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  • February’s Designer of the Month – Scott Scholz
  • Post author
    Josh Hutchison

February’s Designer of the Month – Scott Scholz

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 February 11, 2016 we will be releasing the pattern that Scott designed using SilverSpun® Sport to our subscribers.  Be sure to sign up here so you don't miss it.

Scott Scholz, from SSKnitwear, is our February Designer of the Month.  Scott has designed for us in the past (Ilex Hat) and I must say I have never quite met a designer like him.  He is a banjo playing, skate boarding, dirt biking, woodworking, knitwear designer!  And his designs are awesome!  You can find him on Instagram and Ravelry.

And with that, I give you Scott....

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 in Orange, California and raised in Irvine, California. I always felt somewhat suffocated growing up in Orange County so as soon as I could afford to travel, and eventually move, I did.

I have been knitting for about eight years now but it wasn’t until last year that I started taking my original designs scribbled on graph paper and turned them into more presentable printed and downloadable patterns.

I mostly taught myself how to knit. I had already put in over six years crocheting, prior to even touching knitting needles, so I had an idea of what I was getting myself into. I am not a social knitter so knitting books became my closest friends. I am a huge advocate of public libraries and try to encourage others to check them out.

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

At “home” in Portland, Oregon. I’ll remove the quotation marks once that sentiment feels more sincere. My girlfriend and I recently relocated to the Pacific Northwest so we are still settling in. Our place is tiny but in an effort not to offend the girlfriend I’ll call it cute and cozy. The living room currently doubles as my studio so for now it’ll have to do. Honestly, it’s all about the lighting. I have a couple LED lamps directly above my workspace that I can swivel around so I never strain to see what I’m doing. Definitely a game changer!

Not too long ago at our last place my girlfriend and I doubled up in her bedroom and I turned my room into a man den. But instead of a pool table, mini fridge, and a deer head hanging on the wall, I had a chair, desk, lamp, swift, winder, and an entire wall of bookshelves filled with yarn. I also had purchased a pegboard from a local yarn shop that closed down and gave it a new life. I loaded it up with all my knitting needles that I still meticulously keep in their original packaging. Every non-knitter who saw that just assumed I ran a small online knitting needle company.

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

Most my inspiration comes from the simple attraction in knitting a gift for somebody to warmly wrap themselves up in. It’s rustic- it’s romantic- it’s real.

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

The first knitwear designer that I got excited about was Alana Dakos. I became a fan back when I was affiliated with a couple different yarn shops that carried her books; Coastal Knits, Botanical Knits, and Botanical Knits 2. I was asked to make shop samples of patterns from these books, but now for the kicker, I had only made things up to that point and never knitted anyone else's patterns. I knew the techniques but I didn’t know what in the world they were called.

My list of knitwear designers that I’m following on social media and/or often flipping through their books is too long to list in full. And the list grows daily!

But here are some current favorites…Carrie Bostick Hoge, Cecily Glowick MacDonald, Hannah Fettig, Melanie Berg, Alicia Plummer, Annie Rowden, Veronika Jobe, Joji Locatelli, Norah Gaughan, Rosemary (Romi) Hill…basically if you’re committed and making it work- I’m a fan.

Other very multi-talented people worth the mention, Kathy Cadigan, Karen Templer, Jenny Trygg, and Vanessa Yap-Einbund.

What is it about designing that gets you to jump out of bed (or in your case, maybe stay put) every morning and grab the needles?

I like the challenge of designing. The entire process keeps me engaged. I could replace knitting with woodworking but knitting is so much more portable and I can travel anywhere and take it with me. I enjoy being taught and teaching others. So, in a way, knowing I’ll get to learn something new gets me out of bed. It’s just about being devoted to something. With anything that I have ever spent time trying, if I am not being productive, and progressing, I get anxiety. And in all my 32 years I’ve learned the trick of if you want to get good at anything you got to cut the hours you sleep in half.

I am so rigid in thought that I feel things should be intentional. I keep repeating the words, deliberate design. It’s like a composer struggling with the thought of a perfect composition. It doesn’t exist, but it’s exciting to chase. The daydream of a perfect collection somewhere in the distant future is appealing to me.

What do you have on your needles right now?

2016 is the year I show people I can make more than one off knitted hats and cowls and start diving into collections that include cardigans, sweaters, and jackets. Multiple larger garments are currently in the works.

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

I found the elasticity in the yarn, due to the fiber make up, lends to a sort of springiness you don’t often find in most other yarns. I never really design with negative ease in mind but I think this yarn has some real potential there. Obviously telling friends and family I’m knitting with yarn that has silver spun into it never gets old.

Do you have any other passions besides knitting?

Bicycling. I used to road race competitively, worked as a bicycle messenger in both New York and San Francisco, and toured the United States. Every time I begin to pedal a bike I can feel my face slowly start to smile, I love it.

I am also pretty passionate about the following; picking the banjo, skateboarding, woodworking, hiking and scrambling, being a fan of and following dirtbike racing, watching documentaries, daydreaming, laughing at my own jokes before I can finish telling them, and trying to make more of an effort to slow down my thoughts and enjoy the presence of friends and family when they’re around.

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On February 11, 2016 we will be releasing the pattern that Scott designed using SilverSpun® Sport to our subscribers.  Be sure to sign up here so you don't miss it.

  • Post author
    Josh Hutchison