To change your email address, login, click profile, and edit your address.
Newsletter - February 2015
Every February, we celebrate the best selling designs from the previous year. And every year we are surprised by some of the patterns our customers have chosen, so this issue is fun for us, too.
Our usual articles are suspended until next month except for new designers that joined Patternfish in January 2015.
In this issue ... The Best Selling Patterns of 2014
Best Selling Patterns
What is it that draws us to patterns that others have bought? Who among us has not seriously considered, and frequently bought, a pattern that others have gone for in a big way?
Are we sheep? Maybe all the contact with wool has conferred that quality upon us.
No matter. Seeing what others have bought is a way to narrow down our choices from the almost 20,000 patterns available online at Patternfish. Here they are: the patterns that were best sellers on Patternfish in 2014. Pattern classifications stumble all over one another-- like wraps, shawls, blankets, and scarves for example. Wending your way through this newsletter may be the best way to see what you may not have seen before, and discover what others have found intriguing.
Pick a category to discover. Or just scroll and wander.
The Very Best Selling Patterns
Diane Soucy’s Knitting Pure and Simple Top Down Trapeze Pullover is not only the best selling design of 2014, it was the best selling design of 2013, too. What does it have going for it?
It’s a free-flowing, drapey, tunic shape that’s flattering on everyone. 3/4 length sleeves are practical. Top-down knitting eliminates sewing. It will fit 32” - 52” bust. The required yarn weight is a DK or light worsted that can be found anywhere. Soucy’s pattern is easy to understand and follow. Beginning knitters and more experienced ones all find the pattern a pleasure to knit. Have I missed anything?
The next best selling patterns were Knitting Pure and Simple’s Adult and Children’s Mukluk Slippers.
Best Selling “Thing You’re Wearing”
This is a category we haven’t had before, but I’m sure we will again. Sally Melville, with her inventiveness and virtually unparalleled ability to create wearable, knitable garments, has designed L’Enveloppe. Sally tells us, “… one arm goes through (as does the neck) but the other arm is free, it’s not a cape, not a poncho, not a shrug, not a shawl, not a cowl. It’s small enough to wear under a coat but big enough to wear instead of one. And it envelops us in style. And so here’s its moniker: l’Enveloppe.”
Very Best Selling Crochet Pattern
Kim Miller’s Chunky Cables Decorative Throw from Knot*Sew*Cute was 2013’s best selling crochet pattern.
And here’s an interesting bit of information; this throw has almost 70,000 pins on Pinterest. You can see that information on the pattern page for this and all other Patternfish patterns. If you like the pattern, too, go ahead and make it 70,001 pins.
Best Selling Weaving Patterns
Weavers flock to Laverne Waddington’s Andean Pebble Weave books in English, French, German, and Italian as well as More Adventures in Warp-Faced Patterns. Yarnworker’s Liz Gipson has easy Kitchen Kitsch towels in four patterns, two “new and nameless”.
Best Selling World Exclusive Patterns
What is a World Exclusive pattern? It’s a pattern that’s only available at one place in the whole world. Patternfish has a selection of World Exclusive patterns to all that you may never have seen before.
The favourite World Exclusive pattern, Robyn Gallimore’s Eliza Shawl, draws on an old Anatolian pattern but uses a modern yarn with long colour changes to create a very compelling shawl. It just draws me into its depths. This pattern is available as a kCDesign so you can just start knitting and get into those depths fast. I think I will.
Among the best selling World Exclusive patterns are Gallimore’s stunning sock patterns as well as other shawls.
Best Selling E-Books
It’s astonishing that a beautiful pattern that’s taken untold hours of thinking and swatching, knitting and frogging, pattern writing and photography, test knitting and tech editing, can be had for so little. What a bargain!
Sometimes these same designers create e-books and they are even better bargains. For example, Need an Accessory?, a 2014 best seller, offers sizes, stitch patterns, yarn weights, and designs that would allow you to make 1700 accessories. 1700 is not a typo.
Cat Bordhi’s Versatildes ~ A New Landscape for Knitters, is as much an educational book as it is a book of patterns. Bordhi tells us the Tildes patterns “rival anything I have ever done, from socks to the Moebius” and we know that in each of those Bordhi developed whole new ways of thinking about and creating knits.
Kate Atherley is a designer, knitting teacher, and writer; and her book, the popular Pattern Writing for Knit Designers, is a lot like like having Kate in the room with you, passing on tips like a good teacher does.
Seven of the top 10 e-books are published by Deb and Lyn Gemmell, aka Cabin Fever. The books are devoted to sweaters, baby patterns, plus size cardigans, accessories, hats, and socks.
Best Selling Plus Size Patterns
Happily, designers have started to increase the sizes of their patterns from the standard small, medium, and large options. It’s disappointing to see a garment we would like to make, only to learn that we would have to make numerous adjustments to make it fit our body.
Now many patterns are available in wide size ranges from 32” chest to 70”. To search for patterns for particular chest sizes, go to the Gauge/Size box on the Search page and insert the finished size you want.
We’ve collected best selling plus size patterns for chest sizes 50” +. Photographs and links to each one do appear elsewhere in this newsletter, but we have 15 of them here, in one collection.
Best Selling Sweater Patterns
Many best selling sweaters appear elsewhere in this review of 2014, like these by Diane Soucy: the Top Down Trapeze Pullover and her Weekend Neckdown Pullover. We’ve collected some of those sweaters here but there are others, too.
Best Selling Cardigans
This is a surprise and a first for us; the best selling cardigan is short sleeved. It’s Diane Soucy’s Short Sleeved 3 Button Cardigan. Its femininity and the easy textured edges are rather unusual, but clearly welcomed, in a Knitting Pure and Simple pattern. Another short sleeved pattern, the Summer Open Cardigan, is the 2nd most popular for 2014 and was the most popular in 2013. Diane Soucy continued to surprise this year with another pretty pattern, the Easy Lace Cardigan.
Prism and Tricobec round out the selection, but in addition, see the collection created of cardigans available elsewhere in the newsletter here.
Best Selling Cabled Patterns
There are many cable lovers amongst us. Cables look both difficult and impressive and most new knitters are eager to learn to make them. Having learned, they are shocked at how easy they are. Knitting Pure and Simple’s Beginner Cable Pullover is a first time cable knitter’s dream project. The cables running up the raglan sleeves, seed stitch front panel, worsted weight yarn, and no-sew construction make it a compelling project for experienced knitters, too.
James Brett’s Waistcoat, a cardigan/tunic combination, has lovely big cables defining a vertical line from hem to shoulder. It doesn’t get cozier than this.
The third best selling cable pattern is Rita Maassen's Hooded Scarf "Ingrid", a cable bonanza. There’s minimal shaping, which makes it a good 2nd project for a new cable knitter.
Anne of Australia requested this Hayfield Sweater and we were happy we could find it. Apparently, others were, too. Buy the best yarn you’re able for this. The knitting is an investment, so match the yarn.
Best Selling Men's Patterns
Our Tech expert, Phil, a non-knitter, searches for men’s patterns sometimes and is surprised that those patterns for men have photos of women. Is that pattern correct, he wants to know? Well, yes. Many patterns, especially sweaters, but often cardigans and jackets, too, are perfectly and sufficiently sized and shaped for men, too. For the purposes of this best seller category, we are selecting only the patterns with “men” in the name.
It’s no surprise that the best selling pattern for men, Knitting Pure and Simple’s Neckdown Pullover for Men, is the most basic of basic. It might be a bit dull to knit, but he will wear it.
If you have a man who wants a sweater or cardigan, show him these and he can pick one.
Best Selling Beginner's Patterns
These are patterns for beginners, but more experienced knitters gravitate to them, too, because we all need knitting to do while talking to friends, watching TV, riding in the car, when we’re relaxing - patterns that don’t challenge our brains too much.
Robin Hunter’s Prudence Crowley Vest is one of the perennial best sellers, not only for its style but also for its beginner rating. Who doesn’t love a pattern with those qualities?
What a selection in the favourite beginner patterns! Coat, socks, ponchos, sweaters, jacket, shawls for adults and sweaters for the littlest.
Best Selling Vests and Tops
Vests and multi-use tops are becoming more popular it seems; they tie an outfit together, provide warmth, and don’t have time-consuming sleeves to knit. This year’s favourites include Robin Hunter’s Prudence Crowley Vest, once again the best selling vest for women; Vee, a loose little number from Australia’s Jo Sharp; Noro’s Multidirectional Top, a basic V-neck vest; and Deb Gemmell’s Side Pattern Vest.
Best Selling Scarves
Texture defines the most popular scarf patterns. Pam Powers’ Challah Infinity Scarf was a hit from the minute it hit our “shelves” as was Claire Compton’s Old Shale Stitch Knitted Scarf. You’ll find a photo of Rita Maassen’s Ingrid cabled hooded scarf in the cables section.
Best Selling Shawls and Wraps
We’re happy that so many knitters recognize the beauty of Robyn Gallimore’s Eliza Shawl and are willing to challenge themselves with an experienced level pattern. It’s wearable drama.
Knitters love Knitting Pure and Simple patterns for their simplicity and often for their ruggedness, of course, but also for their elegance. The Easy Lace Poncho, beautifully drapey in feather and fan stitch, is so elegant that it’s hard to reconcile the name “poncho” with this garment. Let’s rename it “The Easy and Elegant Lace Shawl” just for February 2015.
Jennifer Dassau has not been long with Patternfish, but knitters have been drawn to her like a moths to a flame, especially to Picabeau, an easy, diagonally constructed, swoosh-shaped shawl.
Our customers have chosen other shawls in different stitch patterns and yarn weight.
Best Selling Cowls
Best selling cowls are big, little, long, short, fitted, slouchy, cabled, textured… many with the option of a scarf, too. The top three best selling cowls couldn’t be more different; open and airy, tiered and dramatic, solid stockinette combined with strips of lace.
Kay Hopkins’ Starry Night was the Patternfish crowd favourite. It’s easy, fast, uses about 1/2 skein of a fine yarn, and it’s beautiful. Prism yarn is perfectly suited to the Merino Mia cowl. It’s easy but your admirers will think you are a genius knitter. Many like the stitch options Manzanita offers.
Best Selling Hats for Adults
Is Jeanne Abel’s Mufflehead a hat or a scarf? Is it for men, for women, or for dogs? All patterns get classified in all appropriate categories making it easy to find what we’re looking for.
Mufflehead (aka Mufflepup) was a 2014 best seller in both hat and pet categories. It was specially designed for runners and Schnauzers; walkers may wear it, too.
Hat patterns from independent designers Hanna Maciejewska, Ash Kearns, Annie Dempsey, and Kim Millerare as varied as can be.
Hat basics are the mainstay for lots of knitters for their families and friends.
Best Selling Mittens
The best selling pattern, Deb Gemmell’s Ergonomic Mittens, is easy, practical, and fun with the back of the hand cable, an i-cord thumb to try, and the sure-to-fit thumb gusset.
Mitts are chosen for warmth. These designs use felting, bulky yarns, and stranded knitting to achieve it.
Best Selling Gloves and Fingerless Mitts
Wear your fingerless mitts and gloves as is in the Spring and Fall and on top of your dressy leather gloves in winter. The three best selling fingerless mitts and gloves have the basics covered, from yarns, to sizes, to hard working or elegant options: Cabin Fever’s Last Minute Mittlets, Katya Frankel’s elegant Ritzy and Shirl’s Mittlets.
Best Selling Socks
It’s predictable that the simpler, easy-to-knit socks will be the year’s favourites. Once the basics are in one’s finger memory, it’s not difficult to add a stripe here or a bit of lace there. Diane Soucy’s Beginner’s Lightweight Socks and Beginner Socks (in worsted weight) are the favourites, followed by five of her variations, collected here.
Best Selling Slippers
What one word describes our customers’ favourite slippers? Variety.
Best Selling Baby Patterns
Patterns have changed over the past decade to include a greater range of sizes. This is true not only of adult patterns but also true of baby’s and children’s patterns. A pattern you buy may turn out to be an investment, one you will make again and again.
Some favourite patterns are pure baby, like these. These patterns are all knit top down, except for the sweet orange vests.
Best Selling Children's Patterns
When I look up patterns for children, I’m drawn to the faces, but the need for practicality soon overrides all else when making the choice. The favourite, the Children’s Neck Down Pullover, has a sweet compelling face and a style designed for speedy knitting and hard kid’s play. The cardigan is similarly endowed.
The tiered cardigan from Sirdar is a new pattern this year and was an instant favourite. And moms have found this vest essential for kids with the colder winters many of us now experience.
Best Selling Afghans and Blankets
Afghans and blankets are made with love. From baby blankets, to afghans for off-to-university-or-college children, to a blanket for couch cuddling, that characteristic seems universal. Here are the special ones our customers bought this year.
Best Selling Crochet Patterns
These best selling crochet patterns would make a complete wardrobe. There’s everything here from a beautiful shawl, to a cardigan, a coat, slippers, hats, and even an afghan.
The top two are Gayle Bunn designs from Nashua.
Best Selling Double Knit Patterns
Lucy Neatby’s Sunburst DK Blanket appears in the best selling blanket section. It is constructed in the technique known as DK, Double Knitting, (as opposed to the yarn weight known as DK). If you are interested in this technique, this pattern and the accompanying video tutorial will set you on your way. Neatby is fascinated by this method, as is Robyn Gallimore.
Best Selling Felted Patterns
Felting is just not as popular as it once was. Too bad, because the technique is dead easy and produces excellent results for bags, mittens, slippers, and blankets.
Best Selling Toys
Representatives of the frozen north and the subtropics are the favourite toys to knit: Knitting at Knoon’s SnoBuddy Family and Safari Friends.
Best Selling Holiday Patterns
Christmas patterns top this list. Jolly Old Elves, a pattern new this year from Chris de Longpré, was the favourite. These characters are easy to make and have an appealing simplicity.
Our Newest Designers and Publishers
In January we welcomed 10 new designers to Patternfish
Emily Ringelman’s husband is pursuing a PhD in the study of animal behavior, namely in ducks. Emily resisted repeated requests for a duck hat because, “there was no way I’d go out in public with someone who had a duck on their head.” She caved. It is funny - a conversation starter for sure. Substantial skills are required to design that hat, and Ringelman brings all that talent to sweaters, for those of us who are rather more sedate in our choices. Vistoire is a top down knit with tidy moss stitch bands at the neck and hems. It’s a fitted, womanly sweater, available in sizes 32” to 51”.
Angela Baldi has a youthful, fresh approach to designing knits and produces wearable pieces with a bit of a difference. The Radiate Hat, in three sizes, looks complicated but it’s slip stitches that produce the “radiations”. The big Middle Beach Scarf is reversible and it’s a cowl, too.
The BK Collective is a group of designers who have brought their skills together to sell patterns. The designs are beautifully thought out, elegant, and include options, like the Spiral Cowl’s shaping variations. Jann Hoppler’s Lakemoor Vest is a perfect choice for vest knitters, like me, with sock and fingering weight yarn on their hands.
With its high ankle, Tanya Lapatsina’s Claw Cable Booties are an appealing option for babies who like to go barefoot on the coldest floors because they are a bit harder to get off. Lapatsina uses the same attractive claw cable in the garter and cable mitts for women.
Deenna Dains designed Mermaid Rock in a traditional lace pattern, Old Shale, to mimic waves. She’s used chunky weight yarn so this cowl could be made in a flash in any of the 3 sizes offered. The flowing Fionnuala’s River lace pattern looks like the feathers of a swan. Beads are optional on this pretty cowl.
These two patterns demonstrate two different aspects of the talents of Kathleen Sperling. Parfait is a confection of a cardigan for girls 3 months to 10 years. The Tracery Vest, inspired by stained glass windows, relies on lovely variegates for its easier-than-it-looks patterning.
Amy Maceyko is one of those talented designers who work well in both knit and crochet. We love this crocheted Dalgada Cowl for worsted weight yarn. It uses post stitches to amazing effect. The Structured Stitches designer (such a perfectly descriptive publisher name for her) uses twisted knit stitches to give body to soft, lightly spun yarns in the Quinta Cowl.
Sunshine Stewart’s designs are fun with really useful features. Her Superhero Hat is warm, will stay on heads from baby to man size, and is a disguise when you need it. Lightning flashes are optional. The Love and Rainbows Hat is for the more sedate among us.
Midwest Yarn begins at Patternfish with shawls, one knit, one crochet. Both are long, narrow, textured, and as suitable for summer as winter, depending on the fibre of the yarn you choose. Use fingering, sport, or worsted weight for Chloe and worsted weight for Swagger.
Marousa Gallagher debuts with two beautiful shawls. Her Santorini Shawl is a triangular stockinette stitch wrap with an easy, beautiful, charted lace pattern at the hem. Naxos has a deeper lace hem and it’s designed especially for luxury yarns.