Designer Interview: Violet LeBeaux

It seems like we’ve been working with Violet LeBeaux for much longer than the year and a half since publishing her first pattern with Knit Picks. In that short time, she has quickly become one of our favorite designers for collections, with her meticulous pattern writing and signature design style. She might already be one of your favorites too, and we’re delighted to keep bringing her designs to you.

English or Continental? – English

Cardigan or Pullover? – Cardigan

Cables or Lace? – Cables

DPNs or Magic Loop? – Magic loop

Yarn: Solid or Variegated? – Solid

Socks: Toe Up or Top Down? – Toe Up

Needles: Wood or Metal? – Metal

Wool, Cotton, Acrylic, Alpaca, Cashmere, or Silk? – Wool

 

Most recently from Violet, Robin Slouch from Delicate Details and Zig Sweater from Renew

What was your first design, and how do you feel about it now?

I didn’t actually start knitting from patterns until about 5 years ago so I suppose everything before then was my own design haha! The first design I did a basic walkthrough for other people was also my first big cable knitting project: a massive cardigan! It was quite ambitious for a first cable project but I think it’s better to knit things you really love when you’re learning to give yourself motivation. Looking back I can see all of the little things I would do differently now but I can only look at it with happiness because it’s still a design that I would totally wear!

My first fully published pattern was actually with Knit Picks and it was the Target Beret, it was such a fun learning curve going from posting basic patterns online to being published.  I enjoyed it so much that it really spring-boarded me into wanting to do design regularly!

What is your favorite design of yours with Knit Picks, either with IDP or in a collection?

Deep Ocean Shawl and Lavender Fields Shawl, both free patterns designed by Ms. LeBeaux

My favorite design is my Deep Ocean Shawl. I love knitting backwards so the short rows are something I enjoy. Each of the tiny waves feels like a mini accomplishment so it feels very rewarding as you go along. Of course the finished shawl is the ideal mermaid accessory and it’s so massive and warm. It’s Winter in Melbourne at the moment so I’m wearing it pretty much daily!

What is your favorite current Knit Picks yarn?

It’s hard to pick but right now I’m obsessed with Gloss! It’s got such a pretty finish that gives lovely stitch definition. The silk content makes it perfect for really delicate shawls and hats.

Heartbeat Sweater from Sunday Morning, and the Jumpin’ Cat Cowl from 9 Lives

When/how/why did you first learn to knit/crochet?

I learned to knit on a trip to visit family in the UK. I was only 3 years old and quite a mischievous handful which could be a bit dangerous on the farm we were staying at. To keep me busy and out of the way, the farm’s housekeeper set me up with some of her needles and yarn and I learned to knit sitting on her lap. I knit a garter scarf for my doll that was about 20cm long and a LOT bigger at one end. I didn’t know how to change yarn or cast off so I tied two pieces of knitting together along the lose edges with a piece of string (not even yarn!). I still have that terrible scarf in a box somewhere and I think I should have it framed now haha!

What does your stash look like?

These days my stash is a bit more in control than it used to be. I live in a ~45sqm 1 bedroom apartment so space is at a premium! When we moved here I realized I would have to get my yarn hoarding under control so I vowed to only buy for specific projects and not hang on to tiny scraps of yarn JUST IN CASE they were ever actually useful. I’ve got it down to 2 baskets now which are organised by colour so I think I’m getting better!

What is your favorite thing to knit?

 

Violet models her own Royal Beanie and Plait Beanie in kitten-soft Wonderfluff

I love knitting hats! It probably helps that I also love wearing hats but they are just the perfect instant gratification project. I find them to be the perfect size project for traveling with as well as great for testing out new stitches before committing to a bigger project.

What do you hope to design in the future or where do you want to go with your designs?

I would really like to branch out into more cardigans. I find that other than hats, cardigans get the most wear in my wardrobe. I want to design more frilly, lacey, feminine styled cardigans which both pretty but easy to actually wear in day to day life.

Watch for more KP patterns from Violet LeBeaux soon and be sure to visit her site: VioletLeBeaux.com!

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