Beginning her training as a visual artist and art historian, Susanna is now a prolific knitwear designer whose focus and love is scarves and shawls. Most readers are probably familiar with her shawls from Knitty, Twist Collective, and her own self-published patterns. Full of intricate lace and cables (her favorites!), her shawls are striking, and fun to knit, too!
Susanna draws her inspiration from nature
Here are Susanna's answers to our questions.
What’s your favorite thing about designing shawls?
I see shawls as blank surfaces that can be transformed into just about anything depending on the inspiration. Shawls are to my knitting as canvas is to my painting. I think it’s great that just like jewelry, shawls can completely change an outfit, dress it up or dress it down. They can be simple, one-skein projects for a beginner knitter or large intricate masterworks – the possibilities are truly limitless.
Do you have a favorite fiber to work with?
Although I love working with all sorts of fibers and blends, I really adore silk - its strength, its luster, and its ability to accept brilliant dyes. I love how even a small amount blended with other fibers can add a gorgeous drape and sheen to a finished shawl.
What are you looking forward to the most about working with Verb yarn?
Because nature is always such an important source of inspiration to me, I am looking forward to letting the natural hues of your yarn inspire this design. I can’t wait to see where the yarn will take me.
Can you give us a quick look at your design process?
Inspiration comes to me from many different sources. I’ve designed knits inspired by literature and architecture, but I am most often inspired by nature and the changing seasons. I love the richness of autumn colors and textures, the stark geometry of winter, the vitality of spring and the lushness of summer. Where I used to employ brush and paints on canvas before I learned to knit, I now use needles and yarn to try to capture the sparkling ocean, the feathery clouds, the unfurling petals…
Where do you knit? Do you have a favorite place to cozy up with your needles?
Anywhere and everywhere! I am used to getting some odd looks from strangers by now. That said, I am most comfortable and most productive sitting on the sofa in our family room watching television or listening to some music. Sitting there I can see the entire backyard with its luxuriant trees through the window. Watching nature change and transform daily makes me very happy; the incredible variety of green shades never fails to amaze me.
What's your favorite item someone else has knit for you?
That’s an easy answer – socks. I must confess that I have never made even a single sock. Thankfully, I have some amazing friends who have made sure my toes never get cold. I have five very special pairs that are my designated ‘sit & knit’ socks because I only wear them while I knit; they are all much too beautiful to walk around in.
Thanks Susanna! We are looking forward to see what beautiful creation you devise for the club!
It's not too late!! Sign-ups for the club are currently open, and we'd love to have you join us. Click here to read more and sign up.
Click here to read our previous interview with Andrea.