Designer Spotlight: Yamagara

Today we have Yamagara designs in our Designer Spotlight. Her designs are beautiful, classic, and timeless. Bernice lives in Singapore in Southeast Asia, and I hope you enjoy getting to know more about her! (Pattern links go to Ravelry, yarn links go to The Loopy Ewe.)

Rail Travel Yamagara
Rail Travel © yamagara (try it in Malabrigo Sock)


Loopy: Hello and thank you for being with us today! How long have you been a knitter and who taught you to knit? 

Yamagara: I was a crocheter before I became a knitter. My journey with yarns began when I taught myself crochet at the age of 6. I spent a big part of my carefree childhood in my maternal grandmother’s multi-generation house surrounded by farms and greenery. One day I discovered a Japanese doily crochet pattern book, a ball of yarn and a crochet hook in the house. It looked like an abandoned hobby by someone in the house. Being a curious and self-entertaining child, I figured out that there were diagrams that matched the photographs of doilies featured in the book, and that by following the symbols in the diagrams, I would be able to create the doilies. The beauty of Japanese crochet books is that diagrams speak a thousand words. Without knowing a word of Japanese I was making one doily after another. 

I did not get to find out who owned the crochet book. No one else in the family did crochet and knitting was unheard of, but the early fascination with crochet was etched on my heart and continued to shape me as I grew up. I was always drawing, making with my hands, sewing something or designing fashion items for my paper dolls.

When I became a teenager, I was fascinated by a knitting book in the public library showing beautiful mohair pullovers. The idea of using two sticks to create fabric was too mysterious to me. I thought I needed lessons but I could not afford lessons nor yarns. It was only 12 years ago, with Youtube as a game changer, that I finally came across a knitting demo. Out of excitement after watching it, I made my first swatch — garter stitches with the back of 2 paint brushes and some acrylic yarn in my art studio (I was then already an art teacher working from my home studio). Quickly I went on to make my first project, a garter stitch scarf with mohair, the most unsuitable yarn, both for a beginner as well as the climate here. Besides Youtube, I relied heavily on Purlbee, before Purl Soho came about, for its beautifully photographed knitting instructions. After I learned the techniques, I moved on to Japanese knitting books and rediscovered the joy I had when I was 6. The books opened a world of knitting for me as I understood it in terms of geometry, construction and aesthetic sensibilities.

Lariat
Lariat © yamagara (try it in Wollmeise Pure)

Loopy: Isn’t it interesting that you had a connection with yarn and making things at such an early age? And then went on to find ways to teach yourself crochet, and later knitting. It seems like a natural and lifelong attraction that you have realized in your work. When did you start designing, and what spurred that interest?

Yamagara: Many of the designs that I came across in the books, especially those by designer Michiyo, had interesting ways of construction. Reading the diagrams and knitting from them, I learned much about garment construction. Often I substituted yarns because I did not have the yarns specified for the designs. Instructions were usually created for one size, so sometimes I found it necessary to adjust some dimensions. In doing these, I had to calculate stitches and rows and make modifications, which essentially was the beginning of designing. Ravelry did not influence my knitting as much as for some knitters, because I could not find many designs that I liked. Some of the sizes were not suitable for my petite body, and the yarns specified were not practical for my climate. I had in my stash mostly lace weight and summer yarns from Japan. One day as I was swatching with one of the yarns, an idea struck for a design I wished to wear. Having enough understanding of gauge and garment construction for my purpose, I did not have much problem knitting the idea in my mind. I shared some pictures of the layering garment on Instagram and was encouraged by comments to create a pattern for it. The pattern, Tokonatsu, became one of my best selling designs. Call it beginner’s luck, if you will. The support I got spurred me on to create more designs with yarns that I love, in the style that I like, and with attention to details in ways that I think make good designs. 

Loopy: That is such a beautiful pattern with a soft drape. I can see knitting that up in many colors as a wardrobe staple. What is your favorite type of item to knit?

Yamagara: I love knitting garments. It has not ceased to amaze me with endless possibilities from casting on to binding off.

Batavia
Batavia © yamagara (try it in JulieSpins Cashmere Silk Lace)

Loopy: Yes, so true! It’s amazing how many different sizes and shapes can be made with two sticks and a string. What is the most challenging thing that you have knit to date?

Yamagara: It has to be my first knitting project– the mohair garter stitch scarf! It was a disaster. I didn’t know what I was doing, I couldn’t unravel and it was too warm and itchy for me to keep it around my neck. 

Loopy: That’s a tough yarn for a first knit – so sticky. Good for you for seeing it through, though! Do you have a favorite pattern that you’ve designed?

Yamagara: It’s hard to pick one. I created each one with different design goals and there are things that I like about each of them.

Souffle Camisole
Soufflé Camisole © yamagara (try it in Magpie Swanky DK)

Loopy: What is your favorite part of your designing? And your not-so-favorite part?

Yamagara: There isn’t one particular part that I like the most. I enjoy the whole process. I love it from when the yarns reach my hands and I touch and admire them. Swatching and getting to know yarns, dreaming of ideas for them, working on construction and fit, and getting excited when design details and numbers work in harmony are addictive. I enjoy writing patterns. I like to work on layouts and organise clear and logical flows. I get feedback that my patterns are easy to understand and follow. My not-so-favourite part of designing is coming to know, after all my enthusiasm, time and hard work, that my designs are being sold in pirate markets or distributed without my permission. It is hard enough to create an income with knitwear designs.

TanTan  Yamagara
TanTan © yamagara (try it in Uncommon Thread Posh Fingering)

Loopy: I can’t imagine how disappointing and frustrating that must be – to see your work taken by others. It does seem like there is an army of knitters and crocheters who find and report such things, to that’s good. Do you do this business full-time, or on the side?  And is that hard? Do you have other jobs outside of pattern designing?

Yamagara: Besides knitwear designing since 2017, I’ve been running an art studio at home since 2004, teaching art mainly to children and teenagers. As I remember how much I enjoyed working with yarns and thread when I was a child, I include crochet, sewing and embroidery in the curriculum for students who are excited to learn. I’m also a slow-producing potter. You can follow my pottery work @mossypotssy on Instagram. I’m always busy with one or another. I find that these 3 jobs balance one another well and fulfill different creative needs.

Tin Roof  Yamagara
Tin Roof © yamagara (try it in Jamieson & Smith 2 Ply Jumper)

Loopy: I love your pottery pieces! I wish you lived closer so I could see them in person. So beautiful. I imagine this all keeps you very busy, but are there other hobbies that you enjoy as well?

Yamagara: I’m always drawing and painting as part of my job so I hardly do it as a hobby anymore. I still consider knitting and pottery my hobbies. At times I’m drawn to crochet, my first love.  Besides these, I enjoy taking care of my houseplants. I am quite obsessed with hoyas. I like cooking and presenting food on my handmade tableware for my family to enjoy. I love (and miss) traveling. 

Sonetto
Sonetto © yamagara (try it in Magpie Swanky Sock)

Loopy: Oh my goodness – same. I am so looking forward to traveling again. And your comment about Hoya plants reminded me of my favorite plant from my college days – a Rope Hoya. Now I’m on the lookout to buy one for my office, so thank you for that fun memory! With all that you do, what would be your favorite way to spend a day off?

Yamagara: Cycling or walking with my husband, visiting cafes and art exhibitions with my daughter, bringing my mum out for food and coffee, and taking an afternoon nap that feels like I’ve rested for hours.

Loopy: That sounds pretty perfect. 🙂 Last questions: Morning or Night person? Coffee or Tea? English or Continental? Solids or Multicolors? 

Yamagara: I’m the happiest in the morning but the most at peace and productive at night. I like stretching myself late into the night and going to bed exhausted and satisfied with a day of hard work. I usually keep to one coffee in the morning, and tea, my homemade kombucha or water for the rest of the day. English. With this style, my tension is consistent on the right side and the wrong side. I learned continental knitting to be able to do colourwork with two hands. Undyed, solids and solids of the indie-dyer’s world. I don’t use them much in my designs but I have a soft spot for pretty speckled yarns. 

Haname
Haname © yamagara (try it in Uncommon Thread Merino DK)

Loopy: Thank you again for being with us today! Anything else you’d like to add?

Yamagara: Knitting can be enjoyable in the tropics and in summer if you use the right yarn and pattern. It is true that the warm and humid climate in Singapore is not the most conducive for wearing wool. People are surprised that I knit so much. Over the years I have discovered good summer yarns and light-weight yarns that are comfortable to wear. If you want ideas, have a look at my designs and check out some of the yarns that I used. If you have come across any yarns for warm weather that you enjoy wearing, please leave a comment or send me a message in Ravelry to let me know. 

Yamagara is offering 20% off the pattern of your choice from her Ravelry Patterns. The code is: loopyewe-20-yamagara and is valid August 27 – 9/3, 2021.

Enjoy!

Sheri

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!

Sheri

Designer Spotlight: Anna Johanna

Hi there! Today we have knitwear designer Anna Johanna in our spotlight. Anna lives in Finland and designs everything – sweaters, shawls, socks, and accessories. No matter what you love to knit, you’ll find it in her patterns! (Pattern links lead to Ravelry, yarn links lead to The Loopy Ewe.)

Olki Anna Johanna
Olki © AnnajOhanna (try it in The Fibre Co Road to China Light)

Loopy: Hi Anna! Thanks for being in our Spotlight today. How long have you been a knitter, and who taught you to knit?

Anna: Hi Loopy! I’ve been knitting most of my life. Here in Finland, Children are taught to crochet in kindergarten and to knit in 3rd grade but I’m pretty sure my mum taught me even before that.

Loopy: I wish we had regular programs for teaching knitting and crocheting in schools here. I think that’s so wonderful. What is your favorite type of thing to knit?

Anna: I love to work on sweaters and cardigans. For some reason, I feel like accessories are too quick to make and the fun is over too fast, so I like bigger projects.

Ylvas
Ylvas © Anna Johanna (try it in The Fibre Co Lore)

Loopy: That’s an interesting way to look at it. I feel like I’m always looking forward to finishing one so I can get to the next one. I like the idea of savoring it more. What is the most challenging thing that you have knit to date?

Anna: Every once in a while I like to take a little holiday from knitwear design and work on someone else’s pattern. The most challenging one I’ve ever done is Celestarium Shawl by Audrey Nicklin. It’s not because the pattern was difficult in itself but I saw that people had been using different kinds of beads for different kinds/size stars and then I came across a version incorporating the Milky Way using see through beads and I just had to copy the idea. It meant that I spent an entire day printing out the charts, joining the constellations with lines, marking out the bigger stars and sketching the Milky Way onto the charts and then randomly choosing places for the see through beads within it. I love a challenge.

Woodland Anna Johanna
Woodland © Anna Johanna (try it in Jamieson & Smith 2 Ply Jumper)

Loopy: I am amazed that you put all of that into that beautiful shawl. Wow. What a true masterpiece. A good one to call your “most challenging” – definitely! When did you start designing, and what spurred that interest?

Anna: I actually dreamed of being a fashion designer when I was a child, so that dream came through in a slightly different way. I’ve always improvised patterns for myself but I published my first pattern on Ravelry in 2016 and now, I’ve got over 100!

Rakas
Rakas © annaj0hanna (try it in Wollmeise Twin)

Loopy: That’s a huge inventory of patterns to have designed in such a short time. That’s wonderful! Do you have a favorite pattern that you’ve designed?

Anna: It’s really hard to choose just one, but I love the knitting math behind Juxtaposition, which is an all-over colorwork sweater from my debut book, Strands of Joy.

Overgrown Anna Johanna
Overgrown © annaj0hanna (try it in Jamieson & Smith 2 Ply Jumper)

Loopy: That’s a beautiful sweater! What is your favorite part of designing? And your not-so-favorite part?

Anna: Before I started designing full-time, I was a researcher at the university with a PhD in statistics. So, I really, really love all the math that goes into designing and grading. My least favorite thing is waiting for my samples to dry.

Budding
Budding © annajohanna (try it in Uncommon Thread Merino DK)

Loopy: That’s funny! (Waiting for knits to dry.) It’s such a dry climate here in Colorado, that our knits dry overnight, and I like that! Do you do this business full-time, or on the side? And is that hard? Do you have other jobs outside of pattern designing?

Anna: As I just mentioned, I used to be a researcher. Counting from starting my PhD, I spent 10 years at the university. but I started working on my designs on the side since 2016 and then finally, at the beginning of 2020, I left the university to work on my knitting full-time. It has been the best thing ever.

Verso Anna Johanna
Verso © annajohanna (try it in Blue Sky Skyland)

Loopy: How wonderful to be able to do something you love like this, full time. We all are benefitting from that, as you continue to put out wonderful patterns! Does anyone else in your family knit?

Anna: My sister also loves to knit and it’s wonderful to share all this with her. My mother used to knit when she was younger but she couldn’t take the shoulder ache any more and had to stop. I’m pretty sure my shoulders are a bit sore as well, but I don’t mind because it’s worth it.

Liquid
Liquid © annajohanna (try it in Uncommon Posh Fingering)

Loopy: There are good exercises out there that we should all be doing to stay limber and loose with our knitting muscles! Are there other hobbies you enjoy?

Anna: I’m into all kinds of crafts. Besides knitting, I spin yarn on my two wheels, sew (mostly dresses to go with my knits) and I also love to cook and bake. When I turned 30, I finally also found joy in exercise and nowadays my hobbies include the gym, yoga, and hiking.

La grasse matinee Anna Johanna
La grasse matinee © annaj0hanna (try it in Magpie Swanky Sock)

Loopy: That sounds really well-rounded. Good things for body and soul! What would be your favorite way to spend a day off?

Anna: I spend most of my time knitting no matter whether I’m working on my own designs or not. But if I’m not at my needles, I prefer to go hiking with Hubby. Nature is great not only for relaxation but also for inspiration.

Grain Anna Johanna
Grain © annajohanna (try it in Cascade Heritage Silk)

Loopy: That’s very true. It’s good to get out there and enjoy the creativity in the world! Ok, last questions. Morning or Night person? Coffee or Tea? English or Continental? Solids or Multicolors?

Anna: I’m definitely not a morning person. The best thing about working for myself full-time is not having the alarm clock on. I’ve never drank a cup of coffee in my life, but just a few years ago, I finally learned to love tea – as long as it’s not black tea. I know Continental style so Im not a thrower, except when sometimes I knit left-handed to avoid turning the work. For the life of me, I cannot change the hand that’s holding the yarn so in those instances, I have to throw. Solids or multicolors is a harder one to choose. For bigger garments, I prefer solids or semi-solids. But for shawls and socks, I love speckled yarns.

Harmas
Harmas © annajohanna (try it in Primrose Roan DK)

Loopy: Thank you again for being with us today, Anna!

Anna is offering 20% off a pattern of your choice from her Ravelry Pattern shop. The code to use is: LOOPYEWE and that is valid August 13 – 20, 2021.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Sheri

Designer Spotlight: Laura Fahlin

Today we have Laura Fahlin in our Designer Spotlight. Laura was born and raised in Colorado, and says she gets her Loopy packages very quickly. 🙂 I know you’ll like learning more about her and her beautiful work today. (Pattern links go to Ravelry, yarn links go to The Loopy Ewe.)

Barnstormer Hat in Flight © Laura Fahlin (try it in Magpie Swanky DK)

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

Laura: Hi Loopy! I started knitting when I was 10. I was inspired to knit by my maternal grandmother, my MorMor. She lived back east, but she’d always have her knitting with her when she came to visit us. I still have a little cardigan she made for me when I was a toddler. She didn’t teach me to knit since she lived so far away. I use Laura Fahlin as my designer name because of her. Fahlin (pronounced fa-leen) is my middle name and was her maiden name.

I asked my mom to take me to a local craft store, and I used my allowance to buy some plastic needles, acrylic yarn, and a How to Knit booklet. I knit a lot of baby sweaters in my 20s for friends and family. I took up sock knitting after reading one of the Yarn Harlot’s books and blog and finding Ravelry. I’ve improved and learned new knitting techniques through retreats like the Loopy Flings and YouTube videos.

Loopy: I love that you are able to honor your grandmother and the influence she had on your knitting. That’s a great idea. What is your favorite type of item to knit?

Laura: Socks mostly, but all accessories – shawls, scarfs, hats, mitts. I like smaller projects – one or two skeins.

Tattered Covers Cowl
Tattered Covers Cowl © Laura Fahlin (try it in Malabrigo Arroyo)

Loopy: The nice thing about one/two skein projects is they get done quicker! And they are also nice to make as gifts. What is the most challenging thing that you have knit to date?

Laura: The most complicated thing I’ve knit was for the Winter Olympics in 2014. I knit a Windward scarf (by Heidi Kirrmaier) which has complex shaping and added 5 different Doctor Who-inspired stitch patterns to the different sections, plus beads! I had so many pieces of graph paper and spread sheets to keep track of what I was doing. But I love how it turned out.

So Dapper Socks Laura Fahlin
So Dapper Socks © Laura Fahlin (try it in Malabrigo Sock)

Loopy: That sounds like a good challenge, although maybe hard to track and knit while watching the Olympics! (Or maybe that’s just me and my attention span…) When did you start designing, and what spurred that interest?

Laura: I officially started designing in 2013. I’d been in a sock club for a couple of years and had been knitting socks for the challenges in the Sock Knitters Anonymous group on Ravelry. I found myself always wanting to make changes to patterns or to combine parts of patterns into mash up versions. My first pattern was for a SKA challenge.

Love & Marriage Socks Laura Fahlin
Love & Marriage Socks © Laura Fahlin (try it in Cascade Heritage Sock)

Loopy: I think that’s how a lot of designers start – itching to make changes to patterns they are knitting. That’s a good sign that maybe you should try your hand at it. Do you have a favorite pattern that you’ve designed?

Laura: Of the socks I’ve designed, I’ll always have a soft spot for HMS Laconia Socks since that was the first pattern I designed. They were for my husband (and he still wears them) and were inspired by Captain Wentworth from Persuasion, my favorite Jane Austen. I also really love Study in Slip Socks which was designed for a SKA challenge too and is a fun way to use up leftover sock yarn, of which I have so much!

HMS Laconia Socks
HMS Laconia Socks © Laura Fahlin (try it in Uncommon Posh Fingering)

Of my accessories, I love my Barnstormer Hats because they have fun, short-row earflaps and since they have a family connection. Two of my great-uncles (my MorMor’s brothers) were barnstormer pilots and one designed wooden propellers in the 1930’s. I designed the hats to keep my ears warm when I walked my boys to the bus stop in the morning when they were in elementary school, which makes me a bit nostalgic since they’re now 6 foot tall teenagers.

Loopy: I think ear flaps are a great idea for winter walks. And that is a fun pattern. What is your favorite part of your designing? And your not-so-favorite part?

Laura: My favorite part of designing is having an idea for a pattern and figuring out the “puzzle” of it – how to make the stitches look the way I picture them in my head. I also like how I get to use both sides of my brain: the creative side and the math and logic side.

My not-so-favorite part is when I have an idea that just won’t come together, no matter how many times I rework it, and I’m still learning to let that go.

Laughter Hope Socks
Laughter Hope Socks © Laura Fahlin (try it in Wollmeise Pure)

Loopy: I think letting it go would be hard. Seems like if you can see it, you can knit it. But I definitely know that’s not necessarily true. Do you do this business full-time, or on the side?  And is that hard? Do you have other jobs outside of pattern designing?

Laura: I design part-time since I’m a stay at home parent. It’s been challenging to get much done during the pandemic with my 2 boys at home for distance learning and my husband working from home too. I spent the last school year as tech support, algebra tutor, lab partner, and essay editor.

Kaylee's Shindig Shawl Laura Fahlin
Kaylee’s Shindig Shawl © Laura Fahlin (try it in Magpie Swanky Sock)

Loopy: Yes, stay-at-home parenting roles have taken on a whole new meaning during Covid, for sure. Some day things will return to normal. I keep hoping. Does anyone else in your family knit?

Laura: Not at the moment, but I think a couple of my cousins dabble in knit and crochet. I taught my nephew to knit a few years ago. He’s now studying to be a structural engineer. He wanted to know how knitting worked since I’d knit him socks and hats. He hasn’t kept it up, but maybe he’ll take it up again when he’s older and has more time.

Paisley Park Socks
Paisley Park Socks © Laura Fahlin (try it in Cascade Heritage Silk)

Loopy: As a structural engineer, he had that quest to figure out how those socks came together! Are there other hobbies that you enjoy?

Laura: Reading and sewing, mostly project bags for my knitting. I can crochet and have done some quilting too.

Loopy: What would be your favorite way to spend a day off?

Laura: I don’t really get days off now, but a quiet day is always good for either reading, knitting, tossing my stash or flipping through stitch dictionaries for design inspiration.

Tweedle Brothers Socks Laura Fahlin
Tweedle Brothers Socks © Laura Fahlin (try it in Cascade Heritage Sock)

Loopy: Ok, last questions: Morning or Night person? Coffee or Tea? English or Continental? Solids or Multicolors?

Laura: Night person and coffee, definitely. I learned English first, but learned Continental a few years ago, which once I got the hang of it, is faster for me. I also wanted to be able to knit colorwork with both hands. I love all the multicolor yarns, variegated, speckled, self-striping, and try to use them for my designs as much as I can.

Snow Swept Hat
Snow Swept Hat © Laura Fahlin (try it in Dream in Color City)

Loopy: It’s always great to find patterns that use all of the multicolor yarns, so we’re all glad to know they work with many of your designs. Anything else you’d like to add?

Laura: For anyone who likes a mystery sock knit along, I designed one for the Solid Sock group on Ravelry starting September 1. It’s free and the clues will come out September 1, 8, 15, and 22.

Loopy: Thanks for being with us today, Laura!

Laura is offering 20% off one of her patterns of your choice via her Ravelry pattern shop. The code is: SPOTLIGHT and is valid August 6-13, 2021.

Have fun picking out a pattern, and then pop over to The Loopy Ewe to pick out some beautiful yarn to go with it!

Sheri