Today we’re happy to have Heidi Kirrmaier in our Designer Spotlight. Heidi has some really great sweater and shawl patterns out there, which I’m sure you’ll recognize below. I’ve had Shellseeker in my favorites for a long long time. Still want to make it. It just looks so comfy. I know you’ll have fun getting to know a little more about her today, and be sure to read to the bottom for a special offer!
Loopy: Hi Heidi – thanks for joining us on the blog today! So how long have you been a knitter and who taught you to knit?
Loopy: That’s a young age to start! Nice that you have been at it all along. What is your favorite type of item to knit?
Heidi: Long cardigans, pullovers with lots of positive ease, and anything in linen.
Heidi: Probably sweaters involving stranded color-work. I’m still not very proficient at it. But honestly, I usually keep my knitting rather uncomplicated. I knit to enjoy myself, and the things I like to wear tend to be uncomplicated as well.
Heidi: Now that I think back, I started designing a long time (decades…) ago, without even knowing that’s what I was doing. I almost always made up my own patterns in my teens and twenties out of necessity given the lack of resources (and imagine, no internet!). I also love fashion and making things by hand and have always been particular about what I wear, so the idea of custom making clothing really appealed to me. The first patterns I created for someone other than myself were for my sister. Then when I joined Ravelry and posted a little creation called ‘Buttercup’ in 2009, some people asked if I’d write the pattern. So I did, and the rest is history! I learned so much – and still do – from everyone who knits my patterns. I find it really fascinating how technology has enabled the revival of this wonderful, ancient craft.
Loopy: Buttercup is a cute pattern and perfect for this time of year. And with 21,000+ people having favorited it on Ravelry, you know it’s a good design! Do you have a favorite pattern that you’ve designed?
Heidi: That’s a tough question. My favorites are different depending on whether I view them from a designing, knitting, or wearing perspective. Off the top of my head, maybe Pipit, Deep End, and Snowbird, respectively.
Loopy: Hmm – I like that way of looking at them – designing, knitting, wearing. What is your favorite part of your designing? And your not-so-favorite part?
Heidi: Aside from coming up with “the idea” which is always exciting, I get totally absorbed in the calculations and breaking the design into bite-sized knit-able components, and challenging myself to keep the instructions and the knitting process as simple as possible without compromising the design and wear-ability of the finished product. What I find frustrating is knitting the sample, not because I don’t enjoy knitting, but because of how long it takes to get tangible proof of the concept!
Loopy: Thank you for keeping the instructions simple for all of us! Do you have other jobs outside of pattern designing?
Loopy: Do you do this business full-time, or on the side? And is that hard?
Heidi: I design on the side, and occasionally it is hard. But overall, designing really balances my life and forces me not to think about my day job as much as I know I otherwise would.
Heidi: In addition to both of my sisters and my mother, several aunts and my paternal grandmother (most of whom have now passed away) were excellent knitters. The generations before me were all born and spent their childhoods in Germany, and I think knitting was just considered a basic life skill every girl learned growing up there. With this heritage, you might say I could hardly avoid it :). I am incredibly grateful for it. Knitting has also strengthened the bond between me and my sister over time by giving us a common passion, not to mention she’s a very reliable and meticulous editor and test-knitter.
Heidi: Lots! But the ones I manage to squeeze in between designing and day to day life primarily revolve around the outdoors, including cross country skiing, running, and gardening (when there is no snow to shovel).
Loopy: What would be your favorite way to spend a day off?
Heidi: After sleeping in and having the best cup of coffee possible… in the winter, I would knit all morning and cross country ski in the afternoon. In the summer, I would run in the morning, and sit outside and knit in the afternoon. If I was lucky enough to have more than one day, I’d take off to a tropical beach or go exploring in a big city like New York or Berlin, including shopping, museums and enjoying a few good meals.
Heidi: I seem to have anticipated these questions :). Night. Coffee. Continental. Solids.
Loopy: Anything else you’d like to add?
Heidi: I really appreciate everyone’s interest in my designs, and I hope you’ll keep enjoying them!
Heidi is offering $1.50 off any one of her patterns from today (May 15) through next Friday (May 22) with the code: theloopyewe . She also offers 20% off if you purchase 4 or more of her patterns at the same time. Pop on over and check out all of the beautiful designs and pick your favorite!
P.S. Don’t forget – today (May 15th) is the last day to order your Camp Loopy Project One Fabric with the special discount!