My design style: As easy as possible for an effect that’s as cool as possible

People often ask me what is my “design style.”  How do you come up with these ideas? How do you make them come to life? What’s your “signature?” What do you want people to think when they hear the name Bo Peep’s Bonnets?

I’ll tell you my friends! I want them to think: That girl creates freaking awesome and original knits in ways that are are so stinkin’ easy.  KNITTINGPATTERN

Before I started writing my own patterns I was so discouraged by my lack of pattern reading skills. I would pull up a lacy shawl on Ravelry, take one look at the 5 page, 8 point font pattern that appeared to be written in Chinese and promptly slam my laptop screen closed.

There’s got to be a better way!!!

When I have a vision for a new design my first thought is always – can I do this while a 5 year is tugging on my sleeve, while the phone is ringing, while my husband is rehearsing a monologue in the background, while I have dinner in the oven, and while I have a Barbra Streisand album on full blast (yes that’s right – I’m 28 and I love Barbra Streisand).

If I can’t know where I’m at in a pattern with all that going on – I figure out a different way of designing it. I’ve discovered the best way is to stick with simple stitches, arrange them in new and fresh ways, and most importantly have a pattern that repeats in some form or fashion. Why? Because the more you repeat – the more you naturally memorize what’s written on the page.

A memorized pattern is a good pattern.

I also love when you can take a simple knit shape and fold/sew/button it in such a way that you have a cowl, sweater, shrug, or wrap that requires you to only knit one piece.

Currently I’m working on a shrug that’s just a huge circle. You fold and sew it in such a way that you have a collar – sleeves – and a back! I’m so excited!

I also love knitting for the ones I love. My daughter, hubby, and my two cats Buddy and Harry have inspired some of my best selling creations. I designed my best selling cat hat after a day of snuggled up with my furry friends and watching my favorite Doris Day movie Pillow Talk (that’s right – I’m 28 and I love Doris Day). That design has led me to my biggest project to date – I’ve designed custom cat hats for the upcoming feature film Jem and the Holograms (more about that in a future post)! P1100763

Lastly, I always love to work with super bulky yarn. It’s all the rage right now and I love that it knits up fast. There’s just something about a chunky knit that feels so modern. I love when you can see each big beautiful stitch. I’m a stickler for perfectly even tension. I always say a hand knit item should look like a machine made it but  with the love of a persons hands added to the mix. LANCASTERPDF

One more thing – I stay true to myself! I only knit things I would wear. Things I would want my daughter to wear. I truly believe that when you design what YOU love other’s will love it too. Let’s face it – we’re all fabulous in our own ways. We all have something different to offer. I create what I love and I hope you love it too.

You can see all Bo Peep’s designs by visiting her shop – www.etsy.com/shop/BoPeepsBonnets

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LABADIE LOOMS

This shop full of locally sourced hand-dyed yarns and fibers in Lancaster County is a quaint spot  filled with lots of great threads and gives you with that warm fuzzy feeling we all crave. Upon entering the shop my daughter I were greeted by the owner, Donna, with a warm spirit and an obvious love for fiber arts. She told me all about the weaving and spinning classes she offers (note to self – must take lesson) and even showed us a bit of weaving on her beautiful loom.

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The back room filled the hand died roving is absolutely delicious. The colors are rich, original, and I wanted to buy one of everything!

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Looms and wheels of all shapes and sizes are always just an arms length away and freshly died fibers are soaking in tubs along the ground. We entered the yarn area full of fun and different yarns – almost all hand died – and lots of great variety and sparkle (which of course  my little one loved).

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We selected a lovely Lancaster County Rain yarn – a 420 yard wool with sparkle sport weight hand dyed yarn for $24. Donna was kind enough to spin it into a ball for us which was entertaining and educational.

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I would highly recommend this shop to any fiber enthusiast. Make sure you leave enough time to soak in all the goodness the shop has to offer and to enjoy a chat with the owner. Now off to design a new original cowl pattern with the yarn I bought there for Bo Peep’s Bonnets! Tootaloo for now ❤ Bo Peep

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Store website – http://www.labadielooms.com/

FLYING FIBERS YARN SHOP

Flying Fibers is a shop with a fun name, a huge selection, a great location, and a knowledgeable and kind staff.  When my daughter and I walked in the doors I had to stand motionless at the entryway for a few moments just to take in all the beauty and cleanliness of the shop.

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The store is laid out perfectly and offers a large assortment of locally hand dyed yarns and roving of all kinds. In the center of the shop there are wheels and looms situated around an inviting leather sofa that beckons to take a seat and browse a great pattern book for your next project.

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The prices are spot on – and I can assure of this because I have bought directly from some of the brands they carry. I was especially excited to see that they carried my favorite Pennsylvania made yarn – Perfection by Kramer

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While the beauty, cleanliness, and selection are all great reasons to stop by this shop, my favorite part – and the reason why I would highly recommend it – is because of the lovely store manager I had the opportunity to meet – Ellen. Ellen was very friendly and knowledgeable and was more than happy to offer me special order services that are hard to come by.  She told me all about the spinning classes she teaches (which are offered at a great price) and she said when you take her class you even get to keep the drop spindle you learn on!

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After soaking in all the goodness the shop had to offer Little Bo Peep and I popped over to the cafe right next door and enjoyed an iced coffee for mom and a cupcake for the little one. The two being located so close to each other is a special bonus. Coffee, chocolate, and yarn all in one spot? Now that’s a Bo Peep kind of day!

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Shop website – http://www.flyingfibers.com/