Spotlight on Fall Creek
Hi, Emily! Welcome back! We’ve always been such huge fans of your architecturally-inspired knits. Can you tell us a little more about yourself and your designs?
Thank you! It's always a treat to get to design with Hudson + West's beautiful yarn.
I've been an independent knitwear designer for a little under four years now, but my professional and academic background are in architecture. In fact, I still work full-time for an architecture firm, squeezing in my passion for knitwear on nights, weekends, and (under normal, pre-COVID circumstances) during my daily commute on the NYC subway! I think my professional background really shows through in my knitwear designs - I'm obsessed with precision, symmetry, using lines to create texture, and beautiful finishing.
My stash and I live in Brooklyn with my husband (also an architect, and occasional knitwear photographer) and our dog, Zoe.
Diagonal motifs are a signature feature of your work. What captivates you about them? You’ve implemented them in a number of different ways (cables, lace, etc.) — do you have a favorite?
It’s true - I never seem to tire of playing with lines! In particular, I love working with diagonal motifs - diagonal lines are visually dynamic, suggest movement, and naturally draw the eye across the fabric’s surface. I find the contrast of strong, geometric shapes with the softness and drape of knit fabric to be an endless source of design inspiration.
As far as picking a favorite technique, that's like asking me to pick a favorite child! One of my favorite parts of the design process is playing with different knitting techniques to decide what method will suit a concept best - will I create crisp lines of twisted rib cables? Create dotted 'lines' of traveling lace eyelets? Or keep things simple with a carefully choreographed pattern of knit-purl texture? Often the ‘rejected’ swatch for one pattern will become the seed of an idea for another down the road. One strategy I do find I return to again and again is creating traveling stitch patterns through paired increases & decreases - this is the method I used for Fall Creek, and it can also be seen in many of my previous designs, like Pitch, Citrine, and Tectonic.
We love a shawl-collared cardigan — they’re a classic of the knitter’s wardrobe — but they can be a little tricky to style. Any tips for us?
I love to throw a shawl-collared cardigan on over almost anything, from jeans and a t-shirt to a button-up shirt or dress. To keep collared garments from 'competing' with a shawl-collared sweater, I like to wear the inner layer buttoned all the way up to the neck for a clean, crisp style; stand-collar shirts look especially sharp under a cardigan, and are easier to style. Lately I'm a big fan of wearing my shawl-collared sweaters with the collar unfolded (or 'popped'); it's a little unexpected, a little preppy, and so cozy around your neck.
Tell us about the details in Fall Creek. What inspired you?
It's no secret that I love ribbing, and after working with Forge while designing the Middagh pullover, I knew this yarn creates the most beautifully squishy 2x2 rib. With Fall Creek, I wanted to use allover ribbed fabric to create a really wearable, genderless design that felt classic, but still had enough special details to hold the knitter's interest. The traveling diagonal ribs and fashioned neckline shaping of the fronts give this wardrobe staple some modern polish, but my favorite moment might be the clever double decreases at the tailored shoulders - it's a subtle but special detail.
Any special tips for knitters for this design? Sizing, technique, etc.?
I think this design can look great with a really wide range of positive ease, but it's still important to take a close look at the schematic measurements to determine what size to knit and whether you might want to make some modifications to suit your particular body and preferences. In particular, Fall Creek has been graded using ASTM sizing standards for men, so knitters who are accustomed to traditional 'women's' sizing may want to double-check measurements beyond simple chest circumference, like armhole depth, sleeve length, and cross-back measurement. Keep in mind that ribbed fabric naturally has a lot of stretch!
What else is going on for you? We know you’ve got the #EverGreeneKAL running through July; anything on the horizon for Fall that we should know about? What’s caught your eye lately?
I'm having so much fun with the #EverGreeneKAL right now - I've even seen a few Fall Creek WIPs popping up on the KAL hashtag, which is such a treat! Looking ahead, I do have a lot of exciting new releases planned for this fall, including more new size-inclusive garment designs as well as re-releases of some of my older patterns to offer more sizes. I've got a little bit of something for everyone - cables, color, texture, lace - but always with an eye to composition and to creating beautiful pieces that will be right at home in a modern knitter's wardrobe. And of course, I hope to be doing a lot more designing with Hudson + West’s yarns in the coming months!