Monday, March 24, 2014

Feature Designer: Lisa Mutch of Northbound Knitting

Hey All! It's time for another feature designer interview!!

This time I'm laying my questions on Lisa Mutch, Owner, Dyer and Designer for Northbound Knitting.  Lisa is constantly releasing new patterns and shipping out her beautiful hand dyed yarns; a serious, one woman army. I don't know how, but I got her to spare a few minutes for me! So, read about her here then check her out on Ravelry!

1. What is your first thought when you awake?
 I'm one of those annoying morning people who pretty much bounces out of bed each day and gets to work. Every day has a very detailed list, things to do, yarn to dye, emails to reply to, pdfs to edit, etc., and I don't like to waste any time. The quicker I check things off my list, the more knitting time I get later on in the day!

2. What does the perfect knitting evening look like for you? Needles, yarn, environment, music, tv? 
 The perfect knitting evening, ahhhh. I'm pretty easy to please so as long as there's knitting involved, I'm very happy. Working on something in one of my favourite bases like a merino/silk or alpaca/silk/cashmere on my addi circulars, with a fire going, a glass of red wine, an episode of Homeland, The Walking Dead or Sons of Anarchy.....yeah, that sounds about right. :)

3. What /who inspires you? 
 I can honesty say that the knitting community inspires me to create. Seeing photos posted on Ravelry and Instagram of beautifully knitted items and gorgeous handspun yarn motivates me daily. I want to create more colourways, dye more yarn, design more shawls and sweaters and cowls so I can watch what this amazingly talented and creative community creates out of them.

4. What is your favorite part of the design process?
 I love the design process, having an idea, sketching, swatching, watching it come to life is so exciting and rewarding for me. I love watching how others interpret my designs with their own yarn choices and modifications. The whole process is amazing to me.

5. What is the part you most dread? 
 When it comes time to work on the actual pattern, make edits, correct mistakes during the test knitting process, that's when I start to drag my heels a bit.

6. What's your favorite FO to date?  
 My favourite FO's are definitely my shawls. I have an extensive collection and love wearing them daily, except in July and August when it's too hot but even then, you can find me knitting shawls at the beach.

From a designer's perspective, I love how versatile they are, how they can virtually be any shape, any design, colour, size. They're like a blank slate where the possibilities are endless. From a knitter's perspective, I love the long rows, circular needles, how I can scrunch the shawl in progress up and shove it into my purse. And then binding off a shawl, wet blocking it and pinning it out to dry. Suddenly the shawl transforms from what seems like endless crowded stitches on a needle to a beautiful piece of knitted art.

7. Who is your favorite person to knit for and why?
 Well, I used to love knitting for my kids but sadly, they're getting older and prefer the cool store bought winter accessories over mom's handknit mitts and scarves. I used to knit a lot of things for members of my family too but after many handknits got felted in the washing machine, wrecked, lost or just not appreciated at all, I happily became a selfish knitter. (And am very happy with this decision, haha!)

8. Favorite knitting book, magazine or festival? 
My favourite knitting books are by far anything by Elizabeth Zimmermann and Barbara Walker. The knowledge and wisdom those two women alone have offered the knitting community is astounding and I'm so grateful for their books. I don't even know how many hours I have spent pouring over the stitch patterns in Barbara Walker's treasuries, they're my favourite!

Special thanks to Lisa for being a part of this series! She's offering up a free pattern of choice to 3 readers! All you have to do is tell us here in the comments what your favorite NBK pattern is and why to be entered. Winner will be drawn Thursday, March 27th.
Happy Knitting everyone!

Winners have been drawn!

Babywearing/Cloth diapering Mama
Pamela Burns

Please email Lisa at for your free pattern of choice! 
Thanks for playing everyone and thank you Lisa for sharing your beautiful work!