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Interview with The Fibre Co.

Recently I got a chance to be interviewed on The Fibre Co. blog in conjunction with the release of my new shawl pattern, Soft River. You can read the full interview below.


TFC: Could you tell us a little about yourself?

Me: As long as I can remember my mom has told me how much I take after my paternal grandmother whom sadly I never got to meet. We had a lot of her stash of yarn, fabrics, notions, and tools — even a sewing machine. I loved to go through the buttons in her old coffee jar, touching and smelling them, pairing them up. Growing up I was always making stuffed toys and doll clothes, either sewn, knitted or crocheted, so I guess the idea of designing my own stuff has always been there.

My Grandma Helvi

In school I loved math and languages, and in university majored in a field that combines them both: international business. (I actually hold a PhD in international marketing.) And I’ve always been very geeky: things like numbers, computer code, and statistics come very naturally to me — and there’s surprisingly lot of all them in designing! Even though I’ve started designing knitwear only a couple of years ago I feel it’s all come together very organically, pulling from my passion as a child, my university background, and the drive to constantly learn more. TFC: What is your design philosophy? Me: Basically I design what I love to wear myself! My aim is to design timeless and elegant pieces with clean lines, something that won’t go out of style and that you’ll still want to wear years after knitting. My designs are fairly straightforward but always with some interesting element, such as an eye-catching detail or clever shaping. I also love to play with contrasts, be it in color or texture.

Inspiration for Soft River

TFC: What inspired this pattern? Me: This shawl was inspired by long-exposure photographs of running streams. Very long shutter speeds create the impression of gently flowing water over smoothed river rocks. I wanted to capture the same soothing, calming, and peaceful atmosphere with the design. TFC: What is your favourite part of the design and why? Me: My favorite part of the shawl is that it’s reversible — there is no wrong side! You can wear it either with the stockinette side showing, and the garter stitch cables on the edges give an interesting textural difference. Or, you can wear it with the reverse stockinette side up for a slightly different look. Many knitters like to avoid purling if they can but I think reverse stockinette is such a beautiful and interesting texture.

Soft River from the Reverse Stockinette Side

TFC: Tell us about the yarn you used. Me: Meadow is a wonderfully light, yet warm blend of merino, llama, silk, and linen. It is just ideal for a lightweight accessory shawl for the spring and summer. The unique blend of fibers makes the knitted fabric hold its shape very crisply — and still the shawl drapes and flows beautifully, like water. I must say I fell in love with yarn while knitting this shawl! I kept imagining more and more new designs I could make with it.

The Fibre Co. Meadow in "Bluebonnet"

TFC: What advice would you give to knitters wanting to cast on for this shawl? Me: The shawl is quite easy to knit: there’s just stockinette, garter stitch, increases, and decreases. Once you’ve done one repeat you already know how to do the rest of the body, and the border is just a variation of the same. There’s this wonderfully rhythmic flow with the knitting, and the cable turns make excellent checkpoints along the way. The shawl size is also very easy to adjust to make it custom-sized.

Soft River

You can find out more about Soft River on the pattern page and on Ravelry.


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Interview with The Fibre Co.

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About the author

Susanna Winter is a knitwear designer, creating timeless and elegant pieces with clean lines. She has been knitting for over 20 years, knit blogging since 2007, and designing knitting patterns professionally since 2016.

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