Meet Stephanie of Tiny Owl Knits – The Fairy Princess Of Knitting

Stephanie Dosen headshot"I like to freak out about my knitting. That's when I know it's good."

So said Stephanie Dosen of Tiny Owl Knits when I interviewed her earlier this year.

So who is Stephanie, and why was she the most-requested interview when I polled my readers?

Let me introduce you, but watch out - you may just fall in love.

Liat:
What is Tiny Owl Knits and how did you get started?

Stephanie:
Tiny Owl Knits started with a knitting blog in 2004. At that time I was working in my local yarn shop in Nashville, TN.

Liat:
Squee! I was living in Nashville in 2004, too! Oh my gosh I probably went into your yarn shop! Ok sorry, continue. How did you become a knitwear designer?

Stephanie:
I never really intended to have a knitwear design label. I sort of fell into it by knitting and crocheting things that I wanted to have, but couldn't find in any of the shops.

"Catching Butterflies" fingerless mittsWhen I wore my creations into the yarn shop, the customers began asking for the patterns.

At first I was terrified of writing patterns! I got lots of help from the mother owls at the shop (ladies who had been working with patterns for lifetimes.)

I also studied what I liked and didn't like about certain patterns that I had followed on my own.

Before long I had lots of patterns ready to hand out with yarn purchases at the store. It wasn't until Ravelry came along that it began to grow into something that I know I don't ever want to give up.
tiny owl illustration

Inspiration Grows On Trees... As Long As They Are Home To Dryads

Liat:
Your blog and patterns feel like they're full of fantasy and magic. Where do you get your inspiration?

"Wear The Wild Things Are" hooded (and crowned) pulloverStephanie:
Thank you! I draw inspiration from fairy tales and flea markets. I love tweeds and cozy textures, grandmother's quilts and vintage sweaters.

I dream of wood-nymphs and water-nymphs and keep them close while I work, though sometimes I play with air-sylphs too.

I'm also just majorly inspired by wool and fibre of all kinds.

Sometimes when I pick up certain yarn, it just unfolds its story right into my hands.

Other times I have to work harder!

The famous "Beekeeper's Quilt"Liat:
Your patterns are so distinctive. What the most widely-known pattern you've published?

Stephanie:
Thanks! The pattern I've sold the most copies of is the beekeeper's quilt.

After that it's a close tie between the "Deer with Little Antlers" hat and the "Hopsalots" bunny slippers.

What Kinds Of Patterns Are Easiest For You To Design? Which Are The Hardest?

Stephanie:
The easiest patterns are the ones where I don't over think them. The ones that unfold naturally are the most magical.

"Parseltongue" cabled hatIt is kind of like songwriting: some just pop out in an afternoon, and others take years to formulate.

I don't like to give up until the pattern has me very excited though. If it doesn't really get my blood rushing, then it's not worth it for me to put the pattern out.

I design and make so many things a month for my personal use that never see the light of day. They might just be simple sweaters, mittens or scarves, but they don't make the cut because they don't make me freak out with excitement.

"I like to freak out about my knitting. That's when I know it's good."
-Stephanie Dosen, Tiny Owl Knits
Click To Tweet This Interview

Line Break

Even Muses Have Heroes and Heroines

Liat:
Do you have any heroes in the knitting world that you look up to?

Stephanie:
Definitely. I think all designers live in a lake fueled by many rivers and streams.

I can easily point to Cat Bordhi as being one of the first designers I fell in love with. Her Magical Knitting totally wowed me and inspired me in so many ways. I loved how she did things in new and interesting ways. She isn't afraid to be unconventional.

"Fairy Castles" felted needle-holders
Inspired by Magical Knitting - yes, these felted DPN holders really roll up and become tiny fairy houses, with little windows and everything.

I also love Sasha Kagan and Kaffe Fassett, and there are so many others including many new designers that I consider friends that I love.

tiny owl illustration

Advice To Knitters With Cameras: Find Patient Friends

Liat:
You are the model in many of your gorgeous pattern photos. Do you photograph yourself? Do you have any tips for knitters who want to photograph themselves modeling their knitting?
Deer With Little Antlers Hat by Tiny Owl KnitsStephanie:
I think maybe my only advice is just get good lighting and have fun with it!

I often ask whoever is around or in the room at the time to take the photos. Many of my friends are wary of coming over when they know I'm getting close to finishing a design!

I think I scare them away by saying, "Here just take a few pictures of me with this hat on, I don't care how it looks."

Then it turns into "Wait, no, not like that.. try to get more of the top in.. no, not from that angle.. can you zoom in? Wait, no.. back up a little bit... wait, are you cutting off the brim? that really needs to be in the shot. and um... would you mind taking a few hundred more?"

Yeah, I might be a bit of a nightmare when it comes to photo shoots!

How To Divide Your Time When You're Multi-Talented

A Stephanie Dosen sketch - girl with tiny owlLiat:
You are an artist as well as a designer, right? Your website, pattern pages and layouts are all embellished with cute little illustrations. Do you do them yourself?

Stephanie:
Yup. I was doing lots of painting, drawing and illustration before I started knitting. Now I don't do as much. Thankfully I drew the little owls years and years ago!

Liat:
A tiny owl told me that you are also a singer/songwriter. Is that your full-time job?

Stephanie:
My full time job is 50% knitwear designer and 50% musician/songwriter.

A Lily for the Spectre - Stephanie Dosen's second CD Today I was working on a track for a friend's album in the morning, and then I was working on a pattern for an American knitting magazine this afternoon.

Lots of people seem to want me to choose one or the other, but they work really well together.

Sometimes I'm in the studio or on tour, and sometimes I'm writing patterns in the attic or the blue cavern.

The only person I think I really confuse is my accountant!

Liat:
Lovely readers, I have to tell you that Stephanie's music is as wonderful and ethereal as her patterns. I just bought her latest album, A Lily For The Spectre. Listen to it here.
tiny owl illustration

Now: Enter The Tiny Owl Knits Pattern Giveaway!

Not only was Stephanie kind enough to do this interview with me, she's also going to give away a pattern to one lucky reader.

Hopsalots bunny slippers by Tiny Owl Knits
Yes, you could win an adorable pattern like this!

Here's what to do to enter the giveaway:

1) Go to the Tiny Owl Knits blog and either read a blog post and leave a comment, or sign up to get a news-owl when she writes a new post (or both).

2) Share this article on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, your blog, or any other online media, then leave a comment below letting me know what you did.

I'll randomly choose one winner from among the comments on this blog, and I'll have Stephanie contact you to introduce herself and email you the Tiny Owl Knits pattern of your choice.


A buffet of (strangely-spaced) buttons awaits you above. See you in the comments! The winner will be announced on Wednesday, August 22nd.

swirly divider

Update: This contest is over and we’ve selected our winner, but please feel free to
leave a comment and head to Tiny Owl Knits to grab a pattern!.



163 thoughts on “Meet Stephanie of Tiny Owl Knits – The Fairy Princess Of Knitting”

  1. Congratulations to Chrissy D, the winner in our Tiny Owl Knits Interview giveaway contest! And thank you all for participating and commenting.

    Stephanie was blown away by all the likes, shares, and new fans she got. You really showed her how awesome KNITFreedom fans are!

  2. Holy smokes! My daughter will be the envy of her whole dorm if I win this pattern and knit these adorable bunny Hopsalong slippers! You are brilliant as an amazing designer and Liat is brilliant for sharing you with us! Thank you Liat.

    Lisa Monday

    1. Okay, Lisa: We’ll have to make sure that our daughters aren’t at the same college because I had your exact same thought when I saw those slippers! ;-)

      1. Don’t worry girls, my daughter is still in 1st grade … oooh she would love to have this cute hat. I can’t show her this pic though or she will bug me every single day to knit it.

    2. Pinned it, facebooked it , and shared it with everyone I know! I love Stefanies’s patterns and have a few right now OTN!!!

  3. Great article! It is interesting that Stephanie is musically creative along with the fiber arts. I retweeted on Twitter to spread the word about the interview.

  4. I love the patterns from Tiny Owl Knits. I particularly love the quilt, like most of my friends on Ravelry, and am planning to make it some day. Great interview!

  5. I just posted on my facebook page about your contest. I love the pictures I’ve seen of the items you make. I wish I had the ability to make my own patterns!

  6. I love Stephanie’s knitting and her singing. I have several of her patterns and she just makes me smile. She’s a little faerie spreading sunshine with her patterns and her voice.

  7. i ‘liked’ tiny owl knits over on facebook, posted a comment, & linked this article to my comment – oh, & signed up for a news-owl! please enter me into the giveaway. great article – i enjoyed reading it!

  8. I think I fell in love, first with the patterns and then with the spirit of the designer who created them. I can’t wait to start collecting and knitting the patterns and pretend I live in the world of fairies and gnomes.

  9. I signed up for the tiny owl knits newsletter.

    When my husband saw the “hopsalot” slippers on my Facebook page he asked if I would make him a pair!

  10. I love the patterns and imagination of this designer, thank you for interviewing her. Hope all my likes and links I did on her blog and patterns has made it to facebook. The knitting patterns are easier to deal with than all this techie stuff. : )

  11. I love stephanie’s patterns my sister knot me a fox scarf for x-mas last year. it is fun to read your great interview and learn more about the design process. I am going to hop over to tiny owls website and sign up to follow right now. would love to win a pattern too.

  12. I love Tiny Owl Knits!!!! Her patterns were the second, third and fourth patterns I ever purchased. I learned to knit many years ago, but only knit sporadically until her patterns inspired me to start knitting again consistently. Thank you, Stephanie for your creativity and whimsy!

  13. I think Hopsalot was one of the first patterns I queued on Rav, still trying to work my nerve up to actually attempt them! Lovely interview..

  14. DEFINATELY signed up to rec’ve the owl posts – LOVE LOVE LOVE this designer – I know what my fall project will be (or at least where it will come from). Thanks fro bringing this to us, Liat!!!
    Marci French
    Cannon Falls, MN

  15. What a great article! And I just love the deer antler hat – how have I missed it before?!
    I”ve signed up for an owl and pinned this and the hat pic on Pinterest.

  16. I think her designs are so creative! I signed up for the News Owl and Pinned and Purchased the beekeeper’s quilt pattern. Count me in for the darling slipper giveaway!

  17. As owner of Alli Mae’s Fibernation, a yarn shop in Gladwin, Michigan – I would love to state that you are a true inspiration to me! Thanks so much! Love your work!!! – Signed up for blog and told tons of people about ya! Thanks!

  18. Liat & Stephanie – 2 of my favorites in one place – heavenly!
    I get requests from friends for gifts – “hey, my birthday is coming up, could you knit up one of those adorable tiny owl knits something or other for me? Pleeeeeeease?”

  19. Those bunny slippers are so cute. I just have to make a bunch of them. My kittens will be chasing me all over the house!

  20. This is what I posted on Pinterest with a picture of this fantastic quilt that I hope to make someday! “The famous “Beekeeper’s Quilt” @ Tiny Owl Knits. So many great and unique patterns on this blog!”

  21. Loved the interview, and loved ‘meeting’ the designer and discovering her patterns. I agree with you about her music, too; just beautiful (as is she).

    After commenting on Stephanie’s blog, I ‘pinned’ this on Pinterest, where it would get much more coverage (lots of followers) than on facebook, where the majority of my friends & family are non-knitters.

    You did a great job with the interview. :-)

  22. I signed up for her newsletter (she’s so “bubbly”!); I liked on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, your blog & I bought the “Beekeepers Quilt” pattern – which, of course, I should NOT have done! It’ll take me years to get it done!

  23. How have I missed Tiny Owl Knits all this time? I subscribed to her newsletter and shared the interview on FB. I never win these things, but if I do, I’ll have the hardest time deciding between the fairy castles and the Where the Wild Things Are hoodie & crown! Divine!

  24. i love your stuff and stephanie’s as well. the world of faery has a wonderful lobbyist. my only problem is the felting. i can’t work with wool. severe allergy. and i just don’t like felting. i worked hard on those stitches i don’t want them to disappear. but i have printed acouple of patterns and will work on altering them to reasonable sized needles and or crochet. i love the concepts. i know i won’t win anything but i have signed up for owls and will save my pennies until i can afford the woodland hoodie.

  25. I tried to resist, I really tried, but I was compelled to purchase the beekeeper’s quilt pattern! O my goodness, I love this designer!

  26. I pinned the bunny slippers to one of my boards and commented on the tiny owl knits blog. I’d love to make the bunny slippers. It would make my dogs crazy chasing those little ears around! (I’d put them up out of dog reach when not wearing, never fear!)

  27. sigga dúllumús

    Pinned it,read and commented and signed up for the newsletter. Really love finding out about awesome designers like her. :-D

  28. So hoping to make that hexy-quilt some day soon. Would love a basket of little puffies to add to. Got my fingers crossed and all my toes that I might win a pattern! Which makes it very hard to type another word….

    from VT,
    the Vermonster

  29. I pinned this article and hope to make the bunny slippers! I wish I had known about her shop the last time I was in Nashville! Maybe next time …

  30. I have some patterns from TOK, and was delighted to see several new ones! I left a note at TOK’s blog. I am working on my hexipuffs, and I’m in TOK’s rav group and it’s a lot of fun. Love listening to her music while I knit. Thanks for the interview, that was excellent!

  31. Noor Kirchmeier

    I dont know how to knit but I have been trying very hard to have the patience and when I see pattern like this, it makes me want to strive to learn how to knit. Thank you.

    1. Noor, I know you can do it! Just keep following the blog and staying connected on the Facebook page. You will totally be able to do all of this. Just follow the steps in the Intermediate Scarves and Stitches course, and if you get stuck, I’m here to help.

  32. I am working on the Beekeepers Throw right now…the perfect portable project!! I’m using KPPPM and the colors are amazing!!
    I left a comment on FB about my project, the interview and album too…plus posted pics.
    I signed up for new alerts from the Owl site and am headed back there to check out the patterns!! Love the long long sleeves on the sweaters!! :-)
    I’m ready for my free pattern now!! LOL

  33. TerryLee Diemert

    Hi
    I just finished reading about your visit with the Knitting Fairy Princess, she is great, love her patterns. It’s funny that she loves owls also myself and my daughter love owls, all my daughter dreamed about while pregant with my grandaugter Sadie was owls. Some one told us that she i going to be very wise, and be apart of healing or medical feild. So i would love to win a pattern form the Fairy Princess.

    Thanks so much
    Sincerley Terry Lee

  34. I love this lady video blogs, she is the fairy queen in fairy knitting land and adorable i could listen to her for hours. she has a gift and is sharing it kudos. I have posted to facebook………

    love Chrissy

    PS dont you get all lovely jobsx

    1. Chrissy, guess what – you won! Thank you so much for sharing and commenting. Stephanie will be emailing you shortly – make sure to go to Tiny Owl Knits and pick the pattern you’d like. Congratulations and happy knitting!

  35. Love your patterns. The quilt is in my LONG list of to-dos! You really MUST come to Stitches South next year. I know we could have a lot of fun. It’s a lot of fun anyway – but from reading your articles you could add even more joy to the vendor floor!!!

  36. Thank you for a really enjoyable article. I am working on the Bee Keeper’s Quilt right now, which is perfect for the summer as you work on just one hexa-puff at a time. It is also a great way to use up that left over yarn.
    I posted on Facebook and signed up for her Owl Newsletter.

  37. Great article. I shared on Google + and signed up for her newsletter. I keep thinking I need to make the Bee Keeper’s Quilt to use up all my sock yarn bits and pieces…..
    Thanks!!

  38. Love the bunny slippers and will subscribe to the Owl posts. Just purchased the Beekeeper’s Quilt pattern this week. The puffs are great to do when you have just a few minutes to work on something.

  39. Catherine Schatz

    I can’t wait to knit the fairy castles DPN holder, simply charming. All the patterns are just that, charming. Joyful.

  40. Great article. I shared on Google + and signed up for her newsletter. I keep thinking I need to make the Bee Keeper’s Quilt to use up all my sock yarn bits and pieces…..
    Thanks!!

  41. TOK is such a sweetheart and I love knitting her patterns and spreading her adorableness to all my friends (one of my non-knitting friends “liked” her on Facebook just because she thinks Steph’s awesome!). I commented on the Mollie Makes post (which I hadn’t read yet!) and, of course, shared this article on Facebook (which I would’ve done anyway because gogo TOK!).

    <3

  42. Fantastic interview! I’ve been a fan of Stephanie ever since I found her patterns on Ravelry and fell in love. My favourite pattern has to be Mr Fox Stole My Heart and I recently knit the mini-fox version (he’s called Freddie)! I link to Stephanie’s blog on my own site and hope maybe one day to design my own patterns… but that’s a looong way away!

    Thank you Liat for the great interview, and thank you Stephanie for your beautiful patterns, music and inspiration. I’ve linked to this interview via Twitter (@bethanyrdean) :)

    Love, Beth xxx

  43. Thank you so much for sharing another talented knitter’s work. I love the patterns. I have a DIL who would love so much of what she has designed. LOVE the bunny slippers……
    FBed and signed up for the news….

  44. Love her patterns! I have Parseltongue in my Rav library, great for HP fans!
    I commented on her blog and signed up for updates. No FB for me.

  45. So adorable — and “fairy princess” describes Stephanie exactly. I love the magic of her knitting and her whimsy is inspiring. Thanks for sharing! :-)

  46. So adorable — and “fairy princess” describes Stephanie exactly. I love the magic of her knitting and her whimsy is inspiring. Thanks for sharing! :-)

  47. Love Tiny Owl Knits!!! Also love the interview. Thank you! I subscribed a very long time ago yo Stephanie’s newsletter, I shared the interview on FB, pinned it and Google+ as well!!!!!

  48. Loved the interview! I signed up for the mailing list and shared the story. Now I just have to hope I’m lucky enough to get a free pattern.

  49. I have followed her knittingn knitted her patterns and love her work. HOW did I not know she also sang. I just listened to ease of her songs on iTunes and MUST have her albums!

  50. Thank you thank you thank you for always sending happy things to my inbox in the daily sea of junk I receive! It’s like finding treasure in a sack of garbage. I loved your Tiny Owls interview; such a fun, creative person! I’ve joined her blog and tweeted (or would it be hooted?) about her. :)

  51. Carolyn Somerville

    Thank you for sharing such a great interview. What an inspirational young woman! I’ve joined her blog and look forward to receiving updates. Thanks!

  52. Thank you so much for this introduction! I had no idea such a magical designer was out there! I subscribed to the Owls and pinned the Fairy Castle photo. I want to make one. :)

  53. Lovely patterns! I G+ed, pinned and signed up for newsletter. I have to make one of the Fairy Castles…so clever!

  54. She’s delightful! Thank you Liat, for the interview, I enjoyed reading it. I’ve subscribed and I’ve “Pinned”, I’d love to win the darling bunny slippers pattern to make for my daughter, who’d love them.

  55. I love Tiny Owl Knits designs. I have several of her patterns. Would love to add another. I tweeted about this great article and became a follower of her blog :)

  56. I love your blog and unique knitting patterns. Have signed up for your newsletter and pinned you on pin interest and tweeted on twitter. :-)

  57. I love Stephanie’s patterns, I am at this moment waiting for the magic treetop bag, freshly felted in my washing machine to dry so i can construct it and use it! I also have a beekeepers quilt on the go! I tweeted and liked this interview.

  58. Lovely interview!! And thank you – I’d heard about the Beekeeper’s Quilt here and there but never by name. I’m so happy to have found the pattern and plan to purchase it as soon as my monthly fibre budget resets come September 1st (if I didn’t have a fibre budget, I’d be eating yarn instead of food, I swear – soft and pretty, but not very nutritious). I tweeted about the interview, and I’m on my way over to Facebook right now to share the link with my crafty friends and family, too.

    1. Shannon, I love that you have a monthly fibre budget. I do, too! It helps me feel great about buying yarn – I don’t have to think twice if the money’s in my budget.

      I’m glad you found the Beekeeper quilt – have a great time knitting it! Thanks for sharing the interview as well.

  59. A wonderful interview with Stephanie! I love her patterns especially the Beekeepers Quilt, which is the reason I picked up my long neglected needles and got back to knitting :D

  60. pinned it and checked out the great blog – signed up for owl news – love it! And my granddaughter would love bunny hopsalot! (she has a bunny named Captain Jumpsalot!)

  61. I shared this brilliant interview on Facebook and Twitter. Thank you so much for interviewing my favourite ever knitwear designer!

  62. I shared this brilliant interview on Facebook and Twitter. Thank you so much for interviewing my favourite knitwear designer!

  63. Shared her amazing interview on facebook. I also signed up for her news owl posts! Can’t wait to get the first one!

  64. I’ve signed up for news owls months ago because Stephanie is so awesome! I tweeted about the interview. Great interview.

  65. Lovely designs! I signed up to get a news-owl and shared this article on Pinterest. I also “liked” the Tiny Owl Knits fb page! The hopsalots are so cute! :)

  66. I recently came across her blog, and fell in love! I read the entire blog, from beginning to end, and loved every bit of it. I left countless comments, and I left another today :)
    I also tweeted about this giveaway!
    -Nicole
    Knit, Nicole, Knit!

  67. I shared this brilliant interview on Facebook, I just love tthe magic of Tiny Owls and all the fantasy of magical moments. thanks for the inspirations. :):)

  68. Signed up for the newsletter, I’ve been keeping the beekeeper mania at bay, but if I win I’m sure it’ll take me over completely!

  69. but, but, but…where’s the pattern for that perfectly simply cozy sweater that Stephanie is wearing while modeling the Where The Wild Things Are Hat?
    I already have the hopsalot pattern (so sweet) and plan to do the woodland hoodlet sometime too,
    But is there a pattern for that great over-sized sweater?

  70. Never mind, I found the pattern! It was the “WEAR the Wild Things Are” jumper pattern I was after. Just thought it was another version of the hat at first. Thank you. Love your patterns.

  71. A girl called Pete

    I love the whimsical! The Woodland Hoodlet is so pretty and I actually like that the cables do not wraparound to the back. I subscribed to Tiny Owl Knits and posted to fb.

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