I first encountered one of Steph’s designs in the Free Pattern Testers Group on Ravelry ~ you remember, when I mentioned I was testing her Love You Mom Socks? Those socks are available, by the way ~ here’s her post saying so, the pattern page on Ravelry and direct link to Knitpicks. As I said when I was testing them, I think that this is a fabulous pattern. The finished product is warm and cozy and fits great. The process of knitting them was also great. There was always something going on to keep my attention, but it didn’t feel like there was busy-ness for the sake of busy-ness.
I’m now testing another pattern for her, an upcoming pattern called Kelpie Mitts. So far, this pattern is great. It looks complex and has a stitch that I haven’t encountered before, but when you get into knitting it, isn’t nearly as difficult as it looks. I think this pattern is best suited towards solid yarns, as the amount of things going on in the pattern will be obscured by yarns that are variegated or striped. The pattern is charted, and I’m not usually a big fan of charts, but the charts for Steph’s patterns are so clear (some special stitches get a light wash of color to keep them clear and pattern repeats are clearly outlined) that knitting from them feels good.
I’ve been listening to Dave Matthews Band, the Crash album while test-knitting these, and it feels right. To me, her patterns and the music seem very similar. There is so much going on in her patterns; like in these mitts, there is a new-to-me stitch, a bit of laciness, cables going in all sorts of directions and a slightly unusual thumb gusset, but it all flows so smoothly. With Dave Matthews, you have the normal band stuff; a singer, guitar, drums, bass, but then someone breaks out into a sax solo and then there is a hint of violin and it is all just so harmonious. It flows smoothly and beautifully, and there is something new to focus every time you listen – and that’s the way I feel about the designs by Stephcat that I have already knit, and looking through the rest of the patterns she has available, it seems highly likely that they all also live up to that.
I’m gonna end this post with a Dave Matthews song, one of my faves, with what seems to be an appropriate title.