Today we’re talking to the amazing Judy Marples! Judy is a Canadian knitter who learned to knit as a child and never stopped. She began designing in 2009 and has racked up a rather gorgeous portfolio!
She’s got an eye for rich, scrumptious color and a great talent for lace…
My favorite thing to design is lace. I love the logic of lace, the math involved and playing with graph paper and pencil. I love all the little details that come together to form lace and I always strive to create patterns that are intuitive for the knitter.
Hi Judy!! Thanks for letting us interview you. Can you tell us about your ﬁrst “Malabrigo experience”?
In spring 2007 I began working part time at my LYS 88 Stitches Yarn Shop, which just happens to be right across the street from my home. The owner, Sue, was just opening the store and I began working with her on the second day of operation. We didnʼt have much yarn in those early days but that fall Malabrigo Merino Worsted appeared on our shelves. I couldnʼt believe how soft it was and how lovely it felt in my hands. And the colors just blew me away! The ﬁrst color I choose was Velvet Grapes. I started knitting with Malabrigo then and have never stopped. The shop is now happily full of yarn and Malabrigo is one of our top sellers. I love introducing other people to Malabrigo! I teach classes as well as designing and I recently did a series of Learn to Knit classes at my local City Hall for the employees on their lunch break. I made up kits for the class and along with my favorite needles I included in each kit a small ball of Merino worsted. They loved it! We now have a large group of women who meet once a week and are passionate about knitting.
Aww, that’s great! What about your first design in Malabrigo?
My ﬁrst design with Malabrigo was also my ﬁrst design ever. Woodsie Gloves(knit in Merino worsted) is a free pattern that I published in November 2009.
Very cute! What would you say drives you to use Malabrigo in so many of your designs?
Malabrigo has remained one of my favorite yarns over the years. Working in a LYS I see tons of yarn come and go but Malabrigo has remained consistent in itʼs quality and of course, I love, love, love the colorways. I really am all about the color when choosing yarn. Itʼs the ﬁrst aspect I react to in a yarn and usually the deciding factor for me. With Malabrigo I know that quality yarn comes along with the awesome color. I know it will block beautifully and there wonʼt be any surprises. Also the wide range of yarn weights are awesome, there is a weight for every project.
What is your absolute favorite project that you’ve made in Malabrigo?
Wow, now you have me stumped! They are really all my favorites, but if I had to choose just one, it would have be my Sweet Details Cardigan. This was designed with my little granddaughter in mind and is knit in Rios. I knit two versions of this pattern and once the pattern was published she took the samples home with her. She loves her sweaters
and wore them both until they ﬁnally became too small. Time to make her another one in a larger size!
Some of my other designs that I love in Malabrigo are:
Heart of Wales Shawl which I knit in Sock in Tiziano Red. Love that color!
Knit Night Hat (free pattern) and Knit Night Gloves, done in either Merino worsted or Rios.
Elowen Shawl, using Arroyo yarn was so much fun to design.
Yorkshire Shawl – one of the samples was knit in Finito, which started another whole obsession for me with this amazing yarn.
So many beautiful designs! Alright, last question- what is your favorite colorway and yarn base?
Sue at 88 Stitches has provided me with a steady diet of treats, weʼve had all the Malabrigo yarns over the years. Last fall she ordered Arroyo and I do have a special love for this base. Itʼs such a versatile weight and Iʼve used it for shawls, accessories and sweaters and love that it is superwash. This spring a small shipment of Finito arrived in the store. I used it to knit a sample for my Yorkshire Shawl and I absolutely fell in love with it. I Immediately began to buy one skein for every shift I worked in the shop, lol! One of the perks/dangers of working in a LYS 🙂 I now have a small stash of Finito, waiting for inspiration. My plan is for fall accessories. I really do love them all but in particular, I love the washability of Rios and Arroyo for kidʼs clothes and I love the lighter weights for lace.
My favorite colorway? Really hard question for me to answer! I have made several projects with Vaa and it is amazing. I just love the combination of greens and blues. It would deﬁnitely make my short list. Another favorite is Frank Ochre. You simply cannot be in a bad mood while knitting with this colorway! I made a cowl using Merino worsted in Frank Ochre as a Christmas gift for a co-worker and it was really hard to give it up. It just glows with warmth and I really love it. Iʼm working on a sweater for myself right now in Arroyo Jupiter and Iʼm loving this color too. I also love Tiziano Red, Lettuce, Paris Night, Purple Mystery and Buscando Azul. The neutrals are awesome too, Iʼm thinking of Plomo, Pearl Ten, Coffee Toffee…Oops, sorry you probably meant just one favorite 🙂 I could ramble on and on about the colors…