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: Ela Torrente


My second interview today is with Italian designer Ela Torrente of Modish Knits.

Ela Torrente

Ela Torrente

Who taught you to knit/How did you learn to knit?
I learned to knit from my mother, but mainly from my grandmother. My granny was a cable ninja! She knits only with 2-3 mm needles because she loved to do very intricate garments for newborns. So, I will never reach ever the teacher!

How did you get started designing?
Ravelry has changed my life! I learned modern techniques and I could adapt the patterns to myself. A few years ago, it was less easy to find very small sizes (I am a pocket size woman). So… I customized everything. This helped me to create my designs later.

What inspires your designs?
Nature, more than anything else.

Which comes first – the yarn or the inspiration?
It depends. Sometimes one, sometimes the other. Let’s say that happens more often that I have an idea and then apply it to my stash. It means many swatches, some disappointment, a final cry of joy!

What characteristics do you try to incorporate in your designs?
I try to do wearables. Sweaters or accessories that do not remain forgotten in the closet. It is important for me, I wear almost everyday my knitting stuff.
So, “knit comfortable” is my mantra.

What is your favourite type of item to design?
Definitely top-down sweaters!

Tell me about “A Study in Single”, what was the inspiration for this collection?
For “A Study in Single” I immersed myself in the joy of working what I love most: single ply, non-superwash yarns. I know some may be frightened by felting, but there is nothing more pleasing to knit feeling the pure fiber in your hands.

Do you have an aspirational knit – a complicated/challenging design that you want to knit “some day” when you feel ready?
I never knitted socks! A full of shaping-extralong-fair isle pair of socks! Some day… maybe… who knows.

What is coming next? What’s in your release queue?
Oh, you’ll see a lot of things in 2016! I’m working with some incredible magazines, some amazing dyers and stunning yarn companies! I’m very happy. I will be immersed also in my “Ultimate Modish Sweater Club” that I started on October: 6 brand new sweaters in 12 months!

Your desert island yarn? (if you could only knit with one yarn from now on which would it be?)
A giant, never ending, roving to spin. Could it be?

Which is your most under-appreciated design?
It’s a difficult question!
I’m quite new in this job and I haven’t the parameters for judging the liking of others. I can say that I underestimated my Yellow Brick Road cardi. When I released it in May 2014, I was very surprised by the popularity of the pattern. Even today, when I look at how many wonderful sweaters finished on Ravelry, I find myself surprised, proud and touched too!

What’s the one piece of advice you’d like to share with other knitters?
Be patient, and smile more!

Any knitting/designing New Year’s resolutions?
I would like to try out new yarns and create new relations with dyers. I enjoyed so much to work with fiber artists in 2015. I hope to find out a good ease to create new partnerships.

If you could have dinner with one knitting designer (living or dead) who would it be and why?
Oh, fantastic! Well, if I could I’d love to cooking for Barbara Walker! Her Treasures of Knitting constantly occupy tables, coffee tables, chairs or shelves in my home. She is always with us ahah!

View all of Ela’s patterns here. All photos copyright Ela Torrente. All images used by permission.

You can find Ela on the following social media sites:

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!

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Audrey II

Angular Path Scarf

Cartouche Stole

Fossetta Cowl

Fossetta Hat

Sargaço Shawl

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New Tech Cowl

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Taming of the Fox

Don't Ask Y

Cantilevering Leaves

Amplification Stole

Combs Cowl

Mindfulness Cowl

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