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The Inspiration for Lobelia

Joanna Ignatius lives in the south of Finland and works in mental health alongside her knitwear designing.  In her Ravelry profile, she shares a quote with us that really gets to the heart of her design work. ‘Life is quite often complicated so I believe knitting should not be.’  Her shawls and hats are satisfying knits that are bound to become your favourite, so we were delighted when she agreed to create a special shawl for our Almanac series using our yarn, Meadow.

Joanna’s Knitting Journey

How did Joanna’s knitting story begin? “I’m the only knitter in my family so the earliest knitting memory is from hand craft class in school when I was 8 years old. We were supposed to knit a garter stitch scarf, but I got bored and folded it over to become a potholder. I don’t think I got a good grade for that one!” she says.

“I really got back into it when I was living in a flat above some stables. The television reception was so poor I had to figure out something to kill the time,’ she explains. “Being introduced to Ravelry by a dear friend had a huge impact as it opened a whole new knitting world for me. After knitting from patterns for some time I thought to have a go at writing some myself.”

Joanna Ignatius

Inspiration and Design Process

Joanna finds inspiration in so many places including nature, architecture, embroidery, historical stitch patterns, paintings, commercial knitwear, weaving, literature. “You name it. I tend to see ideas for new designs everywhere.”

“I have multiple design ideas in my head and sometimes I even scribble them on a notebook. When the right mood hits for a certain design idea, I’ll look around for the perfect yarn and start knitting. I should learn to write more (or at least clearer) notes while I’m knitting a new design as sometimes writing the pattern is a tad difficult with the sparse notes. I’ve asked my partner to build me knitting needles which would be wirelessly connected to the computer and would automatically write the pattern while I’m knitting but haven’t yet received them, odd don’t you think?”  We’d certainly love a set of those pins!


Joanna’s first design for us is a beautiful shawl in two colours with plenty of intrigue and texture. “The inspiration came from the name, Lobelia. I wanted to design a shawl which has some texture and lace. The body of the shawl being the meadow from which the lobelias emerge and show off their beautiful flowers for us to adore.”

This was the first time she had knitted with our yarn, Meadow, and she told us she fell in love with the yarn instantly. “It has beautiful stitch definition, is lovely to knit with and the finished item has fantastic drape. And it makes such lightweight knitted items!”

The body of the shawl has no purl stitches and the knit and slipped stitches make it look like intricate lace. “I added a lateral braid in between the body and the border to give the transition more visual interest. If you want a bit of a bling, you can easily add some beads on the middle of each flower and maybe also on the picot bind off.”

The Lobelia shawl is large yet so lightweight so it is perfect for summer evenings and will keep you cosy and warm even in colder weather.

If you are knitting Lobelia, 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.

Favourite knitting

So, when she isn’t designing, what kind of pattern does Joanna turn to? “Anything with brainless stockinette or ribbing. Or Old Shale stitch pattern. Before I got bored with only knitting stockinette or ribbing but nowadays it’s a great way to relax after work and calm down while watching something on the computer. Currently, I enjoy knitting socks and circular yokes.”

The Almanac Series

Lobelia is the eleventh and final 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.

July is a busy month for the beginning of summer holidays and is a time for turning summer plans into action. Knitting becomes a great travel companion and Meadow is the yarn of choice this month because it is a truly rustic yarn with great fibre character. Being a lace weight yarn, it combines baby llama and fine Merino wool for softness, silk for its sheen and linen for the crisp hand and stitch definition.

We invite you to reconnect with these yarns and with the coming season’s natural elements.

The Almanac Series II

For The Almanac Series II, we looked to the heavens for inspiration. The beauty and grandeur of the night sky and awe-inspiring astronomical phenomena guided our creativity.

As the season turns here in the Northern hemisphere, and the temperature begins to cool, we embrace our warmer yarns with each month. August is Road to China Light, September is Arranmore Light, October is Lore, November is Cumbria Fingering, December is Tundra, January is Cumbria.

To find out more about this new collection, we’d love to invite you to our AW22/23 season launch. We will be joined by Erika Knight to take a look at her stunning new design for this collection, Zodiac.

During this session, we will also be providing a first look at our BRAND-NEW YARN RANGE that will be launching this September!

Register now and join us for this exclusive look at what is to come and the chance to win some yarntastic prizes!

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