We are always curious about the brains behind the yarns we love so much! Who are the dyers and teams of people that dedicate their lives to bringing us the most wonderful colors on the best fibers? Continue on to find out a little more about Lisa Mutch from our newest ESK addition, Northbound Knitting!
How do you choose the colorways and where does your palette originate? Are you inspired by your local area or do you travel?
I’m inspired by so many things! It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what.
Everything: music, nature, food, fashion, my kids artwork, a favourite
shirt, inspires me. I can be moved by something simple like a mug or bowl;
or something complex like trying to mimic a type of rust which was the
inspiration behind the colourway Verdigris. I am lucky because I live in a
beautiful part of Canada. Not only can I find so much inspirarion on road
trips through my beautiful northern surroundings, I am often inspired just
by walking out my front door.
I like to challenge myself with creating colourways too, I might see a
plant and try to recreate the exact colour I see. I might hear a song and
try to create a colourway that expresses the way that song makes me feel,
like I did with a club colourway “Lovesong”. I have so many colourway
ideas, and bringing them to life is one of my favourite aspects of this
Who taught you to knit? Self-taught? A special teacher?
I’m a self-taught knitter. Nobody in my family knits and I always thought
it would be a neat hobby. It wasn’t until I decided to quit smoking, about
15 years ago, that I actually went for it. I figured I would need something
to keep my hands busy while fighting nicotine cravings. I went to the local
craft store. I bought a Debbie Bliss ‘How To Knit’ book, some Susan Bates
needles, some Red Heart black acrylic yarn and I vowed to not leave my
apartment until I could knit. A very wonky, crooked, garter stitch scarf
was the result, the beginning of my love affair with garter stitch. 🙂
How do you balance designing knitwear AND dying?
Hmmm, good question! I see them as two distinctly different jobs of
mine. Dyeing is my day job. I wake up early every day with a list of what
needs to be dyed; whether it’s a wholesale order, club dyeing, shop update
yarn, or custom orders, and the majority of my day is spent in the dye
Every evening when all my dye work is done for the day, I knit. I love just
grabbing a few skeins from my stash (aka NBK inventory) and casting on
something from my mind with no instructions to follow, nothing complicated
or fiddly, just an idea I have. It’s my downtime, my quiet and relaxing
time when I’m usually watching something on Netflix and often enjoying a
glass of red wine.
Either way, they both consume my thoughts. When I’m dyeing, my mind will
usually drift to possible design ideas and when I’m knitting, future
colourway ideas are always on my mind.
What are you currently knitting?
Not surprising to many, I’m currently working on two new shawl designs for summer and have a few cowl designs sketched up that need to be swatched. Shawls and cowls are my absolute favourite accessories and it’s very rare to see me without something hand-knit around my neck. In fact, I have a (rather large) shawl wall in my home. Picking out my daily shawl to wear is always very exciting, sometimes a bit time consuming because there are somany choices!
When you’re not dying or designing, where would we find you?
I have two children, Brooklyn (9) and Brodie (6) so I spend a lot of time with them. We enjoy doing crafts, reading, riding bikes, camping, hiking, playing at the park, skating on our backyard rink in the winter, and being beach babes during our ridiculously short summer.
What are your hobbies/interests outside of the fiber community?
I love reading and I am currently obsessed with graphic novels and horror
manga. I recently started the Sin City books and I adore them! I love to
cook, eat, and mix fancy cocktails with a classic gin martini being my
all-time favourite (extra olives, extra dirty). I love yoga and I try to
run at least a few times a week.
Do you have plans to expand? New colorways? New bases?
I do have plans to expand! I’m currently in the process of finding a much
bigger studio space which is very exciting! There are always new
colourways, I have so many colourway ideas and my mind never stops working
so yes, many new colourways, knitwear designs and other fun NBK stuff to
Lisa Mutch from Northbound Knitting has an unparalleled eye for beautiful textures, clean lines, and flawless style. She is a dyer and designer which makes her understanding of base, color, and resulting fabric much more practical and cohesive. To put it frankly, Lisa just gets it. We would like to thank Lisa for taking the time to answer our questions and look forward to a wonderful kitty friendship!