Are you crafty? Do you enjoy knitting, sewing, or crocheting? Well, I have a shop for you to check out! MelindaVerMeerDesign creates handmade knitting stitch markers, patterns, and project bags. I just LOVE her project bags, they are so adorable.
I live in the Pacific Northwest just outside Portland, OR with two pups - an italian greyhound Umi and chihuahua Chantico. I actually got back into knitting again when I got Tico. He was 3 months old and I would be bringing him home the first of July 2005 and having never had a dog before, especially a small breed puppy, I was sure he would need to have sweaters to get thru the summer. After crocheting a couple I decided that just wasn't ideal and picked up the knitting needles. As it turns out, he would rather be a naked dog.
A few months later, a job change had me commuting by bus and I started knitting on my commute every day.
I think designing for me was a natural jump having taught myself to knit. I found it easier coming up with the idea of what I wanted to make and creating the design from that than find an existing pattern that was similar to what I had in mind.
|Nautilina is a great shawl because it is interesting but not overly fussy - both in it's look and when knitting it. Other's completed shawls can be seen here on ravelry: www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/nautilina/people|
|Bayfront is my most basic pattern and the one that has always been the most popular. I originally designed it as a gift for a friend that was working at a cold and wet shipyard in San Francisco Bay. He wanted something that would be warm, but still thin and light weight and could be worn under a ball cap or hard hat. It's completed projects by others are on ravelry here: www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/bayfront-cap/people|
How did you get started in your craft?
I grew up around crafts. My mother was always sewing, crocheting, painting, quilting, etc and my sister and I learned to crochet and sew when very young. I taught myself to knit from an all-purpose needle craft book (before the internet) and took on a two-color sweater for my first project. I lost interest in it shortly before it was finished, and didn't come back to knitting for years, but that sweater taught me the basics.
In addition to knitting sewing and creating stitch markers I also spin yarn - both with a wheel and an assortment of drop spindles, I do a little embroidery and cross stitch, photography and some car related 'crafts' like hand making custom fiberglass pieces, polishing cast aluminum motor parts to a mirror finish, etc ;)
Tell us about your favorite piece.
|One of my favorite designs is my Estonian Flamingo Lace Shawl. It was
the design that really kicked off my designing knitting patterns to
sell. I designed it as a memorial for my mom who passed away from ALS.
She spent the end of her life on a trip thru Northern Europe, including
Estonia. Originally as a joke between friends, she and some others had
been gifting flamingo items back and forth. By the time she died, she
had everything from holiday decorations to socks with flamingos on them.|
It was released June 2010 and is available thru etsy, knitpicks and ravelry. Other's projects on ravelry: www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/estonian-flamingo-lace/people
What inspires you?
Being from the NW, simplicity really is the main theme here and with my knitwear patterns I try to create designs that fit into that casual laid back lifestyle we have here with items that are interesting but can be wearable on a daily basis.
Inspiration for my project bags really come from the fabrics. I like to have them graphically interesting and keep a variety of styles available to appeal to different people's tastes.
When making stitch markers, as described above with the Swarovski posting, I make stitch markers that I personally like to use. I think they are interesting and functionable. I love it when a stranger stops me to take a closer look at a marker in my knitting project.
You can find Melinda by visiting her website | www.melindavermeer.com | which includes a blog as well.
She also posts to twitter, pinterest, and flickr under the user name gldelx.
On ravelry, also as the user name gldlex and with her knitting designs under her name | www.ravelry.com/designers/melinda-vermeer |
She also sells some of her designs thru knitpicks under her name | www.knitpicks.com/cfPatterns/IDP/IDP_Pattern_List.cfm?id=K00177 |
Google+ | plus.google.com/101134749468676784207/posts?hl=en |
Thank you so much Melinda for sharing! Your work is fabulous!
In closing, I would like to say the Estonian Flamingo Lace Shawl is absolutely gorgeous!!! And I loved the story about your dog, Tico. How sweet!! My dog, Milo (a multipoo) would much rather be naked too, although I do like to put him in sweaters. lol