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!

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