Knitting Expert Sally Melville

Knitting Expert Sally Melville started knitting in Brownies and without any advanced help, started designing at 10 or 11 she guesses. She focused on Fashion Knitting and found her niche, as most knitting was for Art or Craft. She was teaching at a University, when her teen-age daughter asked her to make a sweater for her boyfriend. As a single mom, while she was working on that sweater, it came time to renew her contract with the university.


She realized that she needed to be home with her children. At the time she was entering the fiber field, it was generally thought interest was dying out. She wondered with Elaine Rowley at XRX how successful she would be when she started with a book

Knitting Experience

The Knitting Experience: The Knit Stitch, Inspiration and Instruction.  (Amazon Link) This book led to the next and the next and the next….

Knitting Pattern Essential

Here the Amazon link to her latest book Knitting Pattern Essentials: Adapting and Drafting Patterns for Great Knitwear


She loves to do classes, like the Knit to Flatter and Fit, Essential Skills….  She’s cut back to 5 or 6 workshops a year, including a cruise or the bigger events to spend more time with her grandchildren.  She has a Craftsy Class on Intarsia (Here is the Marly code, please use it so that Craftsy knows Marly sent you!) There is another class filmed, we will keep you updated and share that with you when it comes out! 

Don’t forget to stop by Sally’s website: Also, if you’re on Ravelry, check out her list of designs and patterns available there.

Here are the links, if you have not listened to the episode yet: First for Blogtalk radio and the link in iTunes:

PS. Here is the link in iTunes for Sally’s previous visit with Marly, in 2009, for your listening pleasure!

Knitting World Exclusive Interview Kristin Omdahl’s NEW Big Adventure

Knitting World Exclusive Interview Kristin Omdahl‘s New Big Adventure featured lots of REVEALS of what’s new and hot with Kristin who called from her home in Florida!


Let’s start with Congratulations to Kristin for being in TEN years in the the fiber business! And what a long way she has come in such a short time…  Let’s start with her website  You can click on her patterns there or take a peek at the patterns in Ravelry, but notice she now has e-books! Her first ones celebrates her first ten years, divided into two collections, one for Knit patterns and one for Crochet patterns, both AWESOME as they contain SO many patterns, 37 in the knit one and 34 in the crochet! She’s also done a BRAND-NEW book, Beachy One which features 6 patterns that can all be done with one skein of yarn and with your purchase comes a skein of her …

Brand-New YARN! Bamboo So Fine is (description from her website because it sounds so Yummy!) “is spun, milled and hand dyed in the United States of America, this lustrous and silky soft yarn gets even drapier and silkier after hand-washing in your favorite delicate wash. The colors are bright, saturated and inspired by tropical flowers and candy. Each large skein boasts a whopping 650 yards and gives new meaning to one skein projects!” bamboosofineThis is a wonderful fingering weight yarn in such awesome beach colors, Turquoise, Coral, Amethyst, Lavender, Soft Yellow and Raspberry! It wasn’t mentioned in the program but it comes with a sample of Wrapture which is a wash for your hand-knits that Kristin has featured on the Yarn Thing podcast before. The really cool thing that Kristin is proud of is that ALL of her products and their packaging are North American Made (US and Canadian). Kristin has put together a wonderful video that shares descriptions of the patterns in Beachy One and lots of suggestions for how to wear each item.

She’s considering putting together Retreats, featuring crafting, of course, but cooking and yoga, and adding other amenities. Kristin will be putting together a survey, so watch for the opportunity on her Facebook page or the Blog on her website (look for What’s New at the above link) to give your opinion!

The third thing that Kristin waited until today to announce is about the doodling and drawing that she’s always loved. She’s become a fan of Zentangling recently and started to receive suggestions for fabric designs. One of the companies that are very interested in Kristin Omdahl Fabrics is Erin.Lane Bags which is a Yarn Thing favorite product! This news completely left Marly speechless. (Admittedly rare, so I hope you heard that!) These will be announced at Stitches Midwest but they are working toward having them available later on, potentially Stitches East in October… THAT is another reason to stay tuned!

The episode is available in the archives now: and in iTunes

Cute Crochet World author and Expert Suzann Thompson

cutecrochetworldCute Crochet World author and Expert Suzann Thompson

Suzann Thompson was taught to knit in elementary school by her mother, who also tried to teach her to crochet, but at that time it didn’t take. In seventh grade, she found a pattern in a magazine for a crochet bag which she began to make and sell at school! She feels that because she learned so early, she now can’t imagine life without yarn, crochet hooks or knitting needles. Her designing probably started in late teens and early 20′s which progressed into publishing. She attended a trade

crochetbouquetshow of designers and publishers, learned about polymer clay there, too, and wrote her first books on that subject. In fact, she still teaches workshops on making polymer clay buttons! She will be teaching this at the Taos Wool Festival this fall.  For more information visit her website

While in the mall, she noticed garments with flower embellishments, and after  searching for and not finding books on the subject, wrote her first crochet books, Crochet Bouquet and Crochet Garden. She teaches this at Crochet Guilds…


She also creates wall hangings which combine quiting, knitting and crochet for lots of textural elements. In fact, one of Suzann’s creations are hanging in the Lion Brand Studio in New York! Creativity extends to her very house, as she and her husband have built their Adobe Home, in Texas, completed in 2013.

Her latest book, Cute Crochet world has many little creations of just everyday life, from home furnishings to animals and food.

Find Suzann Thompson on Ravelry, her designs are listed in her designer page at

If you missed today’s program you can listen to the archived program at :

or in iTunes

Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton, Knitting Expert, Author, Teacher and Yarn Brand Owner

CTHprofilepicCornelia Tuttle Hamilton, Knitting Expert, Author, Teacher and Yarn Brand Owner has been in the fiber industry for decades but is surprisingly young for the amount of experience she shares with us! She started very young, at 24 began as a designer, for a shop in NYC that was avant garde and progressed to commission work. While she was living in Manhattan, she visited a friend in Sweden who was looking for someone to rent her place… she took it and became a International Designer! She had been designing for magazines and looking for backing, mostly Vogue Knitting when she approached a publisher to do a book. Inspired by Knitting in America by Wendy Fallick, she put together what she thought would make a great book , and they said they would like a book of design and ‘would you like to work with Noro’? Really, who could say NO to Noro? She did 8 books with KFI.  Other companies include Universal and their Poems Yarn, Malabrigo and Plymouth.

Computers, the internet, the social media website for yarn-crafts Ravelry have changed a lot of things, but has not really been reflected in a designer’s income or wages. Cornelia has embraced these as tools to promote her designs and encourage others. She has a website: where she begun to offer yarns Heaven’s Hand by Hamilton Yarns, currently showing three lines of yarn, the worsted weight Wool Classic, which is 100% Corriedale/Highland wool,, another worsted weight Silke, which is 100% mulberry silk and a lace weight, Shaman which is 100% hand-spun hand-dyed Raw Silk  These can be purchased through these links at her website, but also Her yarns are available at various stores, check this link for a retailer near you:

She now has a Ravelry group for her design work and another for her yarn.  Cornelia is also new to blogging and doing a newsletter, both are linked through her website, but also tools she looks forward to using more.



Really, though, she enjoys Facebook much more: is her pro page and her yarn lines have a page also

It was in Facebook that two recent patterns became known to most of us through Jimmy Beans Wool, Chutes and Ladders (their links to the kits!) and then, working in collaboration with them, a huge promotion of her Sherlock Scarf, 


which they combined with theme named yarn colorways and other items like project bags that made it a lot of fun. Here is the link to the Dr Watson Scarf Kit with them: and also Sherlock, of course, called Sherlocks Secret: which they put together in Lorna’s Laces. By the way, both of these patterns are available for purchase in her Ravelry store:


Coming up in Vogue Knitting are two unique designs using Geometric Openwork in a lattice design that she wanted to create in such a way that does not require weaving in lots of ends. They will appear in the Early Fall 2014 edition.

For those that didn’t get to listen, here is the episode, now in the archives.


You can also find it in iTunes, subscribe and leave a comment there, too, when you’re done commenting here!


Swing Knitting with Expert Brigitte Elliott

Swing Knitting with Expert Brigitte Elliott was our topic today and we love that she shared this with us as well as so many other things!

Swing Knitting was actually developed by someone else and Brigitte gives credit to Gabrielle Kluge  (Intoxicated Knitting) and was trademarked by Heidrun Liegmann-Halama There is a workshop course in German (if you open it with Google, it can be translated) by Heidrun that Brigitte recommends.   (Magical Stitches)   Brigitte deserves credit though, too, for translating to English (we think!) and showing us how truly fun it is!  There are several patterns that are really popular that uses this technique, most familiar is the Dreambird Shawl (, the Hitchhiker Shawl ( to name a couple…

Autumn FusionBrigitte met Patty McDonald who communicated by e-mail, who shared a scarf that they both found incredibly inspiring that was in German. That was Gabrielle Kluge! Brigitte took that course linked earlier in summer 2010, then she went to Germany for a live course, four days in a castle and met teacher Heidrun. Brigitte found it so exciting, and later Heidrun sent her a packet for Brigitte’s help to translate it into English. Brigitte really loved this style of knitting that she thinks of as German Short Rows. She devised a mathematical formula of explaining Heidrun’s musical way of writing.

This is one of her designs: The Autumn Fusion Shawl has been well received. There is a series of workshops  in German and in English in Ravelry.—swingy-hitchhiker  There’s also been some additonal designs from Heidrun placed in Ravelry in German and with Brigitte’s help, English! Brigitte’s also had some designs published, most of us may have seen in the Knitter’s magazine. Here’s the link to her Ravelry Designer page to remind us:

Brigitte also recommends the Ravelry group for Swing Knits—swing-knittingtm

Don’t forget to check out Brigitte Elliott’s website: and if you missed hearing today’s program we hope you’ll take a moment to bring up the archive.  For your ease: You may want to peek at iTunes for any of the episodes you may have missed, there’s a really concise list there so episodes are easier to find!

6/17 Knitting Expert Donna Druchunas



Donna Druchunas has recently self-published Stories in Stitches 3 This

and the first two volumes can be purchased for the knitter who loves historical crafting

She will be doing a knitting cruise! This one goes to the Baltic Sea There is also an ARMCHAIR CRUISE which means you get to learn to knit Arctic Lace from home with the theme of Cruising to Alaska!

This was not mentioned during the program, but Donna will be teaching at Stitches East in October, here is the link to her class schedule and descriptions She has other events, too, that can be found at her website

If you would like to check out her Designer page on Ravelry (oh, my, has she been a busy knitting bee!) This page will link you to locations where her books and patterns can be purchased., Donna has appeared before on the Yarn Thing podcast, check that out also

Knitting Expert and Author, Julie Turjoman

Knitting Expert and Author, Julie Turjoman

Julie Turjoman’s designs have appeared in Interweave Knits and Knitty.  Check out this link in Ravelry for her designs:

Knits That Breathe

She compiled Brave New Knits (link to book in Amazon) and has self published a NEW BOOK: Knits that Breathe. 



She saw a need for those that live in warmer climates, and the ladies that suffer Their OWN Personal Summers (aka HOT Flashes). These were designed to be used with silk and bamboo for the ultimate beautiful layers.


She invites all to join the Julie Turjoman Designs Ravelry Group  where you can stay tuned for her future publications.

June 10th, Guest Jacqueline Sava of SOAK Wash

6/10 ~ Guest Jacqueline Sava of Soak on Yarn Thing Podcast with Marly Bird.

Marly broadcasted live while on location, she’s going to meet Dianna Galbadon, author of the Outlander books… You heard that episode, right?

Jacqueline Sava was designing knitwear and was often asked how to take care of them. About 8 years ago, they began to seek the best ways to take care of our wool knits… and SOAK was born! Care was taken in selecting everything about the product including the packaging.

Soak website:  Many popular choices of scents including Fragrance Free and Bio-degradable (and thus clear and color-free). Recently rebranded, formula has been updated to plant-derived, 100% post consumer resin bottles (recycled), labels are recycled and water-based ink were redesigned, too! Lizzy House designed the Yuzu labels, Sandi Henderson did Celebration labels, Joanna Figueroa did the fig labels, Denyse Schmidt did the Scent-less labels.

Their products includes:

  • Handmade, a Shea-butter based hand-cream that is absorbed into your skin
  • Soakboxes, knitting gift kit, includes Lorna’s Laces Yarn, with a pattern by Fiona Ellis, with nail polish to match, you could give to a knitter and they can knit the gloves or you could knit the gloves and give the whole kit to a non-knitter.
  • Flatter fabric spray, great for spray blocking lace, but other times complete water soak is not to advantage in blocking. Also, great for spraying fabric when traveling to refresh the garment.
  • Nail polish colors to match your yarn is fun. SOAK is working to put together a blog post for how to have a Nail Party at your LYS or knit night. How fun is that! The Ravelry collection has been a big hit.

She will be at Quilt Canada today, in the UK mid-July for Unwind in Briton. Soak can also be found at lingerie trade-shows this summer.

Here is the link so you can take a moment to get caught up and listen.

6/5 ~ HEIDI BEARS, Yarn Thing podcast with Marly Bird

6/5 ~ HEIDI BEARS, on the Yarn Thing podcast with Marly Bird

It’s pretty exciting getting to talk to someone from all the way around the world. Heidi Bears called in from South Africa, proving that guests and listeners could be from anywhere in the world!

Heidi’s designs have been favorites on Ravelry and Pinterest, they are cheerful and fun, which puts a smile on the face of all that see them.

Her first crochet lessons were in school as it was required of all school children. She says her first project was an ugly pillow (we’re all so hard on our first projects). After her daughter was born, she left her secular career, and found herself picking up knitting and crochet as a hobby. As with many, that became a career.

Her website came of a desire to create for her godson and a search for stuffed animals on Google, where she found her neighbor across the road had an etsy shop and blog. This inspired her, thinking it might be a fun thing to do. The first design was the Lollo Bear (this link is in Ravelry)



She keeps in mind the visual learners so her patterns, as Marly says, are like a workshop. Clearly, that is a good way to write a pattern Ravelry shows that more of these bears have been created than any of her other patterns, but one, the Happypotamus. Using hexagons and polygons in crochet have given her the ability to make a recognizable shape of an animal. Marly admired that at her website: she features knitting also and not just toys. She is a big fan of socks made with Magic Loop!

Puff the stegosaurusWe posted a picture of Puff the Magic Stegosaurus last night on the Marly Bird Facebook page and it was a HUGE hit! At this point there have been 3,500 views in about 18 hours! Marly shared that she has purchased the pattern, admires that Heidi went in to such great detail as the pattern is 39 pages long just to make sure that whoever purchases the pattern will be able to complete the project.

Colors are important, she uses wonderful local indie dyers with wonderful South African Merino wool. She promised to send links will update when we get those.

Got the links today! Thank you, Heidi. and

Make sure to take time to listen, not only to her beautiful accent but to the inspiration she shares with us!

Joi Mahon, aka DESIGNER JOI

Joi Mahon, aka Designer Joi, our Guest on the Yarn Thing with Marly Bird, June 3rd. 2014

Unlike our typical guests, Joi Mahon is not a knitter, crocheter, dyer or other yarn type person, we are going to adopt her into the fiber lovers neighborhood. She crochets so she gets us. Her trade actually is designing clothing. Her business is Designer Joi, Dress Forms Design. She has a wonderful website for her business, Designer Joi, Dress Forms Designs which exhibits her wonderful work.

She teaches knitting as well, and hopes that unlike those that taught herself and Marly that it’s more encouraging and less, “sew and rip, sew and rip…” as Marly says. She has new classes at Craftsy (here are the codes which lets our sponsor know we sent you and gets you a little discount, so please use them):

Her classes demonstrate making things that fit. THIS is important information for those who don’t fit most patterns. In addition to her classes, we will be able to learn a lot from a new book coming out… Here’s the link to find it at Amazon


Make sure to listen to this inspiring designer and her insights on fit in this archived episode: