Meet the designers for Laine Issue 15
In Laine Magazine 15, we present designs from 11 outstanding designers from around the world. Meet Jenny Ansah, Jennifer Brou, Weichien Chan, Štěpánka Drchalová, Meiju K-P, Bernice Lim, Hanna Maciejewska, Terri Maue, Olga Putano, Florence Spurling, Yiğitcan Vatansever.
For Jenny Ansah, knitting means the freedom to express herself while at the same time being connected to her roots. Jenny learned to knit from her grandmother, and still knits with her today. Jenny lives in Helsinki, Finland, where she studies at the university and works as a freelance knitwear designer, as well as a substitute teacher in upper and lower secondary schools. She loves comfortable and relaxed garments and describes her design style as “earthly and simple with a twist (stitch)”. For this issue, Jenny designed the Niitty cardigan that was inspired by the flowers in a meadow.
Jennifer Brou lives in South Portland, Maine, USA. Along with her design work, she also teaches at the Maine College of Art & Design, where she often knits between her classes. Jennifer is inspired by visual complexity – she is obsessed with finding the fine line where a composition can be richly complex without being overly complicated. Nature is her largest source of inspiration, and she also loves to observe and tune into little everyday details that are often overlooked. For this issue, Jennifer designed Autumn Forager: a top-down circular yoke pullover where texture is the main attraction.
Weichien Chan – often known by her designer name, The Petite Knitter – is based in the Canadian arctic archipelago, in the city of Iqaluit. Weichien’s designs are unisex with a boxy fit. She gets ideas from the place where she lives and the things that she experiences: the ever-beautiful arctic skies and the changing of the seasons. Her favourite colours – hues of grey, brown and white – can also be found on the tundra. For this issue, Weichien designed the Hiemalis jumper that was inspired by the intense arctic winter sunsets.
Štěpánka Drchalová lives in Prague, Czech Republic, where she used to work in the field of culture and in an art bookstore, but three years ago she was diagnosed with a rare disease. Since then, she has been home a lot and knitting. Štěpánka finds inspiration from old knitting books, and also from her stash. She likes to sit with all the yarns and colours and try out new combinations. For this issue, Štěpánka designed the Briza socks that reminded her of a birch grove in autumn.
Meiju K-P learned her first stitches from her grandmother, and as a teenager, was already designing her own sweaters. Last spring, Laine Publishing released Meiju’s debut book, Contrasts: Textured Knitting. Meiju lives in Helsinki, Finland, with her husband and their three boys. As a designer, Meiju likes challenges. She is thrilled when a sweater that looks complicated can be turned into a pattern that is actually easy to knit. For this issue, Meiju designed the Hento sweater: a simple, slightly oversized and light brioche pullover.
Bernice Lim – also known by her designer name Yamagara – lives in Singapore, where she works as a knitwear designer, art teacher and potter. Bernice often uses yarn as the starting point for her designs and likes to enhance the characteristics of the yarn. She is happiest when she hears knitters say that they enjoyed the knitting process, learned something new or thought that a certain detail in her patterns was clever. For this issue, Bernice designed the Ginger sweater: a combination of interesting construction, cosy shape and fun stitch patterns.
Hanna Maciejewska likes to design garments and accessories worked using clever, time-saving techniques, featuring varied textured and lace patterns that are entertaining to knit and to look at. She wants her designs to be all-round favourites that will be worn for years without going out of style, honouring the time it took to handcraft them. Hanna lives with her family in a small village in Poland. For this issue, Hanna designed Crossing Pathways: a relaxed, boxy sweater worked from the top down
Terri Maue lives in Toronto, Canada. She is retired but still works on her own knitting patterns. Terri’s ideas often come from movies, TV ads and shows, particularly older or period-piece movies, and from thumbing through old craft magazines. She also dreams a lot of her designs – going to bed with a notion and waking with a complete idea. For this issue, Terri designed Faerie Dreams: a light cardigan with a lace motif that dates from the early 19th century.
Olga Putano is inspired by nature and various forms of vintage art. She is consistently designing colourwork sweaters, but loves throwing in a textured, modern or elegant look here and there. Olga lives on a homestead in Pennsylvania, USA. Knitting has taught her that she can do more than she thinks. Being able to make a beautiful garment with just two sticks and a strand of yarn is an incredibly freeing feeling. For this issue, Olga designed Adventitious: a roomy, drop-shoulder top with lacy cabled details.
London-based Florence Spurling has a degree in textile design, and during her time studying, she quickly became fascinated with knitted textiles, crochet and embellishment. Since graduating, she has designed for Anthropologie, Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, Chloé and Oscar de la Renta. Her designs combine her passion for colour, pattern and texture, and she aims to constantly reinvent ways of using them together. For this issue, Florence designed the Seren hat and shawl which were inspired by hand-crafted quilts.
Yiğitcan Vatansever lives in Istanbul, Turkey, working as a designer and doing a post-graduate degree in textile design. Yiğitcan gets inspired by stitches and playing with them, as well as traditional elements and beliefs. Their designs usually focus on unexpected details, striking forms and attitude. Yiğitcan usually uses two or more colours with brioche, stranded colourwork and intarsia techniques. For this issue, Yiğitcan designed the Noxolis scarf that is worked in two-colour brioche.