One of the 11 designs to be featured in issue 8 is the Pasvik wrap, designed by the talented, colourful French knitwear designer Julie Dubreux. Pasvik is warm, practical and versatile – unbuttoned, it is a simple wrap or a couch blanket, buttoned up you can wear it as a shrug or a cardigan. Here’s what Julie told us about creating this design and the inspiration behind it:
What inspired you to design Pasvik?
I love calls for submissions with a specific theme and a mood board: these apparent constraints are such a big source of inspiration for me. I remember the Laine Team had posted about northern landscapes and atmosphere. Northern Scandinavia, to me, means quiet wilderness, fir trees, clear skies and polar lights. I wanted these elements to be included in my design as a way of paying homage to the beauty of Northern Finland.
The name Pasvik came a little later when I showed my design to my Norwegian friends to ask them if they were interested in test knitting this pattern for me. My friend Lotte had the most enthusiastic reaction and told me she definitely had to knit this wrap because it reminded her so much of the village where her brother lives. She sent me pictures and it felt so right to name the wrap Pasvik after this Norwegian village located in the Sápmi region.
How similar is the finished design to your original idea?
It is not always the case but this time my first sketch and the finished design are exactly the same in every way: the fir tree placement, the huge borealis, the symmetrical construction, the added-on ribbing and buttonholes.
I always think about feasibility when I sketch a design idea, so I can actually knit what I sketch. I love this part of designing – the challenge of coming up with the best way to turn an idea into actual knitwear. What construction will I use, how will I shape this piece, what fabric and texture will work best ? This is a very exciting part of the designing process.
What did you learn when designing Pasvik?
When knitting my prototype, I had to rework the purl stitch motif for my borealis curves to look smoother. Extra purl stitches that made the motif look better on paper looked out of place in real life. I got to practice creating Gansey-style textured motifs and explore Gansey traditions, which was fascinating.
How does the design reflect your design aesthetic?
I’m inspired by the shapes and proportions I see on the catwalk, and I often have couture designs in the back of my mind when I design knitwear, and I think it shows in Pasvik.
The Pasvik wrap is both casual and glam. It can be worn at a beach barbecue night or on a red carpet. This is true of most my designs – they are very wearable, casual every day pieces, but they also have a je-ne-sais-quoi that can be triggered with a bit of attitude ! You can look like a shy girl or a cheeky vamp in my designs – it’s up to you !
What's your favourite way of wearing the wrap?
I am particularly fond of wearing Pasvik as a shrug as I think it showcases the beauty of the textured motif best, and it is particularly comfortable too.
Personally I cannot wait to be wearing it as a huge scarf / cowl and tie it up close around my neck over my winter coat when the weather gets really cold.
How about choosing yarn, what kind of a yarn would you recommend?
Pasvik is meant to be knit in an airy woolen-spun yarn that will give the fabric structure and lots of loft without being too heavy. And of course you need good stitch definition as well.
I chose to work with De Rerum Natura Gilliatt because carded merino is light and airy and very soft to the touch in spite of its rustic look.
Find the pattern for Pasvik in Laine Magazine issue 8. For stockists please visit https://lainemagazine.com/stockists/.