Catching Up with Eri Shimizu
Posted on August 19 2021
Knitwear designer Eri Shimizu models her latest pattern, Autumn Forest, now available at Stone Wool.
Here at Stone Wool, we’re halfway through August and getting ready for cooler weather and cozier knits. Just in time for this transitional season, we are excited to share our newest knitting pattern, Autumn Forest by Eri Shimizu (pictured above). Knitted with our incredibly soft and long-wearing DK weight Romney + Merino yarn, we’re certain this simple yet elegant pullover will be flying off your needles in no time.
Who better to introduce this pattern than the knitwear designer herself? Whether you’ve followed her from the beginning or are just hearing about her now, we’re positive that you’ll enjoy this down-to-earth interview with Eri who was happy to share a glimpse into her creative process.
Tell us about your beginnings as a knitter. How did you become a knitter? What made you want to try it?
I have watched my grandmother and mother knitting since I was a child. Therefore, knitting was very familiar to me. I think I imitated my mother and played with my knitting. But it wasn't like I was making anything, it was really just knitting, like playing with yarn.
What was your first project?
It was probably just a straight knitting scarf.
What made you decide to try designing?
I wanted to make something that I wanted to use.
Tell us a little about your creative process—where do your ideas come from?
I usually start by touching the yarn. As I ball it up in my hands, I use my fingertips to feel what the yarn looks like. Then I try to figure out what kind of stitches and shapes will work best with it. Since I do a lot of collaboration work now, I tend to think about the individuality of the yarn first and foremost, rather than choosing a yarn to match the stitch I want to use. And I really like this thinking time.
Autumn Forest has a lovely detail—a simple crossed stitch—that flows down the sleeve. It’s the perfect touch. Do you look for simple ways to embellish your patterns?
I like little details, so I like to put a little accent somewhere.
Do you feel you have a particular style in your designs? How would you describe them?
I discovered Ravelry seven years ago, and it was there that I learned the top-down technique. It was a big shock for me. So I want to make top-down clothing as much as possible.
Is there some kind of knitting that interests you that you haven’t tried yet?
I have never tried Fair Isle or steeking, but would like to do so someday.
Have you ever made a mistake that you’re grateful for because it taught you something?
There was a time when I was caught up in the idea of what "normal" should be, but I learned that knitting can be more freeing, and I feel that this has freed me up to create patterns.
Do you have a favorite kind of yarn to work with? Chunky, worsted weight, sport weight or finer?
I like lace and light fingering weight. However, depending on what I want to knit, thicker yarns fit better, so I like DK, which I used this time.
Did you enjoy working with the Romney + Merino for your project?
I loved the simple yet elegant and shiny feel of this yarn. When I saw the sample yarn, I immediately wanted to touch it.
What do you like to do when you’re not knitting?
During the summer months, I make preserved foods. We make sauces with tomatoes from the garden and blackberries. It is my pleasure to give them to my family and friends. Reading is also a necessary part of my daily routine.
Is there anything else you would like to say about creating your latest pattern for Stone Wool?
I've been attracted to Stone Wool for a long time because I felt that Stone Wool was very particular about their yarns. I was really happy to be able to spend time with Stone Wool this time, and to be able to knit Romney + Merino, which I have been interested in for a long time. My English is not very good, so I use a translator to write, but I would like to thank Stone Wool for being so kind and accommodating. Thank you very much.
- Eri Shimizu
We hope you enjoyed learning more about Eri and her creative process. Follow along on her knitting adventures on Instagram and Ravelry. And if you’re itching to cast on a project in Romney + Merino, be sure to check out her newest pattern Autumn Forest, now available at Stone Wool.