Ravelry Design Spotlight
There was no need to ponder on which design to spotlight in this our Colour Issue, the clue was already there.
Never ones to waste an opportunity to find out more about a fellow maker’s love of crafts, we got in touch with Veera Välimäki to ask her a little about her crafting journey and how her most popular design came into being.
When did you learn to knit and who taught you?
I learned to knit when I was 9 years old and my mom taught me the basic knit stitch.
Do you remember your first project and if so what was it?
We started knitting a sweater in school that same year when I learned to knit – I had changed school and all my classmates had been knitting since 1st grade… My sweater was finished roughly 5 years later, but I’m proud I finished it.
Can you tell us a little about your designing process and how it’s evolved over the years?
I think my design process is pretty much still the same! Most often I have a technique I want to try or then there’s an idea of a certain sweater or shawl or some other type of project that I would really like to wear. Sometimes the yarn also begs to be knit into a certain type of garment of accessory! But often I have a clear idea – and often also a written pattern – before I start the project. I also typically grade all of my patterns before knitting the first sample.
Where does your inspiration come from and who do you admire within the industry?
When I started, I felt like there aren’t patterns I would like to wear and that’s why I started designing my own. Nowadays the industry has changed a lot, just the pure volume and number of designers is astonishing! But my inspiration is still pretty much the same, I often have an idea of a garment I would like to wear and go from that idea. I do admire many designers for many reasons: Joji Locatelli has such an amazing eye for details, Stephen West is always so great with color, and Bristol Ivy and Olga Buraya-Kefelian have such genius ideas!
Where did the idea for the Color Affection come from?
Surprisingly I had a dream about this design and it turned out just how I wanted. The popularity was a huge surprise; I had no idea this shawl would become as popular as it is right now – but I do love my CA shawls so much!
The design is hugely popular, how many have you made yourself?
I have only knit two versions of CA, one in lace weight and one in fingering! But I really think I should knit myself another one!
The Color Affection is your most popular design on Ravelry, with over 15,500 projects listed, which of your designs is your personal favourite now?
My personal favourite is always the last one that I’ve finished knitting! And if I don’t love that the most, there must be something wrong with that design and I probably will re-knit it to make it perfect! But I must say that the crescent-shaped shawls are always among the most worn designs.
Do you still knit for pleasure, and if not, what do you like to do to relax instead?
I always find knitting relaxing, but I do make time to do a lot of sports also! Running, tennis, football (soccer)… Anything! 😀
Do you have any exciting plans for the future that you’d like to share with us?
Future plans right now focus on the 5th Volume of Interpretations series! It’s collaboration with Joji Locatelli and we are so proud of each and every volume. The book is being published by Pom Pom Press and this year we are also collaborating with dyers: each of the 12 designs have their own special colourway. The collection will come out early 2018 and the colourways will be available at the same time. We are so excited!
A little Color Affection trivia for you
- The design has been available on Ravelry since December 2011
- In that time there have been over 15,500 Color Affection projects uploaded on to Ravelry
- Over 11,000 of the projects listed have been made using 4ply/fingering weight yarn and 1,400+ are in lace weight.
- The design has also been knitted in yarn weights from thread to chunky.
- The most popular colour of yarn used when knitting a Color Affection is grey.
- The design is popular with handspinners; currently 17 of the projects listed have been made using handspun yarn.
- Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light is the most popular yarn to knit a Color Affection shawl in.
- Most knitters have used three colours to knit their Color Affection, some have used six or more (see Beautiandthesheep’s version below)
We’re sure you’re all more than aware that Veera has lots of lovely designs available on Ravelry? At the time of writing this article there are currently 226, many of which are firm favourites with us.
We had great fun looking through all of the Color Affection project pages on Ravelry and got in touch with some of the makers to see if we could feature their projects here.
We’ve picked 19 to include in our gallery, but we would urge you to pop over to the project pages to check out lots more fantastic photos.