Behind the Felici: Fans’ & Designers’ Dream Colorways

On a white board background, the whole group of balls of the new Felici self-striping sock yarn colors arranged in a circle.

Surprise! Felici is back! This time, our favorite self-striping sock yarn boasts the dream colorways of some of our favorite designers and fans. Let’s take a minute to check in with these lucky colorway designers and get a peek BEHIND THE FELICI.

Who Designed the Felici?

We tapped some of our favorite fans and designers to help us design a fresh new color offering for this batch of Felici. A big thank you to Rosalyn (Roz) Keys, Violet LeBeaux, Allison Griffith, and Holli Yeoh—we couldn’t have done it without you! We’ll profile each of them later in this article.

Before we talk to the designers, let’s talk about …

HOW they Designed the Felici

First, we asked our designers to come up with colorways, but there are a few rules …

Felici Design: The Rules

The Felici colorway design process starts by first creating a color palette of swatches.

Two squares demonstrating the design process for Felici yarn. The top square is divided into six stripes of purple in gradated tones, from light to dark. The bottom square is six stripes with the top three being light purple graduating from lightest to dark, and then the bottom three stripes all the same, darkest version of purple. Text that says "Single stripes vs. blocks of stripes."

In giving parameters for designing our Felici colorways, we had a few rules.

Rule #1: 6 colors total: We allowed a maximum of 6 colors in a straight repeat. The stripes had to be all the same size – however the designer was allowed to double or even triple a color stripe section to create larger blocks of color.

Rule #2: Prepare for the unexpected: There are some challenges around dyeing yarn. The yarn colors will never come back looking exactly like the swatches we send and typically results in a more muted color than the ink-on-paper swatch we create.

Rule #3: Give us several options to choose from: We asked designers to make several colorways so we could have options to choose from. Because of the aforementioned challenges, not all palettes look like what we think they will, so options are good!

Phase 2: Send Color Palettes to the Mill

Once the designers got their color palettes together, we converted the colors to Pantone and shipped them off to our mill to produce some tests. We received the test swatches about 8 weeks later, and made our final selections.

HOW DO FELICI COLORS GET THEIR NAMES? It’s at this point that the colorways get their names, too. We lay the swatches out on a table and call out name ideas until we land on names that “feel” right. That’s our scientific process!

From roughly 30 final-round submissions, we narrowed it down to our 10 limited-time offerings:

  • Roz Keys designed Carrot Cake and Vampire Vibes.
  • Allison Griffith designed Fiesta and Dragonboat.
  • Violet LeBeaux designed Whatsits Galore and Cupcake Karaoke.
  • Holli Yeoh designed Currant Mood, Animal Cookies, Hotshot, and Windbreaker.

Now let’s check in with our illustrious designers and see what they have to say about it:

Meet the Designer: Rosalyn (Roz) Keys

A headshot of Roz Keys

Rosalyn Keys is a Knit Picks superfan, known for being very familiar with all the Felici colors, since she uses them in her business. We consider her the biggest expert on Felici outside of our office! You can find Roz’s knitted sock tubes in her Etsy shop, RozKnitz, and follow her yarn adventures on her Instagram account.

Roz designed two of our new colorways: Carrot Cake and Vampire Vibes.

Text that says: "Carrot Cake, colorway by Roz Keys, felici summer 2020" on a white background with a ball of Carrot Cake Felici, next to a knitted swatch of the same yarn. Colors are yellow alternating with orange, green, and hot pink.

Tell us about yourself!

I have always loved crafting. From my earlier years of cross stitch and crochet. To more recent crafts such as knitting, weaving, spinning, dyeing and sewing.

Text that says: "Vampire Vibes, colorway by Roz Keys, felici summer 2020" on a white background with a ball of Vampire Vibes Felici, next to a knitted swatch of the same yarn. Colors are bright red, violet, dark purple, and light purple.

Where did you draw your inspiration from when designing your Felici colorways?

Since this batch of Felici would be released in the summer, I thought why not have Christmas in July (this ended up being Carrot Cake). The other one was mixing up colors and seeing how they played with each other.

How does it feel to see your colorway in a skein?

It feels AMAZING to see colors I put together on one of my favorite yarns. The smile is ear to ear.

Do you have a favorite pattern to use with Felici?

My favorite item to make with Felici is SOCKS!!! So soft and comfortable.

What will you make with your colorways?

SOCKS!!! My circular sock machine is about to get a good workout.

Meet the Designer: Violet LeBeaux

A headshot of Violet LeBeaux. She's wearing a knitted beret, a pearl necklace with a crown charm, and a pearl hair bow in her blonde braid.

One of our favorite knitwear designers, we’ve featured Violet LeBeaux on the blog before: “she has quickly become one of our favorite designers for collections, with her meticulous pattern writing and signature design style.” We were thrilled when Violet agreed to try her hand at designing some Felici colorways. Follow her at her Instagram account: @Violetlebeaux.

Violet designed two of our new colorways: Whatsits Galore and Cupcake Karoke.

Text that says: "Whatsits Galore, colorway by Violet LeBeaux, felici summer 2020" on a white background with a ball of Whatsits Galore Felici, next to a knitted swatch of the same yarn. Colors are overall green toned, with stripes of aqua and bright yellow.

Tell us about yourself!

I live in Melbourne, Australia and I’ve been knitting since I was a kid. My favourite way to relax in the evening is curling up with some tea, some knitting, and a good TV show. Lately I’ve been bingeing old Unsolved Mysteries episodes! My style is generally very soft and cute, and I love to design wearable pieces that reflect that.

Text that says: "Cupcake Karoke, colorway by Violet LeBeaux, felici summer 2020" on a white background with a ball of Cupcake Karoke Felici, next to a knitted swatch of the same yarn. Colors are bright and poppy: purples, blues, mint green, and pink.

Where did you draw your inspiration from when designing your Felici colorways?

Whatsits Galore was inspired by ocean colours in winter; the deep greens are offset with a pop of bright yellow.

Cupcake Karaoke was a little bit of mid 90’s nostalgia! It reminds me of my childhood bedroom.

How does it feel to see your colorway in a skein?

It’s crazy exciting! When I started designing patterns, I don’t think I even imagined I would be designing the yarn to go with them!

Do you have a favorite pattern to use with Felici?

It’s perfect for basic socks like the Secret Ingredient Socks. They are comfy and wearable and really great to show off the colour transitions. I’ve been rocking them all through our winter lockdown!

A model wears a cream knitted shaw with yellow-orange-pink-red striped accents.
Violet’s most recent KP design: The Prism Shawl

What will you make with your colorway?

I’m really excited to try it out with some garter shawls. They are my favorite patterns to just turn out and knit when I need to de-stress. I’ll be starting with my recent pattern the Prism Shawl as I think it will look fantastic in the ribbing.

Meet the Designer: Allison Griffith

A headshot of Allison Griffith

Allison Griffith has been a longtime member of the KP family, and has popped up in tons of our knitting patterns, KP blog posts, and wrote one of our most popular books: Socks for Everybody! Follow her at her website, On the Needles, or on her Instagram account: @ontheneedles.

Allison designed two of our new colorways: Fiesta and Dragonboat.

Text that says: "Fiesta, colorway by Allison Griffith, felici summer 2020" on a white background with a ball of Fiesta Felici, next to a knitted swatch of the same yarn. Colors are bright: Peppermint green, gold, aqua, drab green, hot pink, and purple.

Tell us about yourself!

Hi! I’m Allison, and I’ve been designing patterns professionally for almost a decade. I especially love knitting cozy, practical, gender neutral items, especially sweaters and socks. In my opinion, the more cables and garter stitch the better!

Where did you draw your inspiration from when designing your Felici colorways?

When I’m not knitting, I’m working in my garden (mostly fighting back the weeds). The colors of my favorite zinnias were the inspiration for Dragonboat, and my neighbor’s amazing dahlias and hydrangeas were the inspiration for Fiesta (she’s a much better gardener than I am).

Text that says: "Dragonboat, colorway by Allison Griffith, felici summer 2020" on a white background with a ball of Dragonboat Felici, next to a knitted swatch of the same yarn. Colors are bright: red, yellow, red, light green, dark green, light green.

How does it feel to see your colorway in a skein?

I’ve dyed my own yarn before, mostly with Kool-Aid, but this is the first time I’ve done anything like this on this scale. It’s super exciting to think of all the socks (and other things!) that will be made with my special yarn! I can’t wait to stalk my colorways on Ravelry!

Do you have a favorite pattern to use with Felici?

I love making socks, improvising as I go. My favorite socks are made using my system of sock knitting that I wrote about in my book, Socks for Everybody!, and plan on using that to make a few (dozen) stripey socks.

Knit Picks Socks for Everybody Collection
The socks of Allison’s book: Socks for Everybody!

What will you make with your colorway?

First, I’ll make a pair of vanilla stockinette socks to really show off the stripes, and then I’ll make a crazy pair (or two or three) with textures, slipped stitches and all sorts of nonsense. I think everyone in my family is getting a pair of Felici socks for Christmas!

Meet the Designer: Holli Yeoh

A headshot of Holli Yeoh, looking to the right and snuggling up in a pretty taupe knitted cardigan with a diamond pattern.

Holli Yeoh is one of our most popular designers, and has had patterns in 19 Knit Picks collections, and counting! She’s been designing knit patterns for over 15 years, and is known for her casually elegant aesthetic, interesting techniques, and clear instructions. Follow her at her website, Holli Yeoh or on her Instagram account: @holliyeoh.

Holli designed a whopping FOUR of our new colorways: Currant Mood, Animal Cookies, Hotshot, and Windbreaker.

Text that says: "Currant Mood, colorway by Allison Griffith, felici summer 2020" on a white background with a ball of Currant Mood Felici, next to a knitted swatch of the same yarn. Colors are in the red-pink family.

Tell us about yourself!

I’m driven to design patterns that capture knitters’ imaginations and make them want to drop everything because they just have to make it for themselves. I like to know what makes knitters tick and in discovering their knitting hangups, I problem solve by teaching them new skills both through my patterns and when I teach in person and virtually.

Text that says: "Animal Cookies, colorway by Allison Griffith, felici summer 2020" on a white background with a ball of Animal Cookies Felici, next to a knitted swatch of the same yarn. Colors are frosting pink, light blue, and white.

Where did you draw your inspiration from when designing your Felici colorway?

I went down a rabbit hole designing 34 colourways! Each was inspired by the previous one. Of the four chosen, two in particular are near and dear to my heart as they represent and honour my daughter. Animal Cookies and Currant Mood are my versions of the trans and lesbian flags, respectively.

Text that says: "Hotshot, colorway by Allison Griffith, felici summer 2020" on a white background with a ball of Hotshot Felici, next to a knitted swatch of the same yarn. Colors are alternating bands of 2 shades of pink-red and 2 shades of light blue.

How does it feel to see your colorway in a skein?

It’s pretty thrilling to see my colourways come to light! I can’t wait to hold them in my hands and begin knitting with them!

Text that says: "Windbreaker, colorway by Allison Griffith, felici summer 2020" on a white background with a ball of Windbreaker Felici, next to a knitted swatch of the same yarn. Colors are bright: light blue, medium blue, bright orange, magenta, and yellow.

Do you have a favorite pattern to use with Felici?

I began my designing career creating kids and baby patterns that make the best use of self-striping yarns. They will be perfect with Felici. My all-time favourite kids patterns include Ruby, JoJo, Candace, and Avery. Oh! And I recently designed a new one called Debonair which will be awesome in Felici.

Holli also has a lot of patterns that call for self-striping yarn.

What will you make with your colorway?

I’m going to begin by knitting my Tip Toe Up sock pattern, maybe a pair of Arrow Gloves, and then I’ll launch into baby sweaters!

Thanks to all the designers for taking the time to talk to us!

All of this talk of Felici has probably made you hungry… for Felici. Go shop now!

A family shot of all the Felici self-striping sock yarn new colors. Text that says

If you enjoyed this peek behind the scenes of Felici development, you might also like these other fascinating Felici exposés!:

The post Behind the Felici: Fans’ & Designers’ Dream Colorways appeared first on KnitPicks Staff Knitting Blog.

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