What a wonderful afternoon!!!  I just arrived home after 3 hours of knitting at my favorite local yarn store (lys) Unwind. I adore this store! The owner Stephanie puts on the best events, and I always end up chatting with a new friend. This afternoon knitwear designer Shirley Paden was there to speak and sign books. While we waited for her to arrive we all sat around knitting and chatting. There is nothing more relaxing than sitting with a bunch of knitters, whether you know then or not, and chatting. We all gushed over each other’s projects, praising everyone for their accomplishments big or small. Once Shirley arrived she was exceedingly gracious and elegant. She spoke of her early years starting out as a designer and how the choice to go into knitwear design came while she was in the hospital and unemployed.  She had realized, during all of that turmoil, that she needed to follow her bliss. This really hit home with me. That is my I am here writing this blog and putting myself out into the world, to follow my bliss. Though I have been knitting for years it wasn’t until recently that I truly realized that this is my bliss, that I love knitting and it brings me such happiness and peace. It was so inspiring to hear all this from a successful designer… there is hope!

Shirley also spoke of her design process and about her book Knitwear Design Workshop: A Comprehensive Guide to Handknits. The book is amazing and one I have poured over for the last couple months. It gives you the details about designing, and explains the math portion which normally can get very overwhelming. I will be using this book a lot as I move forward with my sweater design. It was interesting to hear her talk about how she still, in this age of computers, writes and charts everything by hand. She also mentioned that while racing to meet a deadline she can spend up to 18 hours a day knitting! I don’t think my body could handle that! Fortunately she has 8 knitters helping her get everything done. She also talked about how her inspiration comes from stitch patterns and looking at garments from fashion magazines. I had a huge desire to run out and by Vogue after hearing her talk.

Overall the afternoon was just perfect. Shirley was truly inspiring and informative. I am even more motivated now to keep moving forward with my design project. I am so grateful to have a wonderful lys that brings such fabulous events!

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