Designer Spotlight: Extreme Hedonism by Geanie Helfrich

There are lots of different reasons to start knitting. Geanie Helfrich was motivated to learn after she saw a beautiful handknit sweater featured in a catalogue. She couldn’t afford to buy it, but decided if someone else’s hands could make it so could hers…eventually. A trip to the local library led to a trip to her LYS, which began her obsession with knitting and yarn.

Extreme Hedonism is a neck pillow that Geanie originally designed in the late 90s. When she started teaching knitting classes at Strings Attached Yarns, she realized it would be a perfect first project for her students. She rewrote the pattern for Berroco Ultra Alapca to make it extra cozy. Her instructions are written for both flat and circular knitting, and include information about filling it for aromatherapy.

How did you come up with this design?

EH is my version of a hot water bottle (remember those?). I wanted something soothing and warm that also smelled amazing. Everybody who puts it on instantly goes “aaaahhhhh.”

What made you choose this yarn?

I looked around the shop for yarn that met 3 criteria: it had to be very pleasurable next to the skin, enough yardage to complete with one skein and available at a price that wouldn’t be off-putting to new knitters dipping their toes into the world of natural fiber. Ultra Alpaca was the perfect choice.

Any disaster stories?

My mother-in-law helped me with my first sweater. I had misinterpreted the sleeve directions significantly, and I couldn’t figure out what “turn” meant! I blew off the whole gauge thing and substituted yarns, too. I finished it, but it was a disaster! It came out 10” smaller than the intended circumference, which didn’t fit me – unless I wanted to look like Jayne Mansfield – so I gave it to my sister.

What’s your favorite thing about knitting?

The fact that there is always something new to learn. Always.

Do you have a cool design you want to share? Or did you recently finish a project with Berroco yarn? You can email Ashley: apalumbo@berroco.com or post it to the Berroco Lovers forum in Ravelry.

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