Designer Q&A: Sara Kucharik
Sara Kucharik has been designing garments and accessories for over fifteen years, but only recently has she tried her hand at publishing. The nature of her design style is relatively classic with a modern twist. Sara’s works are driven by implementing various methods and edges, providing a fresh face to otherwise traditional pieces. Find Sara online at www.theyarndestthing.com and as Yarniv0re on Ravelry.
Q: When and why did you start knitting?
A: I accidentally discovered my obsession with fiber in 2000. My grandma taught me to crochet when I was young and she always kept me fully stocked in acrylic yarns. To my surprise when unpacking many years later, I found a blue set of aluminum circular needles wedged inside a skein of her electric blue yarn. My curiosity piqued, a knitting addict was born, and the rest is history! My family nurtured my creative genes in my youth through many outlets, so I credit my dear parents for laying that path for me. I find great joy in working with my hands, be it knitting, crochet, cross stitch, sewing, etc. The list is endless.
Q: What was your first knitted project?
A: That would be one of two raglans which were worked around the same time. After practicing bouts of knits and purls, I dove head on into a basic cardigan pattern from a vintage learn to knit pamphlet. Fittingly, I used the acrylic blue yarn where I had unveiled the mystery of circular needles. My enthusiasm to learn was immeasurable, as were my eager fingers. Two binders were bursting at the seams with instructions I’d compiled from the web on anything knitting related. While I was completely enamored by cables, I wasn’t comfortable enough to work them into a full “noob” project. Still feeling adventurous, I did incorporate a box stitch in lieu of some of the stockinette, not to mention the clearly uncalculated 2×2 ribbing at the bottom edge. (I also chickened out with the buttonholes, so I worked around them.) We’ve all been there!
Q: What kind of yarn is your favorite to work with?
A: Alpaca won over my heart the last year or so and has been revisited quite often since. I’m currently working with this luxurious fiber on a colorwork project for an Interweave publication later this year that I’m very excited about! It’s difficult to pick a favorite seeing as each fiber possesses significant properties for specific projects, but the versatility of merino and the soft hand and subtle halo of alpaca will have to tie for first prize.
Q: What is your favorite thing to design and why?
A: That’s like asking me to pick my favorite animal! Wow, I love designing with cables quite a bit. They’ve been my weakness from the beginning. Climate factors have inhibited my desire to create pullovers in recent years, though I thoroughly enjoy doing so. Currently, I find myself deeply engaged in a smile fest designing accessories! I go in waves like most, but find myself drawn to the universal aspect they offer. Everyone can always use a scarf, hat or mitts! Shawls, stoles, wraps, and purses will additionally get lots of love from me in future designs.
Q: What passions do you have outside of knitwear?
A: When my fingers aren’t joyfully tangled in yarn, they’re most likely whipping up some delicious goodies! I really enjoy some intense cooking and baking, not to mention the happy bellies that follow. Birdwatching is one of my favorite ways to relax and instill a sense of calm, so much that each has acquired their own name. Animals bring me great joy! I’ve also been known to unwind with some much needed game time as well. There are countless creative outlets I’m super eager to try…do we have a few hours? *wink*
A: The idea for the Desert Flower Shawl came to fruition in the passenger seat on a cross country road trip a few years ago. Shocker, this gal doesn’t take any road trip without her yarn! The vast landscapes and awe-inspiring countryside had me quickly reaching for my yarn bag. Nature inspires me more than anything else. The vast array of colors and textures surrounding us capture moods and memories that never disappoint a creative spirit! Every person should experience the country that way at least once in their life.
Q: What was it like to knit this project?
A: Refreshing! This was actually my very first knitted shawl, so that in itself is the ultimate excitement for me as a knitter. One of my greatest loves is learning and incorporating new techniques into my designs because it reignites that passion of discovery. The perpendicular edge was such a gratifying experience aesthetically and functionally. Eliminating a lengthy bind off while you’re knitting, um, yes please! I’ll be revisiting that technique again for sure. This shawl was an adventure in knitting for me personally, as it went through several fun transformations before crossing the finish line.
Q: What surprises or excites you most about the knitting community?
A: Admittedly, I’m not the most social being you’ll ever encounter, but it’s quite amazing, even amidst diversity to witness the rich sense of camaraderie knitting evokes. That’s something incredibly special! It’s important to remember to take time to appreciate those little things in life and embrace them—something I try to do often.