Dami Hunter is the founder and owner of Magpie Fibers as well as an inventive knitwear designer whose beautiful Talla cowl is featured in our issue 7. We asked Dami to tell us a little bit more about the inspiration behind her design and to give some tips for knitting Mosaic colourwork. Here’s what she told us:
What inspired you to design Talla?
I was lucky enough to meet up with Jonna and Sini at EYF last year. I asked them about submitting a hat for an upcoming issue. I happened to be wearing my Salt Point cowl and they both liked it. I decided to submit a similar cowl instead. As it happened I had been working on this motif for awhile and this seemed like the perfect way to use it.
How similar is the finished design to your original idea?
A funny thing about this design is that in my head the motif was always vertical, the way you knit it. I sort of forgot that it would, in fact, be sideways the you wear it. At first I wasn’t sure I liked it, but now I realize it’s actually better. I also love the way it looks with the light and dark reversed. I designed it one way, the sample in the magazine ended up being the opposite my original and I think that one is my favorite!
What was the most challenging part of the designing process?
For Talla the hardest part was designing the mosaic motif, but that’s also my favourite part. Because of the way you pull colours from the row below by slipping stitches you can’t just add colours anywhere you want as you can in stranded colourwork. I really enjoy the challenge of working within the constraints of the mosaic technique.
How does the design reflect your design aesthetic?
I tend to gravitate toward neutral colours and clean lines. I’ve been loving low contrast colourwork for awhile and that definitely made its way into the samples for Talla. I love that it’s a seamless tube, so completely reversible. It is a lot of stitches to Kitchner, but the end result is SO worth it!
Any words of advice for someone who hasn't tried mosaic knitting before, would Talla be a good place to start?
I think Mosaic is a wonderful intro to colourwork and also fun for experienced knitters. The Talla motif is not as simple and easy to memorize as some, like my Salt Point cowl, for example. You will definitely need to refer to the chart regularly, however, it’s nothing but knits and slips so definitely within everyone’s ability. I always remind myself when faced with a scary looking chart that you’re just doing one row at a time. Don’t worry about the big picture just the one row, and before you know it its done!
How about choosing yarn, what kind of a yarn would you recommend for a mosaic knitting project?
I think mosaic works well with any yarn. For the Talla, I would think about how you want your cowl to look. I choose our Domestic Fingering because I wanted it to have lots of body and really stand up when worn. If you prefer a cowl with more drape that will lay on the chest more you could choose a softer silkier yarn like our Swanky Sock.
Find the pattern for Talla in Laine Magazine issue 7. For stockists please visit https://lainemagazine.com/stockists/.