Designer Spotlight: Heidi Alander

Welcome to this week’s Designer Spotlight! Today, we’re featuring Heidi Alander (also known as Sadelma on Ravelry). You may have seen her patterns Nurmilintu, Eyeblink, and Meadow Grass around in the last few years.

Loopy: How long have you been a knitter and who taught you to knit?

Heidi: In Finland almost every kid (girls at least) learn to knit at school. So I first learned to knit when I was 7 years old. My first finished object was a cowl – it was itchy and there were lots of mistakes but I made it by myself and I was very proud of it.

Loopy: You should be proud of it! It’s always special to look at the first project we do. What is your favorite type of item to knit?

Heidi: Shawls. They are always the right size and there are lots of possibilities to play with colors, stripes, lace… Socks are also nice, but I have severe second sock syndrome. Sometimes I really finish a pair socks, and that is always a fine moment!

Loopy: SSS is always a struggle for sure and definitely a moment to celebrate when you make the second sock. What is the most challenging thing you have knit to date?

Heidi: I don’t actually knit very challenging things. But I remember that Conifer Shawl by Kate Gagnon Osborn was a bit challenging when I knitted that shawl years ago.

Loopy: Conifer is a beautiful shawl, but I can see how it would take some concentration. When did you start designing, and what spurred that interest?

Heidi: My first real pattern is Titanium Shawl. I designed it in 2013. I bought a lovely yarn and thought I should work something special with it. And I just ended up designing my own pattern.

Loopy: I love that! So fun it was a natural move for you. Do you have a favorite pattern you’ve designed?

Heidi: My Satakieli Shawl. It was a Mystery KAL on December 2016. I’ve used my Satakieli a lot, it’s warm and squishy and knitted in lovely Finnish wool called Tukuwool.

Loopy: Satakieli is a beautiful shawl! I love all the color combinations you can do with it. What is your favorite part of your designing? And your not-so-favorite part?

Heidi: The best moment is the moment when the inspiration comes – when I instantly know that I just have to try some new lace pattern or new yarn, and the pattern just comes to my mind. After that it’s mostly hard work, trying, knitting, frogging, calculating… I like the whole process, but sometimes I don’t have the patience to finish the pattern if another idea comes to my mind and I just have to try next pattern idea!

Loopy: Ooh, the struggles of all us in our projects. Do you have other jobs outside of pattern designing?

Heidi: Actually I have master’s degree in Finnish and Finnish literature. I have worked in a yarn store and in an archive. At this time I’m just considering new options, knitting like a maniac and just enjoying life.

Loopy: Sounds beautiful. Do you do this full-time or on the side?

Heidi: Just on the side. I design because I feel that I just can’t be without designing!

Loopy: And we all benefit because of it! Does anyone else in your family knit?

Heidi: Both my grandmothers were knitters. Also my sister knits, it’s super fun because we can speak a lot about yarns, patterns and everything knitterly. And my mother in law knits also. So far my boyfriend doesn’t knit, maybe he will learn in the future!

Loopy: How special you’re able to share your hobby with your sister! Are there other hobbies you enjoy?

Heidi: I like to read a lot. I also like to watch crime series and movies! I spin and crochet sometimes. And I like to go walking with our puppy.

Loopy: So fun you have several different hobbies. What would be your favorite way to spend a day off?

Heidi: I would knit the whole day without any disturbance! At the same time I would watch some good TV series, eat ice cream and just let the knitting flow!

Loopy: We’ll take one of those days too! Morning or Night person? Coffee or Tea? English or Continental? Solids or Multicolors? 🙂

Heidi: I’m absolutely a Morning person, I just can’t stay awake very long. I don’t drink coffee at all, so Tea! I love tea and I drink tea almost every day (when I’m designing, I like to have a teapot near me all the time). I knit the Continental way. Solids or Multis… I like to work with semi-solids, but sometimes multicolors are so stunning also that I just have to have them in my stash!

Loopy: I might need to keep a teapot near my knitting now too! Thanks so much for joining us today. Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Heidi: I want to say greetings for all knitters who have knitted something I designed – thank you! I always get so happy when somebody likes my patterns!

Heidi 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 Heidi’s patterns at this link. (Coupon valid August 18-25).

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