Patty Lyons Interview

Patty Lyons’ Knitting Bag of Tricks

Patty Lyons recently released a new book, Patty Lyons’ Knitting Bag of Tricks*, and we were lucky enough to receive an early copy to review. I’ve been carrying it in my knitting bag for a month.  It’s that good. We were also able to get our hands on a copy to give away! (This giveaway has ended, but be sure to sign up for our email list to participate in upcoming giveaways!)
AAAAANNNNNDDDD……. we were able to ask Patty a few questions about this latest project! Read below for the inside scoop on creating this wonderful book.


Nomadic Knits: Hi Patty!

Thanks so much for sharing your latest book with us. I’ve been carrying it with me since I received it. I know I’m supposed to be reading it straight through the first time, but I can’t resist skipping ahead to read about some of my favorite knitting techniques. The long-tail cast-on has long been my go-to and a source of much debate with my knitting bestie, Melissa,  who is Team Knitted Cast-On all the way. I was nerding out over the tips on stitch anatomy, spacing, and casting on in-pattern. I’m already incorporating your tips into my current design!
Sorry – I’ll stop gushing long enough to get down to business. (But also, the weight and size of the book are ideal. I spend a LOT of time feeling paper and creating layouts. It’s beautifully done!) Okay. Here we go…
Nomadic Knits: First things first, I’m in love with this book. Deep dives into the why and how of things thrill me to no end, and this book does exactly that. What inspired you to create it?

Patty: People have been asking me to put all my favorite tricks into one book for years. I’ve always been more of a video class gal, but books are just a different thing. I love my knitting library and I love the feel of paper, of thumbing through a book and looking at the pictures, so I totally get it. All that being said, if my publisher David and Charles hadn’t come calling with the invite, I never would have gotten around to doing it. As far as why I teach the way I teach (the deep dive into the why), that’s because I’m a self-taught knitter. Since I spent years doing things wrong and misunderstanding instructions, I HAD to take a different approach to learning. I had to take things apart so I could really understand how they were built. When we do that, we really OWN our knitting.

Nomadic Knits: The illustrations are so fun! Can you tell the story of how you came to work with Franklin Habit? Is it as fun as I envision it being?

Patty: Franklin and I have been friends for years. Since I often describe things using odd analogies (like the Vegas showgirls = sad frown cast on), there was only one illustrator I could think of who could make those analogies come to life. Franklin had just moved to France, so it was all done with email. I would send him text surrounding the image and what I was looking for and he would send me back a concept sketch. There was always a bit of back and forth. I love how he can create such vivid expressions with a few simple lines. When I asked if the dropped stitch that had been picked up could look relieved, he managed to create that face that just makes me laugh.

The technical illustrations (over 200 of them) were all done by the amazing Linda Schmidt. She was also incredible to work with. Since she is not only a technical illustrator, but a knitter, she cast on for every trick in the book to make sure she really understood them. She truly went above and beyond!

Nomadic Knits:You explain in the preface that this book is a Why book, not a How book. What compelled you to take this angle?

Patty: For me, just memorizing the how does not help me learn. When I understand the why of one thing, it opens up a whole world of understanding someplace else. When we memorize, we can forget, but when we really understand, then we never forget.

Nomadic Knits: Do you think the world could use more knitters?

Patty: I think more people being able to make things from sticks and string is always a good idea, don’t you?

Nomadic Knits: What would you say to someone who has lost their knitting mojo?

Patty: Step away, bake cookies, read a book, do another craft. Sometimes we need to step away to remember why we love something. Often knitters are too focused on the product and not on the process. We fall in love with the process, but at some point we get impatient. We start judging our own work. We start to demand perfection of ourselves. Basically, we suck all the joy out of it. Cast on for a garter stitch scarf and remember the simple joy of passing one stitch at a time from one hand to another. Knitting and meditation beads are the same. Then, when the peace has come back to your knitting, then and only then can you go back to that Brioche project that was making you nuts.

Nomadic Knits:What was the most challenging part of creating Patty Lyons’Knitting Bag of Tricks?

Patty: Figuring out what to cut. There was so much that I wanted to include. My brilliant editor, Carol Sulcoski, helped me keep my eye on the prize and stay focused.


I don’t know about you, but hearing Patty’s suggestion for re-finding my knitting mojo feels like gold.✨ If you find inspiration in learning new techniques to make your knitting more enjoyable AND more beautiful, get yourself a copy of this book!* Reading it has reignited my curiosity and desire to learn more about the stitches I love so much.
* This blog contains affiliate links. Your purchases help us to provide fun interviews and giveaways like this one!

13 Comments. Leave new

  • Cynthia R Wood
    December 8, 2022 11:08 am

    Would love to win this book!!

  • Candy Mulholland
    December 8, 2022 12:10 pm

    Thank you for that interview; I’m huge into why, as a nurse it’s how I taught my patients, and how I go on day to day. On my way to Amazon to order the book. And thank you for being Nomadic Knits!

  • I love her comment about more people making things of sticks and strings. I am sure this book would be a great help.

  • Carolyn Conway
    December 8, 2022 1:11 pm

    I wanted to preview the book before buying it. My library has it and there’s a 6 week wait! It must be good! I can’t wait for my turn to come. I probably will be buying it.

  • Knowing the “why” does it for me. Self taught guitar and knitting so the “why” is the learning for me too! Would LOVE to win this book.

  • Sounds so informative! I like knowing the why and then combining that with the peaceful meditative rhythm of knitting, it resets me.

  • Sounds so informative! I like knowing the why something works and then combining that with the peaceful meditative rhythm of knitting, it resets me.

    December 8, 2022 5:55 pm

    I taught my husband of 35 years to knit this last month.
    I am constantly knitting, and enjoying it a lot, so he wanted in on the fun.
    So far he has knit a hat, fingerless mits and a headband.
    Patty’s book is just what he [okay -me too] needs!

  • Nancy Mazgajewski
    December 8, 2022 5:57 pm

    Sometimes I lose my knitting mojo for a week and I think, “what will I do with all this yarn”? I was relieved to learn that I’m not alone in losing that loving feeling for a bit!

  • Marcia Topinka
    December 8, 2022 7:09 pm

    I would love to have this book in my library.

  • Isabelle Duchatelle
    December 9, 2022 8:34 am

    I’m international to you (and you are international to me !!) so no giveaway. When I have a more difficult time to pick up my knitting projects, I usually cast-on a very rapid, easy and satisfying project. All of the above depends on you and we may not have the same feeling about what is easy or rapid 🙂

  • I missed this blog originally. My husband gave me a copy of Patty’s book for Christmas. He went through Amazon to find books to add to my craft library. I told him how much I loved this book after reading just a few pages! Then this morning, I found the link you shared today!! Glad you’ve exposed so many of your followers to this amazing book!! It’s a great companion piece to all the Nomadic Knits issues!!!!

  • Can’t wait to get this book!


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