Melanie Berg – ‘Be Inspired. Knit’

Mairlynd Berg. Loop, London. www.loopknitlounge.com

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!)

Ashburn by Mairlynd Melanie Berg. Loop, London
Ashburn

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.

Miara
Miara

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!

Kir Royal
Kir Royale
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!

Nangou
Nangou

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

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

  5. 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!

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

  12. 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

  13. 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

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

  15. 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!

  16. 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!

  17. 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!

  18. 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!

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

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

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

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

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

  26. 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).

  27. Hello
    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

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

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