Our designer interview series is back! And we’re starting with the delightful Terri Kruse. I first discovered Terri’s work when she published her Momo sweater during Malabrigo March of last year- my first thought was “I would wear the HECK outta that!” Since then, it’s been a joy to keep an eye on the beautiful work she puts out. I asked Terri to tell us a little about herself before we start in on the questions, and this is what she said:
I always had an interest in knitting and crocheting. I had a friend who knit and she made the most beautiful things. She also had a huge collection of yarn and I was absolutely fascinated with it. In 2005, I decided that I was going to make it my New Year resolution to learn how to knit and I did, literally overnight. It just clicked. I had been artistic and craft obsessed my entire life. I inherited it from my Grandmother, she was an amazing quilter and embroiderer. It wasn’t until I started knitting that I found my true love. I started modifying patterns immediately and then that led to designing things.
You’ve made so many fantastic designs and projects in Malabrigo yarns- can you tell us what your first “Malabrigo Experience” was?
I had been using big box store yarns when I first started knitting. I had no idea there was anything else out there aside from the yarn I had seen in my friend’s stash. She posted some pictures on a forum (my pre-Ravelry days) of her new Malabrigo purchases. I nearly fainted. The colors were unlike anything I had used yet. They were gorgeous even on a bad computer monitor. She mentioned how soft it was and well, she had me. I had to try it. The yarns I was using were not soft. So, I scoured the internet to find this gorgeous yarn and I ordered a bunch of worsted. I immediately fell in love. I don’t even remember my first project. It was likely a hat. We have a lot of hats and I would say 3/4 of them are done in Malabrigo.
I think my first “non-big-box” yarn was Malabrigo too, hehe. So can you tell us about your first design with Malabrigo?
My first design ever was with Malabrigo. I did it for an October Stockpile Design contest held in the Malabrigo Junkies group in Ravelry. It is a little baby/toddler hat called the Aviator Jack or Jill. It’s called Aviator Jack or Jill because my daughter thought it looked like a combination of an Aviator hat and a Lumberjack hat. That was also my now toddler’s first modeling gig. He has a lot of Malabrigo in his closet.
Hehe, it’s totally an aviator-lumberjack! Love it. You use Malabrigo pretty often in your designs- what it is about Malabrigo yarns that draws you to them for design work?
They have a yarn for everything and the colors are amazing. We use worsted for hats and adult sweaters. I love Rios for washable kids stuff. Sock, Silky, Arroyo, and Rasta are all fantastic yarns for different things. There is a lot of versatility in the yarns lines that they have. I also love the way Malabrigo treats its knitters and designers. They are a very generous company. I’ve seen donations to charity raffles, giveaways, contests in the Junkies forum on Ravelry.
This seems like a good time to mention that anyone who hasn’t checked out the Malabrigo Junkies group on Ravelry definitely should- there are lots of opportunities for prizes! But moving on- what is your personal favorite Malabrigo project to date?
Oh that’s tough. There isn’t a project that I’ve made with Mal that I don’t like. Maybe, I’d go with my pattern sample for Kinsale. It’s so cute and looks so amazing in the Malabrigo color palette. I need to make a new one though as my son has outgrown the sample. He’s 3 and it’s a size 18 months. It’s something I will always keep.
That one is a beauty- and I love the model’s facial expression, haha. One last question- do you have a favorite colorway or base yarn?
Oh that is tough, too. I like the different bases for different things. I love worsted for hats and cowls and adult sweaters. I love Rios for kids. I love silky for scarves, shawls, sweaters. I like sock for shawls. My favorite colors run the gamut too. I love Bobby Blue in worsted and silky. In Rios, my favorite color is Lettuce. It really shines on the Rios base. I also really love the color Manzanilla Olive. Another favorite is Verde Adriana on worsted. I would like that green in every base!
Thank you so much, Terri! It’s a pleasure to talk to you and have you on the blog. Keep up the fantastic work, I know I’m not just speaking for myself when I say I can’t wait to see what else you’ll come up with.
You can check out all of Terri’s work on her Ravelry page and follow her adventures at Through The Back Loops. And be sure to watch this space, because we’ve got more fabulous designer brains to pick!