Next up in our series of blog interviews is Valeria Kerkkä from Finland. Valeria designed the beautiful Quatrefoil mittens which I absolutely adore. I particularly like the fact that there are two similar but different patterns - one on the back of the mitten and one on the front. Our model also loved these mittens so I'm currently knitting her a pair as a thank you for modeling for us.
Was there a specific inspiration for your mitten design?
I had been admiring the quatrefoil patterns in old windows and I always thought they might work well in a continuous colourwork pattern, in the spirit of Scandinavian stranded knitting. I enjoy the symmetry and repetitiveness of these designs and thought it would translate nicely into this particular collection because the effect is quite calm and timeless.
Is there a place that inspires you?
I am also a geographer and because of that I tend to look at all kinds of spaces with adoration. I am especially inspired by cities and towns with buildings and structures from multiple time periods all mixed up. I love seeing old buildings find new uses and new people. I like to just sit down with a cup of coffee and observe this kind of spaces, sketching down interesting details as I notice them around me.
Which type of needles do you usually use to knit mittens: double-pointed needles, two-circulars, magic loop…?
I am a DPN knitter! To me, they are the most practical choice for almost anything.
What is the fall and winter weather like where you live? How many months of the year do you wear mittens or gloves?
I live in Finland, so it’s cold. We don’t tend to get the extra harsh winters that we used to back in the day, but for me it is mitten season from September to May. I start the season with a thin pair of alpaca mittens and eventually layer three pairs for the coldest winter days. I used to have an autumn tradition of designing and knitting new mittens for myself each year but because of other designing work I unfortunately had to give up on that this time around.
What was the last thing you knit and who was it for?
The last thing I knit was a pair of Squircles with some alpaca yarn for myself.
When you aren’t knitting and designing, what are you doing?
I like to dabble in drawing and watercolours, I watch way too many tv shows and I sing. I also love reading. And every autumn I turn into a Christmas card factory!
Where can we find you and see more of your design work?
I mainly post my designs on Ravelry.
Thank you Valeria!
Summer is a time when I gravitate towards certain types of projects: lace (not too hot and bulky), socks (small and portable), shawls (don’t have to worry about fit), and crochet (fast).
Hitting three out of four of my vacation-project favourites, this seems like the perfect time of year to review one of Interweave’s latest compilation books: Classic Crochet Shawls. This book includes 20 shawl patterns from the Interweave archives, so some may look familiar as they’ve all been previously published in either books or magazines.
Russian grafting is a method of joining live knitting stitches and is used as an alternative to Kitchener stitch in our Argyle Christmas Stocking pattern. It is a good choice here because the stripes on the toe would not align exactly if you grafted using Kitchener stitch, so the decorative Russian grafting is used instead.
This particular method of Russian grafting uses a crochet hook to join the stitches. Use a crochet hook that is the same size or slightly smaller than your knitting needles. Russian grafting can also be used to join two separate pieces of knitting.