With the launch of our first pattern collection we got to work closely with three wonderful designers. We wanted you to get to know them a little bit better too so we asked a couple of questions to each of them.Today we are chatting with Veronik Avery who designed the Hortense pullover.
She is a designer and founder of St-Denis yarn, an adventure she started in 2009. Durable, yet soft, ‘Nordique‘, ‘Boreale‘ and ‘Sommet‘ were conceived as vehicles for inspiration. They showed detail cleanly and were available in a good basic palette – 36 colours to begin with. St-Denis was also a magazine, showcasing the possibilities of the yarn & short, lively articles on topics such as colorwork, swatching and inspiration sources. Veronik currently is part of the in-house designer team at Brooklyn Tweed, and her work can be viewed on BT’s website and on Ravelry.
I want to know a bit about you! Where are you from, what is your background?
I was born in Quebec, but lived in many places: several towns and cities in the Ottawa valley, in Arctic Quebec and in Africa. I also lived in Ottawa for a few years before moving to Montreal.
Black or Brown?
Black, if I must choose.
Cats or dogs?
Knitting gadget you can‘t live without:
Mmm, that’s a tough one. I only use pretty standard items. Blocking wires are probably the only non essential item I wouldn’t want to do without.
Gadget you can‘t live without not knitting related:
My collection of sewing machine feet.
Favorite hobbies not fiber related:
Sewing, bread baking.
Only one color for the rest of your life, which will it be?
How did you first come in contact with the needlecraft world and how did you get started? Does it run in the family?
I started to sew in my late teens. When my daughter was four, I needed a more portable hobby so started to knit. My grandmother was a professional seamstress but no one else sews or knits.
First completed project?
Either Sugar Plum by Louisa Harding or a La Gran pullover I can’t find the name for.
Number of WIPs on your needle right now?
Just one sock.
Favourite book not knitting related?
The Deptford Trilogy by Robertson Davies
Something that changed your crochet/knitting:
Listening to my hands. The book I used to learn only showed how to knit with the yarn in one’s right hand. It was awkward, so I played until I found it more comfortable to use my left. I had no idea there was a name for it.
Something new fiber related you want to try in the near future?
I’m pretty handy around the house. I can build furniture when I can’t find what I need.
Wood or metal?
Go-to favourite accessory when knitting a gift? (I am a hat person!)
I’m a hat person as well!
Not working in the fiber industry, what would be your second dream job?
I’d be a maker, no matter what. I need to work with my hands.
Morning person or night owl?
A place/country you wish to visit and why:
Japan. Because everything about it fascinates me.
Stitch pattern favorites:
Moss stitch is my stockinette.
Music of the moment?
My husband made me two mix tapes (playlists, actually) for Christmas last year – all the music from High Fidelity. One is from the book and the other is from the movie.
Yarn weight and fibers you are more drawn to?
Would you be surprised if I said wool? And I like my wool on the skinny side (surprise, surprise).
How did you get your start in the industry?
I sent in a submission to Interweave Knits. Melanie Falick called.
What is your design process, where do you look for inspiration?
I don’t get my inspiration from anywhere in particular – I just keep my eyes open. Sketching helps me to explore my ideas.
Your knitting influence
My husband, Marcel Jeannin. He doesn’t knit but has been my sounding board for 20 years next June.
You are now in-house designer for Brooklyn Tweed, one of the most sought after yarn and pattern company, can you tell me a little bit about how it is to work there?
I’m not going to lie – working for Brooklyn Tweed is pretty amazing. We have a pretty lengthy process to bring every collection together, so it isn’t very practical to go into it here. However, we do plan every collection as a team which ensures every one is cohesive. Since we live in different regions, we meet in person about twice a year as well as virtually.
Any projects in the near future you want to share with us, fiber-related endeavours of any kind?
Well, I’ve been sewing more and more…