Welcome to another delightful designer interview! Today we're excited to introduce you to Virginia Sattler-Reimer. We're longtime fans of her work, and so were flattered when she released her Moongate Socks knit in The Woolly Thistle's very own Rambler.
We hope you enjoy our conversation, find inspiration in her journey, then grab your needles and continue on your own!
When and how did you start knitting?
I have always had a deep attraction to the materials of textiles, particularly natural fibers. I have such a vivid memory of seeing a gloriously colorful wall of Shetland wool as a kid and wishing I knew what to do with it. In college I fell in love with Fiber Arts, but what pushed me over to knitting was meeting a couple of women in 2001 (pre-Ravelry) who had knit their own colorwork knee-highs. It completely blew my mind and I absolutely needed to learn how to make my own. So, I took a class and haven't left the rabbit hole since!
Will you share something about your knitting process?
I am always thinking about knitting, whether it's a color combination or how a yarn might work within a pattern, in my mind there are always plans evolving. In our home there are projects everywhere. I like to work on a variety of projects each day, for both my joint health and my mental stimulation. Fortunately my husband is also very creative so we live harmoniously in a disheveled state of works-in-progress chaos!
MORA DUNE COWL
Can you tell us about how you became a designer?
I inherited an "I can do that" attitude from my mother and grandmother, both were very creative women. I started making up my own designs almost as soon as I started knitting, but I didn't start publishing until much later, after I had knit hundreds of patterns from other designers, and done some work as a professional test knitter. I really enjoy both knitting for the pleasure of the process, playing with color and texture, and the work of designing, which is often a lot of swatching and math.
GITCHI-GAMI SCARF and LAKE SUPERIOR
Will you share a little about how, or where, you find inspiration for your designs?
Like many people I find inspiration in nature, particularly color combinations. Northern MN and Lake Superior have inspired quite a few of my designs, such as the Gitchi-Gami Tam, Scarf and Mittens, or Tettegouche Tam and Mittens. But mostly I just love yarn and it's the yarn that inspires me! The elegance of natural Shetland shades inspired my Horae Tam and Cowl for example, or a beautiful yarn with a lot of sheen and drape inspired my Mora Dune Cowl. I also love playing with color, particularly in yarns with a woolly character like Shetland, it makes my heart sing! My Underwood, Lombard and Davern sets all take me back to that beautiful wall of Shetland yarn.
UNDERWOOD, LOMBARD, and DAVERN
We’d love to shine a light on your current, or upcoming, projects. Please let us know what you’re working on, where we can find it, and how we can get involved!
I have some designs using a beautiful yarn from Blacker coming soon, and this Spring and Summer I'll be going back to my knitting roots with some fun sock designs! Who knows what else will be jumping on and off my needles, but you can keep up with my work on Instagram where I am ginnisr, or on Ravelry.
MOONGATE and IF YOU GO OUT SOCKS