Indie Designer of the Week: OGE Knitwear Designs
The darling baby knitting patterns from OGE Knitwear Designs are positively bursting with cuteness, which is most probably why LoveKnitting customers can’t seem to get enough of them! That’s why we’re particularly excited that Vera Stensrud, the Australian designer behind the brand, has designed a baby blanket pattern just for LoveKnitting. The Cathedral Heirloom Baby Blanket was inspired by England’s great cathedrals and the growing excitement about a certain royal baby. You can get your hands on this exclusive design here or to browse all OGE Knitwear Designs patterns click here.
We spoke to Vera about her knitwear design business and the inspiration behind her gorgeous Cathedral Heirloom Baby Blanket.
Above: OGE Knitwear Designs’ Cathedral Heirloom Baby Blanket was inspired by the cloisters of England’s cathedrals
Hi Vera! Tell us a little bit about yourself
I am a daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, aunt, out-law (just kidding) and friend to many. I also have an obsession, and passion…. I love to design and knit – my mind is constantly thinking about the next project. I do silly little sketches on any paper lying around when inspiration hits and there are lots of sketches that I need to fine tune. I love to travel and get a lot of my inspiration from nature and architecture.
I would move to England if it was not for the fact that all my family is in Australia (I absolutely adore England… the people, the countryside, the little villages, castles and cathedrals, the list goes on and on). My husband and I have had a few trips over the years driving around England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. We loved it – rain, hail or shine!!!
Most of my days are spent, designing, knitting, writing up patterns, desktopping (this was my previous occupation), the list goes on…. and sometimes I manage to fit in some of the more mundane things. I am extremely lucky to have a husband who is so very supportive and he will often pick up where I have left off if inspiration hits!!!
You’ve designed the most beautiful baby blanket that is exclusive to LoveKnitting for three months – we love it, thank you! Tell us a little bit about what inspired the design.
The inspiration for this blanket came from our recent visit to England. I spent many hours roaming through all the beautiful Cathedrals and Castles scattered throughout England, Ireland and Wales and was amazed by the intricate detail of the architecture, especially in Gloucester Cathedral. The incredible ceiling in the cloister was absolutely amazing and I knew I had to somehow incorporate this detail into one of my designs.
With the coming event of a Royal Baby I immediately set about designing a special blanket for the new royal bub.
Have you got any top tips for people wanting to knit the Cathedral Baby Blanket?
I suggest reading through all the pattern instructions first and perhaps knit up a small sample of the design. Once you get the hang of this pattern it is really quite therapeutic to knit up. My pattern comes with quite a few photo shots and detailed instructions to assist with how to complete a certain stitch, plus abbreviations, explanations, extra notes and a chart for part of the pattern.
What drew you to designing for children?
I have always adored hand knitted garments for babies. I took up knitting when I had my children and my passion for knitting little items grew from there. I loved the fact that you could knit something so delicate and small and it was done in no time… When you have babies there is not a lot of time for yourself, which I am sure most young mums can relate to. I found that knitting was very de-stressing and therapeutic, which possibly helped to make me a calmer mum.
Tell us the story of your first knitting pattern.
My very first knitting pattern was for a Christening outfit, very ambitious of me I know. I really wanted to create something different. I have to admit I have never finished that one, it’s still on my to do list to complete.
Of your previous designs, which have been the most popular?
My most popular design has been for little girls – ‘Baby Angel Top’. I think this may have something to do with the fact that there is absolutely no sewing involved with this garment.
Above: The best selling Baby Angel Top and Textured Round Yoke Baby Sweater with Matching Hat
Your photographs are lovely – how do you photograph your work?
I really enjoy taking photos and spend a lot of time trying to capture the texture of the garment, as well as getting the right light and props. It’s a bit more difficult if you have a little model that won’t sit still! Though I must admit the end result is usually better with a little person wearing the design, as this helps to show how it will look on a bub or child.
What would be your three tips for someone looking to start designing his/ her own patterns?
- I truly believe you must be passionate about what you are doing, I guess this applies to most things in life if you want to succeed.
- Hopefully have a degree in maths….. just kidding! This is my biggest problem as I sometimes really feel mathematically challenged when trying to produce several sizes in the design.
- Create your own style. I know there are millions of beautiful patterns out there, however once you find your expertise, go with that. I love, love, texture, and simplicity, so I usually try to achieve these, either in a pattern, or by using a particular yarn.
If you were a yarn , what would you be and why?
Would have to say, without a doubt, a super fine merino wool. I am super soft, feel superb, silky and smooth, and breathe with the body, and most babies’ skin love me. I also produce some fantastic texture and knit up so evenly.
What do you love most about being a knitwear designer?
When the knitter has taken the time out to let me know that they are thrilled with their garment when complete and send photos of beautiful little bubs wearing my creations, lovingly knitted by them. Also the knowledge that my patterns will go on long after me and hopefully be enjoyed by the knitters of the world for many years to come.
To shop the full range of patterns from OGE Knitwear Designs, click here.
Last updated: January 28th, 2015.