Down Cellar Studio Podcast

Thank you for tuning in to Episode 177 of the Down Cellar Studio Podcast. Full show notes and photos can be found on my website. Click here. 

This week’s segments included:

  • Off the Needles
  • On the Needles
  • Brainstorming
  • From the Armchair
  • KAL News
  • Events
  • Ask Me Anything
  • Life in Focus
  • On a Happy Note
  • Quote of the Week

Thank you to this episode’s sponsor: Holly Press Fibers

Off the Needles

Velvet Bear for Ella 

  • Pattern: Velvet Valentine Crochet Bear by Sarah Zimmerman
  • Yarn: Bernat Velvet in the Burgundy Mulled Rose & Violet colorways
  • Hook: H

Velvet Bear for Carina

  • Pattern: Velvet Valentine Crochet Bear by Sarah Zimmerman
  • Yarn: Bernat Velvet in the Burgundy Mulled Rose & Violet colorways
  • Hook: H

The Parker Baby Booties

  • Pattern: The Parker Baby Booties by Ashleigh Kiser (free crochet pattern)
  • Yarn: Sirdar Snuggly Crofter DK Baby Fair Isle Effect
  • Hook: D (3.25 mm)

Cadet Colors Socks

  • Pattern: OMG Heel by Megan Williams
  • Yarn: Patons Kroy FX in the Cadet Colors Colorway
  • Needles: US 1.5 (2.5 mm)
  • Millie and Riley knit on these socks for Uncle Dan which is special.

Hattie’s Hedgehog 

  • Pattern: Hedley the Hedgehog by by Moji-Moji Design
  • Hook: B
  • Yarn- Mystery yarn from stash (maybe wool/alpaca from Long Island Livestock co)

Ross Farm Blanket Square 

  • Irongate Square by Jessica Ryan (free crochet pattern).
  • Yarn: Ross Farm Henrietta Shetland Wool 3ply sport 250 yards for 100g
  • Hook: I 5.5 mm
  • Bought this skein because we had a lawn ornament bunny growing up w/ same name. Sentimental May even be my first purchase from Ross Farm. 

On the Needles

Mom’s Frozen Socks

  • Pattern: OMG Heel by Megan Williams
  • Yarn: Fibernymph Dye Works
  • Needles: US 1.5 (2.5 mm)

Creepy Grafiti Socks

  • Pattern: OMG Heel by Megan Williams
  • Yarn: Asylum Fibers Twisted sock yarn in the Creepy Graffiti Colorway
  • Needles: US 1.5 (2.5 mm)

Front Loop Newborn Hat

  • Pattern: Front Loop Newborn Hat by Cream of the Crop Crochet (free)
  • Yarn: leftover fingering weight in a light blue
  • Hook: D (3.25 mm)

I’m also knitting on a new design- the details of which I can’t share yet.

Pigskin Party ‘19


  • I’d like to make a sweater with DK weight mustard yarn I bought during yarn haul in Sept. My plan is to swatch to get a gauge I like and then use the advanced Search on Ravelry to find a sweater that’s knit at that gauge.
  • Hat for my brother for his birthday.
  • Monkey for Millie’s 8th birthday- leaning towards the Chinese New Year Monkey by Stephanie Jessica Lau.  
  • I need to repair a pair of Mom’s socks & Jeff’s Ice Time hat.  

From the Armchair

  • I shared my review of the Yarnable Subscription Box
  • Knitwise09 asked what I thought of Paintbox yarn. So far I’m really liking my socks with this yarn. Keep in mind, socks are usually knit at a tighter gauge which can help prevent pilling.

KAL News

I announced the winner for the last of the Slay the Stash KAL months. Tune in to see if you won!

New for 2020: Quarterly Quests! Get all of the details here. 
January 1- March 31 – sQuelch the Queue Knit any projects you had in your queue (prior to January 1). Knit as many as you can. You will receive extra entries for any patterns that have been sitting in your queue for over 5 years. Fine print* NO WIPS are allowed for these quests. Cast on the first day of the quest and whatever is finished by the last day will count.

We are looking for Prizes for this KAL. If you’re interested- please let me know! I’m also offering a discount on ads if you sponsor this KAL, Splash Pad or Pigskin. Emails went out to those on my newsletter this week. Sign up for my email newsletter to be informed about sponsor options.

Pigskin Party ’19! Not familiar? It’s a ridiculously fun make-a-long that runs all through the NFL football season. We typically have a couple hundred participants each year. For each FO you finish, you earn touchdown & field goal points. You also earn points for using sponsor products & fulfilling other challenges. For every 100 points earned, you get an entry into our Grand Prize drawing. We also have lots of prizes reserved for participation on Ravelry and Instagram to keep it fun and light.

Everything you need to know is linked in the Start Here Thread in the Down Cellar Studio Podcast Ravelry Group including the Rules, Questions ThreadEnd Zone Dance Thread where you post your FOs, Coupon Code ThreadList of PrizesExclusive Items from our Sponsors!

Pro Shop Sponsors 

Snack Shack Sponsors


Tune in to hear if you’re a December Participation Winner.

Our January Interception posted & is kindly sponsored by designer Windswept Designs (Monique Leonard)!


To be eligible to win


  • Complete a project of at least 100 yards that does not contain any sheep’s wool.
  • Project must have been cast on on/after 1/1/20 and completed by 1/31/20
  • Post your FO in this thread with a description and/or photo that shows how you’re meeting the challenge.


Ask Me Anything

  • Knitwise09- Would you please share more details on the Christmas Open House? Is food offered? Gifts? 
  • Adoreknitsteph: your plans for 2020, knitting wise, travel, events, health plan. Design process. And why crochet over knitting. 
  • Tune in to hear my answers.

Life in Focus

Tune in to hear how I do my 2019 personal year in review.


  • Most Proud of- exceeding my goal of 10 patterns for the year. Yarn bombing project. Really cool fun project and event. $337 National Alliance on Mental Illness Massachusetts for 103 hat sales. World of Difference Campaign in February – Sold 49 copies & donated $100 to The World of Difference Institute. I designed 2 crochet patterns. GoodReader Tutorial FINALLY published. Hosted 3 successful KALs- Slay the Stash, Splash Pad and Pigskin Parties. Participation better than ever. Growing Ravelry Group. So much engagement.
  • New skills or knowledge. Learned crochet cables and how to make crocheted hats. Made my first top down triangular crochet shawl. Learned how to use newer version of Garageband on my laptop. First experience yarn bombing. Had to figure out how to make it big but still light and workable. My friend Beverly taught me some basic embroidery. 
  • New habits I incorporated: Keeping better track of designs. Kept things organized in Evernote with Folders for notes about: Active Designs, Design Ideas and Stitches, Next Designs I want to work on etc. Then I also created checklists or workflows for what I always need to do when I open up a design to test, steps for publishing, steps for promoting a pattern so I can check things off as I go (or choose not to do things but if I don’t do it, its not because I forget). 
  • New experiences– being part of collaboration with Christy Houghton. December of Designers. So honored to be asked to be a part of that! 
  • Wish I did more of: garment knitting for me. I’m loving my handknit sweaters this winter. I’d be happy to have another in the rotation. 
  • Wish I spent less on this year: I can’t think of any regrets in how I spent my time. You could argue I spent too much money on yarn but I usually end up loving my stash and making beautiful things.  
  • Lessons Learned. I really enjoy designing even when it is a lot of work and a lot of math which typically I don’t enjoy. When I began my year with 10 pattern goal I wasn’t sure I’d love it but I knew designing consistently would force me into good habits and give me that chance to see how I felt. 
  • Events & Milestones.  Participated in the 1st Annual Cape & South Shore Yarn Haul and hosted a cast on party at Yarns End. Went to Rhinebeck. Needles Up and Indie Untangled. In November- I attended Lady Dye’s 2020 Tour kick off at Gather Here! I got a spinning wheel!!
  • Results: More email subscribers. More Instagram followers. Sold 1916 patterns in 2019 doesn’t include free pattern- Ball Band Cozy. 

Knitting- 2019

  • FOs- 139
  • Gifts: 106
  • Socks- 24
  • Shawls-11
  • Toys- 18
  • Hat- 18
  • Sweaters- 3

2020 Goals 

  • 3 times a week (average) exercise of 20 min or more (focus on strength training)= 156 workouts
  • 7 published patterns on Ravelry
  • 10% more sales of designs compared to 2019
  • Equals 20- for 2020 

20 in 2020 (Gretchen Rubin)– these are more of a bucket-list type list of things I think will enrich my life.

  1. Use up 5 gift cards 
  2. Visit 2 new cities 
  3. Kayak at Jacob’s pond 
  4. Kayak at one other new place 
  5. Get car detailed
  6. Take 4 classes/lectures (ideas: spinning, knitting, embroidery, sewing, painting)
  7. Learn to spin
  8. Pay off my car 
  9. Visit the Museum of Fine Arts Boston at least once
  10. Submit a pattern to at least 1 publication 
  11. Go camping
  12. Do 1 in-store class or event at a local yarn shop
  13. Do Plastic Free July Challenge again 
  14. Finish 2018 photo album & print
  15. Purge at least 40 things from the house
  16. Maintain my weight range
  17. Take a yoga class
  18. Go to at least 4 musicals/plays
  19. Go to the library at least twice
  20. At least 12 massages 

My word of the Year for 2020: FLOURISH. This year is a year of building on the progress and successes from 2019. I will design more. I will lift more. I will be stronger. I will truly flourish. 

Flourish: Verb: (of a person, animal, or other living organism) grow or develop in a healthy or vigorous way, especially as the result of a particularly favorable environment. Noun: an instance of suddenly performing or developing in an impressively successful way.

Questions from Listeners:

  • ZTphotos asked about new designs for 2020.
  • TaraT580: New stuff you want to try your hand at designing- new stitches/combinations etc?
  •  Phoenixknitter3 & Anna.lenzmeier- Your knitting goals for the year!
  • TUNE IN to hear the answers.

Do you have goals for 2020? How will you measure? Do you have a Word for the year? Let’s chat! Come on over to the Down Cellar Studio Podcast Ravelry Group!

On a Happy Note

  • Binging the Australian tv show Wentworth on Netflix. 
  • My friend Laura visited over New Year’s. I brought her to the shore in my town for the first time in countless visits! We hiked together at my local state park.
  • My favorite Zumba teacher is back teaching twice a month so made a point to get there the first Saturday of the year.
  • I just had my annual physical and my doctor was very happy. All blood work even better than last year.
  • I saw the new Star Wars movie with Dan 
  • I visited my best friend who was home sick. caught up with her and brought lunch and then got to hang out with my niece Aila for the afternoon. We worked on her science project and had a monster drawing challenge.
  • It was 66 degrees on Sunday! We opened up the house. Cleaned & organized together.

Quote of the Week

Doing great work is not about never making mistakes or failing. It’s about making sure those mistakes have the minimum impact on those you serve, and that your failures inspire and inform new strategies in the future.”

– Cy Wakeman

Thank you for tuning in!

Contact Information:

Direct download: Episode_177_-_1_14_20_8.12_AM.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:12am EDT