Loopy: Thanks for joining us! How long have you been a knitter and who taught you to knit?
Janina: I was taught to knit at school, like all kids in Finland. And I also knitted with my grandma when I was growing up, mostly socks and scarves.
Loopy: It’s so fun all kids learn to knit in Finland. When did you start designing, and what spurred that interest?
Janina: I uploaded my first pattern to Ravelry on 2012, and it grew from there. I never imagined being a “designer”, or making a living playing with yarn and needles, but life can surprise you like that.
Loopy: And we’re grateful for that surprise! Do you have a favorite pattern that you’ve designed?
Janina: I hope I don’t have to pick just one! Herald is a gem, as it’s complete adaptability makes it ideal for any yarn weight and yardage. Winter Starlight is also a favourite, I really love the feather and fan lace, especially with heavier weight, cosy yarn. And Antarktis will always have a special place in my heart – it was the enormous popularity of it that encouraged me to make a leap and put designing a priority. After all these years, it’s still a best-seller and many knitter’s favourite.
Loopy: It’s always so hard to pick a favorite. We’ve seen so many Antarktis shawls in the past couple of years – all of which are beautiful! What is your favorite part of your designing?
Janina: Playing with yarn and coming up with new ideas is always so much fun. But most of all, seeing my patterns knitted and loved by knitters around the world, from Alaska to Australia, is by far the best part.
Loopy: It’s always so special to see what people have created with what you’ve designed. Do you do this business full-time, or on the side? And is that hard?
Janina: Woolenberry is my full-time business, and we have an amazing team of part-time makers, like a photographer, graphic designer, marketing assistant, tech editor, customer support specialist and assisting pattern makers. Sometimes it’s a juggle to run the business, lead our growing team, and still have time to knit and design, too. But I love it all so much, and wouldn’t have it any other way.
Loopy: It’s so helpful to have great team members around you helping! Does anyone else in your family knit?
Janina: Since my grandma passed away, I’ve been the only knitter on our family. Others seem to have been bitten by the crocheting bug. I’ve tried turning my mum to a knitter, but it’s still a work in progress…
Loopy: 🙂 Are there other hobbies that you enjoy?
Janina: Cooking is always so soothing, and I like playing with recipes, especially vegan and raw foods. I also love reading books, listening to music and playing the piano. For moving my body, I especially enjoy yoga and dancing.
Janina: A relaxing day with morning yoga class, delicious vegan brunch, a walk in the woods followed by a sauna and a fun knit night with friends… Heavenly.
Loopy: We’d love one of those days too! Morning or Night person? Coffee or Tea? English or Continental? Solids or Multicolors? 🙂
Janina: I used to be a night person, but lately I’ve found the magic of waking up early. The quietude of the early morning hours is now one of my favourite self-care practices. Continental knitting with solid, muted colours. Coffee in the morning, tea any time of the day.
Loopy: Anything else you’d like to add?
Janina: To stay in the loop of our new pattern releases, sneak peeks and other treats, sign up to our free e-letter on www.woolenberry.com. We also have a friendly and super encouraging Woolenberry Ravelry group. I hope to see you there. Happy knitting!
Janina has given us a 20% off coupon code good from today until October 15! You can use the code woolenberrygoesloopy for a discount on any of Woolenberry’s patterns on Ravelry.
We would love using Fingering weight yarns such as Canon Hand Dyes Charles Merino, Dream in Color Smooshy with Cashmere, Knerd String Fingering, Magpie Fibers Swanky Sock, Malabrigo Sock, Shalimar Breathless, and Uncommon Thread Posh Fingering or Everyday Singles for Janina’s patterns.