Today we’re talking to an awesome designer I only just discovered recently (thanks to the Junkies designer thread)- Ms Sara Gresbach!
A little about Sara:
I live in a small town in Wisconsin with my husband, who takes most of my design photos, and my two children. I chose to leave my job as an Occupational Therapist at a hand clinic after having my second child. At that point, knitting was a hobby but a growing addiction. I found myself inspired to create things for my kids and decided to try my hand at writing down what I did. Raised by an English teacher and having worked on my college paper as a copy editor, I enjoyed putting my designs into words. It’s such a humbling and wonderful feeling every time I sell a pattern, and the things I’ve learned along the way are invaluable.
Hi Sara! Welcome to the blog 😉 We’ll start at the beginning- what was your first experience with Malabrigo?
I have loved the colors and soft touch of Malabrigo from the very start, but as a new knitter, I was hesitant to use it for fear of not doing it justice. My very first project with Malabrigo was a brimmed hat using Worsted in the Déjà vu colorway. I had been coveting the Déjà Vu for some time, and to my surprise and delight, a skein appeared on the front seat of my car after a visit with my mom (who taught me to knit and got me thoroughly hooked on Malabrigo). I chose Kimberly’s Cool Cap, which is not a very well known pattern on ravelry. In fact, I think my project is the only one linked to the pattern, but it showcased the yarn beautifully and I love the result. The seed stitch and the decreases on the top were perfect with the yarn.
And what was your first design with Malabrigo yarn?
My first design in Malabrigo was the Little Treasures Cardi, designed for my son’s 18-month pictures, taken at an abandoned gas station. The whole family had so much fun at that photo shoot, and best of all, because of the undeniable softness of Malabrigo Worsted, he loved wearing that sweater. Sadly, a year later, he has outgrown it.
What draws you to Malabrigo for your design work?
There are so many reasons….the colors, the softness, the reliability. It’s so wearable, and honestly, it just makes me happy! I know when I pick it up, whatever it will become, I will love the finished object. Whether it’s for me, my kids, or a gift, there is never any doubt, it will be worn and loved.
I had a skein of worsted in Bobby Blue in my stash for several months. It had been sitting all alone on the shelf at my local shop, Main Street Yarn Shop, Hartford, WI, so I had to bring it home. It sat and sat in my stash, and when the cooler weather hit this Fall, I designed Yellowstone with it and gifted it to a friend, who in turn modeled it. The color is fabulous on her and as a knitter, she truly appreciated its loveliness.
What is your favorite Malabrigo project that you’ve made to date?
The more I knit with it, the harder that question is to answer! I would have to say that my County Clare boot toppers are a contender because of their inspiration. I had a wonderful get-away weekend with my sister (who is not a knitter, but has a great fashion sense) and we stayed at a lovely little Irish Inn, The County Clare Hotel, in Milwaukee. Together we dreamed up this design, which was really fun to knit. It was my first experience with Arroyo. Needless to say, I am now hooked on another base.
What is your favorite colorway and yarn base?
It really is impossible to choose just one. I always come back to Worsted. This summer when I was away on vacation for a week, the shop owner at my local yarn shop posted on Ravelry about receiving a huge shipment of worsted and how amazing all the new colors were. I was seriously having anxiety because I wasn’t there to experience it!
I am always drawn to the variegated colorways that Malabrigo does better than anyone. It’s sometimes a challenge to find the perfect pattern to fit the yarn, which is what I had in mind when I designed the Kaleidoscope Cowl. It was specifically designed to showcase a highly variegated yarn alongside a more subtle solid or semi-solid yarn. One of my current favorites is Malambo, used in the cowl, but Milonga, Pearl Ten, Candombe, and Apple Cinnamon all come in very close behind. I used the remainder of a skein of Arroyo in Candombe for Trailhead and cannot get past the depth of the colors, they just blow me away. I could go on and on….at this point there is no doubt I have a true addiction!
Thank you so much Sara, for sharing your beautiful work with us! If you’d like to hear more about Sara’s knitting adventures or follow her blog, check out her website, frontporchknitting.com. You can also find Sara on Ravelry (or click any of the photos in this interview to go straight to the pattern!)