I asked Michelle my Five Questions, and here’s how she answered.
1) Tell us a little about yourself.
I live in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, which is in northern Canada. I have lived here pretty well all my life so knitwear has always been a staple in my wardrobe. I can’t imagine not living in knitwear! I learned to knit when I was young but didn’t stick with it. I always meant to get back to it but didn’t until I had my own children and decided that I was going to knit hats and mittens for them. I started knitting obsessively and haven’t stopped since.
I am still knitting for my kids, who are teenagers now, and for my husband and of course for myself. I am a teacher and school administrator but I’m on my year off right now – so I have even more time for knitting – yay!
2) How did you start designing?
I often modified the patterns I was knitting and there were certain things I always changed to fit my needs or my style. So I just eventually decided that I should write my own patterns to share those techniques or ideas that I thought were important. I gave it a try and it became very addictive! For me it brings together so many things I enjoy – knitting, creating, writing, publishing. It is very rewarding.
3) How would you describe your design style?
That’s a hard question to answer. I just design what feels right to me and that is hard to put into words. I guess the words I would use to describe my design style would be: uncomplicated, clean, simple, symmetrical, natural, textural, luxurious. I love to work with luxurious fibres like wool, silk, and cashmere.
I design accessories, which are great for gift knitting, probably because most of my own knitting has always been accessories that I give to others.
4) What is your favourite pattern of your own design?
That changes all the time. Right now my favourite pattern is my Fashion Forward Cowl. It is big and squishy and warm. I’m really in love with it.
My first scarf pattern – Just A Little Twist – will always have a special place in my heart because it was my first paid pattern and it sold really well when I published it. It was such a thrill!
5) Are you doing any gift knitting this year?
My holiday gift knitting is always primarily for my mom and for my sister. They are my biggest fans and I always knit for them at Christmas. So yes, I have ordered the yarn and I will be getting to work on that very, very soon. I can’t give away all the details here (they could be listening), but I might be knitting a Fashion Forward Hat or two this season!
I’d like to thank Michelle so much for her great answers. It’s been a real pleasure browsing through her designs for this interview, they really are gorgeous.
Michelle has been so generous to keep the tradition of providing a free pattern to one commenter on the interview. So, leave a comment below, telling us your favourite Leah Michelle Designs pattern, before midnight MST on Tuesday, December 1st and I will do a draw the next day to choose a winner. Good luck!