Meet the Fellows: Shana Cohen

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My name is Shana, I live outside of Denver, CO with my husband and son. I am an architect by training with an extensive background in college design education.

How did you get into knitting & designing knitwear?
I started knitting while studying for my architecture licensing exams in 2008. At the time, I was spending all of my free time preparing for the multi part exam, and decided I needed a study activity break that was portable. I took a 2-week class at a local yarn store and made my first scarf. I joined Ravelry a few months later, and I have enjoyed knitting ever since.
My first design was a collaboration with my son in 2018: a superhero cape! We talked together about the design, and I created a version he loves. I worked through several iterations, experimenting with color and construction technique. The design comes with a blank coloring page, something that many of my subsequent patterns also include. Over the next year, I created a few simple hat designs. In early 2019, the spark of an idea to create a multi-fit poncho came to me, and through several iterations, I created Moduloncho. I reconnected to a creative problem-solving part of my brain. The design was met with open arms and lots of excitement when I released it at the Zombie Knitpocalypse retreat in 2019, and through that experience, I gained some confidence to try to execute other designs that up until that point were just ideas and quick sketches in my notebooks.

IMG_0937What does your design process look like?
My process is heavily analog, involving pencil sketches and words, then experimenting with scaled models and later full-sized mock up pieces. My years of architecture teaching and practice experience guide my process, which often gets messier before it gets neater. I find inspiration in shapes and colors.

What type of project do you like to knit/crochet most?
I love knitting shawls and lately ponchos with interesting styling. I also enjoy knitting hats and cowls for quick palette cleansers!

Shana CohenWhat are you best known for as a designer?
Within my work, I strive to create designs that are easy to follow and allow for multiple styling options. I create designs that fit many body sizes without needing lots of extra yarn. I bring an architectural sensibility to my designs, paying careful attention to the amount of yardage in a skein, for example, just as one would pay attention to amounts of building materials. I work diligently to maximize yardage without needing to add extra. I love being able to showcase the work of my test knitters and others that create their own versions of my designs. I always enjoy working with others to help them create the best creative versions of themselves.

What yarns do you prefer?
Lately I’ve been using a lot of DK weight yarn. I enjoy working with superwash merino DK, and I also really enjoy combining 2 strands of leftover fingering weight yarn to achieve a DK gauge.

What are your hobbies/interests outside of the fiber community?
I love hiking and socializing with friends over a cup of coffee or a craft beer.

Is there anything else you’d like our crafters to know about you?
I am a textbook extrovert, I laugh at my own jokes, I have no poker face, I love iced coffee and most snacks from Trader Joe’s, I like hiking, Zumba, and knitting garter stitch, and I have difficulty saying no to helping friends.

Shana is super active on Instagram so follow her there and check out her designer page here!

1 thought on “Meet the Fellows: Shana Cohen

  1. Pingback: Find me on the Eat.Sleep.Knit blog! – Shanalines Designs

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