Arrow Fat Left Icon Arrow Fat Right Icon Arrow Right Icon Cart Icon Close Circle Icon Expand Arrows Icon Facebook Icon Instagram Icon Pinterest Icon Twitter Icon Hamburger Icon Information Icon Down Arrow Icon Mail Icon Mini Cart Icon Person Icon Ruler Icon Search Icon Shirt Icon Triangle Icon Bag Icon Play Video
  • December's Designer of the Month – Melynda Bernardi
  • Post author
    Josh Hutchison

December's Designer of the Month – Melynda Bernardi

December's Designer of the Month – Melynda Bernardi

2016 is the “Year of the Designer” for Feel Good Yarn Company.  The first Thursday of every month we will feature an interview with one of our favorite knitwear designers and the following week we will release a pattern designed exclusively for our SilverSpun® yarn by that designer.

On December 15, 2016 we will be releasing the pattern that Melynda designed using SilverSpun® Sport to our subscribers.  Be sure to sign up here so you don’t miss it.

I can't believe that we have come to the last month in our Year of the Designer series!  We have  a very special designer to wrap it all up - Melynda Bernardi of French Press Knits.  I first became aware of Melynda way back in 2009 when she published her French Press Slippers pattern.  I thought they were so cute, and apparently I'm not the only one.  A quick peruse on Ravelry shows that over 7200 people have made them!  Melynda has continued to produce beautiful patterns and most recently published, Comfort & Joy, a collection of original Christmas stockings for the modern hand knitter.  You can find Melynda on Ravelry, Instagram and her website.

And with that, I give you Melynda….

Can you give us a little background intel on yourself? Where were you born? Do you still live there? How long have you been knitting? Who taught you to knit?

I was born and raised in Michigan- which is an ideal place for a knitter to live.  Four true seasons and plenty of inspiration!  I live across the street from the house I grew up in- my children attend the schools I attended.

I think I learned the basics of knitting at some point in high school, because when I had friends who started knitting in college I knew the basics.  It was after college that I sat down with a how to knit book to teach myself more than knit and purl, along with reading knitting language/charts and patterns.

Where do you do your designing? Do you have a special room in your house, a studio, a favorite chair?

My designing is done out of the house.  About a year ago I quit my full time job with the intentions of staying home with my small children and focusing on my knitting/design work.  Turns out, being home alone with three small children leaves little time for knitting, and even less for pattern writing.  I’m still finding my new normal, and although I have a studio in our basement, most of my “work hours” are spent on the couch in the living room so I can have an eye on the kids.

Where do your design inspirations come from? Nature, architecture, fine art, what?

Definitely inspired by seasons and changing landscapes, but even more so, from classic design.  I love vintage patterns and aesthetics.  In school, History was always my least favorite subject.  As an adult, I can’t get enough of it, and I am constantly inspired by vintage knits and color schemes.

Who are your favorite designers (and it doesn’t have to be knitwear designers)?

I have long admired Kate Davies work and aesthetic- everything she puts together just makes sense. Bristol Ivy only produces magical pieces- it’s always fun to see what she’s coming up with.  As far as non-knitters, I’ve always loved Diane Von Furstenberg- maybe this plays in with my love of colorwork?

What is it about designing that gets you to jump out of bed every morning and grab the needles?

The possibilities are endless.  I love having a tangible product for my work- being able to stand back at the end of the day and having clear evidence of what has been accomplished.  Knitting fills this need to create.

What do you have on your needles right now?

Swatching for my Merriment (adult sized) sweater.

While designing your piece for FGYCo, what qualities of SilverSpun® did you find most appealing?

I love that it is conductive- no other yarns have this added bonus so it’s something that sets it apart.  Then there’s the feel of it, it’s not like other cottons that feel stiff when knit up.  There’s an unexpected stretch to the knitted garment that seems to wrap you in a hug- it’s just comforting!

Do you have any other passions besides knitting?

Besides family and knitting, the other activities that get the most of my time are running and church.  My husband and I have long worked with high school students, and because of this work with our youth group he decided to make a career change to teaching.  I don’t often run competitively, but I do find times to run every other day or so.  If I go a couple days without a good run, I just feel a little ‘off’.

◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊

On December 15, 2016 we will be releasing the pattern that Melynda designed using SilverSpun® Sport to our subscribers.  Be sure to sign up here so you don’t miss it.

  • Post author
    Josh Hutchison