In this blog post, we’re excited to share with you the fascinating journey of designer Émilie Hallet and her beautiful Vesperia Shawl design!
It’s another first for us here at The Fibre Co.! We are very privileged to be working with Émilie Hallet for the first time, a designer based in Canada under the name Ursalia Fibres Studio.
For Émilie it all starts with a stitch, and the texture she has used in the Vesperia shawl shows her eye for putting different stitches together to create real interest and harmony. We couldn’t wait to find out more!
Could you tell us a bit about yourself: how did you get into knitting and designing knitwear?
“My mother taught me to knit when I was young, but I really started knitting regularly when I was about 15. I then learned the techniques with the help of my mom and by reading books. I wrote my first design when Canada welcomed Syrian refugees and there was a project to knit hats for them. At one point, I wanted to knit something different than the patterns I had, so I looked at a book of stitch patterns, combined some of them and wrote my first hat pattern. Since that time, I loved designing all kinds of projects; I’m a fan of mixing textures and techniques, and I love both simple and more complicated designs.“
Tell us about the inspiration for the Vesperia Shawl. What makes your design special?
“This design was inspired by the night sky, its mystery, and its beauty. I looked at the stars that have always played a big role in the world, whether to guide ships, to make us dream or to make wishes. It’s incredible to think that they burn for millions of years, and that their light takes years to get to us (and the pictures taken by the James Webb Space Telescope are amazing). I also looked at the way moonlight is reflected on the water and through the trees.
I love that it’s a piece that can be worn easily as an accessory or to keep you warm. You can wear it to add colour to your clothing or grab it for a long walk in the winter. I wanted to create a design that’s elegant and mixes textures, with interesting details, while being easy and fun to knit.
Acadia is a great yarn for this project, with its soft shine that’s reminiscent of the light that the stars, the Moon and the Sun give us. It also has a fabulous drape and softness, which is perfect to knit shawls to wrap yourself in, to sit in front of a fire and watch the stars, or simply to sit and watch your favorite movie on a snow day.“
Vesperia Shawl is a stunning shawl featuring two intersecting patterns and a neat selvedge edge. Vesperia is French for the evening prayer song and is the inspiration for a shawl that will keep you warm on evening walks. Knit in Acadia, Vesperia is beautifully drapey and has a satisfying weight that is perfect for any occasion.
What inspires and influences your designs?
“My designs can be influenced by everything around me, whether it’s something I see in nature or its colour, a detail in a TV show or a movie (such as a stitch pattern or a decor item), previous swatches I made that I find and inspire me. As for the names of my designs, they are also influenced by things I see or read about, and by my pets (almost all of them have a design named after them).“
Could you share your design process with us?
“Usually, when I see something that inspires me, an idea pops into my head and I write it down. I then find the stitch patterns that I would like to use and make some calculations to see if they would work. I then write the first draft of the pattern and start knitting while making adjustments to the pattern… Or I end up frogging everything and making a lot of changes until I’m happy with the result.“
What is your favourite type of knitting project?
“As I get easily bored, my favourite type of project is something that either challenges me with new techniques or a lot of different textures/stitch patterns or something that has some rhythm to it with increases/decreases. “
What is your favourite knitting technique and why?
“If I have to choose one, I would have to say cables made with twisted stitches. I absolutely love cable knitting and twisted stitches add such a beautiful definition to any pattern.“
What is your desert island knitting project?
“If stranded on a desert island, I would like to have tons of yarn to knit shawls. They’re such a fun project because they can have so many shapes, mix stitch patterns and you could even decide to make them grow very large and use them as a blanket at night.“
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 Vesperia Shawl?
If you are knitting the Vesperia Shawl, please do share it with us!
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