Thursday, November 20, 2014

Gift-a-long 2014 Designer Interview: Shannon Squire

Today, I'm thrilled to be interviewing Shannon Squire of Gathering Wool (shannon on Ravelry). Shannon is a Portland based designer with a lot of interesting knits for women and kids.

What is your favorite type of item to design and why (shawls/socks/sweaters/etc)?

"I have always loved knitting (and designing) shawlettes - they’re a fantastically blank canvas, ripe for so many different textural, lace, and color options. I have gotten more into cowl designs lately, and that’s partly because they are just so darned easy to wear. I love one or two skein projects that are easy TV knitting, but interesting enough to keep my attention."

You are very prolific and have quite the collection of designs. If you had to pick a favorite, what would it be and why?

"Ananke is probably still my favorite, because it was the first thing I actually designed and wrote up, and it remains my best-selling pattern. It’s the perfect example of my design philosophy: patterns that are accessible and easy to execute, but are fun enough that actually enjoy the knit."

What is your desert island yarn?

"That’s a really REALLY hard question! I recently used Blue Moon Fiber Arts Yaksi Fingering for a bunch of projects (designed the Off-Kilter Shawlette as a mystery KAL and therefore made three and then designed a cowl to complement the shawlette (called Off-Kilter Cowl)), and it’s pretty much the perfect accessory yarn. Soft, takes colors in a gorgeously muted way, has a nice tight twist, so can be frogged again and again and still holds up super well. There may or may not be a bunch of it in my stash, awaiting the time to play, and at this point in time, I’d have to say it’s my desert island yarn. Now, how many skeins of this yarn can I take to this fabled desert island, and when exactly can I leave? :)"

I started my gift knitting at the last minute and I only have 2 weeks left. Which of your patterns should I knit?

"I have a few patterns designed for super-bulky-weight yarn: the Tea & Picots Shawlette (made in Knitted Wit’s Cotton Candy) and a very-soon-to-be-released cowl designed for Blue Moon Fiber Arts Sookie. Both can be made up in an evening or two (depending on how fast you knit and how many hours an evening consists of in your life)."

How's life in Portland? I've never been there but I've always wanted to visit.

"Portland is amazing! I have two small kiddos, so don’t experience Portland the way I used to, but it’s a gorgeous city with mild-ish weather (I’m from the Midwest, and don’t miss the snow & extreme cold or the humidity & extreme heat one little bit). The food is amazing, there is a huge DIY and knitting culture, and it’s a very inspiring place to be."

Thanks, Shannon! Be sure to check out her Gift-a-long Designs. There's still a couple of days left to take advantage of the 25% off discount. I've got my eye on these cute legwarmers.

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