Friday, September 17, 2010


The Kukui sweater was named after the Aleurites Moluccana tree, also known as the Candlenut Tree. This tree, native to Hawaii, grows the kukui nut.

In Hawaii, kukui is a symbol of enlightenment, protection and peace. It was said that Kamapuaʻa, the hog-man fertility demi-god, could transform into a kukui tree. There is a legend told of a woman who, despite her best efforts to please her husband, was routinely beaten. Finally, the husband beat her to death and buried her under a kukui tree. Being a kind and just woman, she was given new life, and the husband was eventually killed.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Caterpillar in the news

There have been some great blog posts and reviews the past couple of days featuring Caterpillar Knits. Here are the ones I'm aware of:

Fiber Friday Spotlight on Peacefully Knitting is featuring a giveaway. Leave a comment on their post, following the rules of the giveaway, by next Friday, September 3rd/6PM central time. You could win your favorite Caterpillar Knits pattern!

Providence Knitting Examiner

Quince & Co. blog

Falling Stitches - What's hot on Ravelry

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Fall is coming SOON!


The fall line is well on it's way to being released. Three of the six patterns are done and ready to go—the other three are in the works. Right now, I'm working on the hardest of the remaining three, and I have hopes of completing it today. The final two shouldn't take very long to do.

Hopefully, if all goes well, the fall collection for Caterpillar Knits will be available for your viewing, knitting and crocheting pleasure within the next 2 weeks!

Cross your fingers.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Photos in Maine!

This weekend, I'll be joining some good friends in Maine, Carrie Bostick Hoge and Cecily Glowik MacDonald. We'll be working together to photograph the first 6 Caterpillar Knits designs!

Carrie has recently photographed the garments for Quince and Co. The photography is beautiful and simple, and the yarns are to die for. Absolutely great wool yarns that I'll be talking more in-depthly about in the future.

The last few months it has brought me a lot of joy to design, knit and crochet these garments. I really wasn't sure I'd be able to complete them all before the photo shoot, but I've surprised myself. When I set lofty goals, it's really a great feeling to see them through to the end. The first goal was to get all the garments created for the shoot. Next, is to get the patterns edited and laid out, then to finish the website! The most time-consuming part is behind me, and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

The first season is well on its way, and I'm very excited that I'll soon be able to share all the garments with you in their complete-ness.

Hold onto your hats folks—these are going to blow you away! (or if you don't have a hat, sit tight… a great pattern is on its way)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


I'll be leaving for TNNA tomorrow evening. Two of the three sweaters for the fall line are completed and packed. The third has 4 rows remaining on the yoke, then the button bands and neck trim. A good friend of mine is bringing me some wooden buttons that her husband made. Business cards are packed.

I'm feeling ready.

If you're planning on going to the show, keep your eyes open for any of these three sweaters… that's me. Please feel free to stop me, introduce yourself and chat!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The endangered Green yarns…

I'm concerned.

In my search for wool yarns to use in my collection, I'm hearing more often than I'd like that the green lines aren't doing so well, and that they may be discontinued in the near future.

Eco-friendly, green yarns bloomed as part of a trend, I fear. And it seems as though that trend is past it's peak. This makes me sad—really sad.

The processes that eco-friendly wool goes through take a little longer, and cost a little more, but they don't leave behind irreversible damage to the only Earth we'll ever have.

Organic wool means that the sheep were fed a healthy diet—one free of hormones, GMO's, antibiotics and other chemicals that promote disease and cancer. These sheep lived in a pesticide-free environment. They weren't dipped in insecticides, like many poor conventional sheep often are. They are kept on farms that do not exceed the natural capacity of the land on which the animals graze.

Over-all, the sheep that produce organic wool live a significantly happier and healthier life than the sheep producing conventional wool. But unfortunately, because organic wool yarns have a higher cost, many people are choosing the less-expensive conventional wool yarns rather than spending a little more for the organic. This is what makes me sad.

I no longer consider conventional wool an option. After learning all that I have about the processes and living conditions the sheep may go through, I've decided to stick to organic wools and to local farmers who I know treat their animals well, yet can't afford the organic certification. To me, it's not about the cost of the yarn. There's so much more to life than how many dollars we have.

Each time we buy something we support it—we are voting with our dollars to support the things we buy and supporting the processes they use to be created, packaged, shipped, etc… So, if I can't afford to buy organic wool then I won't buy wool until I can. It's not so important to me that I have wool that I'll put the lives of the animals who provide it at risk so I can have it.

When you're browsing online, or in the throws of pleasure in your local yarn store, in addition to the touch and smell sensations of the yarn, I invite you to also consider the origin of yarn before you buy it. Consider the process it has gone through to get into your hands. Who was involved? How far did it travel? How was it dyed? And what kind of impact all these things might have had upon our Earth? Then listen to your gut about whether or not it's important enough to have that yarn. Is it worth the happiness of the sheep so that you may knit or crochet this sweater in this particular yarn, for this cost?

There are many eco-friendly options available, and most yarn stores do have some eco-friendly yarns available. If they don't, please ask the stores to consider carrying some. It's important that we continue to encourage the production of earth friendly yarns. It's for our earth and our children.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

TNNA and Business Cards

I've decided to go to TNNA this June, in Columnbus, OH. Searching online for eco-friendly yarns can only get one so far. I went to TNNA a few years ago, and collected a LOT of useful information and a bunch of sample yarns, many which I'm finding handy right now. Plus, getting to meet the people I've been talking with through e-mail is so fun. I love putting a face with the e-mail personality, it makes it seem much more real.

I'm beginning to search for Spring 2011 yarns, to try to get ahead. I feel that releasing the Fall collection in August is a little late, so I'm hoping to get a jump on Spring to release the following Spring collection in a more timely manner, perhaps around January? Wishful thinking?

I've ordered some business cards from They use soy and vegetable based inks and FSC certified 100% recycled, 50% post-consumer paper waste paper. They should be in my hands within the next few weeks. I'm happy to have gotten that out of the way. One less thing to think about before TNNA.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Another Sneak Peek

Project 3 is about 75% complete, and project 4 has been started, frogged, then started again. I like the second round for project 4 a lot more than the first attempt. Here's a sneak peek at the second round of project 4.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Eco-Friendly Symbols

I've created cute little symbols for each of the eco-friendly categories.
What do you think?

animal friendly
dye free
dye friendly
low carbon footprint
fair trade

I've also started creating the category and yarn pages. I've done a wee bit of sleuthing into a database, and it turns out that the web host I'm using offers phpMyAdmin. I have a book around here someplace on how to use that… I guess I should dig that out and start reading.

I'd much rather be knitting though!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Fall is coming along…

All the yarns for the Fall 2010 line have now been chosen and purchased. I await the delivery of the 2 final yarns for the 2 projects that I have yet to begin making. The 2 projects currently in-the-works are coming along well, and should be finished within the next 2 or 3 weeks.

In order to have the fall line debut in August, I'm planning on having a photoshoot in July. So far, things seem to be working out according to that timeline.

My biggest concern is getting a database set up for the patterns on the website. I'm clueless, and would rather not rely on my basic html and php knowledge to do this, which my happen for the first season. However, I hope to get the database set up before too much time goes by, and the website is filled with too much information to transfer it all easily. If you have any suggestions for how to do something like this easily, I'm all ears!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Sneak Peek

The designs for the Fall 2010 debut line are moving along well. 2.5 of the 6 projects are completed. Here is a sneak peek at one of them!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Why *Knits* is in the name…

I'm working on coming up with 6 or 7 new designs for Fall 2010—trying to keep it equal between knit and crochet. I enjoy them both equally, so it seems only natural to do both. I'm planning a photo shoot for July or August, and crossing my fingers that I'll be able to make all the projects before then…

So, I suppose you'll be wondering why something called *Caterpillar Knits* would be including crochet projects. Well, I'll tell you:

The name Caterpillar Knits *came* to me. It wasn't something I sat down and pondered about for days. This name has been with me for years, and it's been waiting for the right opportunity to present itself.

During a camping trip in the summer of 2007 there was a moment while I was doodling in my sketchbook—I remembered something I read in Ram Dass's book, "Be Here Now". What he wrote was: "You can't rip away caterpillarness". Meaning our lives have a path, and a destined speed at which that path is traveled. It's not possible to force a caterpillar to become a butterfly any faster than it's going to happen… just as it's not possible for us to force anything to happen in our lives any faster than it's meant to—thus, you cannot rip away caterpillarness.

On that day, while doodling in my sketchbook, what Ram Dass said was interpreted in my head as "You can't rip away caterpillar knits". Of course, at that time I thought it was funny, but the Freudian slip has stayed with me and morphed into something meaningful. It goes along with my previous posts about being true to myself and honest about what I do. Caterpillar Knits represents that… therefore, the name cannot change to be politically correct and include crochet. I've thought hard about this… thinking of changing it to Caterpillar Stitches, or Caterpillar Designs… but they just don't hold the same meaning to me, and that's what this venture is all about–being true.

So, I apologize if having the term *knits* in the name offends any crocheters out there. Believe me, that wasn't my intention. I love crochet equally, if not more than I love knitting, and I mean it no injustice by omitting it from the Caterpillar name.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

What is this place?

Many people think January first is the beginning of the new year—and in a way, it is. But a beginning is a lot more than just a number, it’s a whole new mind-state—it’s a period of time when something ends, and something new begins—when an old way of doing things just doesn’t fit anymore, and a new way is born.

These past few years I’ve been feeling something new begin each March—around the time of my birthday and the spring solstice. It’s the time of year when life is beginning to sprout all around us; the cool winter chill is becoming part of the past; people are spending more time outdoors and the sun is shining more often. It’s the time of year I begin to feel more alive.

This year, with the change of weather, and the coming of my 29th year, also came that feeling of something new being born. But what? Some parts of my life weren’t feeling right… something had to change. Something *I do* had to change, but what?

• I try to eat healthy.
• I practice yoga.
• I ride my bicycle.
• I knit & crochet.
• I design, write and tech edit knit and crochet patterns.
I’m sure it goes on.

Looking at that list I can’t help but wonder WHAT feels different? What is it about what I do that is becoming a way of the past, and what is being born?

Eating healthy, practicing yoga and riding my bike are some things that have been born in recent years, and they still feel right. I’ve been knitting and crocheting in some form my whole life, but it wasn’t until 2005 that I began designing.

When I began practicing yoga, in 2008, there was something that didn’t *feel* right as I continued to knit, crochet and design the way I always had. There was a clash between what I felt when practicing yoga, and what I felt while knitting and crocheting. It’s taken me quite a while to figure out why that clash existed and what to do about it.

(Note: For ease and maintaining a flow in writing, I’m going to continue speaking of “knitting, crocheting and designing” as just knitting… but I mean them all.)

The trend seemed to be that if I was practicing yoga, I was not knitting. If I was knitting, I was not practicing yoga. The clash bothered me, and because these are things I enjoy whole-heartedly, the tear between them broke my heart. There are so many people, many whom I’ve met online, who seem to have no trouble bridging the gap between knitting and yoga, but for some reason, I was having the hardest time.

This March I found a new yoga studio and continued my 3-times a week practice, but this time I also continued knitting. To much of my surprise, I was able to clearly see what was holding me back from knitting while I was in the gentle, honest, peaceful, calm, serene state of mind that I’m in after a yoga session. It’s that while I was knitting I wasn’t being honest with myself about what I was doing—I wasn’t doing it for me. I was trying to please others through my knitting, in some way or another.

I’m surprised how crystal clear it really is to me now, and I’m AMAZED at how much I must have been in denial about it before to not see the clues. For example: I’m a knitwear designer, and I use my given name with my designs, however in real life, my friends, yoga instructors, reiki teacher, and anyone with whom I develop a spiritual connection call me sam. Why is it that I still continue to use my given, legal name with my knitwear designs, when in my heart I *feel* more like sam? That question has often baffled me & I never really came up with anything to justify it that felt right—so I stopped questioning it.

I think I kept the division because I didn’t want to feel vulnerable. Sam is the soft side of myself and my given name is the name I’ve grown up with all my life—the name that people I’ve known forever identify me as—it’s who they think *I* am. But I don’t know who *I* am, so I don’t know how anyone else can know who I am when I don’t.

Sam is the part of me that accepts that she doesn’t know who she is. When I think of myself by my given name, I identify myself as the person I’ve been my whole life—the person who would run around the yard with her sister, making mud pies and crocheting with cheap acrylic yarns making doll clothes… There is a lot associated with my given name—lots of mostly-good memories that I don’t necessarily feel the need to let go of, most of the time. However, when I need to be true to my Self, and to know more who *I* am, I need to let go of the past, let go of the future, and let go of anything and everything that *I* think of myself as—that’s sam—generally written sAM.

Now, as sAM, I’m beginning something new with knitting—something true and honest to how I feel I should be living my knitting life.

I have no regrets to how I’ve worked with knitting in the past, and I’ll continue to display my old work and keep it available to all those who want it. I’m just also beginning something new—something that doesn’t negate the work associated with my given name, but rather just adds to it, in a new way.

How will it be different?
It will be a growing, changing thing—I’m not going to stick to anyone’s expectation, not even my own. There will be no expectations, or restrictions—only trust, honesty and doing what feels right in my heart at that time.

That being said, I’d like to share a little about what feels right to me in the knitting world, right now—the growing eco-friendly lines of yarn. I love seeing yarn companies reach out toward bettering the world, even if it's in the tiniest way.

I love the variety, and different ranges of eco-friendly yarns. The variety feels right—it’s a balance. While I love the idea of existing in a pure world, where everything is pure and 100% organic, and just exactly as nature intended, I also realize that we’re part of what nature intended, so life doesn’t *always* have to be 100% pure, all the time—that even the tiniest step toward helping to better the earth is better than not stepping out onto the ledge at all. Everything begins with a first step. At least, that’s how I feel right now… as I learn more about eco-friendly yarns that perspective may change. If there’s one thing in life we can count on—it’s change.

If you’re still reading, I thank you very much, from the bottom of my heart for reading through all that background info… I had to get it out there, even if just to get it off my chest, and so I know that by reading it you’ll know that I have no expectations for what is to happen here. I have no expectations, and I’m not anticipating any expectations coming from others. I’ll treat this as a knitting home—a peaceful, honest and loving place to share knitting, crocheting and designing with the world.


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Researching Yarns

I'm planning about 6 designs to be published for Fall 2010. They're in the works…

Today I contacted the yarn companies for the yarns I've selected for these projects hoping they can provide more information about the eco-friendliness of the yarns.

I have some categories for the Caterpillar designs that I asked them to relate to their yarn and perhaps explain how their yarn fits into each category they choose.

I'm eagerly awaiting their responses so I can begin working on the yarns i use page in further detail.

Friday, March 19, 2010

planting seeds

This is just the beginning… there's lots left to do. But with every long journey comes a first step.