Unwind with Justyna Lorkowska

Here we go, the last Unwind Brighton featured giveaway. I can't believe it's almost here (I can't believe I haven't packed yet- I leave tomorrow!). I'm still binding off my One The Pier but am hopeful to wear this stylish frothy shawl for everyone to see! Justyna is such an interesting designer for both adults and children and I was thrilled when she was one of the official KAL designers. I asked her a few questions to help me introduce you to her....

Justyna wearing her Yakushima  (c) Marcin Duda

Justyna wearing her Yakushima  (c) Marcin Duda

My name is Justyna Lorkowska. I live together with my husband and two kids in Toruń - a very beautiful and monumental city in central Poland. I've been knitting on and off since I was a young teen and shortly after I had my first baby I began designing knitwear. 

Where does your design inspiration come from?

That's a very nice question.  Sometimes the inspiration lies there in the yarn itself. Its color, structure, the way it feels next to skin. I'm a terrible stasher and most of the ideas that came to life had to spend some time in the yarn box, but once I knew what that particular skein wanted to be I could make the sweater in a week. But sometimes it's the opposite - I fall in love with a stitch pattern I come across and then frantically start digging through my stash to find a skein worthy of the idea. And my mind goes crazy. "what if I made a sweater with it?" "What about a hat?" I like this way of designing a lot - it's just me and yarn, and whatever there is in my head. Finally sometimes I'm inspired by, let's call it, "an occasion", like Unwind Brighton. When Dani and I decided I'd make something for the festival I sat down and thought "What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think Brighton?" And the answer was quick: "blue, white, the sea, the pier". Thankfully I had a skein of wonderful blue in my stash and the shawl was born in a couple of days.

On The Pier (c) Marcin Duda

On The Pier (c) Marcin Duda

What yarns are you drawn to when you design and create?

I must admit I don't like working with lace weights. My favorite weights are fingering and worsted. I absolutely love working with handdyed yarns and I really don't mind that you need to alternate skeins. Once you finish a sweater and you see how the colors play, you forget about all the tedious juggling with yarn balls. Finally, I love good merino blends - they are so nice to work with, very often have wonderful stitch definition and are durable (which is very important for me if I make something for my kids).

Peachick Eyes Cardigan (c) Justyna Lorkowska

Peachick Eyes Cardigan (c) Justyna Lorkowska

Do you have any other crafty hobbies?

As a matter of fact I do :-) Apart from knitting I love crocheting, but mostly blankets, and at the beginning of this year I also started quilting. 

Favourite summertime fruit?
Oh that's easy. Gooseberries and strawberries. 

What are your Unwind plans?

I'm so excited to be coming to Brighton this week and have lots of plans. On Sat and Sun I'll be attending classes with Ragga as I'm really interested in Icelandic knitting and steeks. Of course I'll be visiting the Market Place (probably many times until my yarn money runs out :-)) to admire the yarn and meet people. So if you see me do not be shy and say hi! In the evening we (I'm taking my Hubby with me) will be having fun at Pompom shindig.

I'm turning into quite the Justyna fan (seriously, my queue quadrupled just writing this post!) and hope you are too. If you'd like to make On The Pier with me, Justyna has 3 copies to giveaway. All you have to do is leave a comment, telling me your favourite Justyna design along with your Ravelry ID by midday GMT Friday 11th 2014. I'll announce a winner from Brighton hopefully!