. The book is a collection of
curated by Tanis Gray that celebrate architectural themes. The collection includes gorgeous patterns for sweaters, shawls, mittens and so many other things. The book is available in paperback and ebook versions and if you read to the end of this post you can find out how you could win a paperback copy of your very own.
Photo by Joe Hancock
Naturally, our favourite pattern is the Persian Shawl
by Kirsten Kapur of Through the Loops
, which she knit in DK Lively in Wheatberry and Jay Blue. The pattern features the arches, columns and recesses abundant in Persian architecture.
Today I have the pleasure of posting an interview I conducted recently with the lovely and talented Kirsten Kapur.
Let's start with the basics. When did you learn to knit and who taught you?
I don't actually remember learning to knit, so I must have learned when I was
very young. I was lucky enough to grow up in a family where being creative was
a part of everyone's daily life. My mother was a skilled seamstress, quilter,
knitter, flower arranger, and gardener. My father shared my mother's love of
gardening and was a very active hybridizer specializing in Rhododendrons. He
loved woodworking and built everything from furniture, to the gazebo in our
back yard. My sisters and I each got married on that gazebo. He had a passion
for photography that began when he was very young, at the age of ten he built
his first dark room. In my family the message was if you have an idea, learn
the skills necessary to create it. I am proud that this tradition of being
creative has carried on to the next generation and that all three of my
children are very creative.
Do you take your knitting with you everywhere you go or do you only knit in
I take my knitting EVERYWHERE - I often knit on the subway, have knit at soccer
matches, school concerts (I worked on my Thorpe design while watching my son's
orchestra perform the Messiah), at the now defunct but legendary CBGB's while I
watched my kids' rock band perform, in the hospital as my son recovered from
surgery on his badly broken leg (designed Curatio there), in line at the bank,
while in traffic jams, and just about anywhere else I can get away with pulling
my knitting out.
Do you do other crafts/hobbies?
I grew up sewing and made most of my own clothes through my teens and twenties.
I still sew from time to time but not nearly as much, I crochet, spin, draw,
occasionally paint, and through my blog have learned to love photography. When
my kids were younger I was an avid gardener. Now that I live in NYC I don't
have a garden, but hope to again someday.
You have a wide variety of patterns (I've knit Sikkim, Acer, four mystery socks
and most recently Turtle Pond). Do you have a favourite thing to design? Socks?
Sikkim in Artisan Sock in Violeta, Nekkid and a Limited Edition red
I like variety, so I tend to design a lot of different types of patterns. I'm
very interested in texture and color. I love playing with how textures and
patterns combine, as well as how combining colors, and pairing color with
pattern impacts a design.
Do you focus on one design at a time or do you have many designs in the works?
It depends on deadlines, both self imposed for my independent design work, and
those that I have for yarn companies and books. Typically though I have several
things going at once in various stages of completion.
Besides your own designs do you have time to knit for pleasure? Do you knit
other designers' designs?
As much as I'd like to, I seldom knit other designers patterns. I simply don't
have the time to. When I do it's usually a very quick project like Laura
Nelkin's Mudra Cuff or one of Anna Hrachovec's Mochimochis.
Your pattern, Persian Shawl, in the book Knitting Architecture, isn't your first
pattern influenced by architecture. I knit your 2012 mystery sock, Kelmscott,
which was influenced by Art Deco architecture. Do you find a lot of inspiration
in architecture? What else inspires?
For Knitting Architecture designers were asked to look to Architecture for
inspiration, so for that project it was very intentional. In my own independent
work I find inspiration in many different places. I live in NYC and am
surrounded by amazing buildings all the time so Architecture definitely
influences me, but I also find inspiration at museums (I just went to the new
exhibit "Interwoven Globe" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art which
has stirred up a lot of new ideas), in the people I pass on the street, in
movies, and in nature. Sometimes inspiration is as simple as a yarn that just
cries out to me to be a certain type of pattern, or a combination of colors
that lead to an idea. Other times I pour over stitch dictionaries to find
inspiration. Perhaps it is my ADD nature, but I can't say I have any one source
I've knit nearly all of your mystery socks (2008, 2009, 2010, 2012). Do you
enjoy watching as your pattern unfolds in so many colours and yarns at the same
time? Are you surprised by the success of these mysteries? Will there be other
mystery socks in the future?
2010 Mystery Sock in Artisan Sock in the club colour Sugar
I love doing mystery KAL's because of the way they allow me to watch so many
interpretations of my designs evolve all at once. Some knitters follow the
patterns exactly but use a yarn or color(s) that would never have occurred to
me, other knitters modify the patterns to suit their own tastes, knitting
preferences, abilities, or needs. It is exciting and very rewarding for me to
see all of the projects evolve in this way. There will definitely be more
mystery KAL's. For the past couple of years my schedule has been to do a
Mystery Sock in January and a Mystery Shawl in June. I may add to that
and do 4 mystery KAL's a year, but do not have specific plans for that yet.
Thanks so much to Kirsten for her wonderful and detailed answers. It was a real peek into her life and process. And it was so much fun for me to look back at my own Through the Loops finished objects. I can't wait for the next Mystery sock.
As a special treat, Kirsten has offered a discount of 30% off to our readers on her independent patterns
. To receive the discount visit Kirsten's Ravelry Store
, add an item to the cart, click on "apply coupon code", enter the code HZKTTL30 and click "apply". The coupon will be valid until September 30, 2013.
We can't thank Kirsten enough for her generosity.
You can find more of Kirsten's patterns on her Ravelry page
or her own website
and follow her designing adventures on her blog
. And don't forget to join Kirsten's group on Ravelry
, where she hosts her mystery KALs.
In addition, we also have one copy of the book Knitting Architecture
available to giveaway. If you would like to be entered to win, please leave a comment on this post before midnight Pacific Time, Wednesday, September 25, 2013, and tell me what other crafts or hobbies compete with knitting for your time. One winner will be selected at random from all the entries to win a copy of Knitting Architecture.
Please be sure to include information so that I can contact you if you win - email address or ravname, please. Comments are moderated and may take a while to appear.