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Interview: Brandy Velten


Today’s first interview is with Brandy Velten of Brandy Velten Knitting Designs.

Brandy Velten

Brandy Velten

Who taught you to knit/How did you learn to knit?
I actually learned how to knit using videos on the web. I have known how to crochet since I was little, when my mom taught me, but I never learned how to knit until just a few years ago. I’m sure having the crochet experience really helped me pick up knitting quickly.

How did you get started designing?
I got started a bit slowly, just modifying patterns I had purchased with different details to better fit my aesthetic. I was pretty nervous about actually putting myself out there with original designs, so I started with smaller items like hats and cowls to build my confidence. I then kept challenging myself to design items that incorporated new techniques. I always aim to push myself to get better and braver with each design I release.

What inspires your designs?
Color and shape are two of the things I find the most inspirational.

Which comes first – the yarn or the inspiration?
Usually, the inspiration and then I hunt down the yarn that will help me realize the image in my head to the greatest effect. It helps stop me from just going nuts in the yarn store and buying all the beautiful things!

What characteristics do you try to incorporate in your designs?
I try to incorporate style and comfort while keeping things fun with color and texture.

What is your favourite type of item to design?
Right now, I’m totally on a sweater kick. But I also love designing new color work designs.

Tell me about the fairy tales that inspire your designs.
Sometimes, I think fairy tales, and especially the women of fairy tales, get a bit of a bad wrap in today’s society with people proclaiming they are anti-feminist and whatnot. But I be the first to admit that I grew up with Disney-ified fairy tales and I love them. I think the women in the stories are actually strong and often quite independent and headstrong. They fight for what they want, even when it might be different than what is expected of them, and they don’t let others dictate who they should be. Plus, who doesn’t enjoy feeling a little special now and then. I’m not sure if any of my designs actually capture that sentiment, but I hope someday they may.

Do you have an aspirational knit – a complicated/challenging design that you want to knit “some day” when you feel ready?
I really wanted to knit the Mull of Kintyre cardigan by Anna Davis this year, but my color work skills are just not at the necessary level for working with that many colors at one time. Someday, though.

What is coming next? What’s in your release queue?
My next release will be my Karou pullover that is just finishing up testing this month and will be release in early December.

Karou Pullover

Karou Pullover

Your desert island yarn? (if you could only knit with one yarn from now on which would it be?)
I have to go with Madelinetosh tosh merino light. I love that stuff for everything. I’ve made two sweaters with it plus numerous accessories. I love the colors, I love how it knits up, and I even just love how it smells. Yeah, it’s weird.

Which is your most under-appreciated design?
I would say my Mont Royal socks. They were one of my very first designs, so I’ll always be oddly attached to them.

What’s the one piece of advice you’d like to share with other knitters?
Trust your gut. If something isn’t appealing to you as you knit it, then you probably won’t enjoy it when it is finished. When I design, if something isn’t coming out the way I pictured it, I’ve learned the hard way that it is better to just rip back and work to make it better than to carry on with something only half my heart is in. I think people can oddly sense that sort of thing when you release a design.

Any knitting/designing New Year’s resolutions?
I would really love to get organized enough to put together a full collection for next fall/winter.

If you could have dinner with one knitting designer (living or dead) who would it be and why?
Amy Miller’s design aesthetic has been a big source of inspiration for me as I work to develop my own ideas. I would love to just hang out with her and talk about color and texture and what inspires her.

View all of Brandy’s patterns here. All photos copyright Brandy Velten. All images used by permission.

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posted under interview, Knitting
One Comment to

“Interview: Brandy Velten”

  1. On December 3rd, 2015 at 2:19 pm Brandy Says:

    Thank you so much for this great feature!

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