Designer Spotlight: SweaterFreak

Today we have Jenny, aka SweaterFreak in our Designer Spotlight. But don’t let the name fool you – she also designs beautiful Shawls, Wraps, and Cowls, too. I know you will enjoy learning more about her! (All pattern links go to Ravelry, all yarn links go to The Loopy Ewe.)

Four on Six Shawl SweaterFreak
Four on Six Shawl © SweaterFreak (try it in Uncommon Thread Merino DK)

Loopy:  Hi Jenny! Thanks for being with us today. How long have you been a knitter and who taught you to knit?

Jenny: I have been a knitter on and off 1985 to 2006 – I was 7 years old when my grandmother taught me how to knit and crochet, I think I actually started knitting before I knew how to read! In 2006, I decided it was time to knit again and I have never looked back!

Tilted Cowl
Tilted Cowl © SweaterFreak (try it in Uncommon Everyday Singles)

Loopy: How sweet that your grandmother taught you. It’s a fun tradition to pass on down the line! What is your favorite type of item to knit?

Jenny: Sweaters and cowls!

Desert Flower Tee SweaterFreak
Desert Flower Tee © SweaterFreak (try it in Wollmeise Pure)

Loopy: That would have been my guess, based on your design name. 🙂 What is the most challenging thing that you have knit to date?

Jenny: My V-Lace top which is my second pattern remains the most challenging item I made to date:) I don’t like easy beginnings:) In retrospect, it’s actually an easy knit, but was more difficult to grade and write the pattern for, than actually knit.

V-Lace Top
V-Lace Top © SweaterFreak (try it in Wollmeise Pure)

Loopy: Yes, that just kind of boggles my mind, thinking about writing that in all of the different sizes. It’s really a beautiful sweater! When did you start designing, and what spurred that interest?

Jenny: I first dibbed my toes in design in 2011 and I have to credit my late friend and a designer Elena Nodel (aka Anadiomena on Ravelry) with providing encouragement and mentorship in the early stages of my design path.

Loopy: It helps so very much to have a mentor when you undertake big things. I’m glad you had a good one. Do you have a favorite pattern that you’ve designed?

Jenny: My last pattern is usually my favorite – one of my recent patterns absolutely surpassed my expectations when I blocked it, my Neutra Wrap. I adore graphic bold mod patterns in fashion and really wanted to go for that kind of aesthetic on this one and it worked out so well. I am very pleased.

Neutra Wrap
Neutra Wrap © SweaterFreak (try it in Cascade Heritage Silk)

Loopy: That is a really cool pattern! I love the different directions of the stripes. It would be fun to pick yarn colors for that! What is your favorite part of your designing? And your not-so-favorite part?

Jenny: My favorite part is seeing my idea grow, especially when it works out as envisioned, you know that AHA! moment! Not so favorite part is taking the photos – I use myself as a model and with time limitations, it’s always a gamble with lighting and I am not a huge fan of being photographed, but I am getting used to it gradually.

Flower Street Tee SweaterFreak
Flower Street Tee © SweaterFreak (try it in CaMaRose Pimbomuld 2/8)

Loopy: Well since you design such beautiful things, I think it’s safe to say that most people are too buy studying the knitwear to worry too much about the model! Maybe that helps! Do you do this business full-time, or on the side?  And is that hard? Do you have other jobs outside of pattern designing?

Jenny: I do this part time, I have a day job as well. It’s been actually OK to juggle the two, but I am quite well organized and I have to credit my grandmother in instilling excellent work ethic in me and ability to focus, so I have been pretty lucky not to have major difficulties. I also get a lot of support from my husband who is always ready to step in with day to day chores, if I need extra knitting time. This definitely helps a ton!

Perfect Rime Cowl
Perfect Rime Cowl © SweaterFreak (try it in Dream in Color City)

Loopy: It’s good to have support at home, and I’m so glad you’re able to do both. Does anyone else in your family knit?

Jenny: My mom is a sporadic knitters, but she prefers sewing. No one else knits in my family but both of my grandmothers (now both long passed away) were knitters.

Loopy: So you are carrying on the hobby from both of them. I bet they would be pleased. Are there other hobbies that you enjoy?

Jenny: No, knitting is the only hobby I truly love! I tried sewing, but it did not stick. But I do occasionally sew knitting bags!

Mementos Shawl
Mementos Shawl © SweaterFreak (try it in Magpie Swanky Sock)

Loopy: That’s one way to get a knitter sewing – new project bags! What would be your favorite way to spend a day off?

Jenny: Go to the beach and knit! maybe have lunch and then knit!

Triggy Pullover SweaterFreak
Triggy Pullover © SweaterFreak (try it in Uncommon Thread Merino DK)

Loopy: I see a theme in that day off! Glad you have included plenty of knitting. Ok – last sets of questions: Morning or Night person? Coffee or Tea? English or Continental? Solids or Multicolors? 🙂

Jenny: I am an early morning and late night person, I don’t generally sleep a lot naturally:) Definitely coffee! 
I am a combined knitter but I knit continental when in the round. I also learned Irish Collage knitting, which is an English style to vary things up a bit.
I prefer solid yarns to variegated in general except for shawls when you can get a bit more playful and creative.

Escher's Dream Cowl
Escher’s Dream Cowl © SweaterFreak (try it in Sandnes Garn Smart)

Loopy: I’m going to have to look up that knitting style – sounds interesting. Thanks again for being with us today, Jenny! Anything else you’d like to add?

Jenny: I love knitting and wool and I hope people knitting my patterns see the passion behind them. Thank you for having me and giving me the opportunity to do this interview!

Jenny is offering a 20% discount on the pattern of your choice from her Ravelry Pattern shop. The code is: LOOPYEWE and is valid August 20-27. 2021.

Have a great weekend!


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