Interview with Laura Linneman – Knitting Designer

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If you could only see me, I’m squealing with delight as I introduce you to my newest Knitting Designer. And wait till you hear who she is and how I met her. Usually, it’s the quick realization that the pattern I just knitted of said designer, is the reason I chose, said designer.

Not in this case. Get ready for it…

She’s Laura (LaLa) Linneman from TheKnitgirllls. I know, right? *squee*  A designer, an organizer of knitting retreats, and co-podcasts with Leslie on theknitgirllls. I can hardly contain myself. I’m such a fan. Her and her fabulous co-podcaster and knitting friend, Leslie, met 5 years ago. Oh, I’m getting ahead of myself…

First, I need to tell you, I have been knitting Laura’s Persephone’s Return socks. Brilliant. Fun. Interesting. Socks. Yes, Socks! 

I have a Ravelry group, Dishcloth Diva. I saw that Laura had joined it. Sweet, I thought! Another designer, and podcast extraordinaire is joining my group. I clicked on her Ravelry page, and scrolled down to view all of her delicious patterns. I stopped when the bright green socks stared me in the face. It took me all of 4 seconds to decide I needed to knit those. Another great project added to my WIP pile. Downloaded immediately. I will add pictures to this when I have the first one done. 

Let’s chat with her!

Thanks for joining me, Laura! First of all, we would love to know how long you have been knitting socks, or just knitting in general?

Persephone’s Return Socks

My very fist project was a pair of socks when I was 8. My mom had just learned how to knit (she was and still is mainly a spinner and weaver) and the ladies in her spinning guild taught her socks as her first project as well. I got to the heel flap, put them down and didn’t pick up knitting again until I was in high school.

8 years old? Impressive. Well, as you know, I was especially inspired by your socks. You are always knitting a pair in your podcast, and I love to see what it is you’re knitting. What inspired you to design your Persephone‘s Return socks

I’m a huge fan of Greek mythology and when my LYS asked me to dye sock yarn and design the pattern for their first Spring Club shipment, I knew I wanted a bright green with just a bit of lace.

What IS your design process, Laura?

I’m a post-it note addict. I tend to sketch and then start to write on various colored post-its that then get stuck everywhere. I’m also a tech geek, so now, when I write or draw anything, I take a picture with my Ipad so that I don’t loose it.

It’s funny you say, post-its, because I used to be addicted to them until I found all these apps that can convert to pdf. I think we‘ve all gone digital with that, or most anyway. I have to know, what is your favorite yarn to knit with when making socks?

My perfect sock yarn would be a 3-ply superwash BFL/nylon blend. I would love for it to have a tight twist and a semi-solid color with depth. That being said, the majority of my stash is proof I give into the lure of self-striping and crazy variegated yarns with cashmere way too often. 

You being a designer, must have some favorite designers of your own. Who are your favorite knitting designers? 

I love Wendy Johnson, Susan B. Anderson, Clara Parkes, Lucy Neatby, Hunter Hammersen, and Cat Bordhi for their sock and other wonderful designs. Jared Flood, Elizabeth Zimmerman, Stephen West, Kirsten Kapur, and Rebecca Danger for almost anything else. Every day I look at the new designs on Ravelry and they blow me away. There are so many talented people designing right now!

Wow! I too, love Wendy Johnson and Stephen WestOkay, here’s something for you…if you were stranded on a desert island and could only have 5 knitting related items with you, what would they be?

A Barbara Walker Stitch Collection, Signature Needles, my knitting BFF Leslie, my fiber stash and my spinning wheel (we would need a bigger boat). 

We all want to be designers, so what 1 or 2 or 3 pieces of advice would you give to someone getting started in designing socks?

Above all else, be fearless. It’s just a bit of knitting. Try lots of things and if they don’t work, rip them out and try again. Know the rules and why things work so that you can break them wisely.

Great advice!  You know, Laura, I just discovered you put on something called Super Summer Knitogether in Nashville, TN in July? Can you talk about that?

My knitting BFF, Leslie, and I have a video podcast called theknitgirlllsThe more we talked with the fans of the podcast, the more we realized that most knitters are not lucky enough to have local friends that knit. Super Summer Knitogether is our way of getting a group of wonderful knitters and spinners together for a fun filled four days.  We have wonderful teachers, a market filled with lots of indie vendors, and tons of fun. We want people to leave with friendships that will last a lifetime. Our market is open to the public. Unfortunately, the 2013 retreat slots are filled. We‘ll be opening the lottery for 2014 in August.

So, what are you working on, your current WIP’s? 

Right now in the active WIP pile, I have a pair of self-striping socks with an afterthought heel, the Iced Cardigan by Carol Feller, and a new pair of socks of my own design, and a new hat design. I’m very proknitscious and can have anywhere from 10-20 nonactive projects on the needles at any one time. 

Whew! I’m glad you said that, because I’ve been thinking I have too many nonactive projects on my needles. So, I’m sure my readers are anxious to hear how you and Leslie met and got started with your podcast/website. I love you girllls! And watching your podcast while I knit. Go!

You are too sweet! I’m so glad you enjoy the show! Leslie and I met at a LYS around five years ago. She came up to the table I was knitting at and told me she was learning to knit and needed a knitting friend. We’ve been best buddies ever since. TheKnitgirllls was first a written blog. We wanted a spot where we could post projects and ideas and talk about things with all the knitting friends we had made at various retreats and festivals. I was a huge fan of audiopodcasts and convinced Leslie that we could do one. She decided it would be much more fun to show people what we were working on, and theknitgirllls videocast was born. Almost 3 years and over 140 episodes later, we still review wonderful books, and show off lots of yarn and fiber. 

I’m sure my readers are curious how you became “LaLa”, because I am. 

It was a nickname from a college roommate. When I went to create my first blog, I was in college and it was called LaLa’s Knits. 

This was so much fun, Laura. Thank you for joining me here today.

Dearest Readers, I’d be honored, and I’m sure Laura would be too, if you would check out all her fabulous designs, their Ravelry GroupThe Knit Girllls, and don’t forget to check out their blog, where all the podcasts are ready to be viewed. I also discovered they have a tutorial series of many things, such as Judy’s Magic Cast On and Twisted German Cast On.

I have linked almost every other word in this interview (not really), because there are so many great things you all need to see. Click away!

Please, tune in again where you’ll meet (yet) another fabulous designer…

So, as I always say,

Knit On!





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