Designer Spotlight – A Discussion with Trish Campbell

Trish Campbell has been a fixture in the East Coast yarn scene for many years, first as owner of Yarns On York in Fredericton, and now as a sales representative for Estelle Yarns. Oh, and did we mention that Trish also writes our blog posts (not this one, of course!) and the promotional emails we send to yarn store owners?  Yes, Trish does all this, and still finds time to teach knitting and design patterns for Estelle Yarns!  We feel very privileged indeed to have such a talented multi-tasker on our team!

From tea cosies, to a shawl, to a cowl and a baby blanket, Trish has designed them for us. We are pleased to share photos of her creative patterns below.  All knit using Estelle Yarns, these patterns are available to download on our Estelle Free Pattern Page.

Thinking of knitting a tea cosy?  Why not try one of Trish’s one-skein wonders?  Lovers of the brioche stitch will have fun knitting Brewed In Brioche.  If you are a cable stitch addict, like me, you might want to give Cosy Cables a try.  Beginner knitter?  No problem, Trish has you covered with her Seeded Columns Tea Cosy.

Trish managed to eke out a few minutes from her busy schedule to answer some questions for us, read on to learn more about Trish’s background in knitting, who and what inspires her, her favourite techniques and more…

How long have you been knitting?

I knit scarves for my barbies as a young child but didn’t stick to it. I picked it up again 25 years ago and haven’t put it down since.

Who taught you to knit?

My Mum, and I always tell her that it was the best gift she ever gave me. I should add that my Mum is also a knitting addict so I can truthfully say that I come by it honestly.

When did you start designing your own patterns?

I guess I’ve been doing so unconsciously for years but I always referred to it as winging it. I’d see a hat that I liked in a store and then go home and try to make it myself.

Do you have a favourite designer?

Lucy Hague. Her Celtic designs tug at my Scottish heritage and her use of elongated cables that travel horizontally always amazes me.

Is there a designer who has inspired your work?

Francoise Danoy, aka Frenchie at Aroha Knits. Always creating fabulous patterns and encouraging other to do the same, her newsletters, videos and online classes have been a great source of inspiration.

What inspires your work?

Colour is my biggest inspiration. I live on the East Coast so I’m fortunate to experience fiery sunrises over the ocean and forests full of varying shades of greens. Inspiration is easy to find when you’re surrounded by beauty.

Colour is indeed a passion of Trish’s, who could disagree with this after taking a look at her Chevron Striped Baby Blanket? What baby would not look adorable wrapped in this yellow, lilac, teal and aqua cover? This lovely little blanket is worked in Estelle Chunky, making it a fun and quick knit.

What has your work as a designer changed in your life?

It has given me a lot more confidence in my knitting and in myself.

What are your favourite types of items to knit?

Socks, shawls and hats. But I have to do my socks TAAT as I am an acute sufferer of second sock syndrome.

We’ve yet to ask Trish to design socks or hats for us, but now that we know they are among her favourite knits, we’ll be sure to add those to our list of requests.  We did ask Trish to create a three colour shawl using our Estelle Alpaca Merino Chunky and we were stunned by the results! The Harvest Shawl combines two shades of green with a warm orange shade, and is knit in a slip stitch pattern.  The addition of three tassels on each angle provides an elegant finishing touch.

What’s your current favourite colour?

A really deep indigo.

Do you have a favourite weight of yarn to work with?

Fingering, no doubt about it. There’s so much yardage in each skein which provides me with hours of enjoyment/entertainment. It’s all about the process for me, not the finish line.

What is your preferred fibre?

My personal preference is cashmere, but my budget prefers merino and silk blends.

What other hobbies do you have?

Sewing, dyeing, cross stitch and embroidery, and canoeing. It’s not unusual to see me knitting in the front of the canoe while my partner John paddles. We get lots of comments from other boaters that’s for sure!

Do you have a favourite technique or tip you would like to share with us?

I’m a big fan of Magic Loop and I love the finishing process in knitting. I love seaming – the rhythm of mattress stitch is meditative for me, and I love seeing it all magically come together and look seamless.

How did you come to design knitting patterns for Estelle Yarns?

As a former LYS owner, I worked with Estelle Yarns for years and developed a great relationship with them. When I closed my shop two years ago, I was asked if I’d be interested in doing some design work and the rest is history.

How do you connect to or are involved with the knitting community?

I teach all levels of knitting on a regular basis and I’m also involved in a number of knitting groups.

One pattern Trish might use in her knitting classes is her Field of Diamonds Cowl. We were really impressed with the way she combined two uniquely different yarns, Estelle DK in Peapod and Lumiere, a variegated wool/acrylic blend with a lovely luminescent sheen to it.  For added dimension and wow factor, Trish knit this cowl using the entrelac technique.

Thank you Trish, for taking the time to speak with us, and for creating a treasure trove of delightful patterns for beginner to advanced knitters everywhere!

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