This is Vala: Designer of the Month Interview

GTS had the lucky chance to snag an interview with the current Designer of the Month, Vala. And for your viewing pleasure, here are a few photos of pieces she has made for the shop.

Rusty House Socks. Design and photo by Vala.

Rusty House Socks
Design and photo by Vala.

Peach Collar. Design and photo by Vala.

Peach Collar
Design and photo by Vala


Winter Heather Fair Isle Wrist Warmers  Design and photo by Vala

Winter Heather Fair Isle Wrist Warmers
Design and photo by Vala

Ginger Twist Studio: How old were you when you started knitting? And how was it that you started and who taught you?

Vala: At around the age of Nine and I was taught by my Grandmother. I remember vividly she was working on a fair-isle jumper and concentrating hard on it, and because I kept interrupting her she asked me if I would like to learn to knit. I guess to keep me quiet.

GTS: What is your favourite type and/or colours of yarn/wool?

Vala: Any type of pure wool, it just works perfect every time. At the moment any type of rich blue is a favourite

GTS: When did you get into designing and how?

Vala: My Friends Russell and Julie had just opened a bookshop called Analogue Books in Edinburgh, I had this idea that I could sell a product through their shop, I had made for myself a pair of wrist-warmers that had small beads knitted in to them. So I made a few pairs and my Partner Iain designed an illustrated box to pack them in, I reckon Analogue sold around a hundred pair, and that led me to having at some point around 5 other outlets for them, it also led to Iain becoming involved in illustration.

GTS: What is your favourite thing to design, and where do you get your inspiration?

Vala: I really enjoy fair-isle knitting and I try to keep my designs pretty simple. I’m inspired by lots of things, the big two would be films and books.

GTS: So you knit, crochet, and teach both skills. What else do you enjoy doing?

Vala: I’m also one half of the design team The Lindstrom Effect, so I’m always kept busy with that, other things are just the usual stuff, TV, films, music, books.

GTS: Would you say your photographer’s eye influences what you like to knit?

Vala: Yeah but in an indirect way I suppose, photography has made me be a very visual person, I get excited by all sorts of things that I suppose a lot of people skip past, the other night I paused a tv show to look at a sculpture on the mantle-piece behind the actors. It just struck me as a bit of an unusual shape, and that’s it, filed away in the old grey cells.

GTS: What are on your needles now, and what is the next project you have planned?

Vala: I just finished a baby cardigan and I think I’ll make myself a jumper next, I’ve got lots of lovely grey wool that would work perfectly. Maybe some influence from that Sculpture I saw on Tv will sneak in too.