An Interview With, Designer Feature, For Sale Patterns, New Releases

Lori Versaci Interview and Facebook Giveaway

Today, we are delighted to feature a new pattern and an interview by Lori Versaci of VersaciKnits. Lori’s style is classic with a modern twist; she designs the kind of sweaters that will be in one’s wardrobe rotation for years to come.  

This pattern is called lite and is made out of Meadow in Larkspur.  She uses an overall waffle stitch for texture and visual interest.  The open stitch and yarn combination makes for a plush fabric with a very lovely drape, while the boxy shape and positive ease make this a very flattering fit!   

We were excited to see this sweater in person at TNNA this past June.  It really is a beautiful sweater! 

We wanted to get to know Lori and her process a little better.  Here she is to tell us in her own words what her influences are and where she gets her inspiration:

Kelbourne Woolens: What helped you transition
from being a knitter to a designer?

Lori Versaci:
The short answer is Knitty.com. Since so many newer designers first published
in Knitty, it felt like a welcoming, non-threatening place to start. So after 2
years of  teaching myself about construction,
knitting techniques, pattern grading, yarn properties, etc., I finally felt
confident enough to submit what I considered to be my two best designs to
Knitty. The rest is history.

Looking
back, I entered the hand-knit design world knowing so little, but I am very
grateful to Knitty, Amy Singer and her team. Knitty is a wonderful resource for
a new designer, offering a framework for getting started: sizing guidelines, a
plethora of technique and design articles, and the support of wonderful tech editors
and yarn manufacturers. I really have no idea how I would have entered the
industry without them.

And,
then there is RAVELRY!!! But that really kicked in once I started publishing in
earnest.

KW:
You’ve used Meadow and also Savannah for two of your designs. What attracts you
to the Fibre Company yarns? 

LV: What
attracts me to the Fibre Company yarns is the unusual combination of natural
fibers (which gives the yarns so much texture and makes for a joyfully tactile
knitting experience) and the fantastically rich color (which gives the yarn so
much visual depth). These are not your every-day merino hand-dyes, and, for me,
that presents a wonderful design challenge: How do you design a garment with a
clean, modern, wearable aesthetic that also shows off what, at first glance,
seems like a somewhat rough, rustic yarn?

And,
by the way, I also used Terra to knit the first sample of Hester’s Cowl! It is
the bottom one in this photo. 

KW:
Your designs are all about classic shapes and styling.  What are your influences
and inspirations?

LV: The
inspiration for any one sweater might come from virtually anywhere, but my
sense of style I attribute to my mother, Nancy: mother, gallery curator, modern
art collector, painter and gardener.

She
was always fashion conscious and, while my classmates shopped at the stores in
town or in nearby Providence, RI, we went to Boston every fall to buy our
school clothes: Bonwit Teller, Filene’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Paraphernalia
(for all of our Mod needs)… And this was back in the 70’s when only major
department stores carried designer clothes. My sister and I wore Pucci
underwear (one never knows when one might be in a traffic accident), Marimekko
dresses, Lily Pulitzer bathing suits and patent leather over-the-knee boots! To
this day, I snatch the Fashions of the Times section out of the Sunday paper as
soon as it arrives!

KW:
What design or designing milestone are you most proud of?
 

LV: Last
fall one of my other favorite yarn manufacturers, Shibui, asked me to design their
Winter 2013/14 collection. The collection is called FORM and will be introduced
to the public the first week of September. 
My proudest moment was at The National Needlearts Association meeting in
June, when the company raised a full wall – eight feet by eight feet – that
consisted of beautiful photographs of the designs. I was totally blown away. I
couldn’t believe that I had actually designed those six garments!

Thanks Lori!   

Lori is giving away the pattern to lite and 3 skeins of Meadow on her Facebook page.  To enter “LIKE” VERSACIKNITS on Facebook.   

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