Beautiful People, giveaways

Beautiful People: Melody Hoffman

Aloha Friends!

This weekend, those of you who follow me on Instagram had a special treat: a guest! I asked my sweet friend Melody to share her world with us and I am delighted she did!

One of the photos she shared was so incredibly lovely I have used it as our featured image above! In this picture you can feel Melody’s gentle spirit.

We met last year, early in January.

I say “met”…I read her blog and contacted her. The first interaction went something akin to this:

Aloha Melody! I am Mel. I think we should be friends. Can we make that happen?

She was game.

And I have loved her deeply ever since!

She has a great sense of nature, a love we have in common. She captures the forest in her backyard with such joy and wonder you can’t help but feel you are walking in a sacred place, excited and peaceful all at once. It was this same forest that inspired her shawl design Canopy knit in The Fibre Company’s Road to China Light from  Kelbourne Woolens (159 yards/ 50g, 65% Baby Alpaca, 15% Silk, 10% Cashmere, 10% Camel). I love this yarn! I think my LYS The Salty Sheep has all the decadent yarn from Kelbourne Woolens! If you have tried any of their stuff please do tell in the comments below!

But back to Melody…

She taught during Camp Aloha Friends in Summer 2014, showing us how to collect and press flowers. I asked her if she could take the participants on a walk. “Just head out away from your home 20 minutes in one direction. Share with us the sights and sounds!”

She did.

It was my favourite part of last summer. If you look over the images she captures, the beautiful pictures of knitting and nature, you will see why!

So hang on Dear Readers! The warmer weather will return and we will see green sprouts and sun. For now, I am so glad Melody taught me last summer to save my flowers for the long winter months! (I will show them to you on Instagram later!)

May the sun be warming you today,


Ps. If you made it this far I have a treat for you! Share below a few of the Instagram accounts you love to follow! Not on Instagram? Share one or two blogs! One lucky comment will be chosen from any posted below to receive a treat from me of Mandy’s Canopy pattern! Winner chosen and announced Wednesday Feb 25th, so be sure to comment before 8 a.m. Wednesday EST! (and the Kelbourne Woolen comments count too!)


Click that little arrow down on left for a host of sharing options!

Beautiful People, patterns

Beautiful People: Words With Amy

Have you ever known somebody that was such a gift you wanted others to know them too? Today I share Amy for that reason! And in the spirit of sharing, she shares a treat with You, so read on my friend!

Amy is known as  KnittingAmyK on Ravelry. She assumes many roles: mom, wife and friend by day… designer, tech editor, knitting teacher, spinner and knitter by night. Whew! I caught up with her to as a few questions:
Whats makes you happy in knitting?
I love color. I love watching the colors emerge and play off of each other with harmony, even in the midst of contrast. And I love pairing them with a coordinating neutral (or not so neutral). Colors sing to me. And I love the melodies they make when paired with the perfect pattern.

Project Wraps and Ridges Mitts 4

What makes you happy apart from knitting?
My people. Not just my family (though they are sweet and funny and great)  but my extended “family”. The wonderful people who are a part of my weekly Saturday Knit Night – those women are amazing. Different walks, different stories, different journeys and ages and educations and lives. But they aren’t afraid to tell it like it is and genuinely care for each other. I know, OUTSIDE of knitting, the question asked. . .but this group is so much more than knitting. It’s my weekly outing where I get to sit with real people I love, working with my hands, chatting about life and enjoying time where I can just be me. It doesn’t get much better than that.
What is something you have done for others in the past year that gives a sense of satisfaction? 
 I was a teacher before quitting to stay home with my kids, but I have the chance to be a part of the classroom  by volunteering all day every Thursday at school with my son. It has been so fun to work with him and his classmates, getting to be a part of their education. But I also just adore getting to work with his teachers. I have done this since last year and know what a huge job it is to teach kids and keep them safe and meet them where they are at (so many different places). I love being able to do the simple yet time-consuming things so they can spend their time doing the important stuff. They think that I am helping them, but really, they are grounding me and giving me a chance to work with amazing and funny and special little people every week.
Gift A Long 2014 Photo 3
What are things you are excited about?
I am excited about my newest patterns, including my Broken Up Boot Cuffs, which you can find here: . I love color. . .but I also love patterns that have fun textures that also work well with variegated yarns. These fun cuffs were born out of necessity, I had three pairs of boots with no color!!! And in order to give you all a chance to try a pattern, I will offer readers of Mel’s blog the chance to try one 25% off with the coupon code: MELROCKS good from now through December 10th (Pacific Time).
I’m excited just to be a part of a great group of Independent Designers that are participating in the Indie Gift-Along 2014. If you choose any paid pattern from a participating designer and complete it (as a gift or for  yourself) by December 31st, 2014 you can post and enter to win one of thousands of prizes. It’s pretty fantastic to see what other people create. I love the creativity in this group – both the designers but also the knitters/crocheters. It’s fantastic to be a part of it all!
I am so thankful that Amy took time to share herself with us and how thoughtful of her to offer a discount on her lovely boot toppers! I think they might make a certain teenager under my roof quite happy Christmas morning! Be sure to share a mahalo with Amy in the comments below–and pass this post on to others! They receive a discount coupon and an introduction by way of the blog and You get entered in the monthly giveaway for a free pattern.  >>>November’s winner was Teresa K!<<<
audio, Beautiful People


I am delighted to share the opportunity to meet the designer behind Fresh Stitches: Stacey Trock.

Stacey has found a wonderful niche in the crafting world: she designs unique crochet patterns!

I don’t want to share too much here in written words as it would be ever so much more fun to listen as Stacey shares what makes her tick, what energizes her work day and how she balances hard work and great customer service with time to knit and develop a family.  For those who are interested in a successful brand, Stacey has a lot to share! Her insight and plan for business is shared in a way that may help you incorporate new ways to think about and treat your businessShe also has a healthy take on Work/Life balance! Interestingly enough…if she had it her way, she’d be a marathon organizer… seriously, you need to treat yourself to this interview just to hear the story behind that!

As you prepare to listen to Stacey, I have a little something to keep your hands busy! If you start when the interview starts you should be pau hana at the conversation’s end! Grab a wee bit of delightful yarn and head here to make Lehua, pictured here. It is a free pattern gift from me.  If you decide to knit this, show me your progress by using the #LehuaWithMel  Be sure to create a project page on Ravelry! You may be excited to hear more on that in days to come…


If you aren’t a knitter and would rather crochet, venture this way for a free crochet pattern on Stacey’s website Fresh Stitches. This adorable little pumpkin is a free pattern just perfect for this time of year!

used with permission from FreshStitches website

==>> As you listen to the interview, tweet your responses to what we discuss in real time! Simply share your thoughts and add #FreshStitchesWithMel so Stacey and I can comment. Not on twitter? Share your thoughts below in the comments! <<==



Care to see some things created by Stacey’s hands? Want to get to know her better? Pop over here! Her videos, links, podcasts (both audio and video) are all there!

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Beautiful People, collaborations

A Part of Something Bigger


It is my ABSOLUTE.

Absolute what?

Absolute EVERYTHING of course!

It is the best shade of the sky,

the perfect colour for hair,

my favourite t-shirt’s stripes,

my yarn and fiber of choice…

It is to me comfort.

It also is comfortable.

Comfortable isn’t always a good thing though. We don’t stray from our cushy spot, our minds aren’t challenged, they aren’t pushed to experiment. In knitting, I see the truth of that as I am confused by things aside from grey.

For instance, when I needed to create a bold look to knit Hapa I came up with this:


And that combo was a  – – – s   t   r   e   t   c   h  ! – – –

My first choice was grey and dark charcoal. My brain almost popped coming up with DoveCôte Grey and Spooky Purple as the handspun combo.

Cate is the mastermind behind the colorful combos of Hapa as seen here:


Cate and I chatted a lot about colour for Hapa and several upcoming projects. She taught me a lot. She has incredible insight with colour, but is able to break concepts down in to steps to follow, thoughts to consider and activities to practice. She shares a great lesson on her blog (photo below from Infinite Twist Blog)Gradient of Helix Mini-skeinsCate’s post The Perfectly Colorful Shawl kicks off an amazing collaboration of The Fall Shawl Together: a collection of designers, bloggers and podcasters sharing and teaching interesting elements about the shawl! This Thursday, October 16th, I weigh in on ways to wear your shawls that move your shawl from functional wardrobe pieces to focal fashion accessories. So get to know Cate, the mastermind behind beautiful things at Infinite Twist. You can visit her blog and study colour with her. As you play with ideas you can listen to a 2 part interview I did with her earlier this year. The interview is a great opportunity to gain insight about Cate, but to have a more comprehensive view on life in and around Shanghai which couldn’t be done in simply one hour:

Or head directly here: My Audio Feed and listen to parts 4 and 5

===>>> If you enjoy meeting interesting people, hearing them express what motivates them to create and discover as well as their take on everyday things apart from their craft, then you will be stoked about another interview that posts tomorrow! Here is a hint of who that may be: hint…hint... <<<===

Beautiful People

Beautiful People

Beautiful people are

e   v  e  r  y  w  h  e  r  e

I find I am tripping over you beautiful people en masse!

And to clarify beautiful…

The definition as my Mac says

beautiful: ‘byōōtefel (adjective)


1. pleasing to the senses or mind aesthetically


2. of a very high standard

And beauty is contagious!

Your beauty shines through in so many parts of my work, designs, podcasts, and now blog posts!

Let me introduce you to B E A U T I F U L P E R S O N # 1


She interviewed me on her blog last week as a designer. If you missed it, read the rest of this first and then head over to her blog. She asked me the same questions I put to her here.

She and I have been working together on a series of different projects since winter and it has become for me a beautiful friendship. She enriches my life as so many of you dear readers do: teaching me new things, sharing insight and vision, helping me shoulder tasks that might become a bit daunting alone. She is a delight and so INTERESTING! Plus her favourite album {below} is very similar to mine (see here!)

B  E  A  U  T  I   F  U  L  P  E  R  S  O  N  #  1  :  C A T E 

My current physical location: Shanghai, China, in the Former French Concession. I’m sitting at an old Chinese table, looking out at trees and my neighbor’s laundry drying on poles.


This morning, my breakfast was: juice, made with a whole beet, three carrots, an apple, half an orange, ginger root, turmeric root, aloe, a cucumber, and a handful of kale; and Peet’s coffee with evaporated milk. Peet’s coffee is one of the foods from home I can’t live without.


The best album ever, or my current favorite album is: For Best Ever, I have to say Disintegration by the Cure. My current fave is Neko Case, The Worse Things Get, The Harder I fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You. Night Still Comes” is achingly beautiful, and she’s so wonderfully feisty. Had a bad day? Listen to “Man” three times on repeat. Better than a gin and tonic.

I discovered Neko Case via my friend Ryan. He’s a great friend and a great music resource, so I knitted him this fox (

I am currently knitting/ creating: I currently have two sweaters on the needles, as well as a Leethal Knits cowl, two shawls on deck (one of which is cast on – yea!). I just got to the absolute bottom of my ready-to-spin fiber, finishing up with a Spunky Eclectic BFL roving purchased at the Maine Fiber frolic two years ago and hoarded ever since. There is a bunch of batt-making in my future.


My secret super power is: Being organized. Excel is my weapon of choice. Why make a list when you can make a color-coded matrix?

Enjoy the slideshow from Cate. It is a glimpse not only of the world in which she lives, but the way she sees it!


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And if YOU want to nominate a B E A U T I F U L P E R S O N  use the form below and contact me!