Hill Country Weavers' Designer Spotlight on Lori Olfers
This week we're shining a light on one of our newest designers at Hill Country Weavers. Lori Olfers created the gorgeous Smoke and Embers scarf that was one of our Yarn Crawl patterns. Her latest pattern Early Morning Chill Chaser was featured in our newsletter and now we have kits made up so you can create your own!
We asked Lori a few questions to learn more about her process and journey as a designer.
How would you describe your design aesthetic?
I am truly in awe of and inspired by the beauty and simplicity found in nature, and the design process has allowed me to transform images and experiences from my everyday life into knitwear. Texture and color play such important roles in nature, so my favorite projects are usually comprised of basic shapes that include some combination of textural stitches, cables, lace or Fair Isle colorwork.
What's your favorite fiber to work with?
While there are so many incredible fibers available, I would have to say that a beautiful hand-dyed merino wool is my hands-down favorite. It has wonderful stitch definition, is soft and warm against your skin, and feels amazing in your hand as you knit.
What does your craft space look like?
We are in the process of building a new home, and I have the unique opportunity to design my own craft space for the first time. The room will be reminiscent of an old-fashioned sun porch, with three sides of windows that will bathe the space in natural light. It will include a large work table, a comfy sofa and chairs (for my knitting friends), and lots of storage space for yarn, books and needles. Right now, I do most of my knitting in a chair in our family room with my little Yorkie, Clover, by my side.
How did you get started creating your own patterns?
The whole design process is still so new to me! I feel like a ”beginner knitter” all over again … taking the time to think through each detail of a project. Images from nature and moments in everyday life begin to spark ideas that may become future “projects”. The idea for the “Early Morning Chill Chaser” hat pattern came to me one morning at breakfast while enjoying a steaming bowl of oatmeal with dried cranberries and brown sugar. Just yesterday, as I was driving out of my neighborhood, I stopped and jumped out of my car to take some photos of a large stand of purple fountain grass covered in dew. Wispy and ethereal, it was the perfect muse for a future delicate lace wrap or shawl.
Lori says, "Knitting is truly my therapy … no matter what the day throws at me, I know I can always find comfort in the rhythmic movement of fiber around needles and the process of creation. In addition to knitting, I love spending time with my family, taking photos for future inspiration, cooking (Italian is my favorite), and entertaining friends in my home."
Keep an eye out for more amazing designs from Lori in the future!
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