Teacher, Designer, ‘Knitting Enabler’ Lorilee Beltman

Teacher, Designer, ‘Knitting Enabler’ Lorilee Beltman was the Guest on the Yarn Thing Podcast with Marly Bird, today, which is also a reunion of two great friends, room-mates from the events they’ve taught at.DSC_0052 - Version 2

Lorilee Beltman says she learn to knit, taught by her mom, as a kid with two-color knitting at about age 8, but it didn’t stick. She remembers crewel (embroidery) was more enjoyable. Later as an adult with a child in tow, she relearned from a neighbor.

Lorilee actually fell in love with knitting after she opened a yarn shop in 2005, in Grand Rapids, Michigan where she fell down the rabbit hole! Part of that process for her was creating a business plan and determining that the shop would be viable in that location. She also found people who knew a lot,  were willing to learn and she could learn from them, too. Outside of the shop, she taught for the very first time at Sock Summit 2009. That led to other opportunities, working and teaching with Interweave.

LBeltmanCraftsyThere is a video posted of Lorilee teaching Continental Knitting that has had over a million views. This first video began a journey that has led to the newest project:A Craftsy Class! One of her popular classes is the two color-stranding. She describes it as a ‘mutant form of intarsia’ which makes for a easy method of creating vertical stripes, that can also be found on a DVD from Interweave.

Lorilee Beltman has become known for the Bold Move skirt pattern. The pattern was inspired by waves on the BoldMovebeaches of Washington State, the original was knit with yarn from The Plucky Knitter, in a special colorway created for Lorilee’s move from Michigan to Seattle, ‘Seattle or Bust’.

Another pattern has become a signature piece, her Sinkmates pattern. It began with a blog post about her brother, that Lorilee was inspired to offer her design of a mitered square knitted dishcloth with a bold color finish to use in our kitchens, the proceeds went to Special Olympics. As of December 2014, she was able to send a check of $3,700!

She has a pattern coming out in Vogue Knitting, Spring 2015, a sock pattern in colorwork, a Purl design, she says it looks like little caterpillars.

Designs as listed in Ravelry. Lorilee’s Website. You can find Lorilee at Stitches West next week and Green Mountain Spinnery for the Sugar Season retreat in March. (Check it out, both XRX, host of the Stitches Events, and Green Mountain Spinnery are Yarn Thing Sponsor!)

If you missed hearing Lorilee Beltman on the Yarn Thing Podcast Live you will find it at this link, archived where it aired originally:https://www.blogtalkradio.com/yarnthing/2015/02/10/teacher-designer-knitting-enabler-lorilee-beltman



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  1. Thekla says:

    Really enjoyed the podcast! I agree that fluffy is a silly word,but it sometimes fits the situation perfectly. I really like those sink mates cloths. Looks addictive…

  2. Linda says:

    Enjoyed the fluffy podcast. It really wasn’t fluffy but you know…I think I’d really enjoy Lorilee’s Craftsy Class. I will have to look into it.
    Lmecoll on Ravelry

  3. Audrey says:

    The fluffy snow continues to fall here in New England, and I hibernate, knit, and enjoy listening to Marly and her guests. I too, love Continental Knitting but might buy the class just to pick up a few pointers that would help in teaching it to others.
    Keep up the designing, the teaching, and no doubt, the smiling, Marly and Lorilee.

  4. Elaine B. says:

    Great podcast! I downloaded and took Lorilee’s continental knitting class about a month ago. Her techniques helped me to finally accomplish continental knitting. Now I continental knit all the time whether using smooth or fluffy yarn. I can’t wait to learn vertical stranded color knitting, too.

  5. Anita says:

    Wonderful interview. Thank you for introducing me to someone I would like to know more about. I’m definitely interested in the DVD about stranded vertical colorwork. Have a fluffy day!

  6. Nancy from Chickasaw country says:

    No fluffy white stuff here. I enrolled in Lorilee’s Craftsy class before the podcast. [It is on my “To Do” list. It has moved up after the podcast!] I am quite intrigued by vertical striping and, one way or another, see that class in my future. I so enjoyed the podcast today. I feel like Lorilee is a kindred soul ………. for many reasons ………. one being that I am a former resident of Grand Rapids. Even though it has been almost 30 years, I check the GR Press everyday. GR is wonderful mid-sized city too often overlooked. Big enough to have the amenities of the big cities, small enough not to have the $Q#$*(# of the big cities. I loved it . even if it is in the Michigan snow belt and has tons of the white fluffy stuff.

  7. Laura Brown says:

    Love the podcast – I used to listen ages ago, and just recently started back. Thank you so much for all you do. I’m now interested in Plucky Knitter’s fluffy yarn…have to see if the yarn budget will allow for a new acquisition soon.

  8. Michelle says:

    Here in NH the weather has been very FLUFFY! Snow snow snow. It keeps me in and listening to Marly and her fantastic interviews!

  9. Wendy says:

    What a great show. I so enjoy listening and learning new things. Living in Arizona, I just watch the ‘fluffy’ clouds float by.

  10. Debbie Rotondo says:

    While listening to the interview and knitting on my current sweater project, I was looking out my window at all the piles of fluffy snow and wishing it away. More of the fluffy white stuff is coming tomorrow. I will be checking out Lorilee’s class since I want to learn continental knitting.

  11. Ruthie says:

    What an entertaining interview! I’m not familiar with vertical stranding, so it would be great to win the Interweave class. Maybe I will make something fluffy?
    Thanks as usual for a great interview, Marly. I always look forward to hearing the show.
    Thanks also to your social Medusa, Tammy 🙂

  12. Kate M says:

    Thanks for another great show. I have to go check out her Craftsy class and can’t wait to check out her Interweave class too! The best is watching a class and knitting with my fluffy cat chasing my yarn!

  13. Nancy says:

    I loved the podcast! It was great to hear Lorilee. Now I’m excited and want to learn about the vertical stitch style, and try my hand at continental. AND if I were to meet you both at Stitches South I’d be as happy as little Agnes when she sees the unicorn and exclaims: HE’S SO FLUFFY, I’M GONNA DIE! (from Despicable Me)

  14. Colleen says:

    My dog is getting very fluffy. Guess its time to head to the groomers BTW I started out as a crocheter 50+ years ago and learned to knit 2 years ago. I was ALWAYS a continental knitter. I couldn’t get the hang of it any other way after using my left hand to tension yarn for crochet. Plus it intuitively just seemed to be less motion and therefore faster :).

  15. Barbara LeBlanc says:

    I really love listening to your fluffy podcasts. I’m dying to take a class from Lorilee because she is such a fluffy designer and teacher. I got acquainted with her from a former fluffy student of hers.

  16. joyce hancock says:

    What an interesting show today. I can’t wait to get a hold of some fluffy yarn and take the craftsy class to learn continental knitting.

  17. Joanne Kiley says:

    Fluffy is a fun word. Vertical Stranded Knitting does sound interesting. I would like to try it.

    I enjoyed the show. It was nice to hear someone’s story of how she started with her business plan, owned the yarn shop, designed, and now a teacher. It was interesting.

  18. TopHat says:

    The vertical stranded knitting is really interesting! I will definitely check that pattern out. I’ve been tidying up my stash and I’m sure there’s some fluffy yarn that would work for such cool socks!

  19. Martha Donley says:

    I found Lorilee’s vertical stranded knitting very intriguing, I will have to do some experimenting with it. Right now I am spinning some VERY fluffy alpaca to make a 3 ply yarn so I can make a reversible cabled infinity scarf to welcome my soon to be adopted 14 yr old granddaughter.

  20. Marie says:

    I signed up for Lorilee’s Craftsy class about 3 weeks ago, and was so tickled to listen to this interview with her today. That’s twice today that I have been tickled…the first was when my daughter brushed her fluffy feather fan across my head this morning!

  21. Sara Denbo says:

    I have knit Lorilee’s fluffy sinkmates! Thanks for the great giveaway! I enjoyed listening to the podcast with her.

  22. Carol says:

    What a great interview with alot of fluffy overtones. I loved listening to Lorilee and her very down-to-earth way about her. I am going to have to look into her Craftsy class. Thanks for another wonderful show.

  23. Debbie Schmuker says:

    I really enjoyed your podcast with Lorilee. I live near Grand Rapids but I hadn’t heard of her shop before it was gone. I just bought the Sinkmates pattern and I think it’s great – Not for fluffy yarn though!

  24. jrouton says:

    I so enjoyed this interview! While listening we have had the white fluffy snow falling. Making me wish I had stayed home like the rest of my department. I am the only one here today.

  25. Amy L. says:

    I am buying Lorilee’s Continental Knitting class so I can knit more warm fluffy scarves and mittens to keep my family warm during this COLD month of February! I’d also love to learn vertically stranded knitting from her DVD workshop. As always Marly, a fantastic podcast, and I love Tammy’s shownotes and newsletters! They’re PERFECT!!

  26. Cindy says:

    I would love to learn how to make a vertically stranded fluffy hat! I really enjoy the podcast, keep up the good work!

  27. Irene says:

    We also have lots of fluffy snow, although right now it is getting very packed down! I enjoy the podcast. Thanks so much

  28. Rose says:

    Hello Ladies, I just wanted to let you know how much I admire and respect Lorilee. Thanks to you Marly and Tammy I was “introduced” to an amazing woman who is not afraid to tell it the way it is. Her honesty and tact were most refreashing and much appreciated. Not to sound too “FLUFFY” but I really do mean all that I have written. I also took the opportunity to check out Lorille’s Ravelry page after listening to the podcast and I LOOOVE HER SOCKS! Definitely have put them on the list to make…once I learn how

  29. Tania Allen says:

    I spent my morning listening to the podcast while working on a fluffy baby blanket for a coworker, and just had to buy the Sinkmates pattern and am strongly considering buying both the Craftsy class and the skirt pattern too! So glad to have been introduced to Lorilee’s amazing work! I’m hoping she comes somewhere near me to teach someday!

  30. Sally says:

    Great podcast! I am happy that Lorilee is local to me and will look for classes. Her description of the vertical patterns would be fun with a fluffy yarn.

  31. carrotmusic says:

    Thank you, Marly, for sharing yet another one of your wonderful friends with us. Your interviews are always fascinating and a lot of fun. If fluffy is a fascinating word with its three pc’s, what other similarly cool words can we all come up with? For some reason “sassy” comes to mind…

  32. Jessica Paulauskas says:

    It’s so cool how she opened her yarn store. It seems like a ton of thought went into opening her store. Lorilee’s sinkmates pattern is so inspiring! I love that she’s raised so much money for Special Olympics. Her other work is also super! This show was awesome, as enjoyable as a fluffy marshmallow cookie! <3

  33. Judy says:

    I really enjoyed listening to your podcast today and love the sink mates pattern. I’d also love to do your craftsy class on continental knitting, to see if I can learn to knit faster than I already do! Our last cat’s name was ‘Fluffy”… named by our young children at the time. 🙂

  34. Debra says:

    I enjoyed the show! I knit continental also. I bought the sink mates pattern! It makes me warm and ‘fluffy’ on the inside knowing the proceeds are going to a good cause!

  35. Renee' C., says:

    I wonder if the snowflakes are as fluffy in Seattle as they are here in Michigan? So surprised to know she moved to Seattle! Great show, Marly, and am looking forward to learning Lorilee’s technique for vertical stripes!

  36. Adrienne says:

    I’ve been kicking myself since last year’s VKL Seattle. Why? Because I didn’t take the one class that looked especially interesting to me — vertical stranded knitting. Instead, I spent all my time in the marketplace looking at fluffy yarn. I’d love to have an opportunity to redeem that mistake and learn the technique online.

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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