Eclectic Closet Litblog, Book Reviews & Knitting Designs

A litblog dedicated to book reviews/recommendations, as well as literary and publishing news. Now enhanced with knitting designs.

Interview: Jenn Wisbeck, Midnightsky Fibers


As part of the Indie Design Gift-A-Long on Ravelry, I will be interviewing a few of the 293 participating designers about the process of designing and what they like to knit – and if we’re lucky, they’ll give us a peek into what’s on their needles. To launch the series I interviewed Jenn Wisbeck of Midnightsky Fibers, who I’m blessed to have as a tech editor and whose stellar skills keeps my patterns intelligible.

Jenn Wisbeck, Midnightsky Fibers

Jenn Wisbeck, Midnightsky Fibers

How did you get started designing?
I started selling handspun yarn on Etsy. Back then, there weren’t many patterns available for handmade yarns, so I started designing patterns that were quick to knit that worked well with limited yardage.

What inspires your designs?
My knitting patterns are inspired by the trips I take and the beautiful scenery around me in the Pacific Northwest. Right now I am obsessed with knitting hats, so most of design ideas show up in hat patterns.

Stonebridge Hat

Stonebridge Hat

Which comes first – the yarn or the inspiration?
Almost always the inspiration first, unless I am trying to figure out what to do with some fabulous yarn. I do generally have a type of yarn in mind when I start planning, especially for colorwork.

What characteristics do you try to incorporate in your designs?
I like projects that are easy and quick to knit- the sort of projects you can throw in your bag before you hop on a plane.

What is your favourite type of item to design?
Hats! What can I say, I am obsessed- several hundred hats later, I am still not tired of knitting them!

Your desert island yarn? (if you could only knit with one yarn from now on which would it be?)
Cascade 220 and a size 32″ circular. Cascade 220 comes in lots of lovely muted colors that work well together, and the needles work for everything from hats to sweaters.

What’s your “comfort knitting?”
Ribbed hats in recycled cashmere yarn. I take thrifted cashmere sweaters, unravel them, and wind 3 or 4 strands together to make a dk or worsted weight yarn. The hats are nice and warm while still being lightweight.

Elevation Hat

Elevation Hat

Which is your most under-appreciated design?
I just released it, so too soon to say that it is under-appreciated, but my Elevation Hat is a great quick gift project, and the chained yarn is really lovely.

Which three GAL designs are top of your list to cast on?

1. A Most Bespeckled Hat pattern by Alex Tinsley- I love the pops of color!
2. Klimt Hat pattern by Nina Machlin Dayton, in some natural colors
3.Pixelated Hat pattern by Jennifer Beaumont- looks like a great way to use up some leftovers!

Continental or English?
Both! I switch between, but generally use continental.

What’s the best thing about knitting?
Portability and how easy it is to rip back. Unlike weaving or sewing, it is easy to change your mind if you decide you don’t like the size or pattern you have chosen. Plus, knitting doesn’t require very many tools so it is easy to carry along on trips.

What’s the one piece of advice you’d like to share with other knitters?
Learn to knit or join ends of yarn as you go – it will make the finishing process so much easier!

Any knitting/designing New Year’s resolutions?
I will be trying really hard to use up some of my stash yarn that has been languishing in bins, especially the UFO’s (unfinished objects) that have been abandoned for years. Time to finish them off or rip them out!

View all of Jenn’s patterns here. All photos copyright Jenn Wisbeck, Midnightsky Fibers. Images used by permission.

What is the Gift-A-Long? The GAL is a big knitting and crochet designer promotion with prizes and more than 5,000 people participating in a giant KAL/CAL. Come join in GAL group on Ravelry!

posted under interview, Knitting
One Comment to

“Interview: Jenn Wisbeck, Midnightsky Fibers”

  1. On November 14th, 2014 at 3:36 pm 2014 GAL Says:

    […] Janelle from Eclectic Closet interviewed me for the GAL- you can read the interview here: interview with Janelle from Eclectic Closet. […]

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