Today I’m pleased to introduce a true Malabrigo Junkie designer- Joji! Almost half of Joji’s patterns are in Malabrigo (including her recent MFPP ebook, April Showers,) and they’re all absolutely stunning. She has a fantastic eye for color and proportion…and is also just about the nicest gal you’ll ever meet. In her words:
How did I became a knitwear designer? Pure luck, I guess.
I studied and graduated as a Physician, and thought very little about knitting until my studies were over. While working as a doctor, in 2004, I rediscovered this craft. I started remembering what I had learnt from my mother and internet opened a whole new world of knowledge about this art to me. I was absolutely hooked by knitting and I couldn’t think of much else during my work hours…
When my first son was born, I left my career to become a stay at home mom. And found that I could work from home while taking care of my family. I never got back to medicine…Haha!
I started doing all kind of things here in Argentina. I worked (and still do, but in a smaller scale) as an independent dyer for my LYS, and I also work there as a product manager.
But designing just came by chance! I wrote the instructions for a sweater that I really liked and then new ideas started to pop up in my head. And people liked them!
What can I say? I am a lucky girl…. 😀
Hi Joji! Thanks so much for letting us interview you. Can you tell us about your first experience working with Malabrigo yarn?
Well, I live in a country where it used to be very hard to get any imported yarns… So it took me a while to get my hands on some Malabrigo… A friend of mine once travelled and she brought me my first precious skeins of Malabrigo Sock. And that was a point of no return! The colors were so amazing. And the feel of the yarn was completely new to me. I had never touched something so soft. I guess I’ll always remember my first project in Malabrigo. That’s when I became a fan!
What was your first design in Malabrigo?
A little after I finished my first project with Sock, I managed to get myself a sweater quantity of Worsted. As I said, it was really really hard to get Malabrigo in Argentina at that time, so my skeins deserved to become something special. I kept browsing patterns on Ravelry, trying to find something “Mal-worthy”, and I just couldn’t make up my mind. So I decided I would make exactly what I thought those skeins should become. And that was the first time I ever designed with Malabrigo… And the first time I wrote a pattern for self-publishing in Ravelry. That pattern was Pole. I never expected people to actually like a pattern written by myself, but they did! And that changed my life, because from then on, I decided I wanted to continue designing more and more.
Pole is a beautiful way to start! Why do you choose to use Malabrigo in so many of your designs?
I just love these yarns. They are everything I could hope for as a designer. You have all the colors, all the textures, and all the yarn weights you can dream of. I know the bases, I love the way they behave. I feel comfortable knitting with yarns that I know so well. And also… I feel like they are neighboors! We do not have internationally famous yarns made in Argentina, so I feel like Uruguayan yarns are the closest thing to “local” yarns, hehe. I totally get the names they use for every color, so sometimes it is fun to know what the story is behind them. (I don’t think that is a reason why I use their yarns so much, though… Just another thing I love about Mal!)
What would you say is your personal favorite Malabrigo project to date?
Well, that is hard to say, because I love them all so much! I probably love my Opposite Pole the most. I love the color I picked for it (Simply Taupe.) It’s the perfect beige. The cables turned out just as I was hoping when I wrote the pattern, and I wear it all the time. And it is soooooooo soft!
I love Opposite Pole- the detailing just blew me away the first time I saw it! And finally…what is your fave colorway and/or base yarn?
Regarding colors, I tend to love neutral tones. I’d say my favorite color is Pearl. I just cannot imagine a more delicate and feminine shade of gray. And as for bases… I love them all! But if I had to knit with something for the rest of my life it would definitely be Twist. I have never seen such a twisted yet soft and flexible yarn. And so soft, Oh my Gosh!
Thanks so much Joji! We can’t wait to see what fabulous things you come up with next.