Getting to Know Mari Chiba’s Fall Knitting Patterns
Is the Ginny Cardigan (shown below) in your knitting queue? I love it, too—those owls are darling, and so cleverly placed. That’s the work of designer Mari Chiba, and she has a beautiful collection in the Fall 2015 issue of Knitscene.
Stefanie Goodwin-Ritter also wrote a profile of Mari in this issue, and I thought you might want to learn more about this wonderful designer. Here’s an excerpt from Stefanie’s article.
Mari Chiba’s Crazy Ideas
A typical interaction with Mari Chiba begins with “I have a vision!” or “I have a crazy idea!”—and quite often, these wacky ideas (or some version of them) become reality.
Unsurprisingly, Mari’s “crazy” ideas spill over into the world of designing. When asked about her approach, Mari admits that she designs things she likes to knit and wear: “I go for clean lines, and I like pretty simple stitches.” The result is a body of work that features designs that are eye-catching, modern, and easy to wear.
Like so many fiber folks I know, Mari has an interesting backstory: her mother tried to teach her to knit when she was eight or nine years old, but it didn’t grab hold until many years later when she was serving in the Peace Corps in Armenia. Living in a small village, she needed something to entertain her during the long, cold winters, and re-learning how to knit suddenly became an appealing option!
Mari admits that she has never been a person to follow directions, and after a few frustrating attempts at following patterns with lackluster results, she began to make up her own designs for hats, cowls, and shawls, mostly by trial and error.
When Mari’s pattern appeared on the cover of the Unofficial Harry Potter Knits (Ginny’s Cardigan, shown at left), the compulsion to design only grew stronger. “I dream of sweaters and they won’t stop bugging me until they come into life in yarn!” she jokes, but only a little—like most jokes, there is a grain of truth behind the punchline, and Mari has an incredible drive coupled with a truly artistic approach.
—Stefanie Goodwin-Ritter, Knitscene Fall 2015
Mari has four designs in the fall issue of Knitscene, including the three shown above, plus her Solitude Jacket, a beautiful cardigan with a shawl collar, a ribbed yoke, and toggle-style buttons.
Knitscene editor Amy Palmer is hosting a knit-along, and Mari’s Solitude Jacket is included in the selection. Check out the great fall knitting patterns, and vote for your favorite here! The knit-along starts on July 24.