The Romantic Side of Refined Knits
Valentine’s Day, the most romantic holiday of the year, is fast approaching! This calls for a special Q&A with a designer and author whose projects perfectly capture the heart of this special day: Jennifer Wood. Jennifer is an innovator of knitted cables and lace, and her 2016 bestseller, Refined Knits, contains lovely patterns perfect for this special day—and many refined days after!
Take a peek at the lovely chat I had with Jennifer about her book, knitting, Valentine’s Day, and more!
Lisa: You began knitting in your mid-thirties and fell in love with it—the little V’s, pattern writing, cables, and lace. Did you have a moment later in your knitting career when you fell in love with knitting all over again?
Jennifer: Oh, yes! Any time I come up with a design that has an intriguing cable design, an extra pretty lace pattern, or a great combination of the two. I am continually amazed and delighted by the beautiful things that can be created by the arrangement of stitches. I definitely felt that with some of the designs in the book: Brielle, Camelia, and Corinne, just to name a few.
L: Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and Refined Knits is full of elegant and romantic patterns that are perfect for a date night with your special someone. If you were going to wear one of these patterns on a Valentine’s Day date with your husband, which would you wear?
J: I would go with either Victoria or Corrine. Both are so pretty and romantic that you can’t help but feel special when you wear them. And the yarn I used for Corrine is the perfect color for Valentine’s Day.
L: Are any of the patterns in Refined Knits inspired by the first cabled scarf that you knitted for your husband?
J: I often think of that scarf and what a challenge it was for me when I am working with cables. I would say all my cable projects are inspired by that scarf, because it inspired my love for cables.
One of the things I love about knitting is the first time you try a new technique it can seem so hard, feel so awkward, and take forever to finish, but the more you do it, the easier it becomes, and before you know it, it comes as naturally as tying your shoes.
L: You often mention finding inspiration from Japanese patterns and stitch dictionaries in your project introductions. What is it about the Japanese knitting style that moves you?
J: The Japanese knitting style is so pretty and intricate that it fascinates me. It takes lace knitting to a whole new level. I love playing with the stitch patterns and mixing them with other knitting styles. And it is always interesting trying to figure out a technique that is written in Japanese.
L: What advice would you give to aspiring knitting book writers?
J: Get ready for a lot of work and a crazy schedule. Take it one step at a time, and don’t think about everything that has to be done or you’ll get overwhelmed. I did not think I could ever write a book, and I survived. Through the process I learned a lot, and it has made me a better designer. The finished product is very rewarding.
L: Is there anything else you’d like to share?
J: One of my favorite things that has come from the book is helping knitters get out of their comfort zone and try new techniques in knitting. It is so exciting to see them complete a project they did not think that they could knit. It gives them such a sense of accomplishment and inspires them to keep challenging themselves. So I just encourage everyone to be adventurous in their knitting and enjoy the process of expanding their boundaries.
Thank you so much, Jennifer Wood, for taking the time to chat with me. We hope you have a refined Valentine’s Day full of beautiful knitting, love, and warmth!
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