Episode 84 – Melanie Berg

Melanie Berg is our interview guest in Episode 84.

There is one type of project that I haven’t yet knitted on the show and that is a shawl. However I do really appreciate that shawl knitting is very popular for many reasons. It’s a great way to use up single skeins of luxury blends that have either been given to you or that you’ve bought spontaneously. You can be much less accurate with your gauge without having big problems with the fit when the shawl is finished and shawls are a great, flat canvas to learn new stitch patterns and techniques on. So I thought it was about time that we had a shawl specialist on the show. Melanie Berg is probably the most prolific shawl designer there currently is and we are very happy to include a two part interview with her in the program.

The very popular ‘Meet the Shepherdess’ segment is also featuring  and this time we have a 19th century farmer called Suzy. Suzy has worked in living history museums for over thirty years and she will take us back in time as she talks about her 19th century sheep farming methods and the yarn she produces. We also announce the Woolly Wormhead KAL winners, we start a new KAL and Andrea shares some of her thought on skin colour.

Melanie Berg

On the Spice Market – One of Melanie Berg’s most popular projects

A few weeks ago Andrew and I drove up to Bonn, which is about 2 1/2 hours from where we live in Offenbach, to interview Melanie Berg. Melanie has specialized in designing shawls and is constantly bringing out stunning, eve-catching variations. During the interview, Melanie shows us a good selection of her designs and talks about the inherent advantages and disadvantages of the various shawl shapes and how she uses colour to produce dramatic design effects.

A mix of intarsia and stranded colorwork – Melanie Berg – Marelle

Melanie also shows us her favourite ways to wear shawls and gives some tips on finishing.

Melanie Berg – The Love of Spiders

Patron Discount – Melanie Berg

Melanie is offering Fruity Knitting Patrons a 20% discount off all her self published patterns. There are around 130 designs to choose from, nearly all of them are shawl designs. It’s a shawl knitters dream. If you are ready for a relaxing knit, a shawl could be the right project for you. This offer is valid until 10 September 2019, full details here.

Melanie Berg – Patron Discount

Finding Melanie Berg

Suzy the Shepherdess

In traditional dress and with a lamb – Suzy the Shepherdess

Suzy is a knitter and a historian who has worked in living history museums for over thirty years. When she wanted to start a little farm, it was only natural for her to raise historic breeds of sheep using 19th century farming techniques. During this segment Suzy explains how she raises her sheep (mostly merino, with a few cheviot-merino crosses) and how that differs from many modern sheep operations.

19th Century Farmer – Suzy the Shepherdess

Many of Suzy’s customers are living history interpreters or reenactors portraying the 18th, 19th or early 20th century. Knitting with Suzy’s yarn gives their projects that extra historical authenticity.

Suzy the Shepherdess, at Apple River Fort

All of the wool comes from Suzy’s own flock of sheep. She keeps her yarn in the natural colours which range from white through the greys to a dark chocolate brown. It’s  exciting for her to see the final colour of the yarn when it comes back from the mill, every year it’s different. Her yarn is available in a medium (worsted) weight and fingering weight.

Natural yarns
Natural yarns

Patron Discount – Suzy the Shepherdess

Suzy is offering her beautiful yarn at a 15% discount to Fruity Knitting Patrons. That dark rich chocolate looks stunning! Her yarns come in natural colours in a fingering weight and a medium weight. The medium weight knits up to around 6 stitches to the inch. This offer is valid until 10 September 2019, full details here. Thank you Suzy!

Suzy the Shepherdess – Patron Discount

Finding Suzy the Shepherdess

Dove – Louisa Harding

Dove, by Louisa Harding

My latest project is this beautiful timeless design Dove by Louisa Harding and I’m knitting it in her Cashmere Lace yarn with is 100% cashmere. My version is going to be more dramatic than the original which is quite delicate because I’m using a very bright orange colour for my contrasting stripes. During the EYF, Louisa helped me pick out the colours. I was in love with the orange/red called Rowan and Louisa suggested the Lilac to go with it. I’m thrilled and can’t wait to finish it!

You can see our interview with Louisa Harding in Episode 59. Andrea talks about her Aquila, also by Louisa Harding, in Episode 67.


Andrea’s Dove, by Louisa Harding

Andrea’s yarn drape test.

The Drape Test. It’s very technical.

We have a bit of fun as I tell you my secret test for finding out how much drape a skein of yarn has.

Fruity Wood House Knits KAL

You can find the thread for our new Fruity Wood House Knits KAL on Ravelry. You can enter any design by Jennifer Wood, and the KAL runs until the end of November. We’d love to see you there!

Music Credits

4 thoughts on “Episode 84 – Melanie Berg”

  1. As always Fruity Knitting is a great production. Thanks for your hard work, I so enjoy learning new technical things. I would love to see how you figure out how to size a sweater to fit from especially the armscye. That is the most difficult area for me. Thanks, love being a patron.

  2. Pingback: Episode 65: Sleeve Island | Knitting the Stash!

  3. Pingback: Webstrukturen und Drape-Tests | Podcast Nr. 26 – chantimanou handSpinnerey

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