Melanie Berg – ‘Be Inspired. Knit’

Mairlynd Berg. Loop, London.

A stunning new collection of shawl patterns from designer Melanie Berg arrived at Loop this week which have us reaching for our needles! We are also playing host to many of her samples, so as well as adorning our hooks and hangers we’ve been enjoying trying on these modern and wearable shawls. As her patterns say – ‘Be Inspired. Knit’  and we couldn’t agree more! For those of you who can’t pop in and see them too, we have the next best thing – a chat with the designer herself and the chance to win the pattern of your choice (be sure to read to the end of the post to find out how to enter!)

Melanie calls herself a secret knitwear designer (she is an IT specialist in her ‘real’ life) who spends her time, ‘Combining colors, shapes and textures into freewheeling designs that are uniquely my own’. She loves to collaborate and thinks that, ‘It is wonderful to interact with knitters all over the world, and to let your creativity flow’. We caught up with Melanie to find out more.

Hi Melanie! What drew you to knitting and when did you start designing?

My mother taught me how to knit when I was a young teenager, but after I made a monstrous, curling stockinette scarf, I put it down. It was only when my first daughter was born that I picked knitting up again and ever since then it has become my passion.

I soon started to tweak instructions and finally came up with my own ideas. It felt very natural to me to write down the patterns and offer them to the knitting world. As time went by, I published more and more designs, submitted to magazines and started cooperating with yarn companies and indie dyers. I love my job and find it very inspiring and fulfilling! 

Who or what are your design inspirations?

I can’t break that down to just one answer. Really, I draw inspiration from everywhere! When I’m out, I pay a lot of attention to all the different styles of clothing I see. I try to remember stylish accessories, wonderful garments or interesting details and I sketch down a lot of that. I also find a lot of inspiration on the internet – Pinterest for example is a great place to get new ideas. I often put my sketches down for some weeks, and when I browse them again I suddenly know what to do.

What role does colour play in your designs and how do you choose the selection of shades for a item?

Colour plays a huge role in my work! Browsing my published designs, you can see that most of them are using more than just one colour. I love playing with different shades, and I find it fascinating how a different set of colours can change the entire appearance of a piece. Also – working with colours is so much fun!

What yarn inspires you? Or do you find you have an idea and then have to find the perfect yarn to represent it?

I usually start out with the yarn. It might not surprise you but, I have a lot of yarn at home! It’s stashed everywhere in the house – in boxes, in chests, on tables and shelves and in all other kinds of places.

If I have a skein or two I want to turn into something, I usually have it laying around for a couple of days so that I can touch it every time I walk by. I take it into my hands, feel how soft or sturdy it is, how heavy or thin and its is like I am trying to listen to it. If you have enough patience, the yarn will eventually tell you what it wants to become!

What is currently on your needles? And what knitty plans do you have for the future?

I’m currently working on “Tau”, an asymmetrical cardigan, designed in Tosh Sock. I’ll finish that within the next days and aim for a release in early fall 2014 – a layering piece just in time for the transitional season. Next up, I’m looking forward to getting started on a couple of projects together with indie dyers (sssh, I’ll be doing a shawl in the highly anticipated Kismet yarn as a design for Loop!) Kismet is a gorgeous 4ply of 50% Camel and 50% silk

Refuge by Kismet - coming soon to Loop August 2014!

Refuge by Kismet – coming soon to Loop August 2014!

In winter I’ll do some travelling to teach workshops – a couple of them at Loop. Shawl Construction, will teach you how to knit different shapes and how to calculate sizes giving you the foundation to design your own shawl pattern. Colourwork Shawls will focus on how to add colour to your knitting and Losing Fear of Short Rows will allow you to conquer this technique! So stay tuned!

Thank you Melanie for taking the time to answer our questions. If you are interested in any of Melanies’ classes please call the shop on 020 7288 1160 and one of our Loopettes will book you a place.

And it’s giveaway time again! We’re giving away the Melanie Berg pattern of your choice (you can browse the full range here), so please leave a comment letting us know which one you can’t wait to knit and we will select a winner next week. This competition will close at midnight on Wednesday 30th July. Good Luck and Happy Knitting!


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82 comments on “Melanie Berg – ‘Be Inspired. Knit’
  1. Marcia D. says:

    I can’t wait to knit Nangou – it has been in my queue for a long time. But I’d love to knit every single one of these shawls!

  2. Bente Simone says:

    Wow, they are all so beautiful, both in construction and color choices. I would probably end up with Ashburn if I got my hands on printed patterns. Even though dark champagne is a close runner up. The texture is so soft and yummy.

  3. Cassandra says:

    Ashburn looks beautiful – I love the color combination.

  4. Anne Marie says:

    I think Kir Royale is my favorite.

  5. Eileen marrinan says:

    I’m in love with the grey, rust and blue pattern! Would love to get my needles clicking to create that beauty!

  6. Keryl says:

    I would love to win moonraker.
    only wish I could come to a workshop but a little far to travel from Australia!

  7. mags says:

    Nangou is amazing! Would love to knit it! Minimal yet interesting detail.

  8. Anne G says:

    Would love to be able to take “Shawl Construction”, but too far away in Western Canada. Really like Kir Royale and Dark Champagne, but would knit Ashburn first – something warm & cozy for work this winter!

  9. Irene says:

    Texture, color…these patterns look like fun. I would love to work Ashburn first and then move on to other shawl patterns, thought he cardigan is intriuiging.

  10. Irene says:

    What fun to play with color and texture. I’d love to work on Ashburn or Miara. Thanks for the chance to win a pattern.

  11. Kerstin says:

    Moonraker is my favourite. The combination of colours and pattern are fabulous!

  12. Jill Bulgan says:

    this would be my choice – Nangou

  13. Andrea says:

    I love Nangou – it’s so understated and beautiful. I have some leftover cashmere in my stash which may be just enough to make this devastatingly simple, yet gorgeous shawl.

  14. Jood says:

    I’d start with Ashburn – I love the combination of draped colours… and who knows where I’d go next on this exciting knitting journey.

  15. Sheila Hayes says:

    I really love them all and find it difficult to choose just one but Nangou just pips the others with its simple elegance. Would make a lovely gift.

  16. Vicky says:

    I’d love to knit Ashburn – beautiful.

  17. Janice Lavoie says:

    It’s a difficult decision but I am most partial to Moonraker. I have some thoughts for the color combos.

  18. I would love to knit Kir Royale and I love the colour it is knitted in above.

  19. Becki says:

    All beautiful & so wearable. I’ve had my eye on Ashburn for quite some time now & can’t wait to get around to adding it to my ever-growing WIP pile. I see yet more yarn shopping in my future & am already dreaming up colour combinations

  20. Becki says:

    All beautiful & so wearable. I’ve had my eye on Ashburn for quite some time now & can’t wait to get around to adding it to my ever-growing WIP pile. I see yet more yarn shopping in my future & am already dreaming up colour combinations

  21. Emma says:

    I LOVE Moonraker! The colours are perfect. I’ll definitely be looking into the workshop about adding colour to shawls!

  22. Stephanie says:

    All so lovely. Targetty would be great to win. Finger’s crossed.

  23. I would love to win Moonraker to add to my shawl wardrobe.

  24. Alison says:

    Moonraker with Madeleinetosh

  25. Amanda says:

    So wish I could attend a workshop, they sound inspiring. But a bit far. But, I’m keen to knit Ashburn.

  26. Yvonne Kolesar says:

    They all look wonderful but if I had to restrict myself to just one pattern, I’d choose Kir Royale for it’s intricate design and gorgeous use of colour and yarn – fab!

  27. Yvonne Kolesar says:

    They all look wonderful but if I had to restrict myself to just one pattern, I’d choose Kir Royale for it’s intricate design and gorgeous use of colour and yarn – fab!

  28. Yvonne Kolesar says:

    They all look wonderful but if I had to restrict myself to just one pattern, I’d choose Kir Royale for it’s intricate design and gorgeous use of colour and yarn – fab!

  29. Monica says:

    I will love to win ashburn it looks amazing

  30. Carol says:

    I would love to make Moonraker. It’s certainly functional but very ecclectic at the same time. Thanx

  31. Malin says:

    Moonraker! Love at first sight!

  32. heather says:

    I love Nangou so pretty

  33. Viv Fox says:

    Definitely Kir Royale….just look at the horizontal cable, the sort of corrugated rib and a mystery stitch( mystery to me anyway) on the main body of the shawl….a real feast of stitches!

  34. Mit says:

    Moonraker! It lends itself to so many variations!

  35. Nina says:

    I would love to knit Ashburn! I’ve just become obsessed with picot edging and love how the details look here!

  36. Barbara says:

    Kir Royale is my favorite because it is a sophisticated blend of stitch-textures and color. It could add warmth to a winter coat or finish any outfit with an air of intrigue from the changing stitch combinations. I definitely want to knit it.

  37. Sue says:

    Oh, I love Dark Champagne.

  38. Alicia M. Johnstone says:

    Moonraker looks great fun to wear – they’re all beautiful, ‘though.

  39. Jules says:

    I have been looking at Moonraker on Ravelry and loved it, but having looked at this blog I would love to knit Kir Royale so that would be my choice.

  40. TillyG says:

    Moonracker is my choice, both for the name and the lovely textural quality of the shawl and just think of the possible colour combinations! What a great pattern.

  41. Susanne says:

    My favorite pattern is Moonraker, followed by Ashburn!

  42. Anja says:

    Moonraker for me pleeease

  43. Merry Fenton says:

    Mairlynd – Targetty is gorgeous! And since I’ve been thinking shawls lately…..
    wahoomerryf on Ravelry

  44. Andre says:

    Moonraker would be the one for me. I love the colours in the sample shown. Just right for the upcoming Autumn.

  45. Janet says:

    I love Nangou. So stylish, and it doesn’t look hard to do!

  46. Julianna says:

    One is more beautiful than the next. I’d love to win, but how will I ever choose?

  47. Tracy says:

    Miara is definitely on my list – its stunning.

  48. Kari B. says:

    I’ve had my eye on Moonraker – gorgeous!

  49. Kate says:

    Ashburn please, that is lovely!!!

  50. Linda Rumsey says:

    i have fallen in love with kir Royale!

  51. Janet Chappell says:

    They are all beautiful but I would like to try Nangou, it looks lovely.

  52. Ana says:

    I love Dark Champagne. Gorgeous pattern!

  53. Gro Lilja says:

    This would be perfect because I’m in love with these patterns!

  54. Annelie Storbjörk says:

    i have been looking at kir royale for a while, but there are so many lovely patterns!

  55. Andrea B says:

    I’d have to go with Moonraker -big 007 fan

  56. Lisa Young says:

    Moonraker, for all the whimsy.

  57. Petula says:

    Ashburb is gorgeous! So lovely!

  58. Petula says:

    Ashburn is so gorgeous!

  59. Magnhild says:

    I really like Ashburn :-)

  60. Elaine says:

    Ash burn because of the color change and Nangou looks fun as well.

  61. Sandy Cowart says:

    Kir Royale!!! Beautiful color and yarn. Would love to have in my stash!

  62. I’d love to win Mairyland Ashburn.

  63. Elizabeth Johnston says:

    I think the shawls are interesting. I would love to win Nangou

  64. Sally says:

    I would choose Ashburn as I like the picot edging and the different colors.

  65. Sarah says:

    Ooh, I love Dark Champagne; reminds me a little bit of Loop’s Josephine, which I LOVE.

  66. Victoria says:

    The Ashburn is my favourite. I love the shapes each block of colour makes and the edging. It would be great to win this.

  67. Alejandra Rojas says:

    Lovely patterns so difficult to choose. I think my first one to knit will be “Assante” that looks divene in those colors.

  68. Liz Pickard says:

    Ashburn for me – when I finally finish a retro jacket I am knitting for someone else (and hating every moment). Longing to knit a beautiful shawl (again).

  69. Daniela says:

    I’d say that my favourite pattern here is definitely Kir Royale.

  70. Fernanda says:

    I’m from Portugal and i love loop knitting lounge.
    I love Moonraker, gorgeous. The coleurs so beautiful.
    I hope i can win. Thank you

  71. Liz says:

    I love nangou!

  72. Bordergirl says:

    Another great giveaway. I do love Melanie’s designs. First choice is Nangou.

  73. patrise says:

    Dark champagne is my pick. Maybe it’s the colour, but the design is also lovely.

  74. JillB says:

    Moonraker would be my choice – endless colour possibilities

  75. Kathryn says:

    Fab patterns! Ashburn for me please, although it’s been a difficult decision!

  76. Hilary says:

    They are all so beautiful but I think I’d start with Ashburn

  77. RENE WALKIN says:

    I would love to knit Kir Royale-my goodness that yarn is beyond beautiful!

  78. Sue says:

    I like the shape of Ashburn and the opportunity it offers to work with multiple colours. Thanks!

  79. Sara says:

    Nangou is my favorite. They’re all lovely!

  80. Liz Phillips says:

    I love the look, the colour and pattern of Kir Royale. Like the drink too!!!

  81. TamsinJ says:

    They’re all lovely – but for me, the colour combinations and range of textures in Ashburn make it a must have!

  82. steph says:

    ooooooo! kir royale! love it!!!!

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