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I met Stephanie online prior to us eventually both becoming teachers at out LYS, Tricotine et cie. Stephanie is a prolific knitter, and a great teacher – as well as an active blogger, and pattern designer. She’s pretty awesome, I have to say.
1. What motivated you to start this adventure?
I studied fashion design but didn’t much like sewing, because the machine makes me impatient.
Knitting is perfect for me. If there’s a problem, it has to be my fault! I have so much imagination and creativity, and I love to talk with expert knitters and new knitters alike.
That’s how my blog was born : that need to speak with people who share my interests, and also the need to escape the loneliness of my appartment when my husband was working. I was in a new town, with a new job, few friends… the internet gave me that social contact I lacked, and made me fall in love with knitting all over again.
After that, I began randomly creating knitting patterns since I often improvised models – not finding any I really liked.
Starcap was my first model. After knitting my own, I put the pictures online and so many knitters asked me where they could find the pattern that I decided to write it for them. After that, I started taking notes while I was knitting, and that’s how À la maille suivante’s patterns were born (À la maille suivante translates to Onto the next stitch). With Ravelry, I discovered a ton of possibilities and contacted magazines and yarn suppliers to whom I sent certain ideas for them to be published on the web or in magazines. And finally, Tricotine et cie lately found its way into my life – it’s where I now create and teach. I have many students that are now passionate about knitting (at different levels of course; we can’t all be addicts) and I love that this is my life now.
2. Is there an FO you like more than any other? Or a pattern you’re particularly proud of?
My first design, Starcap, was the biggest surprise – it turned out even better than I’d expected. However, I have to say that the design that made me sweat the most is Océanique, which I made for the Biscotte & Cie club so I am really proud of the result.
I have to admit I love Dias de Betty created for the Classic Elite Yarn newsletter. I loved the yarn & the pattern is for quite the classic. It was also my first piece of clothing with sizes, so writing it was more complicated. Knowing what I knew about reading patterns & fashion design helped a lot!
3. Other than knitting, what other creative avenues are in your life?
I’ve tried crochet, scrapbooking, sewing, but knitting remains far, far ahead of them all. I’ve also tried jewelry making. However to make jewelry you need time, space and quiet – things I rarely get to enjoy together. Otherwise I like to draw, so when I submit a design, I always include a drawing and a sample so it’s more visual.
My knitting follows me everywhere and requires the perfect level of attention from me. I usually have more than one WIP and I take with me the one that suits the time & place I’m at, just so as not to make mistakes.
4. Can you recommend a Québécois handmade online shop you really like?
I like looking all over the web for designer collections from around the world. I often find little details that inspire me, but I have to admit that most of my designs are mostly inspired by trial and error. I’ll get an idea in my head and with some yarn and some needles I try to reproduce it. Sometimes it works, sometimes it really doesn’t. I like handdyed yarns such as biscotte et cie, tanis fiber art, sephyra and locally produced fibers such as sheep farms or alpaca farms in Québec.
It’s banal things and sceneries that are my greatest inspirations. Like my crossroads scarf inspired by the 40 Highway or the Bettkike shawl that I imagined from a Tempo garage… I guess inspiration really does come from all around us.
5. Do you have any advice for those wanting to throw themselves out there? Something to do or really not do?
It really is all about doing something you love.
For myself, I really need to try steeks in knitting. And I would never, not even under torture, try making Phentex slippers.
You’ll find Stephanie here :