When scrolling through the lovely designs on offer for the Indie Design Gift Along This lovely pattern jumped at me: Sara Schira’s Telephone Poles. I love the simplicity and clear lines and also the colour contrast of this pattern.
Naturally I had to check out the other designs and wanted to get to know the person behind the design, so I asked her for an interview.
At Imagined Landscapes Sara designs knitting patterns that are bold, modern, and sometimes playful. Think Anne of Green Gables meets IKEA. Modern, minimalist, and spunky, but also a little bit nostalgic at times. There’s an Imagined Landscapes Podcast, too! Sara and her sister Rora114 on Ravelry put out an audio podcast where they talk a lot about knitting and a little bit about books, boardgames, and geekery.
Sara will give away a copy of her ebook +1 Pop to a reader of this blog (See end of this post)
I’m from Canada. We moved a fair bit when I was growing up, so I like to say that I am an ‘urban prairie girl’. I like living in cities set in the prairies, even if I haven’t always lived in the prairies or in cities. I married a German and love spending time over there for the total contrast. I homeschooled our two children from kindergarten to grade 12 and both are now in university, which means I need to figure out what I’m going to be when I grow up!
I’m a runner, an introvert, a real fan of all 8 books in the Anne of Green Gables series, and a rabid soccer fan (Kaiserslautern and Dortmund in Germany, the Canadian National Women’s team, and locally the Brandon University women’s team – which I help to coach).
What started your crafting frenzy and when?
It really kicked off when the kids were in kindergarten and grade 3. We were reading Little House on the Prairies and my daughter asked to learn to knit. I hadn’t knit since I was 8, so I taught myself from a library book (this was before YouTube) so I could teach her.
All of a sudden I couldn’t stop! It turns out that in my life everything was either intangible or impermanent. I taught and loved my children yet that was all intangible. What could I point to as mine at the end of the day? I fed and laundered and cleaned, and it needed doing over and over. But knitting was mine. I could touch it. I could be proud of it as my own thing. And unless I need to rip back, it stayed done.
I get inspired by landscapes, hence the name Imagined Landscapes. My father is a landscape photographer. I also just plain get inspired by knitting! Does that sound strange? But the stitches are so incredible, the textures, the lines, the shapes…marvellous. So much bounty in this craft.
What was your first ever design and why did you make it?
I designed a lot of one-off patterns for my family, but my first published design came about when I won the DesignAlong contest hosted by the Playful Day Podcast. It’s the Crossed Furrows Cowl.
It’s inspired by a photograph my father took of a sprouting field and by my desire to find a way to knit plaid easily.
I design for people who who love the satisfaction of producing a stunning finished product with surprisingly simple steps. I like to build up a rhythm when I’m knitting, and really burrow into that feeling, so I mostly design things that are composed of pretty straightforward steps that come together with flair.
Show us your stash!
My stash isn’t yet in a place where it’s nice to look at, except in Ravelry because I keep that up to date. It’s in bins.
What is your cryptonite?
-Fresh baked bread.
What are you working on right now?
I’m knitting and personalizing 29 tiny soccer jerseys for the team I coach. I do it every year. It’s a fair amount of work all together, but I want each girl to have something special that says, “You were part of something wonderful this year.”
It’s my own (free) pattern – Wee Sweaters. I developed it because I wanted a way to make little sweaters in less than an hour each. The first year I made these I did little raglan ornaments, but the arms each took a while and the extra ends…well, they added up!
Which are your weapons of choice? (aka knitting gear/notebook…?)
-I love Nova Platina Cubic needles. (Only have a few sizes. Why?)
-Graces Cases needle case – utterly magical how much fits in this and how securely
-Leuchtturm1917 dotted journals for note taking
Do you have a partner-in-crime designer/critique/best friend that works with you/ ?
My daughter Sandra is my photographer. I’m so lucky. And my sister Rora114 (and podcast co-host) is a knitter and I consult with her on nearly every question that pops into my head!
Which designer/s participating in the GAL caught your attention and why?