I heart Shannon Cook at Luvinthemommyhood… she is an inspiration, with her cute sewing patterns, stunning photography and accessible knitting designs and style. Her cowl design seemed like the perfect thing to knit with our new Trinity Worsted, cashmere-blend heavy worsted yarn. We are so happy to offer Shannon’s pattern, the Barbara Cowl, as a new free pattern to kick off the release of our upcoming fall designs!
For fall, we’re doing some interviews with the designers of our patterns to get more of a glimpse inside their process. Here’s what we asked Shannon:
How did you learn to knit?
I learned how to knit from the women in my family. My mother, Omi and Nana all played a role in teaching me when I was a young girl.
Do you practise any other fibre crafts?
I also love to sew, crochet, embroider and do cross stitch.
Do you find inspiration in other artistic media, such as film, painting, clay or photography?
I’m inspired daily by music, books, tv/movies, nature (my surroundings) and frequently my sewing. I was recently inspired by the HST’s (half square triangles) used in quilting and designed my hat pattern Dreiecke.
I’m also very drawn to characters. I’ve always had a wild imagination growing up and love to create characters and back stories to all my projects. It’s a fun little thing I like to do when designing. I create the “person” who will be wearing the design. I also get inspired by existing characters that I see on tv/movies such as my Downton Cowl inspired by the crags on the top of the abbey on the hit show Downton Abbey and my Lansbury Cowl inspired by all the twists and turns in the mystery tv show Murder, She Wrote starring Angela Lansbury.
Are you drawn to any particular textures or attributes of knitted fabric?
I have a strong fascination with texture, movement and creative construction. I like to play with all of those things when designing for both knitting and sewing. I love to think outside of the box and create patterns that look intriguing and sometimes complicated but that are in fact easy, fun and relaxing to knit that help to develop a new knitter’s skill set.
What is the best piece of knitting advice you have ever been given?
Always, always check your gauge. Swatch. It takes time but it saves time. Trust me.
What is your favourite tool in your knitting kit?
One of my favorite tools of the moment is my foldable scissors from KnitPicks. I take them everywhere and use them tons. I also love the new Addi Turbo Sock Rockets for knitting. So fast, sleek and a joy to knit with.
How did you name this pattern?
This pattern was inspired by and named after my wonderful mother Barbara. She plays a huge role in who I am as designer and creative person today and also helps me with each project I do as a proof reader and more. She is my sounding board, best friend, cheerleader and someone who has always supported me no matter what.
Where did you get the inspiration to design this pattern?
I grew up in beautiful Northern BC in a town called Kitimat. My family still lives there and it’s very cold there when it’s not summer. My mom walks daily and she is always on the lookout for a staple cowl to wear that is stylish, cozy, functional and fun to knit. The Barbara cowl was designed to keep out the bite of the cold northern winds but also to be lovely enough to be worn with a cute outfit throughout your day.
Thanks for this great knit project to kick off Fall, Shannon! And download the free Barbara Cowl here!