About Me

Phydeaux ("fido") Designs is a one woman knitting design company, founded, owned, run and staffed by me, Brenda Lavell. Oh, and my trusty two assistants, Molly and Fiona (who mainly assist by sleeping and leaving the yarn alone, but they do misbehave on a regular basis).

My designs are inspired by what I love to wear:  simple, multifunctional, rustic, original, elegant lines, maybe a touch of whimsy or pretty. 

Think “rustic elegance.”

Originality is very important to me.  I create designs that I would actually wear and use.  I wear and use things for five, 10, 15 years, so you won’t find a lot of super trends at Phydeaux Designs.  (But one might sneak in now and then.)

You can find me in a few different places:

Twitter (though I don’t use it much anymore)

I talk about knitting, life, business management, and other musings on this blog.  I love to talk WITH you on this blog – leave comments!  I nearly always respond (if I don’t, I just missed it is all).

Just like all girls, they share secrets
My assistants, Molly and Fiona
30 things about Brenda:

  1. I’ve lived in California since birth, which was some time ago.
  2. I grew up in the Sierra Nevada mountains, in the high desert, which still inspires my work.
  3. My absolute favorite place to be is sitting on foggy Northern California beach.
  4. Runner up: the beautiful Redwood forests in Northern California.
  5. Which I live on the edge of, right where the Santa Cruz mountains meet the Silicon Valley.
  6. I can hear coyotes howling every night … and it completely creeps me out.
  7. I hate zombie anything – I can’t even look at movie stills – you will never get me to watch one!
  8. My paternal grandmother sort of taught me to knit when I was very young. I can still see her hands holding the knitting needles as she showed me how to cast on.
  9. I was a crocheter as a kid and young adult. I loved crocheting really complicated lace.
  10. I remember my heart stopping when I saw a book of old knitted lace patterns when I was in my 20’s. I didn’t even know you could do that. But it took me another 20 years to learn to do it.
  11. I sewed most of my clothes growing up.
  12. I love cooking beyond belief.
  13. My absolute favorite food on the planet is Vietnamese.
  14. And pizza.
  15. And arugula.
  16. My tortie kitty also loves arugula – she’ll race across the house if I have it out.
  17. I was a vegan in my late 20’s.
  18. I still love tofu – SO good.
  19. “Phydeaux” was one of my kitties when I was young. He was a beautiful little grey and white tiny kitten (eyes still closed!) that my dad and brother found abandoned at a truck stop on the way back from Montana. I raised him from babyhood. I’ve used his name for my creative ventures ever since.
  20. I was born with one talent: to create. I grew up an artist and writer and still dream about going to art school. Maybe I’ll just start painting again.
  21. I am totally addicted to knitting. I’ve knit since childhood, but only super seriously since starting my hand knits business in 2008.
  22. I never, ever, never, thought I would ever design a knitting pattern.
  23. I couldn't read knitting patterns until a few years ago. It always ends up different, because I get impatient and do my own thing.
  24. I couldn’t read knitting charts until earlier this year – and then only because I forced myself to learn.
  25. I rarely design on paper. I am usually designing in my head, then on the needle, then work it out on paper after it’s done.
  26. Despite being creative, I love science and math, even studied premed and worked in a hospital for years.
  27. I ended up working in medical school administration, managing finance and other resources, for even more years.
  28. My degree is actually in Organizational Behavior and Leadership. I’m fascinated in the “why” – why do people do things the way they do?
  29. I just cancelled all of my premium cable channels. Overall, I’m completely okay with this, but suffer the occasional DT.
  30. I get bored quickly talking about myself. I’d much rather hear about you!