Travel Archives - Page 4 of 7 - Patty Lyons | Knitting Teacher

Fun at the Madison Knitters Guild Knit In

Last weekend I was lucky enough to get to return to one of the most awesome knitting guilds, Madison!

I spoke at the guild last year, and had this amazeballs view from the stage:

Madison Knitter's Guild

Madison Knitter’s Guild 2014 – – That’s what over 500 knitters looks like!

The guild is filled with some of the most mad skilled knitters I’ve ever seen in one place . . . so when they asked me back to be the keynote speaker and featured teacher for their annual event, I was thrilled!

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Vogue Knitting Live turns FIVE! (and other tales of knitting)

January is a big month for a knitting professional. First up there’s our annual trade show TNNA, and just days later, came the show I’ve been looking forward to for quite some time – Vogue Knitting Live New York (5th year anniversary show!!!)

It took me a few days (or five to be exact) to recover from the excitement. So much yarn, so many friends, such many incredibly brilliant students it’s hard to sum up.

Here’s my recap in a nutshell. I did a TERRIBLE job remembering to take pictures, but in my defense, I taught 4 classes in two days at TNNA and 7 classes in three days at VK Live, so . . . yeah, I just forgot.

Let me go out of order and give a shout out to the AMAZING fifth anniversary of  . . .

Vogue Knitting Live

I’m so proud to have been a teacher for all five years. This year I was blessed to have nearly 200 students in seven amazing classes. Here’s a few pics (like I said, I didn’t take many). For all you West Coasters, we’re coming your way next! Join us in April

TNNA – The First Building Better Business Day!

Just days before VK NY, I was in sunny Phoenix for TNNA. It was beautiful and I hardly ever got to go outside. I went with my pal Zontee Hou (amazing marketing guru), who was also there to teach at the first Building Better Business Day. It was great to meet so many other professionals (shop owners, designers, wholesalers, reps, teachers) who wanted to strengthen their businesses.

I was only home from vacation for a few days before TNNA, but I did manage to bind off my brand new extra small version of the Windsor Cardi (pattern available on Ravelry)

Windsor Cardi p.lyons

Here are a few shots from the weekend:

Just so you know how professionals on a showroom floor at our trade show behave . . . please enjoy this video of Cat Bordhi


5 Steps to the Perfect Knitter’s Thanksgiving

The Knitter’s Thanksgiving

This is the time of year we all gather with our loved ones to give thanks for all we have.

As knitter’s, we have some special needs when it comes to creating the perfect holiday.  Here are my 5 steps to the perfect knitter’s Thanksgiving:

1) Pack MINIMUM 1 project per day out of town

Remember, variety is the spice of life. There can be stress when family is involved, you need options.

2) The time it take to preheat the oven is enough time to cast on for an additional project

Why limit yourself to the 4 projects you’ve already packed?

3) When the inevitable act of going around the table and stating what you are grateful for comes up, be honest – simply say “Cashmere” and leave it at that

Perhaps it will give some loved ones some shopping ideas.

4) Don’t forget about leftovers

I speak (of course) of left over yarn. A striped scarf could be nice

5) When it doubt, make a turkey hat



Book Now – Caribbean Knitting Cruise

We’re going to the Caribbean Baby!
Caribbean Knitting Cruise

You’ve been patiently waiting (all right some of you not so patiently :), but here it is, we are ready for booking!

Caribbean Knitting Cruise

Dec. 5th-10th, 2015

Pack up your yarn, bathing suit and flip flops and join me, Melissa Leapman and Laura Nelkin as we sail and knit.

I’m insanely excited to be sailing with two fabulous designer / teachers (and all around awesome ladies), and I’m teaching some of my all time favorite classes.

I think I may end up designing a special little tank top just for the occasion!

Book now, because Melissa’s last cruise sold out FAST.

Click here to find out info on the cruise and to BOOK!
Click here for the full downloadable brochure.
Click here for a mail in registration form.

For more information, contact Ms. Joel Irby at (253) 815-6625 (Monday through Friday, 9-5 Pacific) or e-mail her at

I heart Vogue Knitting Chicago!!

Hello Chicago - p.lyons

The first sight of Chicago through the plane window made the city look like it was painted by Monet (very appropriate considering The Art Institute’s famous impressionist collection)

I always fall down on the job taking photos in Chicago. It is arguably one of the world’s most photogenic cities, with the lakefront and amazing architecture, every glance of downtown offers you a spectacular view . . . and then, there’s the lobby of the Palmer House!

Welcome to Vogue Knitting Live Chicago!

To say this venue is a special place, doesn’t quite cut it. I’ve taught in hotels and conference centers all over the country, but none of them welcomes you with this. Vogue Knitting Live Chicago at The Palmer House is truly magic!


My first night there I taught “All About Stripes” to an amazing group and it really started my show off right

All About Stripes class - p.lyons

Things just kept getting better as I headed to the market Friday night after another wonderful day of teaching.  As I got close to the entrance I saw one of my designs had made it onto the Vogue Knitting mannequin!! SQUEEEEE!!!!!

Vogue Knitting Sweater - p.lyons

I headed into the market to ooh and ah at the fiber art:

Fiber Art: Vogue Knitting Chicago. plyons Fiber Art: Vogue Knitting Chicago. plyons









Anna Hrchovec

Anna Hrachovec – Mochi Mochi


After seven classes I was both exhilarated AND exhausted all at the same time.  My amazing students give me so much, and I even got a wonderful bracelet from a student from Istanbul,


and this card from another . . . it sums up how I feel about my students, the other teachers, and the entire staff of Vogue Knitting Live


If you missed it . . . don’t worry, you can still join us in New York in January.  Believe me, it’s worth it.  See you all in Jan!

Another fabulous Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool!

It’s been a crazy month, and I’m sitting in a hotel room in Chicago at Vogue Knitting Live (more on that later), and I saw my file of wonderful Rhinebeck Sheep & Wool pictures and realized . . . oh yeah, I was going to post those.

Since I’m 15 hours of teaching deep, with six more to go, and I can barely keep my eyes open, I’m just going to post some pretty pictures and say this . . . if you’ve never been to Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool, seriously, go. It’s always the third weekend in October, the sky is always blue, the leaves are always perfect, the sheep are always adorable, the food is always great and the yarn . . . well the yarn is . . . YARN!

I did wear my newest sweater, the Highrise Vest (onsale on my Ravelry page)

Highrise Vest - patty lyons

and in honor of my favorite weekend of the year, I posted my Rhinebeck Hat and Rhinebeck Wristers on my Ravelry pattern store!

Rhinebeck Hat - patty lyonsRhinebeck hat - patty lyons









Rhinebeck wristers

And now . . . onto the sheep. Road trip to

Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool


On the Road to Rhinebeck!!!!

Rhinebeck 2014 patty lyons

The pond in front of our dream cottage in the woods

Rhinebeck 2014 patty lyons

Hammock time!


Rhinebeck 2014 patty lyons

A quick stop at the winery for supplies!

Rhinebeck 2014 patty lyons

The leaves are perfect

Rhinebeck 2014 patty lyons

How did I get here???

Rhinebeck 2014 patty lyons

Leaping Llamas!

Rhinebeck 2014 patty lyons




Rhinebeck 2014

Last glance before we leave!

Goodbye for now, see you soon sheepies!




Dream Weekend: Maine + Sweaters + Lobsters = Make Wear Love


Is it possible to be homesick for a place that isn’t your home? It can when that place is as special as coastal Maine and you just came back from spending a weekend teaching with amazing students in the company of amazing fellow teachers in a most AMAZING location at the Make. Wear. Love retreat.

From the first glance at the coast and our lighthouse home, I knew this was going to be an incredibly special weekend – but I had no idea how special.










Make Wear Love retreat – sweater love and proud of it!

The retreat is the brain child of Amy Herzog to spend a weekend focusing on sweater making, and helping students put what they learned through Custom Fit in action (if anyone out there in blogland doesn’t know about Custom Fit, click the link – seriously, your sweater knitting life will never be the same), but it was SOOOO much more than that.

I think what spoke to me as a “technique nerd”, was Amy’s welcome comments that first night. She mentioned the much noted statistic that there are more knitters than golfers, yet one big difference is golfers don’t apologize. They don’t apologize or feel “silly” for the time and money they spend working on perfecting the thing they love. This comment was like a bolt out of the blue for me. As someone who has made their life’s work exploring what others might find to be “minutia” (like the technical details of how our stitches are formed and how to form them better), I felt more than just validated, more then just appreciated, I felt understood – and so did every knitter in that room.

I was expecting to be inspired by working with incredible teachers like Amy (who made knitters embrace the thing I love to make more than anything – sweaters) Clara Parkes (obviously to say she “wrote the book” on everything about yarn is not just an expression – if I could crack open her head like a walnut and extract everything she knows about yarn . . . but that’s creepy, so instead I’ll just bask), Kim McBrien Evans (who created such amazing yarn with the most brilliant colors and equally brilliant names – seriously BRILLIANT), and Gwen Bortner (a woman proud to call herself a technician, and damn does she know some cool tricks!), but I didn’t anticipate how inspired I’d be by the 80 spectacular knitters who showed up to learn.

The weekend was filled with such laughter, relaxation and ah ha moments, it’s impossible to sum up, so I’ll just share one story and then let the pictures speak for themselves. I was there to teach “Improve Your Knitting”, that meant we spent hours just focused on better ways to form the stitch, tension your yarn, create increases and decrease, blah, blah, blah.  We weren’t “making” anything (except better knitters), but wow were these knitters energized and brilliant students.

There were two friends Cindy and Britta who took the time to show me just how much their knitting had changed since taking my class (something that brings me more joy then I can say).  Cindy showed me a swatch and said, pointing the the bottom half “look, this is the swatch I made before your class, and here (pointing to the top half) is my knitting after your class.  Can you see the difference?”.  After a moment of dumbfounded silence I nearly yelled ” What am I, hard of seeing? Of course I can see the difference!”.  These pictures don’t quite capture it, but . . .

"Before" she then used it as a swatch for finishing class

“Before” she then used it as a swatch for finishing class


After. Note the size difference from the back and how neat and perfect her stitches are.













The next day, Britta was in my class.  I was walking around the room watching people knit and giving feedback, and I made a small suggestion to Britta on a change she might make to how she was tensioning her yarn. She screwed up her face and stared at her knitting with the intense concentration of a golfer trying to perfect her put (see it all comes full circle).  By the first break she showed me proudly the perfect stitches she made. Here they both are proudly displaying their knitting. They have a right to be proud.

Cindy showing off her "after" swatch.

Cindy showing off her “after” swatch.

Britta beaming with her brilliant knitting

Britta beaming with her brilliant knitting










Then there was the knitter who decided to start her sweater over once she took Kim’s class, knowing she COULD get the neckline she wanted, the knitter who told me she would never look at yarn the same way again after taking Clara’s class, the knitter who seamed her VERY FIRST ever sweater together after taking Gwen’s class, and the knitter, after knitter, after knitter, who told stories of how they made the sweater they love thanks to Amy’s classes.

I teach at a lot of shows and guilds where you spend 3 – 6 hours with knitters. Spending three days, talking, listening, laughing and eating Lobster with knitters . . . that’s a whole different, wonderful ballgame.

Here are a few pictures to enjoy. I hope when the traffic noise and crazy life of NYC gets too much, I can close my eyes and see the coast, smell the air, feel the grass under my feet and hear the click of needles and the laughter of happy knitters.

p.s. If you want to know how AWESOME it is to spend an entire weekend exploring sweaters in a beautiful place, I hope you can join me at Camp Stitches this year. I blogged about my last time here.





Sketch Inspiration Station

Sketch Inspiration Station



Lobster Bake

Lobster Bake



Candlepin Bowling

Candlepin Bowling

What a way to spend an afternoon

What a way to spend an afternoon

Secret Knitting Nook!

Secret Knitting Nook!


The Joy of Doing What You Love

“JUST DO IT” – Doing What You Love

Fireplace work space

Winter Office

It’s been quite a year. Yep, believe it or not, I began this incredible journey of being a full time knitwear designer and teacher a little over a year ago. I’d been working in the industry for seven years, but always for other people (yarn shop, yarn company), but now I’ve spent the most amazing year doing ONLY what I love full time, and working for just one crazy boss . . . me.

It’s been quite a roller coaster and there have been a few uh oh moments along the way (if you submit to six different magazines who all have the same deadline and all designs get approved . . . better hire some sample knitters!).  There have been some 12 hr knitting days when deadlines were tight, and I’ve learned that as much as I love to knit, I have to let projects go to other knitters, so I can move on to the next one. That’s been hard. To see some of the designs I did this year, that are already published (can’t show you the other 14 that haven’t come out yet), you can click here.

There have been too many great things about this year to name, but I think one of my favorite things about the designer part of my job is that my grandmother’s rocking chair in front of my fireplace has been my workspace in the winter, and my (now destroyed, but that’s a story for another day) roof deck was my workspace in the spring / summer

Deck work space

Summer Work Space

As a teacher, I’ve been lucky enough to travel all over the country this year, teaching at shows, guilds and shops.  I’ve loved working with all the students and have been really excited to see the same students from last year coming back. It’s really fun to get to know students (and Sandi always brings me a little gift – pretty awesome). I also had two video classes and two webinar classes launch this year, and I just got done filming another one. Doing on camera work is a whole other ball game, but I love it.  Stay tuned for more info about some new classes I’ll be filming this winter.

But the most important, wonderful, shocking, amazing, awe inspiring thing I found out this year, was how generous and amazing people in this industry can be. It’s no exaggeration to say there were many things I knew NOTHING about. I was lucky enough to have brilliant friends to bother all year long with “what do you do when . . .”, “how do I . . .” , “what happens if . . .” questions. I also was lucky enough to have a bunch of brilliant and well respected folks believe in me enough to say, yeah, let’s work with her. I’ve had a year of feeling humbled, stupid, smart, ashamed and proud (remember roller coaster).

I wanted to name all the people who have helped me so much this year (and in past years), but I was afraid of two things:

1) It would sound like an Oscar speech and I hadn’t won anything

2) They would be “outed” for how wonderful they are and have their doors pounded down with people asking for help.

I hope you all know who you are, but just in case, I’m going to send you an e-mail saying “hey, I was talking about you”

On second thought, maybe I did win something . . . the job I’ve always wanted. I wish the same for all of you.


Camp Stitches = All the Fun, None of the Mosquitoes

Camp StitchesIf you’re anything like me you’re wondering – where did the summer go?????

I’ve been a terrible blogger, but I hope you’ll forgive me when you see the new designs & classes coming out. It’s been an insanely busy summer with planning for filming a new online class for Annie’s as well as an exciting new teaching plan (sorry can’t tell ya yet, stay tuned) and many new designs (sorry, can’t show ya yet).

Since the summer is slipping away fast, you can imagine how excited I was when I found out I’m going to CAMP, Camp Stitches that is!! Yep, that means three straight days of knitting in GORGEOUS New Mexico! Squee!!

Camp Stitches –

Secrets to Spectacular Sweater Success!

Join me for a three day sweater intensive – click here for more info and to book

There are so many ways your sweater can go wrong but even more ways it can go sooo right. In this three-day sweater intensive, we will be looking beyond the pattern to really explore all the secrets and tricks every knitter needs to know to create their perfect sweater. We will begin with an exploration of knitting technique—how to create a more stable fabric with no “rowing out,” how to make neat edges and fix the big loopy first stitch, as well as better cast-ons and bind offs to name just a few.

Next we will delve into specific knitting techniques and how to improve them including best practice for picking up stitches, tricks to avoid gaps in your necklines, and how to improve the look of ribs and cables, better matching YO in lace, making a SSK that matches your K2tog, better transition from rib and so much more!

We will also be answering what every knitter wants to know: what parts of the pattern to ignore or change. When to use short rows, should you or should you not convert to in the round, what if you want to get a different size or use a different yarn.

Finally we’ll address what you need to start and end a perfect project: gauge and blocking. How and why does your gauge swatch lie to you, and how to block your garment perfectly?

Make this the year of your perfect sweater!

For those of you who hear “camp” and have these images jump into you head

Girl ScoutYeah, I was a girl scout in that late 60 – early 70s era.  

scout uniform catalog

Actual uniform catalog. Note the helpful fashion suggestion to “Show that you belong – wear your complete dress uniform properly and with pride at all times”.  

Or perhaps you grew up as a city gal, and have never camped a day in your life . . .

amy-hwang-i-hate-camping-but-i-love-shopping-at-l-l-bean-new-yorker-cartoonFear not, this is not that kind of camp


Camp STITCHES Will NOT have:

– Fabulous Teachers
– Fun classes
– Brilliant Students
– Beautiful Setting
– Uncomfortable sleeping bags
– Ugly camp uniforms
– Horrible camp food
– Bad camp songs (Can’t swear to this one)

Hope you can join me November 13 – 17 and make this the year of your dream sweater!

Knitting by Fires

Catch up blogging . . .  Part One

2014 is starting out to be an insanely busy time. This being my first year as a full time knitting teacher and knitwear designer (goodbye office hours and subway commute – yippe!), I’m still learning where the crazily busy time are.  October / November was one of them. Holy Kermoly, did I feel shot out of a canon in October . . . The Knit and Crochet Show, Houston Knitting Guild, Interweave Webinar, three designs due, Vogue Knitting Live Chicago, Stitches East and to top it off, my two Craftsy classes launched!

IMG_1693December was lovely. No traveling, not one business trip! Just time to catch up on working on the designs that were due, meeting up with friends, eating great meals and knitting by the fire.

The end of December David (the hubby) and I headed up the Hudson with three of our friends for a brilliant 3 day get away in a perfect house by a lake. I packed up a giant bag of yarn (for the many projects and proposals that were due) and we brought wine, games and food . . . the ingredients for a perfect weekend.

This was the view that greeted us each morning:


The trip was exactly what I needed after such a busy fall, there were walks in the woods by the icy Hudson

IMG_1709        IMG_1714

     IMG_1716      IMG_1719

We took an amazing walk, during the magic hour, to a lighthouse and marveled at the sight and sound of the ice breaking up on the Hudson, followed by a perfect sunset, and warming ourselves by the fire (note the glass of wine by the fire!)

IMG_1737   IMG_1695

This was just the rest I needed before being shot out of cannon # 2, called Jan / Feb in this biz . . . more about that in the next installment of – “Tales of a Traveling Knitting Teacher: TNNA & Vogue Knitting Live”