Meet the Fellows: Jennifer Parroccini

I live in Portland, Oregon, with my husband, my daughter, and my Great Dane, who is approximately 1 billion years old. I grew up creating handcrafts (I think I could sew a running stitch before I could tie my shoes!), and am one in a long line of fiber artists.

How did you get into knitting & designing knitwear? I’ve always toyed with the idea of designing and I improvise on my projects all the time, but I hit a tipping point last winter when I couldn’t find the perfect colorwork hat. I found designing to be the perfect marriage of knitting & spreadsheets and was immediately hooked.

What does your design process look like? My design process is very nonlinear. I am constantly swatching new yarns and patterns, just to see what comes out. At the same time, I’m often thinking about how a line could lie across the body, or a feeling I’d like to evoke, or browsing/creating mood boards. Eventually, some mix of the perfect texture, feeling, and shape comes forward.

What type of project do you like to knit/crochet most? I’m a sweater girl! I love knitting sweaters, and I love designing sweaters. Right now ,I’m really engaged in skill-building children’s sweaters and size-inclusive wardrobe staples for adults.
What are you best known for as a designer? I’d like to be known for writing patterns for garments with maximum wearability, and for writing patterns that create high impact with low complexity. I want knitters to finish my garments and think ‘that looks really amazing, and it was actually super easy!’

What yarns do you prefer? I gravitate towards DK weight wool. I love solids and lightly tonal yarns and tend to lean towards either neutrals or deeply saturated colors.

J Parroccini

 Sharing a design space with a three-year-old means that my swatches get tons of use!
They play frequent and important roles in many, many games.

What are your hobbies/interests outside of the fiber community? I work as a nonprofit CPA by day, and I have a preschool-aged daughter, so a lot of my time has to do double duty. If I’m not working, you can usually find me trying to squeeze in a bike ride, grubbing around in my garden, listening to non-fiction audiobooks, making soup, or endlessly reading out loud about the solar system.

Is there anything else you’d like our crafters to know about you?
For me, all the hard work that goes into wring a pattern is worth it when I see someone knit up one of my patterns and show it off with joy. I want to see as many people as possible find the joy and satisfaction that comes from creating – and wearing – knitted garments, and for that reason, inclusion is really important to me.
In my design practice, that means I grade all sizes as I write the pattern so that I know before I even pick up the needles that every element will work perfectly for every size. It means being intentional on how I source my yarn, notions, and services. Finally, it means creating testing spaces and other groups that are intentionally welcoming of people of all races, sizes, and incomes. There’s a lot I’m still learning in all of these areas, but it’s important to me that I’m explicit and vocal about these values.

See all of Jennifer’s designs here and check her out on instagram @JP_Knits_Things!

Meet the Fellows: AkLoriDesigns

I’m Lori of Aklori Designs. I live in sunny Arizona. I’ve always loved making things and working with my hands and tools so turning yarn into new designs is really enjoyable to me (and cheaper than home renovation projects).  I live with 3 cats, 1 shiba and my amazing (stash enabling) partner.

How did you get into crocheting & designing knitwear? 

I started crocheting when I was a child, but it wasn’t until I discovered Tunisian crochet in my late 30’s that my love for crochet really blossomed. I started designing when I ran out of patterns in Tunisian crochet that I wanted to do.  I felt the craft had so much untapped potential and much to explore.

What does your design process look like?

It really depends on the design.  Most begin with a rough sketch on whatever paper is handy. I have notebooks and pads of paper scattered around my house with all my ideas.  Sometimes I love an idea so much, I have to start working on it immediately.  Sometimes I need to just let the idea marinate for a while to figure out how to make it actually work. Then depending on the design, I either start with swatching or writing up a chart then swatching. I typically am working on 2-3 designs at once.

What type of project do you like to knit/crochet most?

I love shawls; they can be all sorts of shapes, and, living in Arizona, they get more use than sweaters, etc.

What are you best known for as a designer?

Modern designs with clean lines and fun shapes.

What yarns do you prefer?

Fingering is my favorite yarn weight because Arizona is too warm for anything heavy.  I love working with merino/silk blends from indie dyers.

What are your hobbies/interests outside of the fiber community?

I enjoy hiking and nature photography. I’m also a huge foodie and love cooking.

Is there anything else you’d like our crafters to know about you?

About me … probably not. About Tunisian crochet? Yes!

If you are interested in trying Tunisian crochet, it is really important that you use a hook 2 sizes bigger than the yarn suggests. Otherwise, you’ll get a fabric that is way too dense and difficult to work with.  You can learn the basics with a regular hook and rows of 10-20 stitches.

To learn more about AkLoriDesigns, check out her designer portfolio and patterns or visit her Instagram @akloridesigns

 

Wander: 5 Noteworthy Notions

Curious about what I include in every knitting or crochet project bag? These are my top five favorite notions whether you are a beginner or are a seasoned yarn lover.

  1. Clover Soft Touch Crochet Hook is perfect to pick up dropped stitches or work a provisional cast on. I like the soft thumpad which means it isn’t slipping out of my hand while trying to maneuver tiny stitches.
  2. HiyaHiya Kitty Snips travel well! I have yet to have them confiscated by airport security. They have a cover so they won’t poke through your bag (or project).
  3. Knitter’s Pride Locking Stitch Markers easily mark the right or wrong side of your work, and can be attached at any point. Separate repeats, or use them as a progress keeper. I like to clip a few to the zipper pulls of my bags for easy access.
  4. Katrinkles Georgia Needle Gauge is cute and functional. No need to squint at the microprint size etched on your needles. Just try your needle in each hole, and the first one it moves all the way through without resistance is your winner.
  5. Clover Bent Tip Tapestry Needle Set is my favorite notion. It comes with 3 sizes and the bent tips make it incredibly easy to weave in ends, or put in an afterthought lifeline. 

The Baggu Dopp Kit zipper bag is a shop favorite.They’re sturdy and collapse flat when not in use. They can take a beating on your commute, playground, hike, or travel. It has an interior zip pocket, and two slip pockets.

We also love Baby Baggus! They’re waterproof and ripstop nylon. My 3-4 skein projects fit easily, and they are gusseted so they sit upright. I keep some in my car for tiny grocery runs. Working on a sweater or crochet squares? Check out the full size version

Spun Right Round Squish DK in Treasured, Pavement, and The Big Teal Wave.

What is your go-to notion? Share yours in the comments below for your chance to win a baby Baggu!

 

Wander: Where It All Began

Recently, I’ve been taking stock of my knitting life. Rearranging bins as I get ready for a move (down the road!), I remember where and when I bought particular skeins, who was with me, what was going on in my life at the time. Sometimes I don’t remember any of those facts, just that there was something alluring about those tiny speckles or the fluffy plying twist.

Eventually, I unearthed my beginner swatch made of 100% acrylic pond-green yarn. I was in college when I taught myself on a whim. Who knows if I saw a post on Pinterest or a blurb in a magazine. I sat in my room with a learn to knit book and needles, and practiced each technique until I knew it by heart. My swatch is two feet long, leans this way and that. A record of increasing, then decreasing, garter and stockinette. It was wildly soothing once I got the hang of it, I was in that state of flow.

I drove past a local yarn store and stopped in, not knowing what to expect, or realizing that I had driven past it a billion times before. I left with a skein of Malabrigo Rasta and circular needles. I went back for Blue Sky Alpaca Silk and attempted a lace scarf because I had no idea it was any more difficult than stockinette. (There’s something to be said for bold learning!). I returned for MadelineTosh Merino Light and was hooked. It humbled me, too – I always said fiber arts would be the very last art I’d be interested in, if ever. So glad I was wrong. I still love pond-green, lace, single-ply, learning boldly. And I love sharing it all with you.

I asked around at the shop for stories of how each of us got hooked, here’s what they told me:

Jenny: My best friend, Katie, bought a lesson for my birthday (Even though I never get anything for her). 3 months later I decided to move from St. Louis to Atlanta and found a job posting for an “illustrator with knitting experience”…an extremely weird combo to pop up. And now here I am! All thanks to my best friend of 27 years who I STILL haven’t knit a dang thing for.

 

Emily: My Mom taught me the basics when I was in 6th grade (1998). We sat together many nights practicing on some basic scarves and pot holders with a few loud colors of worsted acrylic on straights – it was perfect.

Tracey: I learned in the early 2000s during the Stitch ‘n Bitch knitting resurgence. I was in my late 20s and living in Boston. I went to a local yarn store in Jamaica Plain on my lunch break and the owner sat me down on the shop couch with some yarn and a pair of needles and taught me the knit stitch, and I was hooked immediately!

Jess handspunJessica: I loved seeing so many pretty handspun yarns online, and wanted to learn how to make them as well, but thought maybe I should know what to do with said handspun yarn first. I picked up knitting and gave it a try, I had a difficult time of it and put that project away for a while, but a few months later I picked it back up again and things clicked, and I became obsessed!

Erin: I had crocheted previously and scoffed at my friend for knitting because “why are there two needles and neither of them even has a hook and wow that seems slow.” I met my now husband in college, we eventually move in together. It’s Christmastime and I get out my heirloom handknit stocking – the one my mom’s coworker knit for me and every member of my family when I was born, aka, my Number 1 Christmas Tradition – and I realized this boy who is otherwise perfectly great does not come with his own matching stocking, and there was only one way to get him one. So I taught myself how to knit with a bunch of videos from knittinghelp.com, and spent a lot of time cursing and wondering how in the heck anyone ever did this for fun, but within a few months I had a knit myself a tank top out of the worst yarn you could think of for such a project. And he got his stocking, and then eventually so did my kids.

Kinsey: One of my old roommates used to knit. After she moved out I thought “why didn’t I ask her to teach me?” It looked fun and I’m a creative person who really enjoys handmade items. So started watching YouTube videos to learn on my own. I still do that, and if I still don’t get it, I just ask the other ESK kitties!

  • cooking a big batch & freezing this hot and sour soup
  • feeling some single color brioche coming on, maybe this?
  • sitting on the porch in the evenings & loving later sunsets
  • have you seen Stitch Maps?

I’d love to hear your stories, how you learned to create with yarn, who taught you, what made you want to start. Are you teaching anyone? Share in the comments!

 

Wander: The Magic of Marling

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Marling is an engaging way to add texture, depth, and interest to your projects. Some yarns are dyed as marls: 1+ ply is a different color than the other(s). Cascade Ecological twist colors are a good example. The first color is very clearly a marl, but the second is much more subtle.

Marl

Cascade Eco Wool in #9016 – Silver Night Twist (left) and Cascade Eco Wool in #9004 – Ecru Beige Twist (right)

You can easily create this effect yourself! Just hold 2 or more strands of different color yarn together. That’s it! Take off, hold anything and everything together. This is great for stash-busting because we tend to gravitate towards a particular color palette. The odds that you have colors that will play well together are high.

  • hold different weights together, I love a lace with nearly any weight
  • hold similar colors together for subtle interest
  • hold opposite colors for intensity
  • hold a speckle or variegated with a solid
  • hold 1 color constant, changing the other as you go to fade
  • hold a mohair/silk or any silk lace with a wool, cotton, or linen to add loads of depth and texture

 I tried a bunch of marling with the swatches below. US size 7 for both.

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As far as what needle size to use, I recommend swatching. Swatching also lets you know if that yellow sock really goes with that fuzzy opal mohair. Don’t forget that the intensity of your marl will vary in stockinette and garter.

Photos 3

IMG_7861Emily’s Ships & Seaside Cowl is a great example of what a single strand of mohair lace can do – check out the yellow in the white section. Here, she used Cascade Eco Wool and a single strand of Tweed Silk Cloud from Shibui, an especially sweet laceweight with the added texture of tweed!

My favorite for marling right now is Hedgehog Lace. It’s a boatload of yardage, clocking in at 1312 yards. The speckles and intensely saturated semi-solids make for easy impact. I’d pair the speckles with a neutral background to get a nice pop each time the specks show up. Remember when you first started knitting with hand dyed and would stop to stare at the perfect blip of pink on the left leg of that stitch? This will bring the feeling back.

Making Marls by Ceceilia Campochiaro, is a beautiful reference book. Loads of swatch by swatch samples and patterns. A Ravelry search will reveal plenty of patterns written as marls. Don’t forget that you can marl almost anything! Start looking at plain stockinette or garter patterns and imagine applying this technique. Our Q2 KAL is the perfect place to try it – silk or linen held with anything else – airy garter on big needles, lace with pops of color, tops with extra depth. Marling adds magic to any project! 

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Let me know what you’re thinking of marling, or have marled!

Wander: Q2 KAL

Our Q2 knit-along has finally arrived! We want your spring/summer months to be as relaxed as possible, so this KAL fits right in:

  • any pattern
  • any ESK yarn with 20% silk and/or linen

That’s it! Make one or make tons, it’s up to you. Cast on begins April 1 and, if you want that bonus star, ends June 30. Specifics found here. Specializing in hand-dyed yarn means we have mountains of merino, alpaca, and other animal fibers. The silk and plant based fibers can get overlooked so let’s wander…

Silk and linen, by themselves or blended, can be crisp, drapey, silky, and cool. Block the heck out of the linen, throw it in the dryer – it only gets softer. Silk can take a firm blocking too, those lace patterns will open right up.

Malabrigo: Mora in Aguas, Merino Silk in Blackberry, Silkpaca in Pearl, Susurro in Sunset

Mora is a 100% silk fingering weight. Crisp with intense shine.

Susurro, a 50/25/25% silk/linen/merino blend. It’s a single-ply with loads of drape and glimmer. It works up beautifully in lace, and I can’t wait to see it in garter.

Silky Merino, a DK weight single that makes a nearly weightless shawl.

Silkpaca, a slinky laceweight made of alpaca/silk.

 

 

SweetGeorgia Flaxen Silk DK: Saffron, Lollipop, Birch, Deep Cove

SweetGeorgia recently sent us Flaxen Silk DK. Deep, rich color and shimmer. Perfect for a tee or open drapey vest.

Juniper Moon Zooey DK is a new shop favorite. 60/40% cotton/linen, looks great on a US 3 all the way to a US 9. It almost has the slightest marl look, I can’t get enough. I’m working on a simple vest in Greyhound to throw over tanks.

Emily and Jess are twinning with a marl of Zooey DK and Malabrigo Lace for Age of Brass and Steam. Jessica chose Amarula & Arco Iris for a ghostly rainbow while Emily went bright with Mint & Zarzamora!

Tracey is working a beautiful cowl in Sweet Georgia CashSilk Lace in Wisteria.

There are many more qualifying yarns for Q2, don’t forget you can sort the website by fiber type. Feel free to send us an email or call if you’d like some help picking something out, we love to help.

 



  • food52 science-y food posts, best way to fry an egg anyone?
  • playing with marls (stay tuned!) and stitch dictionaries
  • new episodes of Ozark and The Office reruns
  • reading: Tiny Habits by BJ Fogg and Seven Spoons cookbook from Tara O’Brady
  • planning a porch garden with my grey-ish black thumb
  • starting a crochet granny stripe blanket, so relaxing

What are your Q2 plans, knit, crochet, and otherwise?

Meet the Fellows: Anne Claiborne

Pattern Academy Intros-01

I live in Jefferson City, Missouri with my husband, brown dog, and butter-colored kitty. In my day job, I am a high school English and Journalism teacher. I also ride dressage and have several horses. Between teaching, riding, and knitting, I keep pretty busy! 

How did you get into knitting & designing knitwear?
I have always been arts-and-craftsy, mainly dabbling in painting, and had tried a bit of knitting. After a failed garter stitch scarf project, I declared knitting to be not-for-me. Then my very cool and trendy aunt started knitting some years ago and dove into the world of Ravelry, indie designers, gourmet yarn brands, and local yarn stores. I held strong to my conviction that I was not a knitter, but then she knitted me a really awesome dressage horse hat for Christmas and it convinced me to try knitting again. I started with a swatch, then a cowl with an interesting stitch pattern, and never looked back. I’ve still never knit a plain garter-stitch scarf.

I began designing when I kept envisioning just the perfect thing and not finding patterns that matched my vision. Once I first saw my imagined knits come to life, I was hooked!

Screenshot_2020-02-25 Anne Claiborne ( claiborneknits) _ Instagram photos and videos(1)

What designers do you admire & why?
Lots! I love searching through the depths of Ravelry’s pattern database looking for new constructions, fun yarn combinations, and interesting photography. Some people get lost in funny cat videos, but for me, the Ravelry filters are definitely my internet wormhole.

As for specific designers, I love everything Isabell Kraemer’s designs. Her aesthetic is minimal & comfortable and her sweaters fit incredibly well. TinCanKnits is my go-to recommendation for people learning to knit or trying a new technique. I love their blog and tutorials! The cables of Thea Coleman always catch my fancy, I have so many of her patterns on my to-knit list. Also the colorwork yokes of Jennifer Steingass (knit.love.wool) are so captivating, I love seeing what she’s come out with.

Screenshot_2020-02-25 Anne Claiborne ( claiborneknits) _ Instagram photos and videos(4)What does your design process look like?
I start with a germ of an idea, a feeling for a project I need or want to give. Sometimes it’s a matter of practicality (My neck is cold, need cowl). Sometimes it’s a matter of the perfect item for a recipient (Wouldn’t so-and-so love something like…!). Sometimes it’s a need for a type of process (Roadtrip knitting, anyone?).

After I have that initial idea, I dive into my stash and find (or order) the right yarn. Armed with yarn and an idea, I grab a notebook, a pen, and a calculator to work out stitch counts and details before casting on. Usually I refine the design on-the-needles, so to say, and try to keep track of minutiae in a combination of illegible scrawls in a notebook and cryptic messages on google docs.

I also keep a notebook of rough sketches of ideas that are still germinating with notes about how things should fit, stitch patterns that might create the right type of fabric or look, and chart ideas for colorwork motifs.

What type of project do you like to knit/crochet most?
Screenshot_2020-02-25 Anne Claiborne ( claiborneknits) _ Instagram photos and videosI love knitting (and wearing) pullover sweaters. Nothing is cozier than a handknit wool sweater and the possibilities are endless! They do take quite a bit of time, though, so I also really like a good hat. An interesting hat practically knits itself. I’m trying to be better about knitting hats to give away, though, as my own hat collection is becoming a bit obscene.

What are you best known for as a designer?
I see my design style as colorful and eclectic. I design things that inspire me and hope that they inspire others too! I guess what I hope to be known for are projects that are fun but also meaningful. In my patterns, I try to include the story behind the inspiration in order to share a little of my journey with others.

00100lPORTRAIT_00100_BURST20191004183947261_COVERWhat are your hobbies/interests outside of the fiber community?
I may be a knit addict now, but horses are my real life-long obsession! I ride dressage and am human servant to several horses, a couple of which I share with my mother. Leda, my Ravatar, is a Westphalian warmblood mare and my main squeeze at the moment. I also have Mocha, my retired Thoroughbred gelding and my dear old man. Then there’s Ziggy, who is really my mother’s retired Hanoverian but who I have to dole out carrots to, and Sydney, a leased dressage schoolmaster who is stepping down a bit in his workload to teach me a thing or two.

Is there anything else you’d like our knitters to know about you?
I enjoy reading knitting blogs. Some of my favorites are Yarn Harlot, Pumpkin Sunrise, Paper Tiger, and Knit1Make2. If you have a knitting blog or a suggestion for me to try, let me know!

Thanks for following along as we introduced you to our inaugural Pattern Academy class. Keep in touch with Anne on Ravelry or follow @claiborneknits on Instgram.

Meet the Fellows: Mona Zillah

Pattern Academy Intros-01

I am Mona, a handknit pattern designer, owner of bunnymuff designs, and I simply cannot stop! (Except for, perhaps, a cup of tea, slice of pie, or a joke.)

MonaZillah_studio spaceHow did you get into knitting & designing knitwear?
I sort of bumped into knitting one day. Suddenly, knitters and crocheters were all around me, a bit of sleeve here, a mystery shawl there! And who am I, not to heed the call?

Despite having worked with a variety of mediums for most of my life, yarn was relatively new to me. Knitting, in particular, provides me with endless depths of colour and a craft to explore my appreciation of fashion with a medium that is conducive to experimentation. In addition, knitting feeds my need for well-fitting garments. I have found a real home in the fibre arts.

What designers do you admire & why?
Kate Davies, Kieran Foley, Carol Fellar. Kate and Carol have such wonderful backgrounds in fibre and explain techniques clearly. Kate’s colour is beautiful and the attention & appreciation to detail is admirable. Carol works cables beautifully and uses short rows most skillfully. I enjoy the new and clever way Kieran combines lace & colour, using traditional shapes. Plus, he calls it a lab and that is completely what it is!

MonaZillah_sketch & swatchWhat does your design process look like?
I rarely can turn off my design mind and end up sketching and jotting down ideas all the time.

But when I really get in the studio and begin to work, I start with a colour or particular theme. I draw some ideas and use the olde trusty graph paper. Then, when I have something that flows, I move to swatching to consider the feeling of how the colours will interact. I started making Swatch Baubles, which has been a super fun way to investigate combinations. Once I have a few palettes, I pop those into my stitch mastery program and start shaping it to the project.

With shaping in mind, most of my patterns are adjustable, which is important to me. We are all unique and so should our hand-knits be. You can make it fit the way you like – you know you best!

What type of project do you like to knit/crochet most?
For my own designs, larger complex garments rock my clock. I have a couple dresses on my back-burner mind. For my own pleasure, I fancy making animals from other designers – knit or crochet. The best way to clear my designer palate!

MonaZillah_ A Foxy Frolic 0What are you best known for as a designer?
I began with lace mystery shawls and people really enjoy joining in. I have a very loyal following and a few have been knitting along since I began. And recently, I have been seeing new lace faces in our group.

Now, moving into colour patterns, people are responding with so much support and enthusiasm. I feel like I have finally found my feet and I am honoured to be part of Eat.Sleep.Knit. Pattern Academy!

What are your hobbies/interests outside of the fiber community?
Music and film. I listen to music (am listening currently) almost all day long. I listen mainly to Henry Rollins and BBC6 radio, they seem to take care of most of my needs.

Film is something I am truly passionate about, from superheroes to Fellini.

Is there anything else you’d like our knitters to know about you?
I am happy and honoured to be part of this community! Being a bit displaced and beginning anew, this community has made it possible for me to make friends, work, and constantly learn.

I support small business and our growing climate conscious/human positive yarn sourcing.

I focus mainly on natural fibres and am inspired by the growing numbers of small family farms and climate beneficial croft practices. The idea that our crafting could rejuvenate our environments is a truly awesome thing!

Learn more about Mona on Ravelry or follow @bunnymuff on Instagram. Stay tuned for our last Pattern Academy introduction!

Meet the Fellows: Emily Wood

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I live in Maryland with my family and our deeply-suspicious-of-anything-new dog. I began designing patterns about 10 years ago and have had patterns published most recently by Interweave Knits, Knitty, and SweetGeorgia Yarns.

How did you get into knitting & designing knitwear?
It started with a pair of socks. Sock Knitters Anonymous on Ravelry held a monthly challenge to design your own sock pattern. I labored over those socks, and by the time they were finished, I had caught the designing bug.

What designers do you admire & why?
I prefer not to name names because there’s too many amazing designers! I’m sure that I would leave out crucial people. I gravitate toward designers who make projects with clean lines, interesting constructions, or a strategic use of color. I am constantly finding new patterns to admire and add to my queue.

DSC06747-adjWhat does your design process look like?
There are three main ways that I begin to develop a design. I’m frequently inspired by the mood boards that magazines & yarn companies send out when they are putting together a collection. I’ll see an image of something in nature or of another garment, and then I’ll dive into my stitch dictionaries to match up my ideas with actual stitches.

Other times, I want to knit with a particular yarn. You know – those special skeins that you just have to buy, but then you don’t know what you’re going to do with them?  I try to think about what stitch patterns would show off the yarn best.

The third way I come up with designs is the most spontaneous and least reliable. Occasionally, I’ll be about to fall asleep and an absolutely brilliant idea for a pattern will pop into my head. Unfortunately, what seemed amazing in the foggy middle of the night sometimes won’t turn out to be workable in the light of day.

DSC06746What type of project do you like to knit/crochet most?
I keep coming back to shawls, though I like to mix things up with all different types of projects. Shawls are easy because gauge is not as important and they provide a wide-open canvas for experimentation.

What are you best known for as a designer?
I’m not sure – I’d like to be known for clear instructions and an interesting use of color and texture. Those are my goals!

What are your hobbies/interests outside of the fiber community?
When I’m not knitting, I’m taking care of my kids, working as a freelance editor, baking cookies, reading novels, and writing stories. There’s always too much to do and not enough hours in the day.

Is there anything else you’d like our knitters to know about you?
I’m so excited to be collaborating with Eat.Sleep.Knit. in the Pattern Academy! Thanks so much!

Want to see more of Emily? Check our her profile on Ravelry!

Meet the Fellows: Fiona Munro

Pattern Academy Intros header-01

I’m Fiona from Aberdeen, Scotland and I grew up on Salt Spring Island in Canada.

P1030336How did you get into knitting & designing knitwear?
I have been an avid knitter since my grandmother taught me to knit when I was six years old. It was only a few years ago when I was studying as a graduate student that I realized I could design my own patterns and that I could share these new designs with others. Since then, I have continued to design these patterns on the side of my day job with the help of my two sisters.

What designers do you admire & why?
I very much admire designers that draw from traditional techniques and styles to create modern designs like Alice Starmore.

IMG_20190612_090503__01What does your design process look like?
A lot of my inspiration comes from nature and that is why I love living near the ocean and rolling hills in Scotland. I often will have an idea come to me when out for a run or as I am falling asleep at night. I then make sure to sketch it out on a scrap piece of paper or in my sketch book, whatever is closer to hand! Then, I work out a chart if there is lace, texture, or fair isle detail. I will knit a swatch or multiple swatches depending on how they turn out. I then put together a design proposal to submit to a third-party publication or write up the pattern for self-publishing.

What type of project do you like to knit/crochet most?
I love working on lace projects in the warmer summer parts of the year and larger heavier projects like sweaters and wraps in the autumn and winter. I love how a large knitting project can act like a lap blanket in the winter when it is dark and rainy!

IMG_20181121_093349__01What are you best known for as a designer?
Easy to more complex knits that draw from traditional techniques and styles such as fair isle and Shetland lace knitting.

What are your hobbies/interests outside of the fiber community?
Besides knitting & designing my main other hobbies are fiddling, long distance running, and rowing.

Learn more about Fiona on Ravelry or follow @MunroSisters3 on Instagram. Stay tuned for more designers!