The twelve pattern to arrive from The Almanac Series II is the stunning geometric style sweater, Quasar, from Dario Tubiana!
“A modern twist to a classic design” is how Dario describes his latest pattern design, Quasar, a top-down pullover that looks fantastic on everyone.
In this interview with the designer, we find out more about his creative design process, knitting in our Cumbria yarn, and of course his knitting inspirations.
Could you tell us a bit about yourself: how did you get into knitting and designing knitwear?
“I began knitting when I was a kid. At home knitting was quite common – mum and grandmum used to knit all the time – and so at a certain moment, I began knitting as well. I didn’t take it seriously though, and I quit after a little bit. It was only years later that I picked up my needles again.
I studied in Israel for university and when I got back I took a year off to “regroup” and try to find my place. During that time I began knitting again and I also begin designing. I soon published my first design “Prismatic dusk” and from that moment I was offered several collaborations as a knitwear designer and also won a scholarship to study a masters in Rome in Creative Knitwear design. When I finished my masters I began collaborating with yarn brands, working for magazines and teaching workshops as well as teaching knitwear at the University IED in Milan. I am currently a lecturer there and I teach knitwear and embroidery on wool.“
Tell us about the inspiration for the Quasar Sweater.
“Well, I am fascinated by geometric patterns and this design, given the topic, I wanted to work on the “sky”. I thought about the sky, about outer space and imagined the million constellations that appear to us like simple white dots on a black background. I thus thought it would be nice to recreate this on a sweater in a very simple way but with a really cool effect!
The yarn I used was amazing! It was awesome for working stranded colourwork because it has the perfect elasticity and gets very well even after the blocking. So yeah, I had so much fun knitting Quasar!“
What makes your design special?
“I really like to add a modern twist to a classic design.
I like to use colours as well as particular constructions and I think that is something that makes knitwear the coolest art in the world. It really lets you do whatever you want to do and you have in mind!
So, I would definitely say my designs reflect my multifaceted (polyhedric) personality: they include both classic and modern, and they can be formal and casual at the same time!“
The Quasar Sweater by Dario Tubiana features all-over stranded colour work. This top-down pullover looks fantastic on everyone, regardless of gender or age, with its contemporary twist on the traditional Fair Isle patterning. With a seamless construction, your Quasar Sweater will flow off the needles, and shine brightly like its namesake.
This sweater is knitted top-down, seamlessly in the round. The yoke is worked to the underarm where the work is divided and the sleeves are separated from the body. The body is worked and then the sleeves are picked up in the round and knitted top down. Short row shaping is incorporated at the shoulders right after the neckline.
What inspires and influences your designs?
“I try to be inspired by everything. When I have to actively think about something, I look for inspiration by going through detailed research that varies according to the topic. However, I prefer keeping my eyes very well open all the time so that I can catch everything that inspires me. I usually tend to look at architecture for shapes and nature for colors and music.“
What is your favourite type of knitting project?
“I definitely love to knit sweaters.“
Could you share your design process with us?
“If I am given a topic or a mood board, I begin researching and creating a personal mood board with ideas and random thoughts that I can use for my designs.
The second step is to begin sketching. No need to sketch the final sweater, this phase is important to free my mind and just sketch whatever I have on my mind with no limits. After a while, this process takes a direction and I usually come up with a sketch that I particularly like and I begin to work on it until I finally get to the final idea. This, usually, features several details that I had sketched during this second phase, so even though sometimes I get the idea that I am just wasting time when I sketch, I am not. It’s very useful indeed!
At this point, I choose the perfect yarn and think about the colours I want to use by jotting down some shades that could work well together and match my idea. This last phase is usually very fast because it’s something I do after a lot of research and my ideas are already very clear.
Lastly, comes the actual realization of the swatches and the sweater. That is awesome to do!!! I sometimes even prefer knitting swatches than the sweater.
It’s a cool creative journey!“
How does the yarn influence your design?
“Well, every yarn has its own pros and cons, so getting to know the yarn I want to use before I actually use it is very important. usually, when I have some free time I knit swatches with new yarns I receive, this lets me know better the yarn I have for my upcoming projects avoiding to begin knitting something with a yarn that eventually doesn’t work well for my purpose. “
What is your favourite knitting technique and why?
“Not sure I have one, actually, but if I had to choose one I’d say colourwork, being either intarsia or stranded knitting. I love these techniques because they are a great means to create gorgeous designs with a lot of colours. You might need some patience to realize them, I know, but these techniques are amazing if you want to use a lot of colour in one design. I wish I had lived in the ’80’s!“
What is your desert island knitting project?
“Uhm… I usually get very bored when I have to knit something twice (that’s the reason I am not keen on knitting sleeves, socks, gloves, etc…) so I try to knit everything once, not twice. However, from a wider perspective, I do definitely knit a lot of jumpers, so on a desert island I would surely knit a lot of sweaters, but none of them would look the same! LOL.“
What’s your first knitting memory?
“Mum knitting in the kitchen. Or perhaps it’s mum casting on stitches. Yeah, I was very fascinated by the cast-on moment. I knew I could not interrupt her because she was counting and I was curious about all those movements she was doing to cast-on. So I would say that if I look back and think about my first knitting memory it’s my mum casting on stitches and I sitting next to her watching.“
About The Almanac Series
The Almanac Series is based on the original farmer’s Almanac guide to the seasons, this collection acts as a seasonal guide to knitting with The Fibre Co. and celebrates each month of the year with an ascribed Yarn of the Month, paired with a new design launch in that yarn. For this year’s series, we looked to the heavens for inspiration, letting the beauty and grandeur of the night sky guide us. In the first half of this year’s series, we cover the Autumn Winter season, where each month’s yarn has been specifically chosen for its qualities to complement colder conditions in the northern hemisphere. Erika Knight’s Zodiac Sweater was the first design in The Almanac Series II collection, in which you can read our interview with Erika here.
Knitting the Quasar Sweater?
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