We’re back with another Designer Spotlight! We’d love to introduce you to Andrea Mowry (known as dreareneeknits on Ravelry). Andrea designs beautiful patterns, all of which are cozy. You may have seen her most popular pattern, Find Your Fade, released this past December. We recommend checking out her other patterns as well!
Loopy: Thanks for joining us today Andrea! How long have you been a knitter and who taught you to knit?
Andrea: I feel so lucky that my grandma taught me to knit as a child! If she hadn’t, I don’t know that I would be doing this today!! She taught me when I was around 9 years old, but I really got obsessed with knitting in my late teens. So I would say that I have been a “knitter” for about 15 years.
Loopy: What a special memory to have your grandma teach you! What is your favorite type of item to knit?
Andrea: I love to knit all the things, and usually have a number of different projects on my needles. But my happy place is definitely shawls! They are the perfect canvas for me to play with color and texture and explore my creativity.
Loopy: Shawls are definitely fun to brainstorm ideas with and plan colors. What is the most challenging thing that you have knit to date?
Andrea: Hmmm, this is a great question! As a designer, challenges come in a different way. Sort of like to trying to put together a puzzle, which can sometimes lead to lots of trial and error. When I was designing Ronan for Brooklyn Tweed, I had never knit a garment like that before and really had to play around to get the details to work out just as I wanted them to! It was challenging to figure out, but super satisfying!
Loopy: It is always nice to figure out a challenging problem! When did you start designing, and what spurred that interest?
Andrea: Since I first began seriously knitting in my teens, I would create my own little patterns and projects. It was before Raverly, and patterns weren’t as accessible then. I referenced a lot of Elizabeth Zimmerman books, which are so empowering, and I would just throw caution to the wind and try things out! When I was pregnant with my daughter I left my job as a pastry chef, and I finally had the space in my life to really give designing a serious go. I’ve never looked back!
Loopy: It’s so interesting you were a pastry chef! We’ll be happy to test anything you make 😉 And what a special opportunity, then, being able to spend time focusing on designing. Do you have a favorite pattern that you’ve designed?
Andrea: I have so many favorites, for different reasons! Right now I am really loving on my Briochealuscious shawl. It is so fun to wear and I am obsessed with its playful brioche border. My Yoga Shawl is also at the top of my list, as I love how versatile it is, with so many different ways to wear it!
Loopy: Briochealuscious looks so fun and your Yoga Shawl just looks so warm. What is your favorite part of your designing? And your not-so-favorite part?
Andrea: My favorite part of designing is definitely the knitting! To be honest, I really love all aspects of designing – even the tedious computer work! But physically knitting the sample would be at the top, and computer work at the bottom 🙂
Loopy: It’s fun to hear you like all the work. I do think it would be most fun to see how the sample works up as you’re knitting. Do you have other jobs outside of pattern designing?
Loopy: That’s awesome. Do you do this business full-time, or on the side? And is that hard?
Andrea: Up until just a few weeks ago I was doing it whenever I could find time as I raised my two young children at home. Thanks to my husband now being home with the kids, I am able to work full time. I am so thrilled, as I really love what I do! I work from home, so I still get to be with my children, it’s just a little easier to focus now 😉
Loopy: What a great husband 🙂 Does anyone else in your family knit?
Andrea: My grandma still knits afghans and dishcloths! I have taught 2 of my sisters to knit, and the 3rd crochets a bit – but none of them seem to have been bit by the bug! I also taught my nephew who was a real natural, and I am hoping he continues to play around with it!
Loopy: It’s fun to be able to share your hobbies with others in your family and hopefully your nephew will stick with it! Are there other hobbies that you enjoy?
Andrea: I used to be a chef, and will always love cooking and playing in the kitchen. I really enjoy embroidery and am really excited to expand my sewing skills.
Loopy: I bet your family appreciates what you make in the kitchen! What would be your favorite way to spend a day off?
Andrea: Family time! My husband is a musician and it is really easy for us to just always be working. We really try to schedule in solid time to just be a family! Of course, that still involves lots of music and knitting, just in a less “work-focused” sense. An ideal day off would be making a fun breakie with my daughter, going on a family walk, and then sneaking in some knitting time while sitting next to my hubs as the kids play!
Loopy: Sounds like a great day! Morning or Night person? Coffee or Tea? English or Continental? Solids or Multicolors? 🙂
Loopy: Anything else you’d like to add?
Andrea: Thanks for having me!!! xoxo
Andrea has provided us with a coupon code (theloopyewe) valid from today through next Friday, for 20% off of one of her patterns of your choosing, via Ravelry. You can find all of Andrea’s patterns at this link. (Coupon valid August 4-11).