Andrea Mowry is a designer I personally admire, she first came to my attention in 2016 when she released her shawl design Briochealuscious. Since then Andrea has brought us many beautiful knitting patterns, I was lucky to catch up with her over the summer.
Tell us a bit about yourself – where do you live, and if with family/pets?
I have two young kiddos and chihuahua/pug mix named Fargo! My small family moved to Maine a little less than 2 years ago. We love living close to the ocean and getting out for hikes in this beautiful part of the country! I have to live in a place with all four seasons, and Maine does not disappoint!
How did you learn to knit?
My amazing Grandma Ginny taught me to knit when I was about 9 years old. I thanked her every time I saw her for giving me such a gift that really shaped my life. She passed away 2 years ago, and my knitting keeps her close to me. I think about her with every stitch that passes over my needles.
When I really got into knitting again as a teenager, I relied on my Elizabeth Zimmerman books to teach myself how to knit different things. Her books are amazing guides that really empowered me to begin designing right from the start! I spent my twenties as a baker, and have always found pattern writing to be really similar to writing recipes. Once my first child was born, I decided to try publishing my first pattern. It has been almost 6 years since then, and I've never looked back!
Find Your Fade was released in 2016 and so far over 10K knitters have knit it!
How would you describe your design style?
I think, above all, I am curious. I like to learn, so I am constantly playing with new stitch patterns and techniques. I think the constant in my work is I almost always involve color and texture! Those are the ingredients that make knitting super engaging for me. It's hard to set down a project when you are having fun with a stitch pattern of you just can't wait to add the next color!
What has been your most popular design?
Can I do two? ;) I'd have to say Find Your Fade and The Weekender!
Tell us more about your design (Mondim Socks) for Black Lives Matter. You've raised a lot of money so far, how can knitters support this fundraising?
The Mondim Socks are a really fun knit with toe-up construction, a Fleegle heel and some ribbed lace that makes for a comfy fit. I wanted to raise more money then I could donate by myself by utilizing one of my patterns. They cost $7 and I am donating all of the proceeds (so the entire $7) to support the Black Lives Matter movement for all of 2020. Knitters can purchase the Mondim socks in my Ravelry shop (or of course donate directly to the foundation of their choice!)
What is your favourite thing about being a designer?
Seeing knitters knitting and wearing my patterns. I feel so honored when someone chooses my pattern, and then to see the joy and pride on their face as they show off their finished project - it's just the best! (And, of course - Knitting! I always say I knit all day for work and then knit all night to relax.)
What inspires you?
Color and texture. I love to utilize them (separately or together) to create movement thru a piece.
Qing Fibres Melted Baby Suri and Yak Singles inspired Pink Velvet
Do you have a favourite knitting technique that you couldn't live without?
Oh, this can shift and change with my mood. Sometimes its brioche, most the time its bobbles. How do you choose?? You know what - I'm gonna go with Garter stitch. It's so reliable and SO squishy!
Which other designers do you admire?
All of them! I admire any artist putting their work out into the world. It is so vulnerable and takes courage. Norah Gaughan has always been on the top of my list - her patterns are so clever and always among my all time favorites.
Andrea Mowry designs under the label Drea Renee Knits, discover more of Andrea's designs on her website. If you like a printed pattern we do stock a wide selection of Andrea's designs here at Tangled Yarn. You can also follow Andrea on Instagram, she can be found as @dreareneeknits.