Friday, December 30, 2011

Warm Heads, Full Bellies

I am busy in the kitchen today preparing to have the family over for the holiday weekend. As I peel carrots and open cans I am thankful that I have good food to fill the plates and bellies of my loved ones. Unfortunately not everyone is so lucky. My home town, Winston-Salem, NC was just named the worst place in the country for hungry kids and the food banks shelves are often completely empty. Growing up I had no idea that kids I saw at school might not have food to eat at home and now that I am more aware it still shocks me. So this year part of my annual giving is going to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC. To help raise money we are donating 100% of sales our Basic Ribbed Hat pattern to the Food Bank. So far we have raised about $130 in pattern sales and we have decided that we will MATCH all money raised through pattern sales by Jan 1. So if you'd like to help us fill the shelves please purchase a copy of the hat pattern in the next day or two and we'll donate the $10 from the pattern sale PLUS an additional $10. This hat pattern is my favorite for quick, warm hats which are perfect for giving to homeless shelters

Thursday, December 29, 2011

An Interview with LoBug

In 2012 we have resolved to celebrate the independent designers and artisans that we have the honor of working with through The Unique Sheep. To start things off we have selected LoBug (Laurel Coombs) as our artist of the month. All orders over $30 placed in January, 2012, will receive a free pattern by LoBug.

Laurel has been designing for The Unique Sheep since back when The Unique Sheep first began and when she was just getting started designing professionally. She has been involved in many of our clubs, most notably the Lord of the Rings inspired sock clubs which resulted in our LotR Socks booklets. We asked Laurel to tell us a little bit more about how she got into knitting and designing and to answer some interview questions so we could learn a bit more about her. Enjoy!

I fell into professional knitwear design by accident in 2007 when I joined and answered a call for submissions. I had been knitting and doing limited design for my family for 4 years before that. Knitting and design is a huge part of my life now, but it was never something I even considered before my friend showed me the magic of 2 sticks and a string in 2003. I dream of designs in between homeschooling my 4 children and cooking food for my wonderful husband. I live in Portland, Oregon, and cover my family in knits to keep them warm and dry.

Designing came about because there were no sweater patterns available that my husband liked, so I designed one. It was so much fun to match a design to a person, that I never looked back. I love turning ideas and images into knitwear, and am willing to try just about anything. New techniques are often learned in new designs, and my favorite thing about knitting is that there is always something more to learn and try. I believe firmly in adventurous knitting- after all, if you make a mistake, the worst thing that can happen is that you have to rip it out and knit some more; and more knitting is always a good thing, right? (That being said, lifelines are my best friend.)

1. What is your favorite word? Onomatopoeia. I just love how it sounds.

2. What is your least favorite word? Poop

3. What turns you on? My husband cleaning my house and doing the dishes….

4. What turns you off? Lack of sleep, lots of noise.

5. What sound do you love? Silence

6. What sound do you hate? Bickering children

7. What is your favorite curse word? Blast

8. What profession other than yours would you like to attempt? Accounting

9. What profession would you not like to do? Garbage disposal- or cloth diaper service. I’m over the dirty diapers.

10. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?
Well done, good and faithful servant.

1. when did you learn to knit? November, 2003. I remember b/c my 2nd child was 2 months old, and I taught myself to purl with a book on the way to the In-laws for Thanksgiving.

2. Who taught you? My dear friend, Michelle, from my church.

3. what is your favorite yarn company (HAHA) The Unique Sheep of course!!! But if I can’t get their yarns, I’d prefer Classic Elite or Louet.

4. Wood or metal? I’ve gone back and forth a couple times; currently I prefer metal. Signatures, if you want to be specific. ;)

5. what is your favorite weight yarn to work with? Both for design and for personal use. (If you have one) I just love yarn. I’m not too picky- but I’m not immensely fond of either bulky or lace. I’ll use them, but it’s not as easy or fun for me. Sport is probably my favorite, if I have to pick.

6. What do you have coming up that you can tell us about? Next July, I have a new sock booklet coming out with Charing Cross Publishers. I’m pretty excited about that. Plus some secret projects I’ve been working on with you…. Then in 2013, my first book of patterns that’s not exclusively socks will be published. I’m working on those designs now and loving it.

You can follow Laurel on her blog, A Bug's Life.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Crochet Block of the Month Club

We have some exciting news!

First of all, the Crochet Block Kits from 2011 are now available for individual purchase on the You can pick your favorites or order them all!

Second, the Crochet Block of the Month Club is continuing in 2012! We will have fresh new patterns and colors for the new year and are welcoming two new designers- Donna Kay Lacey and Margaret MacInnis!! All 2012 blocks will remain exclusive to club members until the end of the year.

As usual, you can sign up for the Crochet Block of the Month Club on our website.