Do you want to know more about Earth Heart Designs?
Earth Heart Designs is located in northeastern Minnesota, near Duluth and the amazing Lake Superior
Earth Heart Designs is a home-based business, and does not have a retail location. But I travel to fiber shows and I’m available to meet you by appointment, so feel free to call and arrange a visit if you’re in the area (see contact info on the bottom of the page). To be honest, the design side of the business so far consists only of me, but I notice that I’ve lapsed into the royal “we” in some places on this site (for example — “our designer” at the top of this page). But I have added one-of-a-kind shawl pins made by my cousin, Erica, so I’m not the only person represented in these pages. I hope you like her pins, too.
EHD’s first home was in Pagosa Springs, Colorado, for about 4 years, but it recently moved to a new home outside of Duluth, Minnesota. Oh, yes, since EHD currently consists solely of me – that means that it’s me that has moved to rural Duluth (I need to add some pieces back into my life that Pagosa Springs could not provide – my plan is to continue teaching college biology or environmental science courses part-time while continuing this fiber business). What I’ve really done is move back to my childhood home – a house built by my great-grandparents in 1916. It’s on a mostly wooded parcel in the north woods, surrounded on 4 sides by a wildlife management area, with a shallow reservoir lake north of the property that’s a wonderful place to canoe. Summers are lushly green, while winters are cold and long and white.
It’s colder in winter here in Minnesota and I’ll miss a horizon lined with mountains, but Lake Superior, the north woods, and nearby siblings, nieces & nephews, cousins, aunts & uncles will provide other treats as I continue designing – and as I design and teach biology classes at local colleges.
I learned to knit and crochet at age 12 from the Red Heart Yarn booklet named something like “Learn how to Knit, Crochet, and Tat” — I had to learn it from watching my younger sister and reading the book upside down across the table from her as she taught herself from the book (sibling rivalry — she wouldn’t let me read her book). So I was essentially self-taught, too, and I had no knitting mentors (except my sister) until I was well into my adult years. But I became an advanced knitter and soon could follow any pattern, often by just looking at the picture.
I began designing Barbie doll clothes as a young teen. I was designing sweaters, scarves, hats, etc. by the time I was in high school (mostly because of an early pattern-reading disaster where the printed directions were wrong for a Scandinavian-style sweater in a magazine — I found a neighbor who knit and she agreed that the pattern was wrong, so I was suspicious of any written pattern from then on).
After moving from my native Minnesota to Los Angeles after college, I began knitting with fibers other than wool and “winter” fibers — and found that knitting with cotton, rayon, etc. can be fun! And I also started knitting lace when I discovered that it was much more delicate than crocheted lace, and more fun to make.
After moving back to Minnesota, I joined the Minnesota Knitter’s Guild (MKG) and my skills really skyrocketed — having experts around to call on for advice or to just watch them doing “their thing” is a real benefit! But I must admit that it was really intimidating (and refreshing!) to walk into that first meeting and see a room full of people who were all knitting!!
I worked part-time in a yarn shop for 5 years or so (to pay for my obsession and to give me a discount!) and began to teach knitting classes in Minnesota in the 1980s — teaching at local shops, at most of the spring workshops held by the MKG, and a few classes in Wisconsin.
I began publishing some of my designs about the time I began teaching. Some are available only through the classes I teach, some through a few retail outlets, some have been published in the MKG newsletter, and some are available nationally (Sam the Ram and Sue the Ewe were the first of these).
I moved to the Four Corners area of Colorado in late 1999 and for almost 5 years lived in the small town of Pagosa Springs at 7,000+ feet at the base of the San Juan Mountains. While there I joined Alpacas Magazine as their knitting designer (premiere pattern appeared in January 2001) and continued in that role for a while after I moved on to Minnesota and the editor and his family have moved to Nova Scotia. I started Earth Heart Designs while I lived there in Colorado.
I’m currently putting considerable effort into my design business — creating and publishing my own knitting patterns and selling them through mail order. While in Colorado, I sold my patterns via booths at fiber and knitting shows (e.g., Pagosa Springs’ fiber fest, Stitches Midwest 2001, Bayfield Heritage Days, the Taos Wool Festival, and the Estes Park Wool Market), as well as wholesaling them to retailers. Now that I’m back in Minnesota, I’ve changed my show focus to Midwestern events, including the Minnesota Knitters Guild Spring Yarnover market and the Shepherd’s Harvest Wool Festival. I’m currently too busy to put much effort into submitting patterns to knitting magazines, but I may have more time in the future. I do, however, enjoy including a few free patterns through this website and designing and teaching classes and workshops both locally and nationally.
Although I design and knit lots of sweaters and wearables, I have the most fun designing & publishing patterns for pillows, afghans, and small projects to learn new techniques with — especially stuffed animals & various sizes of bags, pouches, and other containers. I particularly enjoy knitting seamless three-dimensional shapes. I also have accumulated a lot of baby relatives in my life lately, so I’m designing children’s items, too. And I love teaching new perspectives on or aspects of knitting to beginning and experienced knitters in classes, lectures, and knitting camps.