Welcome to the behind-the-scenes story of Interpretations 10, the latest collaboration between designers Veera Välimäki and Joji Locatelli. We're Veera and Joji, and we're excited to share with you how we came up with the ideas and designs for this special collection.
Interpretations is a project that we have been working on together for many years (more than 10!), and it's always a highlight of our creative partnership. With each new collection, we challenge ourselves to create something fresh and exciting, and Interpretations 10 is no exception. This collection is a celebration of our shared love of texture, color, and timeless design.
In this blog post, we'll take you behind the scenes and show you how we created the designs for Interpretations 10. From our initial inspiration to the final photo shoot, we'll share with you the process of bringing this collection to life. So grab a cup of tea and get ready to join us on our creative journey.
As always, our inspiration for the designs in Interpretations comes from WORDS that we interpret and translate into knitted garments. For this volume, the words were Shifting and Commitment. We wanted to explore the idea of a journey, full of unexpected twists and turns that ultimately lead to personal growth and change. We wanted to design pieces that would accompany you on this journey and help you navigate through the shifting nature of life.
The result of our interpretation of these two words is a stunning collection of four patterns: the A Place of Peace Wrap, the Moor Shawl, the Old Mill Sweater, and the Scope Pullover.
These patterns were originally drafted a long time ago, with the plan to use them in a larger collection. However, even though we had to put them on hold for a while, we are thrilled that we were able to bring them to life for Interpretations 10. One of the things we love about our designs is that they are timeless, and these patterns are no exception.
This is always the best part of working for Interpretations. It gives us a chance to catch up on all things knitting while enjoying each other's company. For Volume 10, we decided to take advantage of the fact that we were both teaching at Barcelona Knits and chose Spain as our location. Being a mountain enthusiast, I (Joji) scouted for a location near the Pyrenees and we landed on the town of Torla Ordesa, the gateway to Ordesa y Monteperdido National Park. The region is known for its stunning landscapes, diverse wildlife, and hiking trails that draw visitors from all over the world.
Torla Ordesa was even more beautiful that we could have imagined: a tiny medieval town with cobble-stone streets full of charm, character and good wine!
Since we only had four patterns to photograph, and we were taking the photos ourselves, we thought the photoshoot would be a breeze. However, the weather was not on our side. After completing a very long hike, we checked the forecast and saw that rain was in the forecast for the next few days. Not wanting to waste any time, we made a last-minute decision to brave the elements and take the photos that evening. Even though it was already very dark and misty outside, we put on some clothes and headed out to take the photos at dusk.
The result was a collection of gloomy and moody photos that we are totally in love with.
Shifting by Veera: The Moor Shawl
This beautiful pattern takes us on a journey up a mountain, with its easy sequence of colors and garter stitch. Veera's design is perfect for using up those single fingering weight skeins in your stash, making it a versatile and fun project to knit. You will need 4 skeins in different colors.
We used a mix of yarns from our personal stash and also beautiful gifts from yarn companies. But, we have a little secret: we don't always tell them when their yarn will be featured in our collections. We don't want to jinx it! We don't want to be that designer who has to sheepishly admit that the design didn't quite work out as expected. So, let's just keep it between us, okay?
For the Moor Shawl, we used Lauha by Aara Yarn, a soft merino/linen blend in fingering weight.
The dyers are dear friends of us, Jonna and Laura, who actually developed all 4 colorways based on the theme colors for this collection: olive, gray, cream and pink, and they gave them nature inspired names, which fits this collection really well.
Shifting by Joji: The Scope Sweater
Whenever I thought of the word Shifting it made me think of light and dark. It may sound silly, but almost like switching the lights on and off, so I wanted to play with that in a really simple sweater, and of course, I had to play with some stripes to make it more fun to knit and stylish to wear.
The Scope is a seamless circular yoke pullover that is worked from the top-down. The mesmerizing effect of the two stripe sequences draws you deeper into the journey, of knitting, while the minimalist design makes it perfect for layering or wearing on its own.
For The Scope we used Nest Sport by Magpie Fibers. This was a very special yarn for me because it arrived by mail during a time when I was having a very hard time getting yarn, during the pandemic. Receiving this yarn was a gift in all the possible senses in a really sad time, so I've been trying to use it in different designs.
It is a sport weight yarn, and you will need 2 skeins or more of each color, depending on the size you are making. I used black and white because I just needed to play with that big contrast.
Commitment by Veera: Old Mill Sweater
Next up in our pattern explorations is the Old Mill pullover. This timeless design features delicate cables that add depth and texture to the garment. Worked at a small gauge with lightweight yarn, the cables don't feel heavy, making it a perfect pullover for transitional seasons. Let's dive into the details of this beautiful pattern.
How could we resist all of these glorious cables and bobbles? The Old Mill Sweater is worked seamlessly from the top down with drop shoulder construction. Interestingly, the yarn itself inspired Veera and dictated the direction of the design. This exquisite stitch pattern was not what she had initially planned, but the yarn just seemed perfect for it. For this design we used Merino Sock 4-ply by Botanical Yarn, a bouncy and versatile fingering weight work horse yarn.
Commitment by Joji: A Place of Peace
A dreamy rectangular wrap that combines stripes, texture and different fabrics for a minimalistic and highly graphic look. This beautiful design is not only aesthetically pleasing but also incredibly meditative and relaxing to knit. In fact, I find knitting to be one of the most powerful forms of meditation and created this pattern to provide those moments of calm and peace, hence the name. The wrap is finished with a myriad of (optional) tassels, adding some extra flare to the final piece.
For this design I asked the lovely Rachelle, from Moondrake Co Yarn to dye some of the colors in our theme: Dusty Pink and Olive, and then I requested those to be made in the two bases I used: Soft Fingering (a single ply merino) and Mohair Lace.
You will need 2 colors of the merino and just 1 of the lace. And remember: this monotonous designer likes her colors to be minimal, but you can go wild!
All our patterns were test knitted and tech edited at the beginning of 2023, and we are finally ready to share them with you, taking our own time to enjoy this dreamed project of ours.
You can get Interpretations and all the patterns in it in the following sources:
- As an ebook collection on Ravelry.com
- As an ebook collection on jojiandveera.com
- As individual patterns on Ravelry and each designer's website.
Interpretations Vol. 10 ebook is 15% off until May 8 using code VOLUME10 !!
Time to say goodbye, and start planning new adventures
We hope you have enjoyed this tour with us as we explored what it's like to create Interpretations. We have no intention of stopping our collaborative journey and invite you to stay tuned for more exciting adventures to come.
Until next time!
Joji & Veera