Meet the Fellows: Elizabeth Crisci

I was born and raised in the Connecticut suburbs of New York City to a family full of creatives on both sides. My two grandmothers inspired me greatly and taught me many things as a child from crochet to tarot reading.

After attending the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan, I began teaching yoga. Nowadays, I am teaching online from my studio apartment in Brooklyn full of plants and one very cute rescue Frenchie.

How did you get into knitting & designing knitwear? I first learned crochet around age 4 from my grandmother. After many years of loving crochet as a child, I taught myself to knit in college from internet tutorials which were just beginning back then! For the last 15 years, I have always had many knitting projects going and have learned so many techniques from inspirational designers & patterns. During quarantine in 2020, I finally took a leap into creating and sharing my own patterns.

What designers do you admire & why? Ysolda Teague is one of the designers I’ve admired for a very long time. I think she’s been someone to look up to in the knitting community, on top of the beautiful patterns she creates. Gudrun Johnston is another that I really admire. Her designs are classic and timeless, but with interesting and unique details. Her textural patterns are my favorites. There are many others but I’ll lastly include Cookie A because her garment construction blows my mind & I love it.

What does your design process look like? My design process usually starts with yarn. I do a simple swatch with a yarn I want to use and then start sketching based on the fabric I create. Sometimes that step happens several times to flush out my idea before I cast on. I’m aspiring to do even more of this step. I’ve also been known to cast on early and re-work a sweater several times. I’m aspiring to do that less.

What type of project do you like to knit/crochet most? I am very much in love with garment knittng like sweaters and dresses. And socks!

What are your hobbies/interests outside of the fiber community? Yoga and Art, through and through. I spend a lot of time studying and reading, practicing and taking long walks, and creating in other ways. I love to paint, draw and embroider. I’m also learning to sew. And so that I don’t sound too wholesome, you can often find me playing video games in the evenings, too!

Is there anything else you’d like our knitters to know about you? Knittng to me is about love. Devoting yourself to creating a special garment for yourself or someone you care for is downright magical. The item you knit symbolizes so much time, I’ve found profound healing in giving myself the gift of time as a sweater or cozy pair of socks. That’s what I hope to share through my patterns, a blueprint for love.

Learn more about this fresh designer on her Ravelry designer’s page and on Instagram as @elizabeth.margaret.knits.

Meet the Fellows: Ash Christine

Hi, I’m Ash from the southern end of the East Coast here in the United States. I’m a designer and small business owner by day and a writer by night. I love playing with color palettes and combining stitch patterns in new & interesting ways for each of my designs.

What designers do you admire & why?
Mina Philipp of Knitting Expat Designs – I love the color play that she does in her own designs. I’m a huge fan of color and I love that she brings her own personal touch to each of her designs.

What does your design process look like?
Honestly, my design process changes so often it’s hard to say! Sometimes I’ll find a stitch pattern in a stitch dictionary and immediately know what I want to turn it into. Other times, I find yarn I want to use and try out a few things to see what gets the best stitch definition – and sometimes I just start sketching out ideas before I even really know what I’m planning on designing!

What type of project do you like to knit/crochet most?
In my personal knitting time, I love making blankets – they’re one of the first things I learned to make and I’m a huge fan of long-term projects. The only downside is when you have TWELVE long-term projects LOL!
As for designing, hats are one of my favorite things to design. There’s something so gratifying about seeing those decreases come together and shape the hat!

What are you best known for as a designer?
Definitely cables! I’m obsessed with the way each cable twists and turns to create an image – hands down one of my favorite things to add to a design.

What are your hobbies/interests outside of the fiber community?
Ooh, definitely writing – I’ve been writing fiction going on fifteen years now and I still absolutely love it! And I gotta give a shout-out to reading – I’m always looking for my next favorite book!

If you have a book recommendation for Ash, give her a shoutout in the comments below or check her out on Instagram as @ashchristinedesigns and on her Ravelry designer’s page! After adding a few things to your queue, head over to Ash’s etsy shop to find a set of handmade stitch markers.