Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Win a Freshstitches December Pocket Cowl Kit

Congratulations to Beth, she's our winner of the
December Pocket Cowl Kit!

And Amy has won the Nelson the Owl pattern
and Irene has won the Gnomes pattern.

1. This little guy will light your way on the spookiest night of year. Freshstitches Jack O Lantern and Pumpkin
2. After crocheting these practical yet cute items you'll never loose your car keys again. Freshstitches Koala Keychain
3. Arrive to your yoga class in style with this handy pattern. Freshstitches Yogamat Strap
4. "Whooooo" is wearing the cutest hat ever?! Freshstitches Owl Hat
5. To cold to go outside and play in the snow? Stay cozy inside yet still enjoy building this popular snow person Freshstitches Frosty the Snowman

And Thank You to everyone who entered.

This week I have the pleasure of featuring the work of knitwear designer Stacey Trock, the creative talent behind Freshstitches.

Stacey Trock and Friend

Stacey's first love is designing crochet amigurumi, delightful little critters you just have to snuggle with. Her projects include an entire menagerie, you'll easily find one to love. And her patterns cover a wide range of crochet techniques, some that will challenge a seasoned pro and others designed to teach a newbie. For support her website and blog offer videos and posts to help answer any questions.

Freshstitches' animals are usually 8" tall, child-friendly and destined to become heirlooms! Plus you'll never catch one of Stacey's designs instructing you to put wires inside of an animal, gluing pieces of felt onto our animals or making tiny animals too small for children.

In addition to these colorful critters Stacey also designs a line of knit and crochet accessories with your family in mind. Her much loved Hat collection is sized for both children and adults.

Rudolph Reindeer Hat

And especially popular are her felted boots, Cali which are crocheted and the knit Yuki.


Today I have the pleasure of introducing Stacey's newest design, the December Pocket Cowl. This big, cuddly cowl is designed to keep you warm by wrapping it around your shoulders or neck but it also features a pocket large enough for your hands! Its knit flat, with simple finishing in Malabrigo's Merino Worsted and the length can easily be adjusted to your preference. And the stitch pattern is easily memorized making it a great project to travel with.

December Pocket Cowl

For this giveaway there will be 3 winners: 1 person will win the December Pocket Cowl pattern and two balls of Malabrigo Merino Worsted in colorway Marron Oscuro. And Stacey has sweetened the pot and two more winners will receive either her amigurumi patterns, Nelson the Owl or the Gnomes. Details on entry below, but right now let's meet Stacey.

Nelson the Owl


Stacey started FreshStitches in 2008, frankly, because she's always loved stuffed animals... and making them seemed like a fantastic excuse to spend all day surrounded by their cuteness.

Since she's been crocheting for more than 2 decades (egads!), crochet seemed like a natural medium to make her cuddly creations come to life. So, she started designing crocheted animals, and she's never looked back!

With respect to yarn-life, Stacey is a crocheter, knitter, blogger, yarn store employee, teacher and author.

In the non-yarn-related times of her day, she is a runner, yoga enthusiast, hard-core minimalist and urban homesteader.

Stacey loves hearing from her customers... so feel free to contact her! She's available on almost every medium known to modern technology- so pick your favorite!

And she was also kind enough to do an interview for us...

1. Every knitter and crocheter has an interesting story about how and when they learned, please tell us about yourself and your story.

I learned to crochet as a child from my mom... I'm not sure how interesting that story is. To be honest, I don't even remember learning! But, my 'learning to knit' story is more interesting... a few years ago, I wanted to work in a yarn store, and they told me that they would hire me if I learned to knit. So, the owner gave me a half hour tutorial on how to knit and purl, and I went home and made a felted bag! That was enough to score the job. I can't imagine not knitting, now!

2. How did you get started designing Amigurumi and knitwear?

One day, I just decided that designing stuffed animals is what I wanted to do, and I gave it a go! My first ones were a koala and a lion. The koala (now in Cuddly Crochet, my book) is still one of my favorites!

My designing knitwear came a bit later- as I came across design proposals that I found interesting, or came up with ideas that I wanted to make!

Making animals is still my favorite, though!

3. What is your design philosophy?

For my amigurumi, my design philosophy revolves around simplicity. I want anyone who can single crochet and is willing to watch a few youtube videos to pick up basic crochet skills to be able to make my patterns. I don't include a lot of extras (like felt pieces or complicated embroidery), because I think those things make a crochet pattern less accessible to the average person. I also design my animals so that you can substitute any weight yarn/any type of yarn to get an animal that's right for you. I always encourage folks to try organic yarns or interesting fibers... an animal only uses a skein or two, so why not?

As for knitting/garment design, I don't think I've developed a rich design philosophy yet... I guess you'll have to wait and see :)

4. Who or what inspires you the most in your design process?

I'm inspired by all things cute. I look at cartoons, cute drawings on baby clothing, advertisements... doesn't matter. I love perusing and using all forms of cuteness as inspiration!

5. What direction do you see yourself heading in as a designer?

That's a really good question. Three years ago, when I started designing, my partner asked me: "how many animals can you come up with?" I've had a lot of people think that designing stuffed animals was a 1-year-long phase... but I absolutely love it, and I have more ideas now than ever! So, definitely look for more animals to come from me.

I think that in the future I may move either into knitted animals, or cute crocheted children's garments (like hats with animal themes). I'm just not sure, yet!

6. How have the advances in technology and the internet helped you (or hindered) you as a knitwear designer?

I think that, as a young designer, the internet has helped me beyond measure. A decade or so, it was almost a requirement that a designer intern at a company, or work another designer to become established. Getting published required knowing people in the industry.

Now, anyone can make a design, write up the instructions, and put it online for everyone to see! Some of the most popular designs come from newbie designers, and I think that's awesome! I definitely don't think I would have done as well under the 'traditional system'.

As for technology... I can't imagine how people designed without computers! I use technology in every step of my design process! I spec out the yarns that I want to use online, I take (oodles) of pictures of my work with a digital camera, I adjust light levels on my photos in Photoshop, I edit and format my patterns on my computer, and I sell my patterns online... I'd be lost a decade ago!

Stacey I doubt you would be lost no matter what era you were designing in, your talent would always shine through. Thank you for talking to us.

The patterns will be emailed to the winners and the winners will be announced on August 31, 2011. No purchase necessary.

To Enter: Solve these 5 riddles about Stacey Trock's patterns found on my website: Freshstitches!

1. Email me at with the 5 correct answers and your contact information.
2. Leave a comment under this blog post stating you've emailed all 5 answers to me and telling us which Freshstitches pattern is your favorite and why.

Please Don't Leave the Answers under this Blog Post!


1. This little guy will light your way on the spookiest night of year.
2. After crocheting these practical yet cute items you'll never loose your car keys again.
3. Arrive to your yoga class in style with this handy pattern.
4. "Whooooo" is wearing the cutest hat ever?!
5. To cold to go outside and play in the snow? Stay cozy inside yet still enjoy building this popular snow person.


Tink said...

Hi Sandra

Just to let you know I have emailed you my entry.

I love so many of Stacey's designs it's hard to pick a favourite! Possibly Ro the tiny monster, or Tipper the tiny crab (who I'm working on at the moment!).

Sara (Tanager on Ravelry said...

I have emailed my entry! I didn't know about the Dec Cowl pattern - so cute!

I guess I have to say that I have a tie for my favorite: Pete the Plush Pickup Truck - because my niece gave me the book Cuddly Crochet....with strings attached -- so I could make her the truck for her little guy (LOVE gifts with strings attached!) - or the Koala Hat (the one with the koala hanging on to the side of the hat) - isn't that adorable!!

Thanks for another great contest!

Peppermint Mocha Mama said...

I've got my email sent! I sure hope that I'm lucky enough to win that Cowl pattern for my daughter - she's a freshman at Dakota State University. You know my little Florida girl is freezing!

Knitmish on Ravelry said...

I just sent my email to you, Sandra! Thank you for the giveaway, and a fun interview with Stacey. I love the cowl pattern, such a cool idea!

Zabbers said...

Sent you an email! I think I'll probably end up getting the pocket cowl anyway. It seems really useful!

Irene Iannelli said...

Hey! I just emailed my entry. I love the Koala Hat, it's SO CUTE! I would def make that, so it's my fav & that's why! I'm @CrochetAllDay and irene522 on Rav. Happy Yarning!

k2tog said...

Howdy!! I have just emailed my answers and am really excited about this giveaway. I have a 2 1/2 month old son who, along with this website, have inspired me to learn how to crochet, bc these are JUST DARN CUTE!!! So THANK you! My favorite? Well, let me say which one I think I will try first! I think Jeffrey the Dog and of course that Koala Bear keychain!
Thank you!

Debbie said...

I emailed you my answers!
I absolutely LOVE the keychains!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the fun!

I think I actually like the under the sea hat the most - it's just so cute.

I have emailed my answers.

varenkal on rav

Fleur said...

Hiya! I am always in for riddles and fun. My answers are sent and I had fun.

Have a nice day all! Ciao, Fleur

Beth W. said...

I emailed my entry! Thanks so much...I love those gnomes!

Take care,

knottygal said...

Just to let you know that I've sent my answers via email and my fave pattern is December cowl as I see myself using it.. :-)

quinn said...

I emailed my answers :)
Thanks for the giveaway, Stacey and Sandra!

Emily said...

I have emailed my answers. My favourite pattern is the December Pocket Cowl - love the pockets for my cold hands!

Nicole said...

I have emailed my five answers! My favorite pattern is Nelson the owl, I have had him on my favorites list ever since I found him on Rav!

Anne said...

A note to let you know I emailed my entry answers to you.

Wow, my favorite, well I just cannot choose between the critters so I'll have to say the Under the Sea Fish Hat. A close second is the knit boots tied with the December Cowl.

My neice wants the hat, i would love the cowl, lol