Cecelia Campochiaro

campochiaro-portrait It is my absolute pleasure to introduce Cecelia Campochiaro to you all, my readers. My sequence of how I got to know Cecelia: First, I learned from Lisa Souza that she had written a beautifully done book on knitting. Second, I went to our trade show TNNA and actually met Cecelia while she was signing books there. Third, I made sure that I will meet with her over coffee to get to know her and what she is doing better. In conclusion of my sequence I was so thrilled to learn that she looked at knitting stitch patterns from the mathematical point of view and came up with the simple solution that anyone can use to create different fabrics. What she is done is artistic, creative, inspiring, and plain beautiful. Now we can learn together more about Cecelia and her creative work.

1. When did you start knitting and who taught you?
When I was 12 a friend’s mother taught me how to knit. I spent a lot of time planning knitting, but when it actually came to doing the knitting I was never happy with my work. The interaction of fiber, gauge, tension were fuzzy in my mind until I took up knitting again later in life. My thoughts on these subjects continues to evolve, but suffice it to say that I am now happy with most things I make, because if I start something and it is not going well I know enough to stop and rethink it before investing all that effort.

 2. When did you begin publishing your books/designs?
Sequence Knitting is my first knitting-related publication.

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3. What is your most favorite knitting (crocheting) technique?
I like very simple knitting. A 1-row pattern in knits and purls is calming to me – and it is especially fun if I can create a complex fabric with a simple approach.
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4. When you are thinking about some new design, what inspires you the most? Is it different every time? Could you give us some examples on inspiration for some of your designs?   Sometimes I’ll see an image like a landscape and I’ll take a photo of it to remember the colors. Colors of scenes can be a big source of inspiration. I also like strong graphic images, which can be found in art, architecture, or urban landscapes.
 5. What does your studio look like?
It’s just a desk in my house. I don’t really have a studio. Sometimes I’ll leave yarn out on a table for a few days or weeks to enjoy it and consider how to use it.
6. What is your most favorite place to knit?
In my living room.
7. Do you spin your own yarn?
No. I do have a Hansen espinner, and I have spun a little bit. I love handspun yarn and I do have a stash of it, but I have not put in the time to become skilled. Given all the ideas I’m working on right now it is low priority. However, I have some friends who spin and I am very appreciative to use their handspun. Handspun has qualities that machine-made yarn just does not have, and with handspun you can make unique pieces.
8. Do you belong to a knitting group?
Yes, we have an informal group that meets at a cafe on Sunday mornings. Some of the people who come also do sample knitting for me. I love seeing my friends and we all enjoy talking and drinking coffee while knitting.
 9. Are you in touch with other designers and how do you communicate with the knitters who knit your designs?
I have a few designer friends, but we don’t talk often because we live far apart. I use Ravelry and email to communicate with knitters who are exploring Sequence Knitting.
 10. Where can we see your published designs?
Sequence Knitting. There is a free pattern on Ravelry called Abelan that people can do to get a feeling for the serpentine method in Sequence Knitting. It is a disrupted 3×3 rib created by repeating [K9, P3], and can be used to make a scarf, shawl or cowl. Every yarn I’ve tried looks nice in this stitch pattern: solids, variegated yarns, fuzzy yarns worked openly, and handspun.
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11. Do you teach classes? If yes, where do you teach?
I’ve been teaching at yarn shops – my schedule is on my web site at www.sequenceknitting.com.
 12. What would you like to tell knitters who are timid and do not believe they are skillful enough to knit some of your designs?
Most of my designs are easy and suitable for knitters at all levels. If you can cast on, cast off, knit and purl you are ready for Sequence Knitting.
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13. What are your plans in the near future?
I’m teaching and evangelizing about Sequence Knitting. It is such a simple way to make interesting fabrics that I hope all knitters will try it. The concept can be used by knitters of all levels and designers too.
 14. Can you share with us some of your latest designs?
Wegner, Sequence Knitting
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15. Would you like to add anything about yourself?
I’d just like to add that I love to create beautiful things with a simple working process. Sequence Knitting came about from my journey to find this balance.
FG: Cecelia, thank you very much for this interview. I can’t wait to see what else you come up with in your exploration of knitting stitches. This is fascinating!! Good luck with your plans and I am sure many of my readers will be looking at your website to buy your book and to catch you teaching .