced her husband to help her with to become her first self-published book.

Think Ouside the Sox is a great collections of socks that was compiled by XRX (Knitters Universe Magazine) and Candace has a pattern included.

Candace has a YouTube channel and it can be helpful resource for techniques when knitting socks:  and she also has her own website

Once she got rolling with designs and writing books, she got hold of a booklet from a Stitches Event, admired all the teachers and decided she wanted to be one of those people.  This is the link to her upcoming classes at Stitches East in October.

If you missed hearing it live, you can catch it at the original location or in iTunes:

Crochet Expert and Author Kim Guzman


Kim Guzman, aka Crochet Kim

Crochet Expert and Author Kim Guzman was one of the earliest guests on the Yarn Thing with Marly Bird Podcast so it’s a special time to reconnect and get caught up with Kim again!


Kim Guzman’s Stockinette Felted Hat

Grandma taught her to crochet granny squares (no pun intended) which was not what Kim wanted to learn to make at age 8. She was inspired to take up crocheting the beautiful doilies around Grandma’s house. In 1998, she joined a group online and started submitting patterns. At that point she started her website also. She followed Carol Alexander (now editor of Crochet World magazine) and Brenda Stratton’s encouragement and personally followed them around a trade show and watched them submit work to Annie’s Attic and Coats & Clark. One of her submissions went to Annie’s Attic which was Christmas Tree skirts of thread, which turned into (surprisingly to her) a book, which has become twelve books with them.

She is really inspired by Tunisian crochet. She finds it can look like knitting or crochet or weaving…. and everything a person could do with any of those, could do it with tunisian crochet. She loves felting with her Tunisian crochet fabric. Her Stockinette Felted Hat ( demonstrates how well it works up as a fabric. Her newest with Annies Attic is Learn Double Ended Tunisian Crochet which uses the needles that have a crochet hook at both ends. 

She has classes with Crochetville and a video channel on YouTube as well as Annies Attic. Her philosphy is that she just wants to make pretty things and she wants to teach others to make pretty things, too.

Kim Guzman’s website is:, but you can find her on Twitter and Facebook, too, where she posts not just about her crochet adventures, but also about her garden and cooking.

If you missed the episode (where were you? we missed you!) you can listen at Blogtalk where it aired originally or the iTunes:

What is Marly Bird Doing These Days

What is Marly Bird Doing These Days became the theme when today’s guest was unavailable. Marly let me (Tammy) call in and just dip my toes in ‘Marly World’.

Marly and Tammy recently at Stitches Midwest (Marly's picture)

Marly and Tammy recently at Stitches Midwest (Marly’s picture)

I got to ask her, because people do wonder and sometimes they will ask me: What is Marly working on these days?

Marly has been super inspired by Outlander and the simple designs seen in the program. Working with the colorways from Bijou Basin Ranch and the natural textures of Green Mountains Spinnery have given her lots of creative ideas. I mentioned that her recently published Nottingham Sweater was created in Green Mountain Spinnery yarns and was a well received design. She also used their yarn for her men’s saddle-shoulder design Cobalt Cables

We got a little distracted in stories of ‘how to quit smoking’….

There was a big secret Marly has coming up, I won’t post here, but listeners have something to look forward to it…..

In the meantime, Marly has recently spent a lot of time filming segments for her YouTube video channel. We think that you will want to subscribe to the channel, even though there hasn’t been any videos posted yet. We find that subscribers are the first to know when videos are posted and that you will want to be the first to know when her videos are posted too. This is the link in YouTube for Marly’s Channel.


This is Tammy’s Marly Bird Bag (which promises to be the premier edition of more to come!) from Erin Lane bags. The project currently inside it is Marly’s pattern Wildberry Wrap, single crochet entrelac.

We spoke about upcoming guests we are looking forward to: Marly mentioned Joji Knits who has a wonderful website. She will be calling in from Argentina on September 9th. Marly and I are tickled that Pepperberry Knits be on the show September 4th, because they are local to me, but Marly attempted to get to know them at TNNA and their booth was packed!  Marly would like to have The Plucky Knitter, Fresh from the CauldronI admired how busy the Verdant Gryphon booth was at Stitches Midwest, and we both loved Miss Babs and their booth was always popular also!

PennyWe LOVE Erin Lane Bags!  This is my bag I purchased (limited edition) at Stitches Midwest and we are also excited about Kristin Omdahl fabrics in the Erin Lane Bags.

Marly has had several patterns published and pieces in upcoming issues of Love of Crochet and Love of Knitting magazines, under the F + W house now. Prime Publishing is another group that Marly is looking forward to learning from.
We also shared Marly’s recent family addition, Penny.  Gotta love the Rescue Dogs!

If you didn’t get to listen yet, please do! Blogtalk: and iTunes:




Slipped Stitch Studios Project Bags

Slipped Stitch Studios Project Bags, owner Laura Lundy met Marly on a plane trip (to Ohio for a TNNA event) have a chance to visit and allow us to eavesdrop on their ‘catching up’.

Laura Lundy of Slipped Stitch Studios

Laura Lundy of Slipped Stitch Studios

Laura learned to knit when she and a co-worker dropped in at a learn to knit class at a yarn store.  The instructor’s critique of her knitting style really spurred her to be a success at the new skill. That was about 10 years ago. In the following years she has become a mommy to two kids and begun her business, Slipped Stitch Studios (website: SlippedStitchStudios2 Last fall, she learn to sew. As she studied her project bags and realizing what she liked and didn’t like so much, she began creating new bags that she could market.

She has worked hard to have a new bag each year for Madrona and Stitches West. Slipped Stitch Studios creates new bags and buttons each month. Pattern Wallets has become a favorite product for herself and crafters alike. Marly’s favorite and Laura’s most popular product are the two skein bags (link to the product page: Bag of the Month (or BOM as referred to in the Ravelry group (link to the group: has also been a popular way to collect per a favorite genre. It began with Dr. Who, and has progressed to Alice in Wonderland (the current one) through Jane Austen and a zombie version of Jane Eyre. (Some of them can be seen in the Hall of Fame: Each collection includes all kinds of fun things like stitch markers and tool tins, perhaps a skein of yarn in a matching colorway. Some items can be purchased as add-ons, but there are items that are tossed in as a ‘Surprise’. All given a great deal of thought and possibly put together by hand in very unconventional ways….

Here is the link if you missed hearing this episode: or if you prefer, the iTunes: