Authors & Designers

The Authors

We are a couple – one knitter, one writer – living in Portland, Oregon, a knitting-obsessed city. We like to ride on bikes, buses, and trains with our little boy Sebastian, who is 2 and a half years old.

Why did we write a knitting book together?

I (Larissa) have been knitting since age 5. My fiber artworks have been featured in Fiberarts and Knit.1 magazines, and I was thrilled to be interviewed on NPR’s Studio 360. My work has been exhibited in New York, Seattle, Boston, and Portland. You can see my art at larissabrown.net. Over the past couple years I’ve focused entirely on knitting and started learning to create patterns. On the homefront, I like to knit blankets, sweaters, and other little trinkets, sew sometimes, and bake even less often. You can read my blog, called Stitch Marker, at larissmix.typepad.com. Email me at dumbmailATlarissabrownDOTnet.

Martin is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in MAKE, Sierra, Air & Space/Smithsonian, and American Spirit. During his research for our book, he learned to knit just enough to 1. establish his own stash (5 balls of gray Lopi) and 2. knit a bookmark. What I like to call “his subjects” these days include tiny houses and the self-storage phenomenon. He’s spend much of the past two years working on his own tiny house project – converting our garage into a home perfect for exactly one person. (No, not him, much to his chagrin. I think there are days he’d love to move out there.) Email him at dumbmailATmartinjohnbrownDOTnet.

For the book Knitalong, we had the opportunity to work with superstar photographer Michael Crouser. Michael is a Brooklyn- and Minneapolis-based photographer whose clients include BMW, United Airlines, Target, and Nikon. His first monograph was published in 2007. For our book, he took “the cutest pictures he ever made.”

The Designers

Adrian Bizilia is a trained artist who’s been obsessed with making stuff her whole life. Upon rediscovering knitting a few years ago, she became unsatisfied with commercially available yarn and started crafting her own. Her hand-dyed and handspun yarn, spinning fiber, and more, are available at Hello Yarn (helloyarn.com), her cultishly popular online store. Some of Adrian’s patterns are available for free on that site, and some of those — like the Irish Hiking Scarf and “We Call Them Pirates” hat — have themselves been the subject of popular knitalongs. She lives in Boston.

Hannah Cuviello, a fourth generation knitter, learned the craft from her grandmother at the age of five and has been a chronic knitter ever since. She lives in Portland, Oregon with a wonderful husband and works at a local yarn store, where she does her best to infect others with her obsession. When she is not knitting, Hannah is engaged in other hand-related activities, such as spinning, drawing and studying American Sign Language. As of yet, she has no immediate need for a Blessingway Blanket of her own, but hopes to in the next few years.

Sarah Gilbert is a knitter, writer, photographer, finance blogger chick, mama and overachiever living with her three children, three chickens, and one cat named Kitty in a big messy old house in southeast Portland, Oregon. She’s been knitting since the first time she saw a cube stuffed with rainbow colors of hand-dyed wool and could not resist the power of the pretty fiber. Knitters who know her find great delight in her total inability to follow a pattern exactly. You can find her waxing poetically about local foods, henhouses and Malabrigo Merino Worsted at www.cafemama.com.

Shelley Mackie learned to knit from her Mom when she was a little child and started out knitting clothes and blankets for her dolls. Today she and her husband have three wonderful children and one grandchild, along with one great yarn shop—Fun Knits Yarn on Quadra Island, British Columbia, Canada and on the internet at funknits.com. She named the store because she is having so much fun with her knitting career and helping other knitters. She loves knitting socks and the blanket square pattern she contributed to this book was a good use for all her leftover sock yarn.

Seann McKeel augments her day job as a music promoter with knitting, cartooning, and organizing events—especially those that activate, benefit and inspire community. Fortunately, the city she lives in is brimming with the crafty and the creative, making it easy to rally participants. Although many locals participated in knitnotwar 1,0o0, the internet facilitated the project to span internationally, helping to realize Seann’s hope for it to connect knitters, activists and outsider artists on a broad scale with one another—to create a single knitted art installation celebrating the quiet logic of peace. Seann lives in Portland, Oregon, with her boyfriend Chris Funk, their sweet kid Scout, and pug, The Chairman Fang.

As a mom of four fabulous crazie-inducing kiddies, Genia Planck has extensive experience in the blankie needs of young ones. Genia is a card carrying member of SABLE (Stash Acquired Beyond Life Expectancy). Her knitting has recently focused on really simple projects to make room in gray matter for obtaining an AAS in Paralegal Studies. She can be found with her nose in a legal book, with her mind of beautiful fiber, dreaming of breaks from studies to knit something else wonderful. Her greatest knit project is the group she started at a local cafe, which can be seen chronicled here: www.knitmittens.blogspot.com. Genia’s own knitting blog is at www.geniaknits.blogspot.com.

Meshell Taylor is an Aussie girl living in Perth, Western Australia. She stumbles through life with the help of her cat Asta and her sewing machine Helga. Collections of fabric, buttons, trim and yarn surround her every move and she enjoys every creative thing that she can get her hands on. At the moment Meshell is finishing her Bachelor of Arts (textiles major and photography minor) whilst working in a library, which means a perfect mix of her two loves, books and making. She is greatly influenced by colour, pattern and interior decoration and loves to take photographs of everything that catches her eye. Her crafty blog resides at http://www.littlemissmeshell.typepad.com.