Meet the designers for Laine Issue 18
In Laine Magazine 18, we present designs from ten outstanding designers from around the world. Meet Jenny Ansah, Marcela Chang, Melissa Clulow, Emma Ducher, Jenna Kostet, Ksenia Naidyon, Olga Putano, Tiia Reho, Anna Sjösvärd and Julia Wilkens.
Jenny Ansah works as a freelance knitwear designer as well as doing a university degree to become a religious and ethics studies teacher. She got into designing after she became more mindful of the materials her clothes were made of. Jenny, who lives in Helsinki, Finland, is inspired by her everyday surroundings, nature, memories, and people in and out of her life. Her designs often feature twisted knits and purls and textured stitch patterns, though she also finds the simplicity of Stockinette Stitch to be beautiful on its own.
Jenny’s Horsma mittens and beanie were inspired by meadows of fireweed (“maitohorsma” in Finnish).
Marcela Chang comes from the city of La Serena in Chile, where she works as a full-time knitwear designer. Marcela studied fashion and saw knitwear design as a way to develop her career. Marcela’s designs are inspired by the Chilean landscape and the local cultures, with lots of colourwork for winter and lace for summer. She is passionate about sweater-making and always tries to find different constructions and better ways to make garments fit. She says she designs for women who like to wear comfortable clothes but also like being noticed, and for knitters who want some challenge.
For this issue, Marcela designed Otoño (“autumn” in Spanish) — a colourwork yoke sweater inspired by the fallen leaves of autumn.
Melissa Clulow is the co-owner of Sonder Yarn Co, a newly established yarn company in Montreal, Canada. Her road there took a meandering path through graduate school, web design, project management and a decade-long run as one of the founding owners of the local yarn shop Espace Tricot. With daily access to so many beautiful yarns, it seemed natural to eventually try to bring some of her own design ideas to life. Melissa is inspired by a minimalist and accessible approach to fashion. She designs versatile garments and accessories that feature uncomplicated textures, clean lines and neutral shades with occasional pops of colour.
The cosy and classic Turtle Dove Cardigan is inspired by a pullover of the same name, one of Melissa’s first and most popular patterns.
Emma Ducher knitted a lot for her children when they were little, following patterns and then creating her own, and it wasn’t long until she moved on to adult patterns. Emma lives in Lyon, France, and works in several fields — such as events and graphic design — that all revolve around knitting. Ideas for her designs can come from anywhere: museums, exhibitions, walks in the forest, architectural lines… Her designs are simple and comfortable with classic constructions and always embellished with an element that breaks the simplicity, such as a bright colour or a texture.
For this issue’s Orée pattern, Emma imagined a cosy and comfortable sweater for autumn.
Jenna Kostet is a fiction and non-fiction writer and knitwear designer living in Raisio, Finland. She has studied ethnology and folklore, and worked for years as a store manager at the historic Turku Castle until she resigned at the beginning of 2023 in order to focus on designing and writing. Jenna is known for her book Knitted Kalevala, which contains knitwear patterns inspired by the poems of the epic Kalevala. Jenna is inspired by good stories, mythology, Finnish folklore, nature and animals. Her designs usually feature colourwork, and she describes them as a kind of modern traditional knits.
The idea for Jenna’s Himmeli colourwork sweater came from a traditional straw decoration hanging from the roof.
Ksenia Naidyon has a degree in mathematics, and she worked in the field for many years, but knitting has always been her happy escape. In 2015, she decided it was time to give her lifelong passion for fibre arts a proper chance. Her mathematical background also proved handy: numbers and spreadsheets are her friends, and she’s not afraid of grading patterns to numerous sizes. Ksenia comes from Ukraine but now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. As a designer, she loves going all in with the texture: bobbles, nupps, Japanese lace, travelling stitches and cables are among her favourites.
Ksenia’s Barberry pattern is a generously sized scarf full of texture.
Olga Putano is a Ukrainian knitwear designer residing in north-eastern USA. She has been knitting since the young age of six and publishing patterns since 2018. This year, she released her debut book Only Yoking, full of beautiful yoke sweater patterns. Although many of Olga’s patterns feature intricate colourwork designs, her style is constantly evolving, and she loves to knit and design using different techniques and styles. She gets ideas from nature and various forms of vintage art.
Olga’s Saunseray pattern is a roomy, drop-shoulder sweater, full of easy-to-execute cables.
Tiia Reho first learned to knit when she was a teenager but managed to finish very few objects back then. Tiia is a medical doctor, and she completed her PhD right when the pandemic hit. All of a sudden, she had plenty of time on her hands, so she decided to revisit knitting. Tiia soon noticed she was unable to stick with the instructions and started to make her own changes to patterns. Tiia likes simple designs that still have a little edge, something a bit “off”. Tiia lives nearby to Tampere, Finland, the hometown of Laine Publishing.
For this issue, Tiia designed Helli: an elegant yet simple slipover, worked in a combination of wool and silk mohair.
Anna Sjösvärd started designing a bit over a year ago, with the intention of creating garments that fit her own style. Anna lives in the countryside outside Örebro, Sweden, with her husband and their cocker spaniel. She works in an organisation where they lead projects with the mission of safeguarding the cultural heritage of textile crafts. For her, knitting is empowering: a source of calm and inspiration. Anna’s main inspiration comes from Norse mythology, fantasy and Nordic culture, but also from Swedish wool.
Her pattern for this issue, Huldra, is a cosy raglan sweater with stranded knitting.
Julia Wilkens originally comes from Frankfurt, Germany, but lives in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Julia designs knitwear part-time, as well as working in contemporary art. She published her first pattern on Ravelry in 2019, although she had been knitting from her own designs since she was a teenager. Julia is inspired by yarn and colours. She loves experimenting with stitches: for example, knitting a stitch pattern in two colours that she usually knits in one, and vice versa. She describes her designs as eclectic, influenced by underground music, outsider art, industrial design and the urban landscape.
Julia’s pattern for issue 18, Preppy, is a relaxed cardigan based on the classic varsity jacket