Della chats with Patty Lyons~

patty lyons
Patty Lyons is a nationally recognized knitting teacher and technique expert who is known for teaching the “why” not just the “how” in her pursuit of training the “mindful knitter”. She specializes in sweater design and sharing her love of the much-maligned subjects of gauge and blocking.

Patty designs and knitting skill articles have been published in Vogue Knitting, Interweave Knits, Knit Purl, Knitter’s Magazine, Cast On, Knit Style, and Creative Knitting magazines, where she also writes a knitter’s advice column called “Patty’s Purls of Wisdom”. Patty’s designs have also been included in pattern collections from Classic Elite, Noro, Cascade, Universal, Tahki Stacy Charles and Kollage Yarns.

BPatty Lyonsest of all, she’s a friend! Even better, she agreed to take part in a not so typical interview.


Della: What song best describes your knitting?
Patty: The Long and Winding Road . . . (I design a lot of cable sweaters)

Della: Pick two celebrities to be your parents. Why?
Patty: Mel Brooks and Anne Bancroft, because then I’d be funny and beautiful
(I am already one of those things . . . you can figure out which one)

Della: If I came to your house for dinner, what would you serve?
Patty: The best delivery NYC has to offer – I don’t cook

Della: If you were a knitting notion, what you choose to be?
Patty: A Della Q needle case of course!
Della: :)

Della: Who has had the most influence in your life? In what way?
Patty: Mom. Too many reasons to name.

Della: You are on ‘America’s Got Talent’, what skill will you show off?
(singing, dancing, magic tricks, etc)
Patty: Catskill Standup Comedy

Della: Mountains or beach?
Patty: Mountain

Our thanks to our guest Patty Lyons. She is a very busy lady, we appreciate her time!
Here’s all her social media info:

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Designing The Perfect Knitting Needle Case

I am often asked about how I come up with my designs. The truth is, the designs come from you. I rely on what you as a knitter tell me you need. I then balance this with any sewing constraints or my brand and design preferences. For example, I don’t really work in plastic. Fabrics are what is true to the della Q brand. I don’t use Velcro.

I don’t make a case for every request. In order to stay in business, I have to know there is larger market for my products. These demands change. For instance, I did not used to have a straight needle roll. So many store owners told me “no one uses straights anymore”. However, after a couple of years, I was getting more and more requests from consumers for a straight needle roll. Our Lily Straight Needle Roll is a now a part of my core collection.


Designing the new Interchangeable Tunisian Crochet Case

What do I use in my design work?
– Graph paper
– Tape measure (in centimeters as my supplier works in centimeters)
– Needles/hooks
– Pencil and eraser
– Rubber bands
– Fabric
– Older case designs

Once I have an idea for a case, I simply start sketching. I will use other cases often as a basis for my new designs. I determine the width of pockets using needles and hooks. If they are stacked pockets such as in our Double Point Roll that holds two sets of DPNs, then I need to widen the pockets to allow more than one set of needles to fit comfortably. I consider whether the case should include a storage pocket for notions. This increases the cost so sometimes I include it, other times I leave it out. Does the case need some sort of security flap? How many pockets are necessary without being excessive?

Deciding on the size labels to include in a case can be challenging. I want to accommodate all types of needle brands (e.g. Add, Knit Picks, Hiya Hiya) where I can. I also consider if smaller sizes or larger sizes should be included. I have to design to the masses in order to stay in business so I try to understand what most people would want to store. Sometimes my US numbers (letters for crochet) and metric numbers don’t always match up to all the brands. There are inconsistencies (particularly in the crochet world) in the equivalencies.

In general, I will launch a new case in my core silk collection first. If it does well, then I will have it made in my limited edition fabrics.

I am fortunate to have a rock star supplier in Vietnam. She can take my rough sketches and turn them into a functioning needle case. Once a couple of samples are finished and sent to me via DHL, I will then fill the case with needles/hooks to make sure the pockets are the correct size, etc.  I ask my sales reps and some retailers for feedback on the samples. Sometimes another round of samples are required. If we are lucky, we get it right the first time and they go into production. By production, I mean, sewn by people and sewing machines. These are not machine made items!

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Meet Della


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How to Get What You Want For the Holidays: Wish Lists

Is your family starting to ask you what you want for the holidays?  Have you started a list?  I have.  Given all of my recent travel I need new luggage tags. I would like those really cool leather ones that are imprinted with my name, etc and will not tear off my suitcase.

Perhaps you are pining for a particular yarn or maybe a della Q bag? :)  Online wish lists are an easy way to keep your holiday wish list and share with your friends and family.

In addition to allowing you to keep your list of items in one location, wish lists allow you add notes about the items and send the list to friends and family.  Most of the tools are free.  Once you sign up for the wish list you add a button to your browser toolbar (no tech skill set required).  The button allows you to add any item from a web site to your wish list.  Let’s say you are on Jimmy Beans Wool website and you see a particular yarn you must have, you simply click the button on your tool bar and “bam” it is added to your wish list.  Pretty simple.  See my button below:  it says “Add to Wish List”.

Add to Wish List Example





Consider signing up for one of these free wish list tools:

Amazon – This is probably the most popular wish list tool  Your items do not have to be on Amazon.  You can add items from any website.  You can also search for other people’s wish lists as long as they have made it public.

Wishpot – allows you to import your Amazon list.  You can scan barcodes to add to your list.

Wishlistr – similar to Wishpot you can import your Amazon list.  It allows you to easily rearrange your items into themes such as birthday, wedding, holiday.

If you use a wish list, tell me which one in the comments below.




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Why della Q Cotton Print Knitting Bags and Needle Cases Are Limited Edition

I love a good cotton print!  Of course, “good” is in the eye of the beholder.  If you have followed our collections for more than a season, you know that our cotton prints are limited edition.

These are some of my favorite prints we have offered over the last four years:

Turquoise Vines

Turquoise Vines

Candy Spree

Candy Spree

Kirkwood Meadow

Kirkwood Meadow 















My bags and cases are hand sewn in Vietnam.  Vietnam produces silks and poly-silks.  When I reorder a style from my supplier, she can easily secure additional silk and poly-silk fabric.  However, all other fabrics are imported as remnants and are sold on a secondary market.  If I want to use a cotton print in my collection, I have to buy these remnants which have limited meters available.  If I buy a certain amount of fabric and I decide in a few weeks that would like additional meters, the fabric will most likely be sold out.

So, I have to predict how much cotton print fabric I will use per style, which styles will require the cotton print and how many pieces I will sell in a particular period of time.  I usually have two cotton prints per season so that you can have more than one choice, but also because I typically can not get enough of one fabric to make it through a season.  Sometimes, I have to select three prints as I can not find enough fabric in just two prints that I like.

The moral of the story?  If you like a particular cotton print, grab all the pieces you can as it will be gone before the next season!  Our latest cotton prints are always listed under “What’s New” at

What were some of your favorite cotton prints?



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della Q Natural Collection: Knitting Needle Cases

There is something about a vintage look that I love.  Maybe it reminds me of my grandmother and her kitchen.  Whatever the reason, I wanted to develop something that was a bit more simple than the signature della Q collection in it’s vibrant colors.

I started with un-dyed cotton.  In addition, I wanted to find a closure that was less feminine than my standard tie closure.  Thanks to Takako at Habu Textiles, she suggested the button and string.  Do you remember when your interoffice mail came in those brown envelopes with a red button and string closure?  What a fantastic idea!  Somehow it seems more fun to wrap a string around a button than tie a bow.

Natural Button Close Up with Logo2 Rotate

When I was sharing my thoughts about the proposed new collection with Franklin Habit, he suggested the pop of color for the button.  Again, another great suggestion from an industry leader.

The next important item I wanted to tackle was the size labels.  I wanted an option different than the sewn in size tags.  I emailed my supplier to see if she could print directly on the fabric.  The answer was “yes!”  I was thrilled.  I enjoyed finding a vintage typewriter font while eating my lunch one day.  (I often do my Google research projects while eating lunch.)

One would think that printing the labels on the fabric would be easier than sewing each individual label.  Apparently, not.  The sewing process becomes more complicated as the fabric needs to be cut into it’s components for each style, then the piece requiring the printing is sent out to the printer.  Once the printing is complete, then the components are reassembled and sewn.  Hence, the Natural Collection needle cases are more expensive than my signature needle cases.

Printing Close Up-NLG


As of today, the collection includes the following cases:

Tri-Fold Circular Needle Case

Double Point Roll

Interchangeable Case

Double Interchangeable Case

DPN and Circular Case

Tell me what you think. . .should I add to the collection?


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Poof! And There Went Two Years!

Well, I’m not quite sure what happened.  How is it that it has been more than two years since I last posted?  It started with technology issues (that is usually the start of most downfalls!), losing a staff person, a crazy travel schedule and then simply not being able to do it all.

I have fixed most of the technology issues.  I think I spent at least a full eight hours on hold with various hosting, technology and service companies to figure out why my blog wasn’t working.  What do you do when you are on hold?  I packed orders, tweaked language on the website and was tempted to file my nails.  There are still a few technology issues – don’t mind the various missing photos from previous posts.

My travel schedule has calmed down.  I still can’t do it all, but I’m going to at least make an attempt to Wag More and Bark Less on the blog.

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Updated Photo of Wallet Size Interchangeable Needle Case

Shown with the new Knitter’s Pride needles.


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Messenger Knitting Bag

Molly Messenger Knitting Bag Inside

Molly Messenger Knitting Bag does it all.  Why you’ll love this bag:

  • You can leave it on the floor and not worry about damaging the fabric – The primary fabric is a black cotton canvas.
  • Save your shoulder – Light weight (unless you pack too much!) and adjustable, padded shoulder strap.  The strap is long enough that you can wear the bag across your body.
  • You can easily find your yarn or pattern – Tons of pockets and vivid, coordinating solid interior colors -e.g. it isn’t black inside!
  • You won’t fumble trying to pick up the bag as it has a separate, comfortable grab and go handle at the top.
Molly Messenger Bag Outside

Outside of Molly Messenger Bag

Pockets Include:

  • One main larger interior pocket – enough room for a large laptop (ipad shown in photo), books and knitting – it is 6″ deep, 11″ high and 18″ wide.  That said, it isn’t so big you feel like you are hauling a suitcase.
  • Two side vertical pockets – water bottle and/or skein storage.  Each pocket could hold three to four skeins of yarn.
  • Two separate pattern/notions pockets.
  • One zip pocket on front, under flap.
  • One large zip pocket on back of bag.

What else do you need in a messenger bag?

Shop for Molly now.
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della Q Needle Cases + Bags + Textiles + Sale

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Wallet Size Interchangeable Needle Case

Ta da!  A wallet size interchangeable needle case with numbered pockets.  We redesigned our interchangeable case to include the following benefits:

  • pocket widths to securely hold tips
  • small pockets tame unwieldily cords
  • includes 15 dual numbered pockets and five unnumbered pockets for tips
  • zip pocket stores connectors and tools
  • four-fold design compactly closes for easy transport
della Q Interchangeable Needle Case

della Q Interchangeable Needle Case

Note:  I have small hands.  I am only 5′ 1″ (on a good day)

della Q Interchangeable Needle Case Side View

della Q Interchangeable Needle Case Side View

Closed: 4″ w x 7.25″ h

Open: 15″ x 7.25″

Thickness:  1.75″

della Q Interchangeable Needle Case Open

della Q Interchangeable Needle Case Open

della Q Interchangeable Needle Case Partially Folded

della Q Interchangeable Needle Case Partially Folded

Perfect, right?  Oh, you have two sets of interchangeable needles?  Good for you.  Check out the Double Interchangeable Needle Case.

della Q Double Interchangeable Needle Case

It is still quite compact.  It is only 4 inches thick when full and 7.25″ high.

della Q Double Interchangeable Case

della Q Double Interchangeable Case

Check out how the sizes on the top are from small to large and from large to small on the bottom to avoid bulkiness on one side of the case.

Color options include:

  • Black
  • Red
  • Ocean
  • Brown
  • Seafoam
  • Purple

Need one?  Want one?  Patience, grasshopper.  They will ship in late September 2011.  But!  You can pre-order yours now to ensure you are one of the first grasshoppers to own one.

Preorder the Interchangeable Case

Preorder the DOUBLE Interchangeable Case

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