We have Virginia Sattler-Reimer joining us today for our Designer Spotlight. You may have seen her beautiful designs such as 21 Color Slouch, Mora Pearl Cowl, Alice’s Capelet, and Extra Quick and Easy Scarf.
Loopy: Thanks so much for being here! How long have you been a knitter and who taught you to knit?
Virginia: I learned from my mom when I was kid, and probably managed a few inches of garter stitch, but in 2001 I really got obsessed! I had some students in my yoga class from Denmark who always wore these amazing fair isle socks and I was just so completely taken with them. When they told me they had made them, like it was no big deal, I was stunned! That’s what drove me to really learn how to knit and to knit socks. The rest is history…
Loopy: How fun to be inspired by your students. What is your favorite type of item to knit?
Virginia: In some ways it’s whatever I’m going to knit next, but I admit that any fair isle accessory is total joy for me.
Virginia: That’s a tough one.. Well, my first Bohus sweater, Forest Darkness was challenging for being mostly black yarn on size 2.5mm needles… or Chestnut Crescent by the incredible Kieran Foley, his patterns are a lot of fun to knit, but I worked it as a MKAL when it first came out, and that aspect of this one made picking colors tricky. Really what I love most about knitting is that there is always more to learn—about color or a new skill or technique or finishing… Even a simple project can offer you a chance to learn something new, or think about something in a new way.
Loopy: Very true! There’s always something to learn about. When did you start designing, and what spurred that interest?
Virginia: I think I started designing right away, trying new things and figuring out how to make what I had in my mind. I kept a lot of notes when I was a newer knitter, and I made a lot of experiments. I started publishing in early 2014.
Loopy: It’s so fun you started right away. I imagine it might have helped you learn as well. Do you have a favorite pattern that you’ve designed?
Virginia: Another hard question! Well, I wear my Mora Pearl Cowl all the time, it’s a very practical little luxury around my neck! I’m also quite fond of the combination of colors in my Deco Dots Mittens, but then I like the mix of cables and lace in Wild Oak Socks… Hard to pick a favorite!
Virginia: I love playing with the yarn, thinking about what it wants to be, and how to make the most of it. Playing with color. Figuring out the puzzle of how to make an idea work elegantly in a particular project. I don’t really love taking the photos, especially when I have to model!
Loopy: Coming up with the pattern is definitely just like a puzzle. Do you have other jobs outside of pattern designing?
Loopy: It’s fun you’re able to do a few different things. Do you do this business full-time, or on the side? And is that hard?
Virginia: I think of knitting as my “day job” and my yoga classes as my evening work. They compliment each other well, balancing physical activity with my couch sitting and the social and time alone. Because I love both jobs I’m almost always doing one or the other.
Virginia: My grandmother was a crocheting maniac, and I think I get a lot of my creative drive from her. I spent a lot of time with her when I was young and we were always making something together. We’d make little dolls from clothespins, or cut up old greeting cards for collage, always thinking about what we could make out of this or that ordinary thing. My mother was talented at many textile arts, and her “I could make that” attitude rubbed off on all her kids, a gift I am frequently grateful for. My husband can knit (but doesn’t much) and spin, and is a talented needle felter, so between the two of us our house seems to be all about wool, all the time!
Loopy: Our houses are pretty all wool too! Are there other hobbies that you enjoy?
Virginia: I really love stitching stuff, but I’m a beginner, so I’m trying to improve my embroidery skills. I also love to read, hike, kayak, plan projects and collect yarn. (those are hobbies, right?) 🙂
Loopy: Definitely hobbies! What would be your favorite way to spend a day off?
Virginia: A morning hike somewhere beautiful, then curl up with a fresh knitting project using a bowl full of a whole bunch of colors! I’d end the day with a nice meal with my sweetie and a glass of wine!
Virginia: Morning. Coffee in the morning, tea in the afternoon. English. Solids. (all of them!)
Loopy: Anything else you’d like to add?
Virginia: Thank you so much for having me!
Virginia has given us a 20% coupon code good from today until December 22! You can use the code theloopyewe for a discount on a single pattern from Virginia’s Design Store.