Designer Interview: Joji Locatelli

"FlyAway Hoodie"

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!

Joji's first Malabrigo project, a Featherweight Cardigan (by Hannah Fettig) in Sock

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"

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!

"Opposite Pole"

 

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!

 

"Perla" in Mal Worsted "Pearl"

 

Thanks so much Joji! We can’t wait to see what fabulous things you come up with next.

You can peruse all of Joji’s patterns on her Ravelry page, or follow her adventures on her blog!

– Alex

2 thoughts on “Designer Interview: Joji Locatelli

  1. PaleIsTheNewTan

    I am a fan of many of Joji’s designs. Please keep doing what you’re doing, sister! 🙂

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