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: Xandy Peters


My first interview today is with Xandy Peters of So, I Make Stuff.

Who taught you to knit/How did you learn to knit?
My mother taught me when I was 5.

How did you get started designing?
About 5 years ago, I was having a hard time finding work in the field of manufacturing after getting my degree in Industrial Design. I found out that Stephen West, who’s patterns I had seen in Knitty Magazine, was selling knitting patterns online. He seemed similar to my age and it was working out for him. I figured I could apply my design training to knitting at least while I was looking for work and maybe people would take interest.

What inspires your designs?
I tend to focus on interesting stitches for accessories, usually curiosity in a certain technique leads to swatches. For garments, I do some trend research and find the shapes and details that seem relevant.

Which comes first – the yarn or the inspiration?
It depends on the project, I guess sometimes I design for a yarn, but mostly I look at stitches and sketches first.

What characteristics do you try to incorporate in your designs?
I have been doing a lot of stacked stitches, mostly because it’s kind of like my “signature” thing. That means colorwork is usually a big thing for me.

What is your favourite type of item to design?
It tends to change from month to month.

Tell me about “Stacked Stuff” patterns, what is the story behind these pieces?
I was doing a lot of shoe design work, but freelancing in that world is always feast or famine. At some point I was thinking about applying to grad school for textiles so I could work in materials development and find an office job. The stacked stitches development project was going to be my application portfolio. On the off chance that there would be some interest online, I made some patterns from my swatches. The response has been surprising.

Do you have an aspirational knit – a complicated/challenging design that you want to knit “some day” when you feel ready?
I bought a book of Niebling lace designs and want to have the time to make one mostly to learn about lace design. There’s just never time to make one though.

What is coming next? What’s in your release queue?
I have some secret stuff going on. You can expect a Jersey Shore Knits Book 2 this summer, that’s for sure.

Your desert island yarn? (if you could only knit with one yarn from now on which would it be?) – Woolbearers fingering wool is really great. It comes in a lot of colors, and there are regular and mini size skeins. It’s mostly a colorwork yarn.

Which is your most under-appreciated design?
The boardwalk wrap is one that people just need to experience, so the online response has been pretty disappointing. More so because people really love it in real life and I’ll never get the airy lightness to come across in the images.

What’s the one piece of advice you’d like to share with other knitters?
If you are curious about something, try it. You can get all sorts of amazing things to happen when you take risks.

Any knitting/designing New Year’s resolutions?
I want to do more teaching in 2016.

If you could have dinner with one knitting designer (living or dead) who would it be and why?
I have been really lucky to get to talk to a lot of people that I respect lately, but I’ve always wanted to meet to Olga Buraya-Kefelian. I greatly admire how she’s been able to stay true to her somewhat high fashion and mathematical aesthetic while making it relatable to so many people.

View all of Xandy’s patterns here. All photos copyright Xandy Peters. All images used by permission.

You can find Xandy 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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Every Which Way Cowl

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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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Gridwork Scarf
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