Wednesday, June 20, 2012

An Interview with Melinda VerMeer Design, Knitting

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.

Melinda VerMeer
Tell us about yourself, your shop, and what you make.
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:
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:
My personal favorite kind of knitting stitch markers are those that are light weight, don't hang down, snag or get in the way but have something to keep them from slipping under stitches like a plain ring can - and look like jewelry. These little 4mm Swarovski crystal markers do just that.
These simple little bags are my favorite for small projects like socks and shawls. They are nice because they are light weight and don't take up any more room than the project supplies/tools themselves do so you are not adding extra bulk to what you are carrying.
For larger projects, I really like the box bags. This one was made from a tragically felted angora bunny sweater that I had been trying to come up with just the right use for it's material. Seeing it as this bag makes me so much happier than seeing the tiny sweater that used to fit an adult sitting in pile (hint - there may be other tragically treated sweaters that make their way to my etsy shop as bags).

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:

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 | | 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 |

She also sells some of her designs thru knitpicks under her name | |

Google+ | |

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


  1. Thank you Angie for interviewing me! it was a lot of fun :)

  2. Great Interview...Melinda is an awesome person and is very talented.

  3. This was wonderful. I have known Melinda for a few years and learned a few things.

    Nicely done Melinda!

  4. Fantastic interview. Melinda is very talented, I remember her highschool prom dress and floral creations!

  5. Great interview! I just happen to know Melinda and have seen her designs in real time, she's a great knitter and teacher!

  6. Melinda inspires my knitting in so many ways. Her eye for design and color especially!

  7. Great interview! Thank you for sharing the creativity and sparkling the creative mood in me!

    via EBT

  8. Great interview! Melinda can do anything she puts her mind to. Ironically I just said this yesterday, but she never ceases to amaze me.