Meet the Seattle Sweater..My First Pattern in Knitty!!

This is crazy. And awesome. Beyond exciting. I am in the Knitty Deep Fall Issue


This is a blog post I’ve been holding on to ever since I got the email from Knitty saying my sweater pattern was accepted..and I can’t really believe I’m writing it.

I learned to knit when I lived in Japan..about 15 years ago. My resources were limited, and I had some really inspiring books, but there were just “things” I didn’t get. Then I found Knitty, and at the turn of each new season I would wait for the new issue, skim through the patterns, and plan my next project. Not until this spring did I ever think I would be behind one of those patterns.

In March, I went to the Vogue Knitting Live workshop and took a class from Josh Bennett. I had to bring a design concept to the class (that was an “oh, crap” moment, since I thought I was going to learn how to do that), with a swatch (Yoinks!) I knew I wanted something unusual and something that would be fun to knit..each section had to be a little different.

I started knitting it out…and it was like magic. You know how sometimes the ideas in our heads don’t always pan out the way we think they will in real life? This one kept getting better and better. I fell in love with the sweater.

Then I entered one of the most difficult seasons of my life..the last month of my time with my mom before she passed away from cancer. She saw the design completed..she was so excited that I had gone to a “Vogue” event. She knew I was submitting it, she and was excited for me.

Sometimes life gets too heavy..even to move your dreams forward. I didn’t have the mental capacity to convert the design to a written pattern in time for the June 1st deadline. I let it go..and decided to wait for another time so I could focus on family and returning to work after Mom passed.

In a moment..that changed. The Knitty editors extended the deadline by two weeks, and I knew that was my chance. I buried myself in the final stages and got the design to Knitty by the new deadline.

So, this is a double joy for me..knowing it was something I shared with her that she would celebrate with me now. I’m a little teary as I write this..but this one’s for you, Mom! I know you get it. 🙂


27 thoughts on “Meet the Seattle Sweater..My First Pattern in Knitty!!

  1. I totally understand about your mother and your designing – Good for you – looking at the two week deadline extension and seeing it as an opportunity tailored just for you! I was designing quilts and thinking of teaching quilting 12 years ago as my mom, a knitter and quilter, was passing away from bone cancer – she died on a Thursday and I used it as an excuse not to go to a Saturday teacher’s meeting I had been invited to at a local quilt shop…I woke up on Saturday morning with my mother’s voice in my head saying “Go, damn-it!!” I did, and I have been happily teaching, creating and passing along the things my mother taught me ever since.
    Your mother will be in all your creations as you move forward with your designs. Go for it.

    • Good for you! What a great story…and I totally get it! You use a moment like that to rally, and it can change you. I truly believe that us the outcome our loved ones would want, too. Thanks for sharing that!

      • I know! I was checking all day the day before (because Kate said that it might come out that day), and the day after, till it was released. I can’t wait for the next time I’m in there. 🙂

  2. It’s STUNNING!!! Prettier than the city, methinks….though I’m just across the way in Kirkland. Glad you pushed through and agree with everyone that your mom is proud, too!

  3. Congrats Leah! That sweater is so beautiful. I am so sorry about your mom. I know she will always be near you. My story is similar as my mom was a big part of my taking the steps years ago to start my original knitting business designing kids and adult sweaters and accessories etc. She too passed away from cancer and it was very hard, but I knew she was still a part of me and was there in my memories whenever I needed her. 🙂 She is a big part of why I began again in Woman’s accessories and I designed one of my favourite designs in memory of her. The Rose Onie scarf. Every time I make one for someone I think of her and it makes me smile. This stunning sweater you have designed will always be special to you. You can see the beauty and she would be so very proud that you went for it!! Great job. Can’t wait to see more. Thinking of you during this time.

  4. So incredibly proud of you!!! I didn’t even need to read down to see where that sweater came from. Turned out great! So sorry to hear about your mom and sorry I’m late to the party on that. Was thinking about you after going to VKL in Pasadena last weekend. Take care!

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