Today we’re showcasing the beautiful designs by Susanna IC. You’ve seen her designs in Knitty, Twist Collective, Wool People, Interweave, Knitscene and more. She is a prolific designer! All of her designs are gorgeous and I’m happy to have her here today.
Loopy: Hi Susanna! Thanks for being our featured designer today. How long have you been a knitter and who taught you to knit?
Susanna: Hi Loopy! I’ve been knitting for about 14 years. When my older son was 6 months old and I relaxed into the baby routine, I found that I had a little extra time on my hands while he was sleeping. As an artist, I’ve been creative all my life and I really missed that, but I did not have time for painting or sculpture anymore. I also thought that making cute baby sweaters would be fun, so I decided to give knitting a try. I picked up a how-to knit book and instantly fell in love.
Loopy: It was probably a good way to relax, after a busy day with a baby! What is your favorite type of item to knit?
Susanna: Looking at the majority of my designs I guess you would say that I live for shawls. Well, that’s true, I absolutely adore creating shawls of all sorts, but I really love all knitting. Lace, cables, texture, accessories, garments… I love it all.
Loopy: I was mostly just familiar with your shawls, but it was fun to see that you have designed other pretty things as well. What is the most challenging thing that you have knit to date?
Susanna: That’s a hard question to answer, since any new technique is usually a challenge to master. The first lace shawl I’ve ever made took me forever because I had to concentrate on every stitch of that simple lace pattern; however, that same shawl would be a quick no-brainer project now. First time entrelac was a confusing concept to wrap my head around, but again, after a few repeats this became easy and fun as well.
Susanna: To be honest, my first swatch was not only the back of my first baby sweater, but also my first knitted design. Learning to knit alone from a book, I did not even realize that there were knitting patterns to follow, so I just sort of made it all up as I went along. I do have a background in fashion design and I’ve sewn all my life, so the designing part of knitting came naturally.
Loopy: Well that is certainly impressive! I guess it ended up being a good thing that you didn’t have someone sit down and show you how to knit from a pattern, in this case. Do you have a favorite pattern that you’ve designed?
Susanna: In addition to whatever new design is currently on my needles, Annis and Abrazo have to be my sentimental favorites. These two designs were the catalysts that led me to develop the short row method of shaping crescent shawls. Originally, I wanted to make bottom-up semi-circle shawls, but things were not working out the way I imagined. After much ripping and frogging, I thought of trying some short rows to get the shape. I’ve never really worked with short rows that much, but I love experimenting and the way these crescent shawls turned out after blocking was an amazing surprise.
Susanna: I love the moment of inspiration. This can come from anywhere, nature, books, movies, yarn color… After that, watching the vision come to life on the needles is a great feeling and blocking lace is always a wonderful surprise. I even like the math of knit design. What I could do without is the actual pattern writing – I’d rather be knitting!
Susanna: I am a stay at home mom, so this knitting obsession that has morphed into a job is perfect for me. I can work on my designs in between all the usual day-to-day activities. Sometimes I use my knitting as an incentive and a reward for getting all the necessary chores done…
Susanna: I would have to guess that the amount of time I spend on designing is equal to a full-time job, but I don’t see it that way. It is something that I love to do, so it never feels like work. The one thing I did not anticipate is meeting and talking to knitters from all over the world through Ravelry, my website, and social media. This does take up a fairly large chunk of my time, but I love every minute of it and I can’t even picture my life without it anymore.
Susanna: My mom knows how to knit but prefers to crochet. My grandmother was a great knitter; whenever she had a free minute, there would be needles in her hands. She taught me how to crochet when I was five or so, and she wanted to teach me how to knit as well, but she was left-handed, and I just could not figure out how to mirror her movements and form the stitches with my right hand.
Susanna: Besides creative arts, I love to read. I read whenever I can, squeezing in at least a few minutes every day before I fall asleep.
Loopy: What would be your favorite way to spend a day off?
Susanna: A day off? What is this you speak of???
Susanna: Mornings, with a lot of coffee. Neither, the strange way I knit could be best described as combination knitting. Definitely solids and tonals.
Loopy: Thanks for your time today, Susanna!
Susanna is offering our Loopy blog readers 20% off of one of her patterns of your choice between today (Friday, September 4) and next Friday (September 11th) with the code: TLEDS. Have fun picking out something fun!
Sheri and The Loopy Ewe Crew