Tuesday, February 2, 2021

February Beading Class for Loom Knitters


Happy February! I'm delighted to share that I will be continuing to present live Zoom classes for loom knitters with CinDWood Looms Zoomin' and Loomin' for the rest of this year. The next class will be held on February 27, 2021. It will include the one hour class, link to a recording of the class, class materials and my Moondance pattern. The registration fee is $10.00. You can register via my etsy shop using this link

The last two classes on Lace and How to read a pattern were a lot of fun, and I hope you will join me to learn all about beading for loom knitters. If you are unable to attend the live class you may still register and receive a link to the recording, as well as the materials and pattern. You can also send me your questions ahead of the class for the Q and A session.

Looking forward to seeing you at the beading class! 

Friday, January 8, 2021

Class: Everything you need to know to read a pattern!


Graphic reads Beginning Zoomin and Loomin Class: Everything you need to know to read a Pattern! Taught by Renee Van Hoy. Full details below.

I'm happy to share that I'll be teaching another Zoomin' and Loomin' live class for CinDWood Looms on January 16, 2021. The topic this time is "Everything you need to know to read a pattern!". This will be a one hour live zoom presentation and includes a link to the class recording, pdf of class presentation materials, question and answer session, and a coupon for my patterns at CinDWood Looms. 

The registration fee is $5.00 and you can register by emailing: classes@cindwoodlooms.com

Class times are: 9 am PST, 10 am Mountain, 11 am Central and 12 pm EST.

I hope to see many of you there. We started the classes in December on a rather low-key basis to get our feet wet, and they have really been enjoyable. Please let me or CinDWood Looms know if there are more topics you would like to see taught.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Fasten Off Yarn-a-long 2020


The Fasten Off Yarn-a-long 2020 begins today, and I am delighted to be a participating designer. This is a new event, and I hope you will join in. 

What is FO2020? It is a designer and crafter event. The designers will all be offering patterns at a 25% discount starting today, November 25, 2020 through December 5, 2020. Use the code FO2020 to get the discount. Over 90 designers and 2000 patterns are part of the event. This is an accessible event, which means all of the patterns are available off of ravelry. All the patterns and e-books in my etsy shop are part of the event. 

Once you have a pattern and project, join in the fun! You can play games, yarn-a-long, and interact with the FO community all through December, 2020. Not able to buy a pattern right now? No problem. You can work from a pattern you already own from a participating designer. 



I'm also running my annual Turkey Time 20 % off sale on ravelry, but the FO2020 is a better discount. 

Did I mention games and prizes? Have fun!

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

I am very excited to announce that because of help from a wonderful knitting designer, Nicky Jensen, the Accessible Patterns Index is a reality!

We are building it now, but you can already find links to 65 designers who have written patterns to be accessible for the blind and print challenged. What does that mean? 

Large font, a minimum of 22 - 24 point; sans serif font. All black text, no italics, and best of all - all of the directions are fully written out. If there is a chart, the pattern must be able to be made without reference to the chart. In addition, many of the patterns have been specially written for screen readers. They have fewer abbreviations and have been tested for clarity. We have about 600 knitting, crochet and loom knitting patterns that we will be adding individually. We are also indexing books from the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled, Bookshare, and other sources in press braille, digital braille and digital audio. These books have not been specially formatted in the way the patterns are, but are transcriptions of the original print books.

The index relies on donations to pay for the host site, so if you like the idea please consider making a small donation .

If you are interested in learning to write accessible patterns, all proceeds from sales of my course on Writing Accessible Patterns for the Blind and Print Challenged support the index. The course includes a 45 minute recording of a live class, course materials and checklists, and a free pattern review.


Little Scarves, Too: Go Fly A Kite!


I am very happy to announce a new pattern collection, Little Scarves, Too: Go Fly a Kite!

This is something of a sequel to my earlier collection Little Scarves: Baktus and Karius for the Loom. In this new collection you will find 8 unique patterns in a pennant or kite shape. Each pattern is entirely flexible. You may choose the loom, the gauge, the yarn that you want to use. The pattern has a little table that tells you how many pegs to cast on and how many repeats to work based on the size loom that you choose. 
A little scarf may be made on a large hat loom. Here are the options (peg counts) for each gauge:

¾ inch: 40, 41 or 42 pegs
5/8 inch: 48, 50, 51 or 54 pegs
½ inch: 60 or 66 pegs
3/8 inch small: 72, 80 or 82 pegs
3/8 inch fine: 90 pegs

1. How to use these patterns
Choosing a loom
Using the list of row repeats
How much yarn you will need
Sample sizes
Making a cowl sized scarf
Making a shawl
Blocking your scarf
2. Stitch guide
3. Patterns
Flying Above
High Flyer
Not Really Stormy
On a Wing
One Rainbow
Simply Clear Sailing
Ruffled Clear Sailing
Winter Sky Love
4. Acknowledgements

Two full digital volumes are included. The 104 page low vision and screen reader accessible version is written in all black, 24 point Arial font. It has no italics and the directions are fully written out. In addition, special charts and chart keys have been created of the row repeats in an enlarged version for low vision users. The patterns do not rely on the charts and may be made without referring to them. The 54 page small print version is written in 12 point font and has reduced sized charts and schematics.
You can purchase the pattern e-book in my etsy shop

Here are photos to give you some ideas of the possibilities for these patterns. You have size options, for a scarf, smaller cowl sized scarf, or keep on knitting to make a shawl.

One Rainbow, a drop stitch scarf shown here in a variegated yarn of pink, teal, and yellow

Ruffled Clear Sailing, in the smaller cowl size, show here in an orange, mint and cream variegated yarn

Flying Above, shown here in the smaller cowl size in peach and 
soft yellow yarns. This scarf has options for color blocking 
that you can design

High Flyer has rows of Shetland inspired lace, shown here in a soft yellow tonal sock yarn paired with a soft yellow mohair lace.

Winter Sky Love has a wonderful textured lace, show here in a gradient yarn of sea glass blues, yellow and cream

Simply Clear Sailing is a very easy garter stitch scarf, shown here in a fun variegated yarn in purple, blue and peach, with 
yarn tassels on the corners

Not Really Stormy uses a tuck stitch that creates a two sided scarf. The photo here shows it in two colors, navy and cream, but only one color at a time is used making it a very easy knit 
that only looks complicated. 

On a Wing is another scarf with a different pattern on each side. It is made with a simple slip stitch that looks terrific in two colors, as shown here in pink and soft green, or in a solid.

I hope you enjoy this new pattern collection!

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Accessible Patterns

 There are over 500 patterns on rav with the low vision accessible pattern search tag. Many of them are my loom knit patterns, but about two thirds are from designers who recently worked to create accessible versions of their patterns. 

The problem is that rav is now inaccessible to the very people who need to find these patterns. Parts of the new site work with screen readers, but others do not. Beyond that, the new site continues to cause harm to people who use it. The epilepsy foundation has issued a caution warning for the site.

These are the steps I am taking. I am able to use the "classic" for limited times, so I have begun to download and gather over 10 years of information I had stored on rav. 

I am moving my pattern sales to etsy.com. If you try to buy a pattern from this site you may find a broken link. If that happens, please go to my etsy shop:


It is a long process to move the patterns and adjust all of the links, so please bear with me. Many of my patterns are also available through CinDwood Looms. 

I am hoping to create an Accessible Patterns Index off of rav. In the beginning, it may very simple, but at least there will be a way to find these patterns without having to use rav. 

Accessibility part one

 In June, the crafting platform rav introduced a new format. This format immediately caused many (hundreds, thousands?) rav users to experience severe eye strain, eye pain, migraine headaches, regular headaches, vertigo and seizures. After a few days of discussion, rav put the "classic" view in as an alternative, providing you could tolerate the new site and make the selection. The "classic" also caused problems, not as severe, but significant eye strain and headaches are common. Worse yet, screen readers did not work with the new rav. They had never been great with old rav, but they were worse with new rav.

Nearly two months later and rav denies the pain and suffering it has caused, threatens to remove "classic", shuts down all discussions on the topic on the main discussion boards, and shows that rav does not care about accessibility at all. They say rav is more accessible than ever.

I have always written accessible patterns for people who are blind or have print challenges. I do this because I need to see the patterns in this way. About a year and a half ago I began working with a group on rav called Accessible Patterns. Rav had created a search tag called Low Vision Accessible, but had failed to define the search parameters. I worked with rav based on the discussions in the group, and created a minimum standard for the search. 

Rav failed to put the standard into place until nearly a year after they agreed to it, during which time I followed each pattern using the search tag, contacted the designers and made sure the tag was used correctly and information about what made the pattern accessible was in the pattern notes.

Rav had also agreed to implement a screen reader search tag, but never added it. They would not agree to add search tags for press braille, digital braille and digital audio books, which would have allowed me to add the books from BARD, The National Library Service for the Blind and Print Challenged into the pattern database. 

When rav showed it did not care about accessibility, I was not surprised. They had been showing this was how they felt long before the new rav. 

More to come.