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Vanessa Pellisa’s Knitting Journey

Vanessa Pellisa is a designer we have admired for a long time and so we are very excited to be able to showcase her first design with us, Chamomile, our latest release from The Almanac Series. 

We were keen to chat to Vanessa about her journey to become a knitting designer, find out more about her design process, and of course the inspiration for the beautiful Chamomile. 

Vanessa’s Knitting Journey 

Vanessa’s mum tried to teach her how to knit when she was about 8 years old:

 “For some reason, I totally misunderstood her instructions, and I spent many evenings knotting yarn around my straight needles. It was a full-blown mess, but it was fun, and I vividly remember being hooked on the idea of creating my own scarf. The joy of choice, the pride of wearing something you’ve made with your own hands… It is a feeling intensely linked to my first knitting memory and one that luckily for me, has never left me.”

Vanessa has a very interesting journey to becoming a designer: 

“My professional background, until I became a knitwear designer had very little to do with fashion! I owned an indie record label for years and then spent a good 20 years working as an A&R manager for several record labels in the indie music industry. I loved my job and it allowed me to travel, meet super-interesting people and it basically made me who I am. I have also spent a good portion of my life writing about music and books as a free-lance journalist for magazines in Spain and contributing to culture sections for the national radio here. I’m currently the director of a school in Barcelona for kids aged 1-18! I love working around kids – they are JUST the BEST. At the same time, my knitting company has grown a lot in the past year so I’m working more and more towards making it my primary job but I’m happy to have so much going on in my life. I feel very lucky!”

While living in Seattle, Vanessa began training as a fashion designer and became more interested in knitting. 

“I’ve always knit but I never thought of it as a job until I had a friend asking me to revise a pattern she had written. I started freelancing as a tech editor and translator for many years before I dared to venture into design. I felt very insecure at first – but had a couple of ideas and thought I needed to give it a try. I had a lot of support from my knitting group, and they helped me gain the confidence to dare to publish my first pattern. The response was overwhelming!”

Design Process

We wanted to know more about Vanessa’s process. 

“I am very ‘old school’ in that I use a lot of actual pen and paper to come up with ideas. I keep a commonplace book which I fill with ideas for designs, quotes from books I’m reading that inspire an image, etc. I also keep yet another notebook which acts as my physical ‘Pinterest board’. I print a lot of pictures that I find inspiring or cut them out from magazines, booklets, photocopies from books… anywhere really. I cut and paste them in this collages that connect ideas and create links between design elements that I then use to create my own designs. I love the physicality of the actual process, it is slow, so my mind can reflect on things instead of just pinning them fast on a digital board.”

It’s All About The Yarn

Then comes the yarn. “It influences the details and the actual knitting process greatly. I am very attracted to the tactile experience of knitting, and I think each yarn calls for a specific design and idea. I love pairing design ideas with the perfect yarn and can spend endless hours swatching for a project until I find exactly what I’m looking for. I’m also a serial yarn taster, I love being inspired by texture and color- nothing beats that!”

For Chamomile, Vanessa used Amble as it’s a fingering/4 ply weight of yarn, it is a perfect layer for all but the hottest months: year round knitwear!



Chamomile is based on a blurry but cherished memory of hers. “As a kid, I had very few clothes. I think it was quite the norm for kids growing up in the 80s in Spain. We would have our school uniform, if we wore one, and then just a few weekend clothes that would itch, scratch, and pull in every possible direction. I had very few things that I utterly loved, and they were all mostly handmade ones, often copies that my grandmother would make of things we saw in the posh shop windows in the main street of my small town. That is, except for a sweatshirt I had- a sweatshirt felt SO modern and unusual at the time. I had it for years and wore it past its size. It had a soft pink main color and a striped set, much like the one in Chamomile, a large band framed by two hairline stripes in a contrasting color. I have been thinking about that sweatshirt for years, wanting to recreate its slouchy shape, the pretty stripes, and the way I felt when I wore that -incredibly comfortable in my own skin.”

“Chamomile was designed with the aim of becoming your favorite everyday sweater -the one you reach for all the time. It is a spring-summer garment, so it will probably be worn without a jacket, so it just had to look good over dresses, jeans, and shorts. I gave a lot of thought to the main design elements of the garment, details like the gusset neck or the sleeve, which are often overlooked but can make or break a design. I’m super pleased with how it turned out!”

Coming Soon

Vanessa is currently working on a big project, a pattern book due this year. It’s a big adventure for her and one we can’t wait to see.

If you are knitting Chamomile, please do share it with us! We would love to see it. If you are sharing on social media, please use the hashtags #MadeWithTheFibreCo and tag us @thefibrecompany.

The Almanac Series

Chamomile is the tenth pattern from The Almanac Series.

Based on the original farmer’s Almanac guide to the seasons, this collection acts as a guide to knitting with The Fibre Co. and celebrates each month of the year by giving knitters the chance to sample our Yarn of the Month, with a new design launch.

In the second half of our first series, we cover the Spring Summer season, where each month’s yarn has been specifically chosen for its qualities to compliment the seasonal conditions. February is the month of Cirro, March is Acadia, April is Canopy Fingering, May is Luma, June is Amble and July is Meadow.

June is the start of Summer, with beautiful warm days ahead and clear skies. Amble is this month’s yarn because it’s perfect for light summer knitwear as it’s a beautifully soft and is an incredibly strong combination of three fibres: Easy Wash Merino wool, Easy Wash alpaca and recycled nylon. Amble is a lightweight yarn with great drape, an abundance of shades, incredible softness that is very hardwearing and easy to wash!


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