I’ve always been fascinated by history, old timey things and stories.
My favorite books as a child were about life in the 1800’s Finland! They had amazing art in them, but that was not the only thing that spoke to me. Another thing I loved was these Swedish children’s tv-series about life in the early 1900’s. I was a geek already as a child!
I grew up on a farm until it was time to start school, and every summer long after that. I learned how to cook, bake and take care of animals. I also learned how to knit and crochet, weave and how to dye yarn with ingredients from the nature. My granny, who took care of me whole my parent worked taught me all of that, and she has been a big influence in my life, and I love her very much. And her favorite color is purple.
As I grew older my inspiration is still in the old things, stories and sagas. I watch a lot of movies, sci-fi and fantasy. I love all the Scandinavian and Gothic mythologies and they have inspired a lot of my cabled designs. And oh, let’s not forget about Burton, Star Wars and Doctor Who! Endless resources of inspiration!
My first designs.
So I learned to work with yarn at an early age and when I realized that I could make my own clothes I got really inspired! My first design was a pair of gloves when I was just 5 years old. I drew the design and mailed it to my granny who then knitted me the gloves, and they were amazing! Ofcourse the design process was way slower than now and my next design was a pair of socks sometime in my early teens. I was just randomly coloring dots on a household napkin at my granny’s kitchen table and when she saw what I’ve done she wanted to knit the pattern into socks. I still have them and wear them 🙂
Fast forward a couple of years and I designed my first sweater. My school mates loved the design so much they wanted to knit them selves on too, so I wrote down the pattern for them. I made two sweaters with that pattern, sadly they have both disappeared during life, but many years later I knit one more and wrote the pattern, it’s called Easy Squeezy Sweater and it can be downloaded from my Ravelry Store for free!
The need to design
I never quite felt that the knitting patterns out there were for me. You know… I was a tomboy, I’m always on the move and well… I’m so far from a lady I’m almost a lord! My knitwear needs to stay in place and be practical and for geographical reasons; warm!
I just kinda couldn’t find patterns I liked, they were mostly too girly and delicate or for men. I needed something in between! I needed knits that rocked! Designs that weren’t overly complicated, that didn’t take long to finish, designs that weren’t all lace or existed just to be a pretty piece of hand made art. I don’t do designs that are just pretty, they absolutely need to be practical too, and if it has more than one way to be worn, that’s a big plus!
I design because the images in my head would other wise drive me crazy. I have absolutely no idea why that is. A basic human need to create? Plus knitting is therapy so, win win!
In spring 2007 I broke my shoulder. I was working in a cold environment and one day it got so bad I couldn’t breathe because of the pain in my shoulder. I couldn’t lift up my arm, I couldn’t grab things, I couldn’t laugh or sneeze without excruciating pain in my right shoulder. I went on a sick leave that went on for 7 months, until I decided to quit my job and go back to school to upgrade my degree in culinary arts, and moved to a big city where my BF was already, he had moved there a couple of years earlier to go to University. Oh and the pain came and went and in 2014 I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, but that’s a whole different story…
During the sick leave I picked up knitting again. Best thing I ever did! I tried to do some wood work, but there is just so much furniture you can do before filling up the house. Plus you can take your knitting with you, so much more practical.
I started to search the internet for knitting patterns and realized people were blogging about their hobby. I wanted to do that too, and that’s how the Glassprisoner Blog came to be! It was only in Finnish, sorry about that, but you’ll still be able to see the pictures of my early work 🙂
In 2008 I came across a mittens designing contest for a craft fair and the Heavy Mittens were born! I didn’t win the contest, but I got honorary mentioned and got my design into the biggest knitting magazine in my country! And onto the front page of the second part of the local newspaper.
I joined Ravelry on new years eve 2008 and I’ve been designing knitting and crochet patterns ever since!
In 2017 I decided I want to be a proper designer. I had 2 weeks summer vacation in May (may in Finland is not summer, especially not May 2017! Here’s a clip of a weather forecast of that time). So I asked my fellow designers what would be the best way to spend my time if I wanted to become a proper designer instead of a hobbyist.
Over those two weeks I upped my game, learned a ton of new skills and got an tech editor to check my patterns. I am yet to update all my old patterns, but I’m going to. I try to revise one old freebie pattern a month and put it up here on my website.
Helping other designers
The designer community has given me so much and been so supportive that I really feel a need to give back, and help the new comers!
I have some things planned for the future, including a designer challenge and some how to-posts in my blog.