I’ve been thinking about so much lately, getting stuck in my own head. I hear myself giving my son rules of things we should do, things we shouldn’t do… I see myself as an adult constantly working on fitting in with societal expectations– with following the rules. This is all good, mind you. For me, though, there’s a big component of my actions and behavior that I qualify as being authentic. It’s being true to myself. It’s caring less about what others think I *should* be doing, and instead doing what feels authentically me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to be argumentative about anything, or trying to break any rules. I’m just recognizing the value I place on authenticity of self. Of being the person to wear the outfit that feels good. Of being the person that speaks up with often unpopular opinions. Of being the person who questions things.

My dad bought me this stamp when I was… 5? 6? Not sure. Having a less common first name means you rarely find personalized things! Imagine my delight in having my own personalized stamp. It’s not wonder I’ve kept it through all these years. It has a whimsy to it, right? I’ve used it to sign greeting cards and label items, both personal and professional, because it feels authentically me.

I tend to encourage those around me to amplify their own personal qualities, to be the best versions of themselves. Throughout years of college design teaching, I encouraged my students to be the best versions of themselves in their design endeavors and beyond. I cringed when they presented their work saying “Shana told me to ____”. Do it because it feels like you! You can say “Shana and I discussed some ideas, and I decided to _____”. See the difference in those statements? The former is about doing what you *think* someone wants you to do, and the latter is about conferring and making your own choice.

Student project, 2011. One of my favorite parts about this is the placement of the horn and strobe just above the project.

This image is a part of a final project a student created in one of my design studios in 2011. I co-authored and co-taught an architecture design studio relating to sensory perception within design. I had encouraged this student to work on a drawing throughout the semester, living with it on the wall in his room. I remember cringing when he presented this: “Shana told me to put a paper on the wall and create a drawing all semester long.” Really? Did you just say that?? And then he quickly followed up with saying “And I wasn’t sure why, but I gave it a try, and here’s what I have.” Now, 9 years later, I’m struggling to remember what this collage was about (whoops) but I remember a change in my own emotions, a growing confidence in knowing that he took the advice to just create without expectation of the final outcome, without knowing what it should look like in the end. He used this as a living learning document, and added to his toolbox of design and problem-solving techniques.

Wow this isn’t at all where I thought this post would go, and that’s totally fine! Let’s get back to what I hoped to leave you with.

I resurrected a blog and I’m developing a website and newsletter that I hope truly reflect who I am. I don’t anticipate having glossy polished content or posts with systematic regularity. I do anticipate being authentically me: writing when I feel like writing, sharing a funny story or observation, or talking about my design process. I think this is ok, because it feels like me, and I’m alright.

Blogging + Shoes + Memories

More than a decade ago, I had a blog. It was a fun way to share thoughts with friends, a fun way to connect with those near and far. Several of my friends had blogs also, and we all subscribed to each other’s feeds. I remember the anticipation of seeing a new post from a friend, and truly enjoyed reading each post, however long or short. I found my old blog (and even shared it with a few others!) and smiled while reading through it, remembering where I was while writing the posts. It’s amazing to me to be able to read through something I previously wrote, or see a photo I took, and immediately transport to a different place and time. Memory is powerful. It is sometimes painful, sometimes joyous, but the power of memory means a lot to me (more on that in another post, at another time).

shoes + discarded waffle pretzels, 2009.

If you followed my old blog, or my old flickr account, you would see I took a lot of pictures of my feet. A LOT. I have a relatively vivid memory of taking this photo, having just walked out a store on a busy downtown street, and seeing this array of pretzels. I remember crafting the story of the pretzels: did the bag pop open and they all fell out? Was someone startled and knocked them over? Did 2 people get in an argument and 1 person threw pretzels at the other? So many possibilities, and the answer isn’t really necessary. What was necessary, though, was to take a photo of my feet, standing in that place, wondering about the pretzel story.

Shana’s shoes at construction sites, 2006 or 2007-2008.

My obsession with taking photos of my shoes in different places started quite by accident. I followed a project through construction and attended weekly job site meetings. (NOTE: I am pretty sure none of these footwear options are or were OSHA compliant. Hush.) I took the first photo here when fiddling with something on the camera, and then later in the day when I uploaded the photos to the project file, decided to leave it in rather than delete it. Maybe that’s like an ‘easter egg’ in a video game? (or maybe I’m trying too hard. HA!) Anyway, the following week at the same site, the floor had been tiled, and I thought it would be funny to take the same photo (second pic in the grid) BUT THIS TIME ON PURPOSE. A colleague of mine told me he could always tell which site photos were mine due to the gratuitous shoe photos. I decided to keep going. And going. And going. And you know what? Looking back at this series, or any of the other *cough* HUNDREDS of photos of my shoes, I can remember being there. Maybe not all the details, but something about the experience. And to me, that means a lot.

I like categories, lists, memories, and sorting. I like finding new relationships between things. Revisiting my old blog– “Vintage Shana”, if you will– is bringing a new energy to my creative space. Let’s see where this goes next.

Mixing Media

In addition to my knitting and design swatches, sketches, and written notes, I have an architectural drafting table with paper, pencils, and some extra fiber. I am slowly developing mixed media techniques to express myself.

Drafting table with gray and white opaque paper, various pencils, trace paper, a utility knife, and gray wool fiber.
Shana S. Cohen, 2019-2020. All rights reserved.


A ‘knit drawing’, if you will. I created this ‘architectural drawing’ out of yarn / knitting rather than graphite or in. I knit the ‘paper’ and built on top of it. The ‘paper’ size is similar to a sheet of Arches, my favorite for actual drawings. It’s a basic section of a house, filled with architectural lines, including a ‘highlighter’ line, all covered with a ‘veil’ of something else… something both trying to suppress and allowing some to escape. The lineweights are thick and thicker– the essence of true shanalines– with 2 sneaky thin ones.

Eponymous, 2019. Shana S. Cohen, all rights reserved.

So it’s me, sort of, as the architect slash knitter. The technical slash free form creative expressionist.

Enjoy, or just scratch your head. It’s all good.

Create with Me

I love asking for input on my knitwear designs. I recently gathered information on sizing for an upcoming design. I will update this page as the design continues to develop! If you are interested in a sneak peak, take a look at the video I created to explain sizing:

This is my first version of the design. It is an open ruana created with marled yarns. The title of this design is “Semantics”. Shana S. Cohen, 2020. All rights reserved.

Shanalines Designs on IGTV

I have been starting to share videos on my IGTV channel so you can see how to style some of my knitwear designs! Here is Moduloncho, a fingering weight modular poncho (get it?). I have loved knitting and wearing big shawls for a long time, and came up with this adaptable design to fit a range of bodies with the same amount of yarn. For me, it bridges the gap between shawl or accessory knitting and sweater knitting, which has a lot more places to fit. I share 3 different versions in this video.

And here is Wrapezoid! This trapezoid shaped wrap (I’m telling you, I thoroughly enjoy making up words) is knit with fingering weight yarns held double OR with DK weight yarn. I came up with this idea after looking at elementary school geometry lessons. It fits the bill for my design strategy as it can be styled in multiple ways. I share 2 different versions in this video.

While we can read the suggested pattern gauge and yarn for a design, I do think it is helpful to see how the knit fabric moves in a design. I plan to continue sharing these videos of my other designs. And yes, I’m aware that I pointed to the wrong corner to indicate the Linktree link. Hush.

Make sure you follow me on Instagram to see when I share designs!


Welcome to my website, where I will be sharing my knitwear designs and a bit about my design process in blog entries and sketches. There are also links to purchase my knitting patterns on Ravelry and Payhip, and a link to sign up for my new newsletter. Thanks for stopping by!

Hi! I’m Shana.