Thank you to everyone who entered!
Our winner is Michelle of Rainmomma blog.
Michelle please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to claim your Sandrasingh.com Lace & Spring Maple Shawl pattern.
But this post is to celebrate Linda Choo's work, the Spring Maple shawl! One of my BBFs from Ravelry introduced me to Choo and her work a few years ago. And another of my very good customers knit Choo's Sandra Stole pattern in a skein of my Lace, (a very special pattern Choo designed Sandra's Stole in honor of her late sister), I've been very impressed with Choo's work for quite some time and I was excited when she agreed to design an exclusive lace project for my clients! Choo herself is hosting a KAL for Spring Maple in her Ravelry group, "Fans of Linda CC" and everyone is welcome!
This giveaway is for Choo's Spring Maple PDF pattern and a skein of Sandrasingh.com Lace in the colorway shown, Burgundy.
Meet Linda Choo: Choo has always had an interest in crafts from when she was very young. She learned to sew and to knit from her mother at the age of 5. Crochet was taught by her grandmother a few years later. She grew up making all of her clothes and knitting her sweaters, hats and mitts mostly out of necessity and frugality. It soon became a hobby, tackling the most intricate cabled sweaters. She crocheted her dress for her high school graduation. Instead of pursuing a career as a concert pianist, she studied engineering. After a career of 34 years as a professional engineer in the nuclear industry in Canada, she and her husband (also an engineer) took an early retirement. They raised 2 children who are now both engineers themselves.
Throughout her career, crafts were her main hobby and were a source of stress relief and creativity after a hectic day at the office. These included other crafts like quilting, cross stitch, hardanger and tailoring, along with the sewing, knitting and crocheting. After retirement, her daughter, also an avid knitter and budding designer, gave Linda her first laceweight yarn, first addi circular needles, and a copy of Victorian Lace Today. That was the start of a lace obsession that quickly grew into designing, as well as spinning and carding. Even with retirement, she says there are not enough hours in the day to do everything.
Linda lives in a small country property in southern Ontario with her husband and Australian shepherd pup and enjoys her crafts and gardening.
And Linda graciously took time away from her busy scheduling to do this interview for us, I'm told she has a very special project in the works for her daughter involving spinning the yarn, writing the pattern and knitting it. I hope you enjoy getting to know her as much as I have.
1. Every knitwear artist has an interesting story about how they began designing. Please tell us about yourself and what got you interested in knitting and designing knitwear.
I have been knitting since the age of 5. Designing was something that happened over time. I started by altering patterns to make them my own. I would seldom knit a pattern as written. Once I started lace knitting I was fascinated with the stitches and how they worked together. While working on a KAL on ravelry, I was discussing with the designer how her design was constructed. She encouraged me to make it my own by substituting my own lace stitch. Then she encouraged me to write up my own designs and publish them. I started with beginner patterns and offered them for free ravelry downloads. They were patterns that I would have liked to start with instead of jumping in the middle of Victorian Lace Today.
2. What is your design philosophy?
I like the process of knitting. I will never knit something that felt awkward or unnecessarily complex. My designs tend to look more difficult than they are. I think it was Einstein who said that “everything should be as simple as possible but not simpler”. That sums up my philosophy. I like designs that are pleasing to the eye and comfortable to knit.
3. Who or what inspires you the most in your design process?
Inspiration can come from many sources. It can be from a shape, a colour, a texture, a feeling, or even a person. In many cases, they are inspired by a favourite plant or flower in our garden. In some cases, it is for a particular person, embodying the essence of their personality and preferences. I designed a stole especially for my late sister. I used colour, shape, and details that I knew she liked. She loved it and even got to wear it a few times before she passed. My current project is to design a wedding stole for my daughter.
4. What direction do you see yourself heading in as a designer?
I design because I love the process. I will continue as long as I have ideas. Currently I have a notebook full of them. Sometimes it takes a year or more for the idea to evolve into a completed design. Since I have learned to spin, I often design specifically for either handspun or that single special skein of luxury yarn. Recently I have begun experimenting with shawl shapes. I expect to continue in that.
5. How have the advances in technology and the internet helped you (or hindered) you as a knitwear designer?
It has definitely helped. I am not sure if I would be designing today if it weren’t for ravelry and all the online friends I have made. It was another designer, who I met on ravelry, whose influence was crucial in encouraging me to complete my designs and to write them up for distribution. I am sure I would always be creating and doing my own designs, but not formally writing them up. Also, charting software is crucial. Without a computer, it would be tedious to create the multiple charts needed for lace design. I started with open office and proceeded from there. I have used computers since high school in the 60’s and throughout my career. Using them for my hobby seems natural.
Linda thank you so much for taking the time to tell us about yourself, we've enjoyed getting to know you.
The triangular shaped Spring Maple shawl by lace designer Linda Choo is a Sandrasingh.com Exclusive Pattern knit in one skein of my Sandrasingh.com Lace. Inspired by the leaves that grow on a Japanese Maple tree in her garden Choo shares her inspiration for this design..."After a long winter, we look forward to spring when the first bulbs are blooming, the flowering shrubs are in full bloom, and the Japanese maples start to bud.
The spring colors of the maples are as varied and vibrant as the autumn foliage. From the verdant green of the viridis to the cream of the ukegumo and spring ghost and the brilliant yellow/green of the aureum, there is a wide range to chose from. Its difficult to pick a favorite, but the shimmering coral of the Geisha, the translucent peach of the bonfire, and the rich spring red of the purple ghost are just a few of my favorites."
The winner will be announced on April 21st. The Spring Maple pattern will be emailed to the winner as a PDF.
Enter this Giveaway: The more ways you enter, the more chances you have to win. Make sure to leave a comment(s) under this blog post telling what you did to enter. And please make sure to leave your contact information.
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