July 2023 saw the release of a beautiful new pattern from Janina Kallio using one of our yarns. Cloud Gazing (below) calls for Keld Twist in Tarn which is our plied superwash merino/linen yarn. It's a 4ply thickness but only has two plies for a nice soft and structured yarn. This design was the latest in a long history of wonderful collaborations between us and Janina and so we thought it was a great time to have a catch up with her.
Can you tell us a little about your background and how you came to become a designer?
My educational background is in social sciences (social psychology and political history), and I never dreamed of doing anything creative for a living. I didn’t even know designing knitting patterns was a career option until I found Ravelry back in 2012 and saw all these amazing designers sharing their patterns. I listed my first knitting patterns for sale just for the fun of it, and now in August 2023, I’m celebrating 10 years of being a full-time designer. I can hardly believe it myself!
Fern Fronds uses Bowland 4ply in Fern
Can you tell us about your process when you design a new piece?
Usually, I start with a general idea, like fingering weight one skein shawl with garter stitch and simple lace. Or a large bias triangle in worsted weight yarn. Then I make sketches to refine the idea and move on to playing with stitch patterns and yarns.
Sometimes I have a specific yarn that I want to use, and it all comes down to figuring out the best way to showcase that yarn. And sometimes, I have a specific stitch pattern that I want to find the perfect yarn for.
Spring Bloom uses Tempo 4ply in Coppice and Silver Birch
Who are your favourite designers that you admire the most?
I admire designers who have their own distinctive signature styles. I adore Olga Buraya-Kefelian’s unique textile explorations, Carrie Bostick Hoge’s timeless simplicity and Laerke Bagger’s playful and over-the-top approach.
What’s your knitting nemesis? Is there any technique that gives you the shivers?
I wouldn’t call it a nemesis, but stranded knitting is something that I can most definitely live without.
Interlude uses Titus 4ply in Falling Leaves
What attracted you to Eden Cottage Yarns/how did you find us?
I found Eden Cottage Yarns via Ravelry about 10 years ago and immediately fell in love with your soft, muted colours.
If you had to pick just one ECY colourway, what would it be and why?
I love them all, but today my choice would be Sage. No wait, Tide. I mean, Driftwood. Nope, can’t choose!
First Blooms uses Hayton 4ply in Campanula (which was once known as Ice, a long time ago)
At ECY we think our palette really lends itself to Janina's designs, and we love the way she so beautifully shows off our subtle colours. Her pieces are timeless and classy; they will look good and wear well for years and decades to come. It's a great honour to have our yarn used in this way and something that I (Victoria) will never feel complacent about.
Huge thanks to Janina for this interview. We have really enjoyed our collaborations over the years and are looking forward to many more. You can find Janina's website HERE, and also find all her designs on Ravelry. Follow Janina on Facebook HERE, Instagram HERE and Pinterest HERE.