Patty Lyons, Knitting Teacher and Designer | Brooklyn, NY Brand Film

I have always loved reading biographies and watching documentary films, especially about people working in the arts, and even more specifically, women in the arts. While I adore making slice-of-life montages for families, I want to tell deeper stories as well. I personally learn so much from listening to others’ stories. They inspire me, and fuel me to learn more, and do more with my time on this planet. I believe that sharing our stories can foster greater understanding between us, and can bring about much-needed change.

Over the past couple of years, I have had the great privilege to tell the stories some amazing women - like Marie, and Blair. And now I am so excited to share the story of my dear friend, Patty.

Patty and I met in 2004, working on a production at Lincoln Center. We were both stage managers… and knitters. We bonded in the shadows backstage, sitting through hours and hours of technical rehearsals with knitting needles in hand. We both approached knitting in very different ways. I chose not to look at or read the pattern before diving into a project, lest I get overwhelmed and not start. I would just take things one row at a time. Patty on the other hand, was much more methodical - reading and measuring and mapping out, and making sure she thoroughly understood each pattern before she cast on. She would digest the construction of the garment and find any errors in a pattern before she even got started! It’s no wonder that she is now a nationally recognized knitting designer and teacher. Her diligence of learning the craft inside and out was, and is, truly inspirational.

What I find most inspiring about my dear friend though, is not how much she knows about knitting construction, but what a shining example she is of how you can change your life’s course after many, many years, and find success down a different road. She has also shown not once, but TWICE, that a career in the arts is absolutely possible (a message that I am so passionate about communicating to young people) - and this is why I am so excited to share this film with you today. I hope you find Patty’s story as inspiring as I do, and perhaps this film will even encourage you to pick up some knitting needles!

If you have a story that you would like to share, in the hopes of inspiring others, I’d love if we could talk about collaborating on a film together. Send me a message at

Stories make us more alive, more human, more courageous, more loving.
— Madeleine L’Engle

Francesca Russell is a documentary-style family photographer and filmmaker located in Garden City South, NY. If you'd like to see more of her recent documentary family photography, head over to her Facebook page or follow her everyday adventures on Instagram. If you are looking for a family photographer or lifestyle videographer on Long Island or in the New York City area to document your family, small business or event, please contact her for more information.