Inese Sang is an independent knitting pattern designer, living in Canada. We first met Inese through our Yarn Support Programme and loved her clever use of texture. When we were putting together Foundations AW19/20, we decided that we wanted a hat and cowl in interesting stitches to be part of the collection. Reaching out to Inese was a no-brainer since texture is her specialism!
In this blog post, Inese will share a little about herself as well as her creative process. We are delighted to have worked with her on Dubwath and Lord’s Seat and hope you enjoy learning the story behind them.
Growing up in Latvia, the knitting tradition is deeply rooted in the culture and goes beyond practicality and visual beauty. It extends as a story and a message conveyed through the patterns. Knitting has always been celebrated and the school curriculum included knitting classes, so it was just a matter of time for me to return to it later in life.
Once I settled with my family on the west coast of Canada, I rediscovered knitting while caring for my then-newborn. Now, it’s hard to imagine a life without knitting.
I love exploring how colourways and different yarns translate into stitches and textures. I savour the, sometimes slow, process of finding the perfect stitches for every yarn I work with to bring out the best qualities of fibre and its colourway.
Designing for Foundations AW19/20
After a wonderful experience in The Fibre Co.’s Yarn Support Programme, I was very happy when their design manager, Becky, approached me with an exciting opportunity to design for the Foundations AW19/20 collection. It was also a great chance to work and get familiar with the yarns that I hadn’t worked with before.
I was given the opportunity to design with Cumbria and fell in love with the yarn before I even saw it in person. Just by looking at it, I felt it would be a perfect yarn for rich, textured patterns – exactly the type I love working on.
When designing for Foundations, I went back to the memories, colours and images I had of countryside living and scenery in Autumn.
Dubwath was inspired by the old craft of reed weaving and the various textures that this type of weaving creates. One of the strongest and most beautiful reminders of Autumn harvests are woven reed baskets, ready to be filled with berries and fruit.
The inspiration for Lord’s Seat comes from early Autumn winds brushing across the fields of ripening wheat and oats creating gentle waves with their gusts. The scene has always captivated me – seeing the wind turning plains into a sea of golden waves is so magical.
The Design Process
I thoroughly enjoyed the design process, even the more challenging parts of it.
Once I felt that the yarn would work perfectly in textured stitches, I was met with so many possibilities and stitches to bring out the best in the yarn that I felt a bit overwhelmed and lost. I spent some time sifting through all the ideas and sketches to pick out the ones that matched the Foundations AW19/20 theme the most and the ones that created a good balance between solid and textural.
Swatching, however, shows what a sketch and even estimation can’t. For example, I had to put in extra effort to find a perfect spacing and length for waves in Lord’s Seat, because crossed twisted stitches create additional tension in the fabric along the whole row. When they were spaced too close, it affected the overall look whilst shorter wave lines tended to distort the twisted stitches by slanting them sideways.
I really love the finished designs. The yarn was a dream to work with, so much so, that I was slightly sad when I finished knitting the samples. I love how the deep, jewelled colourways of Cumbria showcase the texture and emphasize the correlation of light and shadow to highlight the stitches. It’s certainly one of those yarns I’d love to return to soon and explore more.
The Fibre Co. Kits
Knit your own Dubwath or Lord’s Seat with one of our kits. Each kit comes with a digital copy of the pattern and is available in the colourway of your choice.