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Anna G. Larson, Published December 07 2012

Pattern in print

FERGUS FALLS, Minn. - Gretchen Ronnevik, of Fergus Falls, has been hooked on knitting for seven years.

She recently started designing her own patterns, and one of her patterns impressed a national publication. Ronnevik’s soft, blue-knitted “Camille Cardigan” is featured on the cover of the winter 2012 issue of Knitscene.

“I didn’t know that they were going to put it on the cover until the magazine came out,” she says. “That was really thrilling, to even be in the magazine.”

Ronnevik’s husband, Knut, encouraged her to submit the design.

“I said, ‘Someday I’m going to get published there,’ ” she says. “He said, ‘Why wait until someday?’ ”

Coming up with the pattern for the sweater was a challenge, but seeing it on the cover of one of her favorite magazines made it worth it, Ronnevik says.

“I’m just shocked they took it (her submission) right away,” she says. “I really love how they styled the sweater and everything.”

As the mother of four children, whom she homeschools, Ronnevik uses knitting as her stress reliever. She says she often knits while the children play or study, and then tackles the technical aspects of designing patterns at night.

“It sorts my mind,” she says. “I think especially as a stay-at-home mom, it’s important for me to do something to keep me sane so I can be a good mom.”

Ronnevik became interested in knitting because she likes the way knitted garments look as opposed to crocheted garments. A woman at her church taught her the craft.

“I was hooked,” she says.

She first designed patterns for baby and children’s clothing, because the items are smaller. She slowly worked her way into designing patterns for adults, which require more commitment because they’re generally more complicated.

Ronnevik’s patterns are self-published on Ravelry.com under username “nerdygerdy.” Her business, Nerdy Gerdy, is named after the childhood nickname her sister gave her.

Ronnevik plans to continue designing and knitting. She usually comes out with a new pattern every other month, and makes 15 to 20 items a year, she says.

Another one of her designs will be in Knitscene’s summer issue.

When she’s not knitting, Ronnevik writes posts for her blog, He Sows and She Sews, www.hesowsandshesews.com.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Anna G. Larson at (701) 241-5525