Today we have Emilie Luis from Atelier Emilie in our Designer Spotlight. Emilie lives in France near the city of Bordeaux with her husband and 3 boys. Her designs are beautiful and many are knit with two strands held together to make them even more luscious. I know you’ll enjoy meeting her here. (Pattern links go to Ravelry, yarn links go to The Loopy Ewe.)
Loopy: Hello Emilie! Thank you for being in our Spotlight today. How long have you been a knitter, and who taught you to knit?
Emilie: Hello Loopy! The first person to put knitting needles in my hands was a grand mother when I was about 10 years old. But I did not continue. On the other hand, I have always had thread between my fingers when embroidering (cross stitch, canvas, embroidery, traditional, crochet). It was not until adulthood during my second pregnancy that I wanted to get back to knitting. My mom gave me the basics and then I learned a lot on my own thanks to the youtube videos. And it’s been almost 15 years now that I haven’t stopped knitting.
Loopy: It’s interesting how many people learned at a younger age, didn’t keep up with it, but then came back to it in adulthood. (Same with me.) I’m glad you came back to it! What is your favorite type of item to knit?
Emilie: What I prefer to knit is what I want to wear. Most of the time it is therefore more of a sweater or cardigan type garment. Not necessarily something complicated to knit but with nice finishes.
Loopy: You do have really pretty yarn combinations and details in your sweaters. They are beautiful and wearable. What is the most challenging thing that you have knit to date:
Emilie: It is not a complicated model to knit but I will answer you my Colette cardigan. This is the first model for women that I designed. And the challenge was especially for the gradation of the pattern. I was really starting from scratch in this area and I remember those evenings spent with my notebook, my pencil, my calculator, my meter and measuring my vest, doing and redoing calculations. It was a real challenge for me.
Loopy: That seems to be the most challenging part of designing sweaters – having to figure out the stitches and counts for so many different sizes. It doesn’t sound like fun. But all of us out here knitting your patterns appreciate the time you put into making it for many different sizes. When did you start designing, and what spurred that interest?
Emilie: The design almost came about by chance. I hadn’t been a knitter for many years, but I wanted to knit a little cardigan for my 3rd child. I knew what I wanted it to look like. So I did some calculations and the little Circus vest was born. I was then encouraged to offer it in several sizes and my taste for design was born.
Loopy: It’s a cute pattern, and fun that it was born from a desire to knit it for your own child. Do you have a favorite pattern that you’ve designed?
Emilie: I don’t really have a favorite model. Each one has their own story, it can be the way the idea came to me, the collaboration from which it stems, the photo shoot, a new construction or technique, …On the other hand, there are certain models that I wear much more often, like my Luz vest, reverie or boom for example.
Loopy: You probably never have time to reknit your favorite patterns in all of your favorite colors, do you? But the ones you wear most often are always the best. What is your favorite part of your designing? And your not-so-favorite part?
Emilie: My favorite part of the design is when it comes time to knit where the bulk of the calculations and construction are done. Knitting is then just a moment of rest. My least favorite moment is the gradation of the pattern. I’m not a math fan at all 🙂
Loopy: I’m not a math fan, either! Do you do this business full-time, or on the side? And is that hard? Do you have other jobs outside of pattern designing?
Emilie: Atelier Emilie is not my only job. I am at the same time a nanny. These two jobs are done at home which is an advantage in my opinion. But to combine all of this is also very addicting. On the other hand, I admit that my days are very busy! Because it is necessary to be able to insure several caps. And I would like to be able to focus my time solely on design.
Loopy: Your days do sound busy. Designing and knitting must be a good way to relax in between all of the activities. Does anyone else in your family knit? Would you like to tell us about your family?
Emilie: Knitting is a story of transmission. My grandmother and my mother knit. It was my grandmother who surprised me but it was my mom who was very passionate about it. I’ve always seen her knit. I did not want to force my children (I have 3 boys aged 18, 14 and 9) to learn but I suggested to them if they wanted to try. It was only my youngest son who said yes. And to my surprise he very quickly understood the movement of the needle and the hand. He then wanted to make a sling for a friend’s baby and to date it must be 10 cm high :))) And I don’t think it will go any further. My husband and my children don’t knit, but they help me a lot in my business. They’re the ones who take the photos or help me make the website, for example. And their support is very precious.
Loopy: It’s nice that one of your three wanted to learn. Maybe the other two will give it a try at some point in life. But it sounds like they all appreciate what you do and are happy to help you with it. Are there other hobbies that you enjoy?
Emilie: I really like needlework, embroidery, crochet. I spend very little time on it but I like to see what can be done with a thread. I also really enjoy going for walks in the countryside with a camera in my hand. I’m not a great photographer but I like to capture a moment, a smile, a feeling of peace, of happiness in a snapshot. And then it makes pretty memories.
Loopy: You probably also get inspiration for future knitting designs in those walks in nature! What would be your favorite way to spend a day off?
Emilie: A dream day off would start early. I love the morning light and the calm atmosphere before the whole house wakes up. So it would start with a few knitted stitches, then I would take my husband, our children, a picnic, my camera and my knitting, and we were off to the ocean.
Loopy: That sounds like a perfect day of time alone and time with loved ones. And a picnic at the ocean! Ok, last question: Morning or Night person? Coffee or Tea? English or Continental? Solids or Multicolors?
Emilie: For some questions I am very uncertain to make a choice, but now I have all the answers without thinking! Morning / Tea / English / Solids.
Loopy: Thank you again for being with us today, Emilie. It was fun to get to know you a little bit.
Emilie is offering you 20% off of one of her patterns in her Atelier Emilie Ravelry shop. The code is: LOOPY and that is valid April 16-23, 2021.
Have a great weekend!