Knitwear Designer and Teacher Sarah Peasley

Knitwear Designer and Teacher Sarah Peasley was the guest today on the Yarn Thing podcast with Marly Bird. headshotcolorIMG_4630

Sarah Peasley says she’s been knitting for as long as she can remember but no one can remember who taught her. Her mom knits and that’s the only person around who would have taught her, Sarah remembers knitting for her dolls. She does know how to crochet but feels knitting is more intuitive for her. Sarah says it wasn’t an obsession until after she’d had her son….

She took a job through a typing service and was placed in auto parts plant in Michigan. Sarah took an aptitude test and was placed there as computer programmer. With Y2K her job went away, her youngest was three and in day-care, Sarah says she got the bug to create the perfect baby blanket. Through the local yarn shop and knitting guild who brought in big-name teachers that she learned a lot from. She began hanging out at yarn shop on the days her son was in day-care, and the owner asked if she would teach. Sarah declined thinking she was too introverted to stand up and talk in front of people. The next time she was in the shop, the owner said ‘And WHEN you teach for me, we’ll have you teach this’ again Sarah declined, and the NEXT time the owner said ‘When you teach, we’ll have you use these patterns’… eventually Sarah was teaching. With the popularity of knitting and the opening of new shops in her area, she began teaching at other shops. As her kids grew, and her mom’s health began to decline, so she held back from teaching but attended Meg Swansen’s Knitting Camp, which eventually became a teaching opportunity, and later began teaching with XRX Books’ Stitches.

XRX asked her help edit Gwen Bortner’s Entrelac book, and has been editing the book and magazines since then, as well as for other designers. During this visit, Sarah says attending Marly’s Designer Dinner at TNNA, she gets a lot of work tech editing. Sarah Peasley is a regular teacher at XRX’s Stitches Events and one of the first roommates she had was Edie Eckman who has become a lifelong friend and a great source of advice about what to say or not to say.

titleCardAnother unexpected phone call led to her teaching a Craftsy Class (Marly’s affiliate link). She was led by an acquistions person from Craftsy to this first subject, a content editor help tweek a few things in the way she taught her class and the producer helped her make it look good. And to BREATHE. She’s really proud of it because it’s about SWATCHING which she has realized is kind of a dirty word in knitting, but there is so much to learn like how the fabric will be, and not just rows and stitches per inch. Part of her live class shares everyone’s stitch count which shows that using the same materials and tool, with the only variable is the knitter, how different the numbers can be. It was her passion about this that made this topic a great FIRST class for her to teach with Craftsy.

Sarah Peasley can be found in a few places online, if you’d like to follow her. She has a website sarahpeasley.com, and a designer page in Ravelry, and a GROUP!  She is on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Just for fun, I’m sharing the link to her classes at Stitches West. Many of the teachers are finding their class filled already, so you may want to check this link ASAP!


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  1. laineyhf says:

    Thank you for this interesting interview! I think I’m not alone when I say that I understand how important a gauge swatch is, but I hate knitting them. I’ve come to the conclusion that I need this class, especially before I start knitting the sweater I’m planning for our pet pterodactyl.

  2. Geri Ruth McKellar says:

    This was my first time tuning into the podcast(any podcast, actually), and it was pretty much the perfect episode for me to start with!! Swatching is something I am still learning to do correctly and consistently, and one of my absolute LEAST favorite things to do. The Craftsy class is definitely one I’m going to have to check out in my quest to become friends with swatching. I am so glad I found this podcast, and wild pterodactyls couldn’t keep me away from next weeks podcast!!

  3. Kathy says:

    The show was very interesting and fun to listen to. It was interesting to hear about how you teach the importance of gauge watching and the story about what happens when the gauge swatch is not washed.

    I will have to remember to use pterodactyl the next time I have to spell out a word with the letter P.

  4. Audrey says:

    If my gauge is off my knit pterodactyl might end up being the size of an ant. Must do my pre-knitting work carefully!

  5. Laura says:

    I got to listen live this morning! That almost never happens with the kids but the earlier show time let it happen today. Great interview. I bought the “finishing” crochet class on Craftsy specifically to learn more about blocking but it also covered gauge. So glad I found that before attempting my first garment. It took me 3 tries to get it right! So glad I did though because the dress turned out perfect.

    Her son telling her to use pterodactyl when spelling her last name is totally something my husband would say!

  6. Ramona says:

    I laughed out loud when I heard this. I had a college roommate who played this as a game. He never used “pterodactyl” but he would say things like “that’s ‘p’ as in pneumonia….”

  7. Erin says:

    I’ve been eyeing this Craftsy class! And if I knew for sure I’d be at Stitches West, I’d be signing up for Sarah’s class on fixing mistakes for sure.

    The pterodactyl story had me giggling. People have a lot of trouble spelling my last name, even though it’s only five letters, and now I’m thinking up fun ways to explain it. There actually is a “p” in there…hmm…I wonder if I can do it all with prehistoric creatures??

  8. hotknitter says:

    The pterodactyl story was cute. I can relate – I always thought I had an easy name but people mis-name me all the time. I have to tell them to think phonetically.

  9. Rachel Catherine says:

    I haven’t taken a Crafty class yet, but this seems like a good place to start! I finally started making legitimate gauge swatches last year and it has improved my knitting, but I would definitely like to learn more about the process, spelt with a “p” like pterodactyl 😉

  10. Mona says:

    I enjoyed listening to Sarah today. I desperately need this class on gauge swatching. Very smart that her son knew how to spell Pterodactyl.

  11. Lisa Nixon says:

    As always – enjoyed the podcast with Sarah and Marly. Although I am hard pressed to believe that a boy could spell pterodactyl.

  12. Stephanie Fricke says:

    Wonderful podcast and guest, as usual. I really NEED to take Sarah’s class, as the thought of a gauge swatch makes me say, “oh, damn it……..I really don’t want to do that” BUT I know if I ever want to knit or crochet a garment I really need to embrace it as part of the process. I went to Craftsy and checked the class. And yes, you are beautiful Sarah. 🙂

    PS I swear I could hear a pterodactyl in the background during the last half of the show…….hmmmm.

  13. Suzanne says:

    I had a great time listening to you and Sarah! Sarah’s role as a tech editor is critical in making patterns workable for the greatest number. The gauge class has me thinking and I’d really like to investigate the class further. Sarah’s story about spelling her name made me laugh. I remember having to look up a similar word when I was in the fourth grade. The moral of the story is that pterodactyl and pneumonia are two words that you need to learn to spell because otherwise finding them in the dictionary is really tough .

  14. Sally says:

    I should be better about swatching. My kids both love dinosaurs and it is so fun to hear them try and pronounce words like pterodactyl.

  15. Vicki Lynch says:

    I loved the story about your sweater and the importance of getting gauge. I teach second grade so I could relate to your son coming up with the pterodactyl comment. That sounded like something some of my students might say assuming everyone in the world had a fascination with the now extinct creatures thinking that of course everyone would know how to spell it.

  16. Laurie says:

    I love marly’s podcasts! Without Marly, how would I ever meet people like Sarah Peasley (with a P like pterodactyl).

  17. Michelle says:

    I have always spelled my maiden name out with the letters as Sarah does with her P as in Pterodactyl! Pretty cool. I would LOVE to win this class. It would be a fantastic addition to my skills and craftsy class list. Thanks ladies.

  18. Missy Schmidt says:

    Not even gonna lie. Had to look up how to spell pterodactyl. Lol. I love the idea of Sarah’s craftsy class! I would love to take it! Thanks for another great podcast!

Marly Bird

The One and Only, Marly

Marly is a knitwear and crochet designer (and yarn addict) that is here to help you learn how to knit and crochet in a way that's fun and approachable.

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