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Corrina Ferguson: Blooming where you're planted

Feb 3, 2014

There's a special collection of knits in the new issue of Knitscene. Designer Corrina Ferguson's pieces are feminine and inventive, and certainly fashion-forward. But they're also wearable and fun to knit.

Mallory Hills Shawl by Corrina Ferguson
Corrina has four designs in this issue, including two beautiful shawls. And if you love lace knitting, you'll love Corrina's designs even more!

We loved the Mallory Hills Shawlette (at left) so much that we kitted it up for you. You'll get the magazine with the pattern, one skein of Manos del Uruguay Fino Yarn, which is an elegant and refined blend of 70% merino wool and 30% silk. This lightweight yarn is perfect for heirloom accessories or luxurious garments. You can choose from three colors: Velvet Pincushion (as seen in Knitscene Spring 2014), Crystal Goblet (pale blue), or Amethyst Earring (purple).

Shelby Creek Shrug by Corrina Fergusen

Sugar Grove Shawl by Corrina Ferguson

Clayton Mill Cardigan by Corrina Ferguson

Corrina's designs are beautiful and unique. Do you want to take a peek behind the curtain and learn a little about what makes Corrina tick? Here's a profile of Corrina for you:

The Path Less Traveled: Corrina Ferguson

Corrina Ferguson was born and raised in Milford, Ohio, a chilly Cincinnati suburb she remembers fondly for its ice cream socials. Her family of four now lives in Jacksonville, Florida.

Knitting, for many of us, is one of those talents born out of the hands of our elders, but not Corrina. Knowing she'd always wanted to learn to knit, Corrina's husband bought her a Learn to Knit kit. She tried with great zeal to teach herself, but upon failure, she sought a little outside help to get hands-on instruction, and it was there that a knitter was born.

Corrina wanted to push the edges of her mind and hands to see what she could produce. Each project had to be bigger, better, and harder. Cables: check. Intarsia: check. I-cord: check. Her projects picked up steam as she continually checked off her mental list, and her fervor for the craft grew and grew. In two years, Corrina's dedication and innate understanding allowed her to accomplish what can take many knitters a lifetime.

Her firm knitting grasp pushed her to teach others, so she took to her local yarn shop to set up classes, only to realize that she was going to need patterns to do so. Without a second thought, she sat down and whipped up her first pattern, the Snappy Hat (which has now been made more than 1,000 times, according to Ravelry). Pattern-writing suddenly gave Corrina the freedom to knit along the road less taken. And so she worked and reworked each design, ripping out days of knitting to ensure that the harsh lines were minimized and the piece felt truly organic.

Corrina used her organic, no-holds-barred approach with the four pieces she designed for this issue. The I-cord edging and cable waist shaping in the Clayton Mill Cardigan give it a soft, yet tailored feel, making this cardigan perfect for pairing with jeans or an Easter sundress. The Shelby Creek Shrug has a simple "business up front, counterpane party in the back" approach that is sure to embellish any ordinary outfit. The reversibility of the Sugar Grove Shawl makes styling easy, while the two-needle cast-on creates a dramatic, unconventional edge that would complement a strapless dress or flowy top. Finally, the basic lace columns in the Mallory Hills Shawlette create a lightweight shawl that could look great draped over a fitted blouse or even the back of your chair.

Eight years after she picked up the needles, Corrina has created more than 137 designs. As an addictive knitter, she can be found knitting and designing everywhere. She sketches the back of a woman's sweater in meetings, she carries her knitting to the beach, and she knits as she stands in line at amusement parks. The weather may be unforgiving when it comes to heavy wool projects, and the sand inevitably etches into the sides of her delicate lace projects, but Corrina carries on, forging a path as a different knitter, one who doesn't believe in rules.

—Robin Shroyer, from Knitscene, Spring 2014

Pretty inspiring, right? Get your Mallory Hills Shawl Kit today, and start knitting


P.S. How did you learn to knit? Leave a comment and share your experience with us!


Featured Product

Mallory Hills Knitted Shawlette Kits

Availability: In Stock
Was: $36.39
Sale: $35.99


Knit the Mallory Hills lace shawlette by Corinna Ferguson with Manos del Uruguay's Fino yarn. Choose from three colors.


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kathie1 wrote
on Feb 14, 2014 11:53 PM

How and when did I learn to knit? Interesting question. This may surprise you, but I learned in school. It was during  the early part of WWII, and all the kids were given khaki colored yarn (pretty ugly!) and some knitting needles.

All the girls and all the BOYS knitted squares, which were then made into a blanket to be sent "overseas". I never saw the finished product, and never heard any more about the project. I must have been in about 2nd grade. But I remember!

Knitting has been a favorite pastime for many years, but now I'm having trouble with my thumb. May never be able to finish my projects and all my stash.

I really love lots of color, so never knitted khaki again!


on Feb 10, 2014 5:36 PM

I'm a self-taught knitter and crocheter. I grew up watching my mother and grandmother make beautiful things with thread and a hook, or yarn and a couple sticks. I would beg my mother to teach me, but for whatever reason she wouldn't spend the time it took. My grandmother passed away young. I'm sure, had she lived longer, I'd have been knitting and crocheting from age 6. A girlfriend taught me the basics of knitting when I was 8. And it was barely the basics. Then at 13 a relative showed me how to crochet. She explained the stitches and how to read a pattern. I was delighted! I made a LOT OF DOILIES! It was all I had patterns for. When I had an idea & couldn't find a pattern, I made one up. I learnef by doing & studying any book I could find. Learning knitting was harder, but I went to women working in yarn stores to explain the stitches and symbols. I'm still learning,  over 40 yrs later, only it's much easier now with video tutorials. My favorite is lacework. Crochet remains my 1st love!

borzoidiva wrote
on Feb 9, 2014 4:32 AM

I learned to knit from the gardener' s wife when we lived in England. We lived in a 300 year old house and the gardener and his wife lived in their cottage behind the house. I remember visiting with them one day and being mesmerized by her knitting. She saw that I was intrigued, gave me some yarn and needles and taught me the basics. I would go home, practice, go back to her with questions when I was stumped, and she would get aggravated with me, Lol, set me back on track and the rest is history. I loved going to their cottage as she was always knitting, and her husband was always doing some kind of needlework (e.g. needlepoint type work). And if I was lucky they would ask me to stay for Tea.

And then my brother and I had an English "nanny", who stayed with us when my parents traveled. She taught me how to crochet. We would spend hours crocheting together, although I have no memory of what we ultimately made!

I have knitted and crocheted at different points in my life. I am always grateful to Mrs. Dunningham and Miss. Cage for taking the time to teach a young American girl and for being such strong, positive forces in my life.

cindysnap wrote
on Feb 8, 2014 4:17 PM

A stranger taught me to knit.  As a teenager in 1962 I was part of a group on a train ride from Denver to Kansas City.  I shared a seat with a woman who was knitting.  When she noticed my fascination with the process, she pulled out an extra set of needles and an additional ball of yarn, and showed me what to do.  By the time the train arrived in Kansas City, I had the basics down.   I do not know her name but I have been forever grateful for her generosity in taking time to show a young girl how to knit (and also that she knit, and taught me to knit, in what I recently learned to call the Continental Style).I have knit on and off ever since and thoroughly enjoy the process as well as (most of the time anyway) the results.      

RoxDon wrote
on Feb 8, 2014 1:24 PM

Mom was a wonderful knitter who had kept herself stylishly dressed through the Great Depression by reclaiming yarn from outgrown or worn garments to make new ones. She taught me to knit when I was 4. Dad made me a playhouse complete with toy oven and crib for my baby doll under the cellar steps in the half open basement of the apartment building where we lived in Columbus, Ohio. When Mom would check on me, I would tell her, "my baby is napping, my cake is in the oven, and I am knitting." I wish I still had some of those trapezoidal and lumpy doll crib blankets I knitted from Mom's scrap yarn. I would frame them -- now that I am a grandmother -- as memories!

ptredrea wrote
on Feb 4, 2014 12:25 PM

My mother taught me to knit when I was seven.  We would sit snuggled on the sofa, her arms would be around my shoulders and both sets of hands worked the needles.  We would repeat over and over- in, over, through, off, in over, through, off.  After a few rows, we would celebrate my accomplishments with a cup of tea and a biscuit. My first completed project was a scarf for my sister's doll, I wasn't that fond of dolls myself.  My Mum is 89 now and has arthritis in her hands but she still takes an interest in my projects and proudly wears the hats and cardigans I make for her.

jeid wrote
on Feb 4, 2014 6:09 AM

I also learned from my mother when I was around 10. I saw my grand mother knitting, using a strange way to hlod her needles : one under her left elbow and the other one was "jumping" from down to up and from up to down. She told me it was tha way to knit in the center of France (!!). My mother was knitting in another way (classic way ??) and it's what she taught me. Now both of them passed away but I go on knitting, thanking my mother to transmit this interest to me. Jocelyne from France

quokka wrote
on Feb 4, 2014 3:03 AM

I learned to knit before I started school. My father' smother taught me. My father made me my own special short needles by  sharpening two of my mother's broken Bakelite needles ( not quite the same gauge, but close). It was winter. Australian houses of the time were not heated, so we lit the wood stove, opened the oven then sat around it on chairs with our feet in the oven. Hop Harrigan and Smokey Dawson were on the radio most nights, and one night a week the utterly terrifying voice of Orson Wells announcing what I was completely convinced were the words "the shadow's nose". I was a very tight knitter in those days, being a naturally clumsy child but very determined to get things right. My first piece was in pre-used green garter stitch. I had great difficulty coordinating the wriggles in the wool with my stitches.

Lee Wells wrote
on Feb 3, 2014 7:48 PM

Unlike many of the other commenters, I do not remember learning to knit.  I do remember wanting to knit when I was about 5 or 6 years old: I asked my mother to teach me but she was busy with my little sister.  Mom dug up some yarn and needles and I sat down to try and figure it out.  My next memory of knitting is when I was perhaps 12 years old, knitting mittens on two needles (a pattern my mother had, and which I still use)  The mittens have contrast palms to look like puppets and my children really liked the idea.  Many years later I was talking to my mother about knitting and since she seemed confused I took needles and yarn and cast on.  I used long tail cast on, as my (paternal) grandmother did; Mom didn't remember ever seeing the technique!  (I also learned to crochet during those years).  Like Mom and Grandma I knit Continental.  I knit occasionally until I finished high school,  but didn't have time in college.  After college we moved to southern California and I had no need to knit. I picked up knitting again after we moved back to the New York area; my children needed mittens and shopping just before Christmas was unwise (big crowds).  Mom still had the old mitten patterns and some yarn.  A couple of years later my husband's favorite sweater was wearing out so I decided to knit one.  Knitting from the Top by Barbara Walker was in our local library so that's what I did (mohair, with cables.  It is worn, faded and felted, but warm so he still wears it for times when he doesn't want to wear his newer sweaters).  Cables, texture, sweaters, hats, and scarves are items I have knit, but seldom do I knit colorwork and I have hardly ever knit lace or socks (one or two just to try to understand the method)   I have been knitting for more than 50 years and figure I still have more to learn.  Fortunately,  unlike when I was learning, there are plenty  of of resources now: books, magazines, group meetings, internet.

on Feb 3, 2014 12:59 PM

This article touched me . I too grew up in Milford OH. My Mom taught my sisters & I to crochet.  The only time she would knit was when she made socks for my brother.  After being married for a while with three little girls of my own,  a friend of mine wanted to knit together & so we used the books available at the time. The love grew & so did the passion.  I've learned much from the knitting community. Even though I still live in the area, braving the cold, there is much comfort found in same needles & a ball of alpaca.

slowsymes wrote
on Feb 3, 2014 12:47 PM

In the early 90's, I was teaching 4th grade at a  private school for boys and wanted to come up with a unique community project for my class that involved more than asking their parents for money or dropping off a few canned  goods and calling it a job well done. During Christmas break, I taught myself to knit with the help of my then 16 year old niece. She showed me how to cast on, knit and purl.  I got a book from the library and knitted a simple garter stitch scarf to show my students after the break. They were delighted for me, but were dubious when I told them they were going to make scarves and caps for a local family homeless shelter. It took a few weeks to get everyone knitting, but once they got the hang of it, 19 of the 24 boys really enjoyed it and made multiple scarves and caps to donate. Several of them even taught other members in the families to knit. Knitting became an important milestone in my 4th grade curriculum after that and I managed to tie it into social studies, math and language arts.  I considered learning to knit a real milestone in my life and still  knit to this day. I was in my early 40's when I learned to knit.

on Feb 3, 2014 12:38 PM

My mother taught me to knit around 9? 10?, somewhere in there. I think she even bought me a little kit as I remember the needles. I don't remember making anything wonderful until I was out on my own. I spent many hours knitting on the bus back and forth to work. After I was married, I knitted until my carpal tunnel was so bad I couldn't feel the needles and yarn anymore, but couldn't get it fixed.

I've been knitting like a crazy woman the last several weeks while I recover from surgery. It keeps my mind busy, and I have a lovely pile of winter hats!

PianoJanet wrote
on Feb 3, 2014 12:19 PM

I learned to knit in high school when a friend taught several of us to make "babushka's".  I knitted a time or two but then nothing until I had had two children.  I found a sweater in a magazine that was all stockinette stitch.  I had the front made and most of the back when we moved to a different state.  Somehow the sweater was lost and I didn't knit anymore.  Then years, and several moves, later, I discovered the Carol Duval Show.  She had some knitters on the show that got me interested again, but it was the knitter who knit continental style that really got my interest piqued.  I had crocheted for years, and did not like knitting because of the "throw" method.  Since learning the continental method, I have been a busy knitter.  A day does not go by that I don't knit.

elsierab wrote
on Feb 3, 2014 11:53 AM

My Grandma taught me when I was 4 years old by having me make 2" x 2" squares that she would then sew together and make clothes for my dolls.

BeckieKay wrote
on Feb 3, 2014 11:49 AM

I learned to knit in Vacation Bible School when I was about 11.  We made pink slippers.

kathleen@98 wrote
on Feb 3, 2014 10:06 AM

Thank God for Local Yarn Stores!  When I was about 35, three of my five teen girls and I went down to ask if the LYS lady would teach up how to knit.  "Of course," she said, "come on in!"  One of those daughters went on to become what I'd call an 'expert' knitter, making lots of snow-country, thick, wooly sweaters with snowflakes and reindeer on them.  She lives in Boston.  I, in a temperate Virginia climate, knit in a lighter, more  elementary fashion.  I gave it up in favor of needlepoint for years, but have recently gone back to knitting. At age 74, I have eight grandchildren to knit for as well as my original 'inspiration', my daughters. I cannot knit fast enough to satisfy my passion fot it!

junetralle wrote
on Feb 3, 2014 9:38 AM

The photos of the Mallory shawl all seem to show off the variegated yarn but not the knitting pattern.  Any chance of getting a photo that shows the knitting?

Mtparker11 wrote
on Feb 3, 2014 9:06 AM

I learned when I was six from a neighbour.  She came to take care of me while my mom was in the hospital having my baby sister.  She casted on and showed me to knit and left me with a how to book. I made mostly clothes for my dolls etc and at 12 tackled my first sweater.  Most of what I know is self taught from books or more recently the internet.  so far I have been knitting for 34 years and every day I learn something new!

jomclaugh wrote
on Feb 3, 2014 8:42 AM

I learned to knit from my mother when I was about 10. She also taught my brother when he broke his leg in high school. He learned to knit cables and years later when I wanted to knit cables he taught me.

Linder wrote
on Feb 3, 2014 8:28 AM

The Mallory Hills Shawlette is lovely, but 40 cents off an almost $40 purchase hardly qualifies as a special price!  In fact, it's embarrassing!

on Feb 3, 2014 8:02 AM

I learned at about 9 years old. My  friend's grandmother taught a group of neighborhood girls to knit and crochet. Nothing fancy, we made doll blankets and scarves mostly. The grandmother spoke little or no English, so Judy translated from the Yiddish.  She taught us continental style. My mother knitted, bit never learned that style, so she could help my sister and I locate and fix mistakes, but couldn't coach us on technique. I'm now 65 and enjoy my knitting more than ever now that retirement gives me more time.