knitting, Wandering Wardrobe Project

Wandering Wardrobe Project

Something I notice more and more is interest from people who want to knit… but don’t…yet. “It seems fun, like something I could see myself doing,” shared one college student I spoke with, “but I am not sure I would use what I made, you know? Where I live, covering my shoulders with a shawl doesn’t seem like a good fit. I guess if I saw other girls around me wearing things like we dress…I think that would make it more appealing.”

Other young women I talked with seemed to say the same thing. And a seed was planted…

“It seems fun, like something I could see myself doing…but I am not sure I would use what I made, you know?

Show someone how they can use what they are creating. This was the initial thought I had. The more I thought about it, the more I knew the diversity of “someone” was key. I couldn’t just get one person to wear one item and think that satisfied my idea. I would need several someones,real women with their own sense of style that are willing to share in different areas; a variety to give legs to this project.

L.A. Through the Stones/Gimme 20. New career starting.


And how those legs have stretched and transported this project from L.A., Seattle, Hawaii…Midwest, Central and Southern US… up and down the East Coast too!

Women in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s… College students, young mothers, ladies starting their careers, and those planning to retire. Teachers, veterinarians, volunteers, stay at home mothers. All receiving a wardrobe of hand knits to sort through and wear as they choose! Each Wednesday over the next few weeks we will travel to a new place, meet some seasoned knitters, new knitters, and not-yet knitters. They will share glimpses of their towns and thoughts on personal style. The hand knits will be worn in ways you already do…and in ways you may have never considered.

So join in the Wandering Wardrobe Project! Start by subscribing to the blog to get each post delivered right to your inbox! Join the newsletter mailing list and get a few behind the scenes tips, tricks and thoughts. Join in showing your version of the hand knits showcased styled by you each week! And lastly, share this project with the share buttons below!


Looking forward to wandering together!





{{Spoiler alert! At the end of this post are 3 incredible giveaways!}}

I recently had a chance to chat with designer and teacher Laura Nelkin. I thought I was just going to share an interesting person with you, but wound up making a friend connection for myself!

We had a blast chatting about what it takes to design knitting patterns, to create a book, to juggle our dreams and reality..we covered a lot of creative territory in the hopes of bringing an inspiration and insight to you!

If you have a KNOCKOUT KNITS book you may want to grab it to have on hand as we talk about interesting behind the scenes tidbits! So have a listen and then pop back over here to see what Laura has to share with you as a gift! {Remember you can subscribe to the podcast by way of iTunes!}

POdcast screenshot



Laura has graciously offered a free autographed copy of KNOCKOUT KNITS for one lucky listener!

Simply grab one of these Knockout Knits images below and share it on Instagram or Twitter! Be sure to tag me @MSkiKnits and Laura @LauraNelkin and use the #knockoutknits and #smallkineknitswithmel hashtags. You may enter once a day from Jan 26th to Feb 2nd, 2015.

Choose from this image!image




You can win a free kit to kit one of Laura’s designs! Her etsy shoppe has some incredible kits!  Simply pop over there and look around and tell me in the comments below which is your favourite!  Please comment only once!

Hibisco by Laura Nelkin  Photo used with permission by L.Nelkin

Hibisco by Laura Nelkin Photo used with permission by L.Nelkin


Oh my stars! You have heard me go on and on about SpaceCadet Mini Skeins…

Watch this video and be prepared for the mini treat I plan to share with you later this week! I will show you the cuffs mentioned in the podcast as well as the giveaway!

Well I hope I got your Monday off to a good start!

Aloha ∞ Peace ∞ Happy Knitting!


audio, with others

Spend some time making a new friend!

Aloha Friend!

Ready to make a new friend?

Today I want to share the opportunity to do just that! Give a listen to a chat I had with Jan Smiley and hear not only about how and why she started her own retreat but about the amazing journey being a Maker has taken her! After you give a listen, be sure to check out the links below for information on the Carolina Fiber Frolic! Click this link and be magically teleported to a place where the only sound you hear is happy knitters chatting…

After listening to what treats you receive, you may want to subscribe to the With∞Mel newsletter! =) I can help you with that!

Go On And Click This Link!

Interested in learning more about the Carolina Fiber Frolic? Be sure to let me know in the comments if you plan to attend!

And be sure to keep an eye out for tomorrow’s post! A winner is announced, a fun focus is shared and a bit of celebration will be had!

{And that incredible stole Jan made me? You will see it then!}


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... <<<===

#SimplySeptember, Uncategorized, video



{A wee bit of housekeeping: I am recovering from a huge computer crisis…more on that another day…but I did want to let you know if you have not seen me in a few days it is because I have somehow managed to work a 40+ hour stint at my desk with computers and related electronic since Thursday…Yes, over 40 hours in 3.5 days…my eyes are bugging. SO if you have been expecting a message from me and wondering Where Is Mel?! I have been at my desk, doing nothing glamorous, nothing fun, nothing in fresh air and daylight. So afford me a bit of grace and I will get back to you soon!}

And now on to MUCH more pleasant things: Yarn, yarn accessories and amazingly wonderful yarn shoppes!

This week we (ad)venture off to my Local Yarn Shoppe (LYS). The Salty Sheep is a delight, and not due entirely to the incredible collection of Kelbourne Woolens in stock, though that is a real draw! I don’t want to say too much and spoil what is sure to be a great time together, so just enjoy the podcast. Be sure to share with me what YOU are knitting at present. Are you enjoying your project? Your yarn? Be sure to tell me in the comments! Just a wee little reminder, YOUR voice in the comments IS WANTED. You bring something very special to this blog: Your Insight! You know things that someone else may not, you have knitting or crochet someone has never tried, and more importantly You are such an incredible human you should definitely share yourself! So be sure to share a little!

Lastly, since this week and next we will be visiting the LYS I get to call home I want to spend time encouraging LYS Owners! What is your LYS like? Share about it! Use the hashtags: #withmel #LoveMyLYS and add a photo on instagram or twitter. You can just give your LYS a shout out in the comments. Feel free to add their website in the comments so others can look around where you knit! n the podcast I encourage you to encourage you LYS. Get creative and keep me in the loop! You may have a great idea to cheer on your LYS that others might benefit from hearing about and putting to practice.

Later this week I share more about things discussed on the podcast. As long as the computer doesn’t gobble me up…

With Aloha,