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!


  1. Wow, how Awesome Amanda! How neat is it to hear the goings on of a beautiful designer! Each one of her designs has a beautiful tale to tell and you can see the gorgeous artistry in each! BRAVO Lisa! I don't know how I could pick one.. but as I've been wanting a cardi recently I'll have to shoot for Lenore or Vanadium, even then I don't care which one as they're both lovely!
    Much Love,
    Jess J. (kafia)

  2. Total fangirl moment here! Two of my favorite designers in one place. Way cool. My favorite pattern of Lisa's is Fortress, although I haven't made it yet. ;)

  3. Lovely interview. My favorite pattern right now might be Heartbreak because I love the stripes and how the colors and pattern move in this shawl.

  4. Lisa's patterns and her yarn are always amazing, I love that so many of her patterns would look great with variegated yarn. I've made a couple of her patterns so far and there are oodles more that I would love to make. I have been eyeing her pattern Variance lately, it's simple but beautiful and I really love cowls.

    Lauren2Jade on rav

  5. So nice interview! I am happy any time I knit one of the beautiful Lisa`s pattern!!!
    At the moment I am on Dissent, but...did you see her new patterns????

  6. Love this! My favorite pattern is Vanadium, followed closely by the soon-to-be-released Hematite. Really, I love pretty much all of her patterns. :)

  7. Wow - it's super hard to pick a favorite! I love them all. I'm going to say Dissent.

  8. My favourites that I haven't knitted yet are Iridium and Flawed. Of the ones I've knitted, Obsidian is my fave. Keep them coming!

  9. I was drawn to Lisa's designs, geometric and modern, and many patterns which are easy for a beginner knitter like me to get something amazing.

    But I have to say I ADORE the names. Slain, Smite, Asunder... but I have to agree with a few others, Dissent is my favorite which I'm working on now. I just love that with my yarn combo it's "Dissent in Gotland." :)

  10. I love the shape of Lisa's shawls and her choice of neutral colours. Asunder, Plume and Nimbus are calling me right now!

  11. Deux Slouchy Hat or Asunder. I love the slouch look of Deux. I think Asunder is beautiful.... I'm not a huge fan of the triangular wraps/shawls and by the looks of Asunder I just want to cast it on NOW!! Gorgeous work!

  12. I love shawls too! It's nearly impossible to pick a favorite...maybe Heartbreak? I've also had Obsidian in my favorites for a while though.

  13. Asunder is my fave. Such a versatile and fun piece. It was a blast to knit (twice) and I'm already dreaming up another color combo.

  14. I had a really hard time picking a favorite, but I think I'd have to go with Asunder. I love the texture and shape, and nbk yarns are gorgeous to work with. :)

    1. Ahhh! I'm so excited! Thank you, Amanda and Lisa... I'm thrilled. <3

  15. Yes, so difficult to choose a favorite; maybe dissent? Love the new cardi pattern. I am pretty new to NBK, but Lisa has been so gracious and helpful when communicating with me.

  16. It's a toss up between Amidst and Asunder - I have the yarn for both and one will be next on the needles!

  17. Mine is definitely Asunder. I can't wait to make it, and winter is coming her is the Southern Hemisphere!