Lisa Hoffman is a noted knitwear designer. Her designs have appeared in Vogue Knitting, Iris Schreier’s One + One book series, knit.wear, and Knit Simple, among (many) other places. Lisa’s designs lean toward fashionable yet classy pieces that work for any age. She was kind enough to answer some questions about her newest scarf design in Ensemble Light, Belweather.
What was your inspiration for the scarf?
The softness of the yarn. I knew it would make a lovely lightweight scarf so I paired it with a simple lace pattern that would work up quickly, not curl, and look smart on both sides.
Do you follow a specific philosophy as a designer?
I try to design lace patterns that are interesting to work but not too complicated, easy to follow by an advanced beginner/intermediate knitter. I like that I have to think a bit from row to row, if the pattern is too boring I will lose interest with the piece before it’s completed.
What is your design process, in general and specifically for this piece?
I usually swatch different stitch patterns to see what will look best and achieve the result I want for the particular fiber. I will block the swatches and think about what they want to be. Next I will sketch, do some math to figure out the stitch count appropriate to the lace pattern, and get started. With this pattern I knew I needed to add selvedge stitches to keep the edges from curling.
Did the yarn and/or color play a large role in guiding the design?
The color is sooo very important! I have always loved teal, and I originally made this for myself.
What were your favorite qualities of Ensemble Light?
As this is a silk and cashmere blend, there is a slight difference in how each fiber absorbs the dye – there is a beautiful depth of color that adds dimension to a flat knit.
What other pieces that you’ve designed in Artyarns yarns are you most happy with?
One of my very first pieces published in Vogue Knitting Magazine was a lace coat (#15 Lace Coat, Vogue Knitting Holiday 2008) and I just loved working with the yarn and the amazing variety of colors. The following year I had fallen in love with a deep red in Artyarns Cashmere Sock and decided to work up a pair of mittens, they ended up in Vogue Knitting Fall 2009 and Vogue Knitting: Mittens and Gloves. More recently I am so proud to have had pieces included in all of Iris Schreier’s One + One books, every one of which has been quite popular.
You can find Lisa on Ravelry as nycknitr. And guess what? She is offering Artyarns blog readers $2 off on the pattern with coupon code ARTYARNS!