Designer of the month – Abbye Dahl

This month I am introducing a designer to you who I think has an absolutely incredible eye for colour and is very talented in designing and knitting colour work pieces as well as producing stunning photography. I have also had the fortune of being featured with her in the March edition of Knotions Magazine and I really wished I was any good at knitting socks because her Aztec socks would just be the perfect edition to my wardrobe.


When did you learn to knit? Did someone teach you or did you teach yourself?

My mom taught me to knit when I was young (5 or 6 years old?). Through my childhood and teen years I was obsessed with any kind of yarn/bead/string projects. I learned to knit, crochet, sew, ruck hook, needle point, cross stitch, wire work etc. I knit and on off over the years, but never seriously until I was about 20.


Why did you start designing? What gave you the idea?

This is kind of a funny question for me. I’ve never actually followed a knitting pattern through to the end. I always get annoyed counting rows and stitches, and always wanted to add or take away something from the patterns I was working on. When I had a hard time finding patterns for the things I wanted to knit, I would just make something up myself. In the fall of 2016 I published my first pattern on Ravelry with the hope that I would make enough money to buy yarn for my next project. After publishing my first pattern, I really enjoyed the excitement and sense of community you get when you see and talk to other people knitting your patterns. This got me hooked!


Who or what inspires?

For me there isn’t anything specific that inspires my knitting. I think my designers are definitely influenced by either current or vintage fashion, but at the end of the day I usually just cast on and see what I end up with.


What is your favourite knitting/designing resource? Books? Magazines? Blogs? Software?

I find the most invaluable resource for me are test knitters. When I first started designing, I wrote the patterns for people who knit like me. (ie. They didn’t like counting rows/stitches, and would assume to purl on the wrong side or just start cabling when they reach the cable section without being told to). Working with test knitters has been invaluable because it allows me to re-work my patterns so they are A) more accurate, and B) appeal to a larger range and experience group of knitters.

Do you have a favourite stitch pattern?

I flip back and forth by being obsessed with stranded colour work, to not being able to stop doing cables. So depending on the day I’ll have a different answer. I have discovered I don’t really like knitting or designing lace that much.


English or Continental (or both)? Which way do you knit?

I didn’t realize there was a difference for a long time. I just looked it up and I believe I’m and English knitter.

Do you practice any other (fibre) crafts?

I’d love to get into yarn dying! Currently I don’t really have the space for it, but maybe one day…


What do you have planned for the future as a designer? Do you want to make it a full-time job or is it a hobby for you?

When I first decided to start publishing patterns I told myself “this is just for fun, just to make a bit of money to buy a little more yarn, just knit the things you love”. However, as I learn more and more and the fibre world, and connect with more and more awesome designers and dyers, I can’t help but get excited about the possibilities. So for now I’m going to stick with the mantra “just knit what you love”, and see where it takes me!

You can find Abbye on Ravelry, Instagram and her website.


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