We are so excited to bring you an exclusive interview with the woman who made the fade what it is in the knitting community – Andrea Mowry. If you can believe it, she’s just as delightful as her designs. She’s humble, family-oriented, and an all-around gem! Read along to learn about Andrea’s past career, pen collection, and precious personality.
Tell us about yourself.
I was born and raised in Michigan, and moved back here with my husband about 5 years ago. After leaving my job as a pastry chef to have our first child, I finally had the space to try my hand at designing knitting patterns. From there, the stars aligned and everything just fell into place! I feel like the luckiest person ever!!
What does your design process look like?
My design process has always felt very organic. An idea pops into my head and there is almost an urgency to getting it onto my needles. If I can’t cast on right away, I make sure to draw a little sketch, as my memory cannot be trusted! I have a lot of notebooks and quite the pen collection, and I always have at least one of each with me. From there I swatch and cast on. I am “write-as-I-knit” designer, so I always have my notebook or laptop next to me to write out the pattern.
What is your most favorite design and why?
Hahaha – typically, whatever I have just finished is my most favorite because it is what I am currently the most excited about! It’s hard to pick just one, as it sort of feels like trying to pick a favorite child! Lately, I find myself always grabbing my Briochealuscious shawl. It has some of my favorite colors, and perks up whatever outfit I am wearing.
How do you choose what you will design next?
Ideas just seem to pop into my head! Mostly, I would say I am inspired by yarn. Often times for me, the yarn comes before the design, and tells me what it wants to be. When I’m traveling, I do love to see what people are wearing in different cities and what they choose as their travel clothes. After I get home from a trip I usually have a lot of new ideas, I think just from having a break from my daily routine and surroundings. It gets my brain percolating again!
Who taught you to knit?
I was really fortunate to have my grandma teach me the basics when I was little. From there, I used books by Elizabeth Zimmerman and Debbie Stoller to teach myself the rest.
What designers do you admire?
Oh my gosh – so many! Norah Gaughan would definitely be at the top of my list!
What are you currently knitting?
Well, I am FAR from a monogamous knitter – so right now I’ve got a couple sweaters, a cowl, some slippers, a few shawls, and a hat…to name a few 🙂
How do you balance designing with your personal life?
Isn’t this the question? I am a work at home mama, so this one is tough. I am always trying hard to achieve balance, and failing most of the time! Ha! Thankfully, I have an incredibly supportive husband and family and we just make it work. Some days I work too much, and others not nearly enough, but that’s life I think.
What are your hobbies/interests outside of the fiber community?
I love to cook and am really interested in nutrition and the healing power of food. So if I’m not knitting, I’m typically in my kitchen!
Do you have plans to expand?
Yes! Always expanding 🙂 I am actually beginning to design full time in just a few weeks, and have loads of new collaborations and big projects happening this year. I have a number of book dreams, and hope to tackle that next adventure soon!
Do you have anything you’d like to say to our knitters/crocheters?
Aren’t we so lucky to be part of such an amazing community?? I’m so happy to be one of you, and I hope your knitting or crochet brings you joy each and every day!
We would like to sincerely thank Andrea for taking the time out of her busy schedule to do this interview for us! It was a pleasure getting a glimpse into your life and, if it was possible, we adore you even more. Have a comment or question for Andrea? List them in the comments below!