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Interview: Julia Trice, Mind of Winter Knitting Patterns


Today’s Gift-A-Long interview is with Julia Trice of Mind of Winter Knitting Patterns. Julia is a designer whose work I’ve admired for years and I was thrilled she was able to take the time for this interview.

Julia Trice modeling her Loden sweater

Julia Trice modeling her Loden sweater

How did you get started designing?
I started knitting before there were patterns available on the internet when there were only a handful of sources for garments that were fashionable, so when I wanted something that wasn’t in Rowan or Vogue, I had to design it. I didn’t really think of it as designing then because it was in one size, for me. But it was a beginning.

What inspires your designs?
The yarn. I work almost exclusively with indie yarn dyers. I use their yarns as inspiration, and try to make each yarn into the best thing I can imagine for it at the time. My second inspiration is stitch pattern. Trying a stitch pattern with a yarn is the first step to learning its strengths and limitations.

Moonshiner in Plucky Primo Worsted

Moonshiner in Plucky Primo Worsted

What is your favourite type of item to design?
I’m naturally a sweater designer and if you ask me to come up with something amazing for a yarn, a sweater is likely the first thing I will think of. But I am also very enamored of hats and cowls, and find them to be a nice break.

Adiri Slouchy Hat in Shalimar Haven

Adiri Slouchy Hat in Shalimar Haven

Your desert island yarn?
Oooh, that is a tough one – like choosing a favorite child, almost. If I absolutely had to choose just one it would be Shalimar Yarns Haven. It’s deceptive – a “workhorse” yarn with good yardage that knits up light as air, to a DK to worsted gauge. It has a unique character that is hard to describe. When I knit with Haven, it feels like coming home.

What’s your “comfort knitting?”

Cable Bunny in Shalimar Enzo Worsted

Cable Bunny in Shalimar Enzo Worsted

Which three GAL designs are top of your list to cast on?
I have to start with the caveat that I almost never have time to cast on a design other than my own. I am knitting a sample sweater for Marnie Maclean, one of the GAL designers, which I anticipate will be available while the GAL is ongoing. It’s a child’s sweater, and I am knitting it for my son, Griffin. It’s the first time I’ve knit something by someone else in 4 years. I realize that is pretty cryptic, but it is the only GAL pattern other than my own that I know I will be able to knit. Following that, my top picks are Willowherb, also by Marnie, and East End by Alicia Plummer. I have a lot of exploring to do, though. I know there are a ton of gems out there waiting to be discovered, and even if I cannot knit everything, it is wonderful to look and be inspired.

Continental or English?
Both. I’m a natural thrower, but for colorwork or fast Stockinette in the round, I pick as well.

Brennan in Shalimar Breathless DK

Brennan in Shalimar Breathless DK

What’s the one piece of advice you’d like to share with other knitters?
Don’t be afraid or ashamed to rip. You are never so good that you are beyond ripping, and you will never be better if you don’t rip when you should. (This is a pep talk as well as advice – I have a bit of ripping to do!)

View all of Julia’s patterns here. Images copyright Julia Trice, Mind of Winter Knitting Patterns. All 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 the GAL group on Ravelry!

posted under interview, Knitting

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