We caught up with Patty Lyons about her brand new book, Patty Lyons’ Knitting Bag of Tricks, and here’s what she had to say:
Tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am a nationally recognised knitting teacher and technique expert who is known for teaching the “why” not just the “how” in my pursuit of training the “mindful knitter”. I specialize in sweater design and sharing my love of the much-maligned subjects of gauge and blocking.
I teach nationally at guilds, shops & knitting shows around the country such as Vogue Knitting LIVE, and STITCHES. My popular classes can also be found on DVD and digitally available through my website. I also run wildly popular video sweater classes on my education site Education.pattylyons.com.
My designs and knitting skill articles have been published in Vogue Knitting, Interweave Knits, Knit Purl, Knitter’s Magazine, Cast On, Knit Style, Creative Knitting, Twist Collective and Mason Dixon Knitting where I write a monthly knitter’s advice column: “Ask Patty”. My designs have also been included in pattern collections from Classic Elite, Noro, Cascade, Tahki Stacy Charles, Sugar Bush and Willow Yarns.
Tell us a bit about your new book?
This is not a knitting how-to book, but rather a knitting “why not” book. It’s full of all my “unventions” for better ways to do things in knitting. This is a book about the ‘why’ of knitting. Not about ‘why we knit’ but about ‘why we knit the way we do’. By digging deeper into the ‘why’ we can not just fix our knitting problems but we can truly understand why the yarn/stitches/needles/tension are acting in a certain way and how to fix any issues. Spoiler alert, it’s mostly the stitches fault.
What is your favourite project/technique featured?
My favorites change daily, but I have a special place in my heart for two tricks right now: the one move ssk because it was the very first trick I ever figured out on my own needles back in 2007, and the jogless bind-off, because it was the last trick I figured out right before this book went to print.
Where do you look for inspiration: travel, other designers, Pinterest?
My inspiration comes from two places, my own knitting screw ups, and my student’s questions. Being a self-taught knitter means messing up EVERYTHING, getting frustrated and unravelling until I figured out what happened. This diagnosis of my knitting has led me to find better ways to do things (that and my own stubbornness.) My second HUGE source of inspiration comes from my students and readers. Over the years I’ve been asked questions (like how can I do a one row stripe with no jog, or can you do German Twisted Cast on in pattern) that I don’t know the answer to . . . so I have to find out! Keep those questions coming.
Who (dead or alive) would you invite to the perfect Crafting retreat?
Elizabeth Zimmermann, Meg Swansen, Cat Bordhi, Lucy Neatby and of course, Seth Meyers, so we could teach him how to knit.
What advice would you give to your beginner self?
Cherish every mistake.
In one word, how would you describe your book?