Romi Hill, Teacher, Designer and Creator of Beautiful

Romi Hill, teacher, designer and creator of beautiful, was our guest today on the Yarn Thing podcast with Marly Bird, we think for our 301st episode at Blogtalk, it doesn’t get more special.Romi HIll

Romi called in from her home in the Sierra Mountains. We could hear her love of the area as she described the forest, and the high desert elevations. We can imagine her gazing out the window at the beauty of her neighborhood, reminices with us about her crafting history. She says she learned to knit at age 9, but had probably learned to crochet much earlier, around 4, and took her a long time to convince her mother to teach her to knit, when the rest of her family were crocheters. It was the feel of the fabric knitting creates that drew her, especially mohair. She knit through high school and college, picking yarn from the sale bins, improvising projects with bits from different patterns. When she was pregnant with her second son, and so sick that there was not much she could do, she became really engrossed in her knitting. At that time, internet was really becoming a helpful tool for finding help and communities for knitters. She attended Stitches West and purchased lace-weight yarn to create a giant shawl. Romi admits it was hard for her to read her knitting, discouraging to because it was hard to imagine the mess in her lap would become anything near as beautiful as the pattern would be.

Romi loved the lace but thought it really needed a pin to keep it in place so that wearing it would not be so fiddly. This was a natural thought as she had been making beaded pieces as a teenager. About ten years ago, she started posting her jewelry online. Her first published pattern was beaded napkin rings through Knitty, later she published through Interweave a beaded knit and crochet jewelry book.

Marly asked Romi where she gets her ideas for her designs. Obviously, it comes through her muse, because she seems to draw it from many different directions. It may be from a stitch dictionary, even heavily modified, or from her walks and adventures in the area she lives. Often she worries about the designs as they are being created that they are what people want to create for themselves, and really can’t believe anyone will want to until her original creation is blocked does she see it as something to share.

One of her first self-published collections 7 Small Shawls, she says was inspired by the story in the movie Julie & Julia, to see the progress through a year long creative project, and it has continued for five years! Romi says she loves seeing what others create and the yarns they use.

Craftsy has also asked Romi to teach her love of lace shawl knitting, New Directions in Lace  (Marly’s affiliate link) in a project driven format, to create Fiori Autumnali, a beautiful shawl… not a surprise but it is something we all love that we can sit through Romi’s process and be Part Of The Process With Her.

With her new book, New Lace Knitting, Designs for Wide Open Spaces, Romi created pieces that combine timeless pieces with beloved lace styling in a fresh way. Her goal was that the pieces become wardrobe staples, worn to the office or an evening out.

Looking forward, Romi is working on the next Pins & Lace Club also, which is something knitters get weak in the knees with as it combines Romi’s pattern and the yarn it was created for and her beautiful pins, jewelry created by Romi! Check out her Ravelry Group for more information or this page in her website.

Romi Hill (who often can be found as Rosemary Hill) has a website: designsbyRomi.com, we can follow her designer page in Ravelry, she has a business page in Facebook, also in Twitter and Instagram as RomiDesigns.

If you missed getting to hear this LIVE it is still available as an archive where it aired originally: https://www.blogtalkradio.com/yarnthing/2015/10/27/romi-hill-teacher-designer-and-creator-of-beautiful or in iTunes



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  1. yarning4asmile says:

    Despite the bitter taste it leaves in my mouth I VOW to swatch before any lace project…. because Romi says so 😉 I loved the show and Love Romi’s Designs. I need want this book!!!

  2. Erin says:

    I’m one of those knitters who skips the swatch step. However, I want to get into making more garments, so I think soon I won’t be able to avoid it!

    I really enjoyed this episode, and particularly hearing about the inspiration behind Romi’s designs and names. Learning those details always brings a pattern to life for me. So thank you!

  3. Jennifer Purtee says:

    Making a swatch is my least favorite thing about knitting and crocheting. I really enjoyed the show and learning about Romi.

  4. Audrey says:

    The magic of knitting a lacey swatch is in the blocking…seeing the pattern show itself proudly. Love Romi’s designs!

  5. Mona says:

    I enjoyed listening to Romi talk about her love of lace knitting. It is important to swatch but it is so frustrating!

  6. Linda says:

    I really loved the podcast with Romi. I love her patterns!!! I simply have to get her new book. I don’t think knitting a swatch is THAT important for shawl knitting. At least that is my excuse for never knitting one.

  7. Debbie Rotondo says:

    I have learned the knitting of a swatch can save me from the disappointment of a project not turning out correctly at the end. I love lace knitting and the magic that happens when it’s blocked. Romi, your patterns are fabulous!

  8. Lisa Nixon says:

    First – congrats to Marly for recording her 301st podcast on blog radio! That is a great accomplishment for you – and a wonderful contribution to the world of knitters and crocheters!. Romi was a delightful guest….even if she doesn’t use sock yarn to make socks! SWATCH……that evil word – but if so many promote it….perhaps it is a wise thing to do.

  9. Thekla says:

    What an interesting person. Thank you for the interview. I confess to having to take a deep breath before I begin a new pattern, crochet or knit, and swatch…then I rip it back out to use the yarn. 🙂

  10. bonniejane says:

    Thank you for interviewing Romi. Her patterns are so beautiful and I cannot wait to swatch for one of her patterns.

  11. Anita Dodds says:

    Swatching is not the problem. It is always that I can’t wait to start a new project. And I am not known for my patience.
    It was delightful to learn more about Romi. I have made a few of her patterns and loved them. I can’t wait to see her new book and I will definitely check out her Craftsy class.

  12. Dawna says:

    I have learned that making a gauge swatch is crucial to knitting a garment. Once you get into the habit of swatching and in turn your sweaters fit perfectly, you don’t ever fear the swatch again! I love Romi’s patterns and think she is a brilliant designer.

  13. Ramona says:

    I cannot lie – I do not like to swatch. I always have this crazy idea that I will run out of yarn by just the amount the I used the swatch. Crazypants, I know!

  14. Lori Biamonte says:

    I just heard of another great reason to swatch. Our church is collecting 4″ knitted prayer squares for parishioners with cancer to carry in their pockets to doctor appointments and treatments. So I am now more determined to swatch to assure a good fitting sweater and to let someone know I’m praying for them.

    Loved the podcast as always.

  15. Debbie Austin says:

    To swatch or not to swatch? I have found out it is sometimes necessary. But I will do everything possible to get out of it! I really enjoyed the show and learning about Romi. I love lace knitting!!

  16. Juanita says:

    Swatching, swatching, swatches. As much as we don’t like to do them, they have their reason to exist and bother us.

  17. Katelyn M says:

    Thanks for another great show Marly. I really enjoyed listening and learning. I can’t wait to get my own copy of this book. Well, I must go swatch now for my next project.

  18. hotknitter says:

    I’ve loved Romi’s shawls forever. I don’t always swatch for patterns although I know I should. Bad me.

  19. Michelle says:

    Swatching swatching looks who swatching….its me! I don’t mind swatching, honestly. It is relaxing and a great way to avoid mistakes.

  20. Laura says:

    Wow, I keep saying I’m going to learn to knit and this has just sealed the deal. I think lace shawls are BEAUTIFUL and the Town Square Shawl is one of the prettiest I think I’ve ever seen! And I’m on board with swatching and blocking. In fact, I just finished take 2 of a swatch for an MCAL. Will see if this one measures up better after it dries. Thanks for the show!

  21. Vicki Lynch says:

    I used to make 1″ X 2″ swatches, how ridiculous is that? After several years of knitting I’ve finally figured out that swatting isn’t a waste of yarn, it actually saves you from wasting your time and yarn on a project that isn’t going to turn out as you planned. The designs in the new book are lovely.

  22. Mary L. says:

    I enjoyed listening to Romi and learning all about of her. I swatch for almost all of my projects and then I use the swatches for something else once the projects are complete!

  23. Wendy Senter says:

    What a great podcast, I can’t wait to get my hands on the new book! I have made a few of Romi’s shawls and have several more in my queue. I don’t generally swatch for shawls–I just wing it and hope I don’t run out of yarn! I will have to though, to make some of the gorgeous sweaters in this book!

    Wendy (Wendeluu on Ravelry)

  24. Stephanie Axman says:

    Great podcast. I’m going to look up Romi’s patterns. I hate switching, but I know it’s a necessary evil

  25. Valerie says:

    I am just starting to believe that I need to swatch when I do a shawl. It really can make a difference in the size I achieve.

  26. Amy L. says:

    I like to swatch – I like getting the feel of the yarn and the insurance of having a garment that fits and has the correct proportions. Loved this podcast – especially the interplay between Marly and Romi. So informative and enjoyable!

  27. Andrea Gallagher says:

    Thanks for the great podcast with Romi. I fell in love with her designs at Stitches West a couple years ago. (I think Nouvelle Lace Knitting was a better name.)

    I admit that I do not always make a swatch, but if it’s a new yarn and a new stitch pattern, it can be a big time saver. I need to remember that patience is a virtue and that swatching and washing and blocking the swatch will really tell me if I’ve put the right yarn and pattern together.

  28. Mary Anne Cox says:

    So fun to listen to Romi even if I don’t like making a swatch. I was just on a road trip down through her neighborhood. Nevada is beautiful. Back home now and this week I’ll be at knit night with Tammy Burke!!

  29. Suzanne says:

    It’s hard to be a knitter and not know who Romi is! I need to do a better job incorporating the swatching process in my knitting work. I just cast on another shawl without swatching and you guessed it, I need to rip out and start again. I didn’t get gauge. I hope this is the experience that teaches me the swatch lesson!

  30. Mary Kay says:

    I have learned the hard way about swatching. I don’t knit many garments (mostly accessories), but I will definitely swatch the next time I do. Thanks for another fascinating podcast!

  31. Lisa Sauer says:

    I think I will have to overcome the fear of the swatch in favor of trying some lace knitting and Romi’s lovely designs!

  32. Carol T says:

    Swatching is SO important, at least that is what I tell myself. :o)) What a wonderful interview with Romi! And, because both of you said to swatch every time, I guess that I will have to do it from now on. I love Romi’s patterns and am looking forward to see her new book. Thanks for a great interview, Marly.

  33. Kelly says:

    After listening to you both recite the vertues of Swatching, I will join everyone else in vowing to do a better job of swatching. I always knit a swatch, I don’t always bind off the swatch, or block it, I usually just measure it on my needles, or take the swatch off the needles and measure it and look at the fabric to see how I like it before I frog the swatch. Now I know better

Marly Bird

The One and Only, Marly

Marly is a knitwear and crochet designer (and yarn addict) that is here to help you learn how to knit and crochet in a way that's fun and approachable.

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