Joji Knits, designer Joji Locatelli was today’s guest on the Yarn Thing Podcast with Marly Bird, all the way from Argentina! This made for a Great adventure for a live program.
Joji (pronounced Ho-Hee) says she learned to knit at about age 8, mom taughter her to a garter stitch scarf. Not exciting and the yarn was not a thrill so that was it till she was in University she started thinking about taking crafts up. At 24, she was about to get married but decided to quit smoking. Her mom had left some needles at her house and she picked up knitting again.
At first she didn’t have access to patterns, with her mom’s help she was able to improvise in her knitting. Then she found Ravelry. There she was able to follow her favorite designers and improve her skills, till she became a designer herself.
When she starts a design, she has an idea of what she wants to make but it sounds like the particulars work themselves out in process. In the beginning, she was so engrossed with what she was working on, she would forget to write things down as she worked on them. Even without completely understanding English her designs communicate classic beauty.
In spite of the changes in import/export laws, which makes it hard for someone like Joji to purchase yarn. she says ‘Don’t Worry’ she has a good supply at hand. Malabrigo is from Uruguay, right next door to Argentina! Sometimes, the colors she is sent by a yarn designer is not what she had in mind, and then she finds the design becomes based on the yarn itself.
Her latest design, Japan Sleeves, based on another of her cardigan designs, Old Romance, incorporates lacework from Japanese charts, and has been very popular among JojiKnits fans. Old Romance was very well received, which inspired her to continue the thought of the lace panels down the sleeves and the rest of the sweater constructed from that. Then she was sharing her inspiration for Japan Sleeves and the thought of stripes and her friend reminded her stripes in this would be like shawls that you see often. Working out the stripes in the short rows, but she loves that the design came together well.
Another of Joji’s designs that is popular is Boxy and Buttony. a next step after Boxy, by their nature as oversized and their boxy shape becomes comfortable and drapey. (Joji later shared that she personally likes the Boxy design so much she wears it all the time!) She also discussed how the feminine shape of Meridien comes together.
Joji says she gets most of her designing done in the evenings after her two boys go to bed. Her husband does freelance work as well, so this works for her family very well! Check out her designs in Ravelry: https://www.ravelry.com/designers/joji-locatelli
If you missed listening LIVE, the show can still be heard at: https://www.blogtalkradio.com/yarnthing/2014/09/09/joji-knits or if iTunes is more convenient: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/joji-knits/id313541727?i=318697507&mt=2
Lori Lambert says:
Any YARN would look lovely with Joji’s designs!
I absolutely loved the show today! It was so nice talking to Joji and her beautiful designs and she was so sweet. I look forward to yarn shopping for my Boxy sweater.
I thoroughly enjoy listening to your podcasts Marly, and one day I’d love to try using some of that Bijou Basin Ranch yak yarn that you have talked about.
Joji knows what to do with yarn. Love the drape and comfort of her designs.
What Joji does with yarn makes me want to learn to knit, Boxy looks so comfy. Thanks for the podcast!
Loved listening to live podcast yesterday. Now I feel better too that I often buy pretty yarn and then let it speak to me about what it wants to become 🙂
Sylvia Taplin says:
Joji has an amazing eye to match yarn and design. This makes all the difference in a knitted garment
Joji’s patterns are beautiful. I can’t wait to make a Boxy and Toujours with my yarn stash.
Lesa Vasiliou Tusti. says:
Great interview. My first time listening, but it won’t be my last. Joji’s patterns pair fantastically with The Plucky Knitter yarn.
What a great podcast, I’m so thrilled that I go to call in and talk to Joji in Spanish! I love how she talked about how she writes patterns based on yarn. She chooses the yarn and then from there decides what the yarn will become. I do it totally reversed, explains why I’m not a designer 🙂
It was lovely to hear at about Joji’s love of yarn! What a fun interview.
Wouldn’t you just love to have access to Joji’s yarn stash? Very enjoyable interview and fun to dream about which two patterns I’d pick if I win the prize!
I love to hear people’s yarn stories. I also love to hear about people’s love of yarn since I love yarn too. Great interview.
I need more yarn to knit all the gorgeous designs by Joji! Great interesting interview.
Shelly Bagchi says:
Great interview! Love how Joji designs around a particular yarn.
Deila Hiebert says:
Love this podcast. You have the best guests. My yarn is calling me to knit one or two of Joji patterns.
It was so nice talking to Joji. I cannot wait to go yarn shopping and start the Boxy sweater. I’ve been intimidated to do a knit sweater but feel that if I want it bad enough, I can figure it out. Time for more YARN!!!
Can’t imagine designing with yarn like Joji! Amazing! Thanks for this great show!
I also love the Boxy sweater! I wonder what yarn I should make it with?
Love the podcast! I too have yarn that is waiting to see what it’ll be when it grows up.
The color of yarn that Joji chooses complements her designs perfectly.
Michaeline Reed says:
I love Joji’s designs! She is one of my favorites. Any YARN in her hands is always going to bloom into something beatiful!
I have followed your patterns for a long time. I first saw them knit in Plucky yarn, you are so creative!!
I have knit several shawls from Joji’s pattern Imagine. No matter what kind of yarn used, I have been pleased. Have several patterns in my Ravelry queue, just have to see what is in my yarn stash that will work.
Love JoJi! And the story about her trading smoking for knitting with yarn was a riot!
Vicki Lynch says:
As always, an entertaining show. I loved the story of how you posted and got help with the layover in NY. After all, you had precious cargo to consider with suitcases full of yarn and wonderful city to explore. I’m glad a local knitter was able to come through for you.
Great podcast. Thank you Marly. I am already shopping for yarn to use to knit my first Joji pattern
Thanks for another great podcast. I enjoy knitting with my yarn while I listen to you talk with your fantastic guests.
Thank you for a great interview! I’m definitely a great fan of Joji, her choices of yarn and her beautiful designs.
Stephanie Axman says:
I have followed Joji’s patterns for a while and finally decided to do the fall kal and try to do Buttony & Boxy. But there are so many of her patterns I love!! It was interesting to hear the due to laws she isn’t able to get yarn as readily as we do. It’s amazing that she manages to get her hands on such wonderful yarn. She has such a great eye!
Loved the show!!!
What a fascinating show! I love Joji’s patterns. I have the Worsted Boxy in my queue; now I just need to figure out which yarn to knit it in.
I would like to have some of the yarn in Joji’s stash to knit the Grandpa Cardigan.
jsevensenJoan Evensen says:
I thoroughly enjoyed this podcast. I love Joji’s designs. Even though I thought Boxy might not be flattering, Joji convinced me that the right yarn will make it drape so it looks beautiful! (Like I need a reason for more yarn… 😉
I can’t imagine not being able to buy yarn whenever I wanted. I would probably want to squirrel away a large stash too. I am now super tempted to knit a boxy. It’s flattering but looks so warm and cozy.
It was fun to hear Joji talk about her patterns and to hear her explain how her design process is yarn-driven. If I had enough yarn and enough time, I would have to knit quite a few of her designs. I especially like Meridien, Ecuador and So Close.
I love Joji’s patterns, and have purchased so many and even knit a few, I now need to match up yarn to knit some more. She is such a fabulous designer and so inspiring.
Mary Gladue says:
Loved your interview with Joji. I have knit a few of her patterns. Her designs look great whether you use a solid or verigated yarn.
Malinda Pelham says:
Love Joji designs and I have to look for yarn to knit the Boxy sweater.
I loved listening to her adventures with yarn! It would be so heartbreaking not to be able to just sit down at my computer, order yarn, and have it shipped to me. I am glad she finds other ways to get yarn!
What Joji does with yarn is just beautiful! I cannot wait to make a Boxy sweater, as soon as I finish my Lipstick KAL.
Penny Halverson says:
I love Joji patterns! And now I know how to pronounce her name correctly. As always, a great interview, thank you for finding great guests.