Todays interview is with Inês Sousa, designer of gorgeous shawls! Check out her patterns here or her blog here.

  1. How did you come to knitting / crocheting?

My mom taught to me how to knit as a child, at least the basics – I knew how to purl (that’s the dominant stitch in Portuguese style of knitting) and the single cast-on.

I learned everything else (many years later) through books, videos, tutorials, etc… so I consider myself a self-taught knitter. I also learned to crochet as a child and I think I was fairly good at it but it didn’t stick.

2. What inspires your designs?

My work is many times inspired by nature, pattern stitches, yarn, poems, music and everything else that surround me.

  1. What is your design process?

I try to translate my somehow chaotic inner world into stitches, so sketching is very important to me and so is making swatches. If it works, I proceed with the pattern, if it doesn’t; I adjust it by correcting the ratio of increases/decreases, changing the pattern stitch, working the transitions in a different manner, switching the yarn, and so on…

  1. Do you have a favourite fiber?

I particularly enjoy wool, it is warm, durable and very enjoyable to work with. I even like its odour. Plus, it blocks beautifully.

  1. If you could only knit/crochet one type of item, what would it be?

That’s easy, shawls! I can’t quite explain why I find shawls so satisfactory to knit but I really enjoy knitting them. I tried so many different techniques, pattern stitches and types of construction. I’ve knitted top-down shawls, bottom-up, sideways, on the bias, on the bias and spiral. I’ve combined different textures – delicate lace, ingenious slipped stitches, cute ruffles with squishy garter, it never ends! The possibilities are infinite and the outcome can be so different from each other.

  1. Which of your patterns make for really great gift knitting?

I’d say Espiral, it’s mindless knitting, it has a great texture and a cute detail in the inner edge being both easy and fun to knit and wear. It starts with only a few stitches enlarging size gradually due to strategic increases and bind-offs. I specially enjoy the versions worked with long color transitions showcasing shawl’s diagonal lines.

Espiral

Do you have any new patterns coming out during the GAL that you want to talk about?

I expect to release Tulipa Espiral shortly, it’s a sweet shawlette, totally seamless, knitted on the bias with a pretty pattern that combines a lace detail on the outer edge (little tulips) with garter stitch. It has a cool spiral and asymmetrical shape, being a fun pattern that plays with colours, short-rows, increases and is finished with a lovely picot bind-off.

TulipaEspiral

(c) for all photos: Inês Sousa

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