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Newsletter - February 2017
Welcome to a very special issue of the Patternfish newsletter -- our best selling patterns of 2016.
February is the month when we celebrate the best selling Patternfish designs of the previous year. These are the patterns that you selected in 2016 as your favourites by buying them. We hope you are inspired by the great patterns other Patternfish knitters have purchased over the past year.
This year we are focussing on variety. Each list, therefore, features one pattern each by a different designer, and no pattern appears twice in this newsletter. This means that you'll have lots of fun exploring a bunch of new patterns! It is our hope that you will discover some new favourites.
This month also marks the departure of Gayle Clow from Patternfish. Gayle is moving on to exciting new adventures (see Julia's Appreciation at the close of the newsletter). Everyone at Patternfish gives a big thank you to Gayle for her invaluable work over the years. The new newsletter editor for Patternfish is Keith Denning. Please let us know what you think of this issue: email Keith at firstname.lastname@example.org, and send any other questions about Patternfish to Phil at email@example.com
In this issue ... The Best Selling Patterns of 2015
The Very Best Selling Patterns
This year’s #1 selling design, Diane Soucy’s Top Down Trapeze Pullover, is easy to knit, and flattering on just about everyone. It’s little wonder that this has been our best-selling pattern for four years straight! Ideal for beginners and an enjoyable, relaxing knit for the more experienced knitter.
As last year, the runner-up is the fantastic and traditional Riddari, by Vedis Jonsdottir. This modern spin on a traditional Lett-Lopi sweater is ideal for both men or women.
Among the rest of our top ten patterns we have a wide assortment of designs, including Sally Melville’s astonishing L'Enveloppe, Jean's Irish Hat by Vknitz, and one of the first patterns ever uploaded to Patternfish: the 50 x 50 Poncho by Cabin Fever.
Best Selling Crochet Patterns
The Chunky Cables Decorative Throw by Kim Miller for Knot*Sew*Cute is our best-selling crochet pattern again this year. This very quick and beautiful piece is an internet sensation, and it will look sensational when you make it! Gayle Bunn's gorgeously-shaped Crochet Cardigan and the quick and colourful Flurry of Foliage scarf for 10 Hours or Less round out the top three.
The rest of the top crochet patterns cover everything from wrist-warmers to baskets. Not included here (but you'll see it in the "Bags and Totes" section), is Carol Ventura's Bee-U-tiful Bag for right-handed crocheters.
Best Selling Weaving Patterns
The top-selling weaving e-book is the perennial Laverne Waddington favourite, Andean Pebble Weave, so much so that it made our overall top ten list. Waddington's challenging but rewarding More Adventures with Warp-Faced Pick-up Patterns rounds out our list this year, followed by Liz Gipson's Kitchen Kitsch towels.
Best Selling E-Books
Laverne Waddington’s ever-popular series of e-books includes Andean Pebble Weave; Cabin Fever's terrific Need A...? series also the list. Here’s a sampling of our other top sellers, among them Versatildes by Cat Bordhi (which includes nineteen reversible cables), and Deborah Tomasello's terrific guide to Stranded Knitting.
Best Selling Charitable Patterns
Patternfish is proud to have a long tradition of helping designers and publishers support various charities through the sale of their patterns. Here are the top five patterns of which some portion of the selling price goes to charity. If you buy any of these, you, too, will be supporting a charity!
Top Patterns for Babies and Children
Naturally enough, Patternfish has a host of patterns for babies and kids. Here are the top sellers. Once again at the top of this category is Diane Soucy!
Because many patterns that are great for kids are also great for adults, you'll find two top-selling kids patterns in other sections. These are the classic Portuguese Fisherman Pullover, and James C. Brett's comfy, flowing Waistcoat (which is not just a waistcoat, but also a pinafore, a cardigan, and a short-sleeved top)!
Top Patterns for Men
What do you make for the man who has everything? Throughout this newsletter you'll find lots of great vests, sweaters, hats and so on that are great for guys. This section starts off with two true classics, the Portuguese Fisherman Pullover, and a very stylish cabled Aran Sweater, followed by Diane Soucy's very popular Zipper Hoodie for Men.
Best Selling Plus Size Patterns
A number of our top-selling patterns can be made for fuller figures, including Diane Soucy's Top Down Trapeze Pullover and Robin Hunter's fantastic piece The Prudence Crowley Vest, two of our top ten patterns. Here is a sampling of other popular plus size patterns.
Best Selling Shawls
The top selling shawl in 2016 was also one of our top selling patterns: Sally Melville’s L'Enveloppe, which continues to defy description. But of course Patternfish has a lot of other shawl and shawlette patterns for you to enjoy.
Ones that really catch our eyes here at Patternfish are Romi Hill's ultra-feminine High Desert, Laura Bryant's super colourful Eccentric Chevrons! and the classy, serene Starry Starry Night by Jeanne Abel.
Best Selling Scarves, Cowls and Mobius Designs
Our top-selling scarf is not really a scarf at all! Check out Jeanne Abel's innovative MuffleHead, a very clever union of a hat and a scarf/muffler, perfect for brutally cold winter days.
Best Selling Poncho Patterns
Our top-selling poncho is one of our bestsellers overall: Cabin Fever's very easy to knit and very adaptable 50 x 50 Poncho. Diane Soucy's Easy Lace Poncho and a very new pattern by Elizabeth Smith, Ponchetta, are also at the top of this list, and we're pleased to also feature Lynette Meek's beautiful and delicate Summer Whimsey for LeTissier Designs.
Best Selling Vest Patterns
Vests are the best! One of our top-selling patterns overall is Robin Hunter's The Prudence Crowley Vest. James C. Brett's imaginative Waistcoat is featured in our Plus Size section. Of particular note here is Kim Hargreaves' intriguing, asymmetrical Venus vest.
Best Selling Purse and Tote Patterns
You need something to carry your yarn and notions in, won't you? Here's a selection of top selling purses, bags and totes.
Best Selling Socks
Treat your feet with these terrific socks! We're particularly taken with the classic Avalon by Allison O'Mahony, and Dawn Brocco's ultra-comfy Scrumptious Shagged Slipper Socks, but these are all a great addition to your sock drawer.
Best Selling Hat Patterns
What is it about hats that brings out the whimsy in designers? While many of our top-selling toppers are tasteful classics, like Stephanie Carton's The Bootlegger's Bonnet, many are highly imaginative, like Valerie Keaton's best-selling Jean's Irish Hat (one of our overall top ten patterns) and the fantastically offbeat Yoda Hat by Amanda Kaffka for The Crafty Jackalope.
Best Selling Mittens / Fingerless Mittens
Our top selling pattern in this category is Crocodile Stitch Wristwarmers (Crochet), featured in our crochet section. But there are some other real delights here, including Bonnie Dean's Braided Hand and Megan Lacey's Scandinavian-inspired Nordic Night Mitts.
Best Selling Slipper Patterns
Our top-selling slippers were Diane Soucy’s Adult Mukluk Slippers, one of our best-selling patterns of any kind. Nice and easy to make, and super comfortable to wear! We're also quite partial to Elizabeth Felgate's imaginative No Bother Slipper Boots.
Best Selling Blanket Patterns
What could be more comforting than a blanket? Sirdar's Sweater, Hat & Blanket and Vera Stensrud's Textured Blanket and Cuddly Bunny are both perfect for babies and are featured elsewhere in this newsletter. Two that really catch our eye here are Christiane Burkhard's riotously colourful (and why not for baby?) Long Live The Scraps, and the lovely pastel baby blanket Cable Carousel by 10 Hours or Less.
Best Selling Housewares (Pillows, Dishtowels, Tea Cozies, etc.) Patterns
An imaginative assortment of pillows, dishtowels, tea cozies and more! The best selling tea towels by Liz Gipson, Kitchen Kitsch, are featured as one of our top-selling weaving patterns.
Best Selling Toy Patterns
We’re always impressed by the inventiveness (and sheer cuteness) that appears in this section!
Best Selling Pet Patterns
Our top sellers for your animal companions! Mainly patterns for dogs, cat lovers get busy!
Best Selling Beginner / Easy Patterns
Many of the patterns listed elsewhere in this newsletter are indeed very easy to make. Maybe that’s part of the reason they’re so popular! Here is a sampling of other best sellers.
Best Selling Intermediate / Expert Patterns
And finally, a set of patterns for the more adventurous knitters, including, of course, one of Diane Soucy’s patterns -- Women's Top Down Cable Cardigan-- and the ever-popular (and rewarding to knit) Uplands Aran sweater.
Gayle Clow: An Appreciation
- Gayle Clow
When a growing Patternfish needed help beyond tech and accounting, the first person I approached was Gayle Clow. We had met years earlier at what was then the Toronto Downtown Knit Collective, and I remembered her as smart, capable, and efficient-- and a wonderfully knowledgeable knitter. Luckily, she accepted our offer of part-time employment.
The rest of us (Phil, Shannon) had working histories with startups and tiny companies. Gayle had spent years with much larger establishments and brought (or tried to bring!) rational systems and consistent discipline to her work here. She was also full of ideas, which we loved. Chief among them is the terrific newsletter you've been reading every month for the last few years; its genesis and careful content editing is all Gayle. Time and again we got emails like this: “I don't read the stuff other websites send out, but I read every word of your Patternfish newsletter”-- all because of Gayle's insistence on fascinating substance, along with her true love of knitting (the process) and design (the inspiration).
I know that Gayle occasionally found working with me a challenge, and rightly so; put as kindly as possible, she enjoyed a lot of autonomy. (Read: I am not a good manager.) Anyone else might have taken advantage of this, or slacked off. Gayle did neither, always maintaining her own high standards and setting responsible examples in every aspect of her work.
After years of being our Ambassador online, as well as bring our Newsletter Editor, it is completely natural that Gayle would want to branch out on her own. We are certain she will be successful, just as we are very, very grateful that she contributed so much to Patternfish.