Hello, everyone! I’ve got a special treat for you today: a peek at the Holla Knits Fall/Winter 2014 Collection and an interview with the founder/editor of Holla Knits, Allyson Dykhuizen!
Holla Knits is a website dedicated to bringing knitters and crocheters fresh, modern designs that you won’t find anywhere else. Each year, Allyson curates multiple collections centered around themes like the seasons, accessories, and home accents. Released this month, the Fall/Winter 2014 Collection features six unique garments from Allyson and five other talented designers.
One of my very favorite things about Holla Knits is that Allyson always shows a design in two different yarns/colorways (often using independent dyers as well as established commercial companies) and also photographs the designs on a variety of body types. This approach makes it that much easier to envision each design in a different light – brilliant! Here’s just one example from the current collection: the Geo Delight sweater by Teresa Gregorio. The first two photos below showcase this cardigan on one model, with a lace and color work surprise on the back, in Knit Picks’ yarn:
But Allyson also showcases the same design on another model in yarn from Mountain Colors, giving you plenty of inspiration as you plan your own version:
So without further ado, let’s get down to that interview that I promised you!
Makewise Designs: In general, what was your inspiration for this collection? An image? A location? A memory?
Allyson Dykhuizen: The Fall/Winter Collection inspirations are always the easiest ones to put together because fall is the best time to be a knitter! We start getting ready for fall when it’s still 90 degrees. This collection came together around unusual construction techniques more than anything, which is something I love as a knitter.
MWD: What is the message/feeling that you’re hoping to convey with this season’s collection?
AD: Comfy cozy knits with big visual impact. These are all sweaters you can wrap yourself in but not that you’ll be able to hide in. They’re all very bold and fun, and so cozy you’ll reach for them again and again.
MWD: Tell us about some of the more unusual techniques/details featured in the collection. To me, Holla Knits always includes garments with a real twist – something you won’t find anywhere else. Which garment(s) best reflect that?
AD: I think there are 3 real knockouts in this collection! Cape Vertigo by Leah Coccari-Swift (shown below in yarns from Knit Picks and Berrocco, respectively) is a big stranded cape knit in the round and steeked. I love capes because they make it ok to wear a blanket around outside. And the stranded colorwork repeat is super unique. I really love everything about this cape!
AD: Another standout is Axial Cardigan by Kirsten Singer (shown below in Knit Picks and Rowan yarns, respectively), which starts at the center back and works out in a big cable chart in the round. Which is a hell of a way to start a cardigan! I love that it’s a cozy cardigan in the front and a super cable extravaganza in the back.
AD: The third is Windowpane Sweater by Boadicea Bonnerts (shown below in Dye for Wool and Knit Picks yarns, respectively). It’s an ease-y pullover with big block windowpanes throughout created with stripes and vertical crocheted details. It’s knit from the bottom up, and there is short row bust and elbow shaping, tons of wrap and turns! It’s crazy. I had so much fun knitting the sweater and I can’t wait to wear it all the time this fall.
MWD: For a beginning knitter or someone new to Holla Knits, which design from this collection would you recommend that they start with?
AD: Probably mine! Velma by Allyson Dykhuizen (shown below in Knit Picks and Knits in Class yarns, respectively) is probably the most tame sweater in the collection, which is funny because my design is usually the most out there! This one has lots of Holla Knit-worthy elements, like unusual construction and creative texture placement, but in a very wearable package. It starts from working a center panel, then stitches are picked up on either side and the body is finished by knitting vertically. Fun right?
MWD: Do you have a favorite design from the collection, and why?
AD: I really love them all! Every time I put a collection together I really fall in love with every design while I’m tech editing and knitting them. My favorite FO is probably Cape Vertigo because it’s so unique and there really is nothing else like it out there. My favorite process knit is probably Windowpane Sweater because it had so many fun knitting techniques so it really kept me on my toes as a knitter, and I love that.
MWD: I LOVE the Beech Street Vest by Andrea Sanchez (shown below in Anzula and Knit Picks yarns, respectively) – it’s brilliant and totally wearable, not to mention reversible! What are some of the skills that a knitter needs who wants to attempt this project?
AD: Oh I love it, too. You don’t see many brioche garments, and this one is an absolute standout. I think this is a very doable project for a beginner knitter with some youtube skills. This was my first foray into brioche knitting and it took me a couple practice swatches to get the hang of it. I also had to practice tubular bind off and cast on because trying to do it on the vest. And I found those how to videos on youtube as well! So as long as you’ve got the patience to be able to search the internet for stuff you don’t understand, dig in! It’s a very rewarding knit.
MWD: Thank you, Allyson!
And now, the best news of all – you can win an electronic copy of any one of the patterns featured above! Just leave a comment on this post by midnight, Eastern time on Wednesday, September 24th, and I’ll select a winner randomly from the comments. (So be sure to leave your email address!)
What else can I say – get out there and celebrate the season with this gorgeous collection of new knitting!
PS: Be sure to follow along with the Holla Knits blog tour to learn all about each of these lovely designs (and enter for more chances to win along the way) – the tour schedule is below:
Sept 8: Launch
Sept 9: The Sweatshop of Love
Sept 10: Klever Knits
Sept 11: Berroco
Sept 12: Canary Knits
Sept 15: Mountain Colors Facebook Page
Sept 16: Life on Laffer
Sept 17: Knits in Class
Sept 18: Makewise Designs
Sept 19: Anzula