We’re celebrating this month’s release of One + One: Scarves, Shawls & Shrugs, the first book of a new series that focuses on two-skein projects. Talking with us today is design contributor Andrea Jurgrau.
What is your approach to design? How would you define your design style?
I would say I am usually a “concept” designer. I begin with a concept, which could be a place, a mood, a mythical figure, a story, something in nature, that has inspired me. It could be something as simple as the play of light through the trees. In fact, my Elegant Cashmere Triangle was inspired by light filtering through trees, deep in the woods where I was hiking. The colors reflect the moss, bark, shadows, with just the tiny glimpses of light reflecting from the beads. My process is very organic and grows as I work through a new piece, from the initial concept, to the swatch and yarn selection, to the finished sample, and I allow myself the freedom to let the project lead me rather than the other way.
How did you choose your yarn combination?
I was totally drawn to this lace weight cashmere. It is a single ply, which is very unusual for cashmere, and surprisingly strong and smooth. The yarn is so elegant I decided to keep the design clean and simple and let the yarn say it all. I selected earthy greens with only modest contrast and used the two colors together to get the appearance of more than two shades.
Tell us about your shawl, the Elegant Cashmere Triangle.
This piece was designed for the yarn I selected. It is very understated, but has some lovely details. There are tiny metallic beads in the eyelets, which you might miss on first glance. The stitch gauge is quite fine and so the fabric has lovely drape. The colors shade from one to the other gently. It is not “in your face” and really waits for the knitter to take a closer look…
How did you adapt your creative process to the two-skein limit?
It was a little challenge, having rules placed on my design process. It is not how I usually work (which is much more about design first, selecting the right yarn second.) I had a good time trying to really showcase the yarn.
Did you enjoy working with a limit?
Yes, and actually the yarn I selected has quite a lot of yardage, so I didn’t feel limited by that at all.