Meet the designers for Laine Issue 16
In Laine Magazine 16, we present designs from ten outstanding designers from around the world. Meet Fiona Alice, Rachel Brockman, Dee Hardwicke, Thien-Kieu Lam, Lotta H Löthgren, Rosa Pomar, Yan Qian, Eri Shimizu, Anna Strandberg and Orlane Sucche.
For Fiona Alice, knitting means a sense of community. It is also fortunate that her job is portable: every time she has moved, she has been able to take her work with her, and it has become her sense of purpose and confidence as she navigates a new city. Fiona – who originally comes from Canada but now lives in Helsinki, Finland – often draws inspiration from other textiles and crafts. She loves using repetitive elements, slipped stitches, broken rib and twisted ribbing in her patterns.
For this issue, Fiona designed the Maplewood sweater: a timeless top-down sweater knitted in smooth Merino and highly textured bouclé.
Rachel Brockman lives in North Carolina, USA, and works as an in-house designer at Universal Yarn. Because she works for a commercial yarn company, the scope of her style is very broad – she dabbles in a bit of everything! Her favourite colours are warm, earthy hues, and she finds inspiration in anything and everything: nature, her favourite places and ready-to-wear as well. For Rachel, knitting serves as a creative outlet, a calming tool, and something she can turn to whether she wants a challenge or simply to enjoy the simplest of stitches.
For this issue, Rachel designed the Solitaire sweater that focuses on the foundational stitches of knitting: the knit and the purl.
Dee Hardwicke is an artist, designer and knitter living in Wales. Her work is steeped in the artisan traditions of the Arts and Crafts movement and the idea of making pieces that are as beautiful as they are practical. Dee has always been inspired by nature and the colours, shapes and textures that emerge in the landscape from season to season. She takes a very painterly approach to design, and when she’s knitting, each stitch becomes almost like a brushstroke of colour.
For this issue, Dee designed Reverie: an enchanting colourwork blanket worked in a combination of intarsia and stranded knitting.
Note! More of Dee’s beautiful designs can be found in her book The Knitted Fabric, published by Laine Publishing this autumn!
Thien-Kieu Lam lives in Louisiana, USA. She is an artist, and working with her hands, experimenting with materials and exploring ideas are all part of her practice. Thien-Kieu learned how to knit as an adult and tinkering with stitches and designs came naturally. She is drawn to rich textures and visual movement in knitted fabrics. Her designs often feature bold, flowing lines or shapes and frequently incorporate garter stitch, cables and twisted stitches.
For this issue, Thien-Kieu designed Yumi: an asymmetrical triangular shawl that features an arrow motif inspired by the traditional Japanese pattern known as yagasuri or yabane.
Lotta H Löthgren
Lotta H Löthgren lives and works in an old house in the forest of Southern Sweden. She also has a tiny yarn shop in a small wooden cottage further along in her little village. As a designer, Lotta principally likes to create wearable garments – she is a practical person and loves using her handknits, even those in more exclusive yarns, when she is out in the forest. Lotta’s debut knitting book will be published in 2023 by Laine Publishing. Knitting has taught her that good things take time, and that there are very seldom any shortcuts.
For this issue, Lotta designed the Braided Moss sweater and matching socks. They combine traditional Moss Stitch with simple cables.
Rosa Pomar is best known for her yarn store and brand which celebrate yarn from Portuguese sheep breeds. Rosa lives in Lisbon but a significant part of her work is done in different regions of Portugal where the sheep and the spinning mills are. Although Rosa adores stranded knitting and cables, her latest designs have been more about maximising wearability – knits that are simple enough so that you will never get tired of them. Rosa is a patient knitter who enjoys swatching, darning ends and blocking.
For this issue, Rosa designed the Badana cardigan. It knitted with yarn of the same name, which comes from one of the most critically endangered Portuguese native sheep breeds.
Yan Qian lives in Bucks County, USA. Her knitting patterns are inspired by her travels, runways, street style, Instagram and Pinterest. She likes to come up with something that’s modern, classic and effortless, and incorporate small details in her design to make it desirable. Yan’s strength as a designer is that she is good at envisioning how a sweater looks on people and how it can be styled up. Knitting is an integral part of her life that has taught her patience and resilience.
For this issue, Yan designed Nuage: a top-down sweater with slightly puffed sleeves.
Ever since Eri Shimizu was a child, she would see her mother and grandmother knitting. As an adult, she became obsessed with making top-down sweaters and also started designing patterns herself. Eri lives in the Japanese countryside. She is inspired by nature and everyday scenery, but also by yarns – touching the strands and thinking about what they would suit. For her, knitting is a way to embody her imagination.
For this issue, Eri designed Yuki No Hi No, a raglan cardigan worked from the top down.
Anna Strandberg lives in Stockholm, Sweden, and works as a graphic designer and photographer. She used to be an indie yarn dyer who wanted her yarns to be featured in magazines, so she started designing her own patterns. It turned out that designing was more fun than dyeing. She describes her design style as “queer – menswear for women”. Anna likes minimalistic clothes, but with something interesting. She’d rather remove details than add more.
For this issue, Anna designed Soe: a warm, slightly oversized sweater knitted in thick yarn.
The common thread in all of Orlane Sucche’s designs is the pleasure of knitting and the joy of wearing the clothes you have knitted yourself. This means that she starts from her own desires and avoids creating sweaters that she wouldn’t wear herself or that she wouldn’t like to knit. Orlane’s design style could be defined as simple and precise, with attention to detail. She loves the idea of a timeless and genderless wardrobe and prefers working with rustic, woolly yarns. Orlane lives in Lille, France.
For this issue, Orlane designed Cameo: a buttoned waistcoat that combines a lovely texture with mesmerising cables.