It has been such a wonderful treat to get to know one of our favorite designers a bit more! Please join us as we welcome the ever so lovely and so very talented, Julie Weisenberger of Cocoknits.
How did you get started knitting/into fiber arts?
I learned to knit while studying at the university in Salzburg, Austria – and completely fell in love!
What led you to Cocoknits/designing full time?
I had several jobs after college, but was always designing and knitting on the side…and one day a shop owner said they’d buy my designs. So I found knitters in Ireland and had them knit my designs – and sold to Henri Bendel, Nordstrom and many smaller boutiques across the country. This was all before designing for handknitters-
What’s a typical day like for you/at Cocoknits?
Oh man, wouldn’t it be nice if I could say I just knit all day?! Actually, like any business, it’s so much busy-work! Answering emails, paying taxes and bills, making sure everything is running smoothly while planning for the next show or workshop. Everyday is different, but for me it’s pretty much 7 days a week of at least a partial work day!
Where do you draw inspiration from or what inspires you the most?
I love to people-watch while traveling, as well as keep my eye on my favorite boutiques and designers and the inspiration is constant – I wish I had more time to knit and design!
When you’re not traveling and teaching around the world, what are some of your other hobbies/interests?
Well, I’ll never turn down a fabulous meal or glass of wine! I also love gardens and architecture and wandering through museums…
You’ve taught countless workshops and classes, do you have any favorites?
I still LOVE teaching the Cocoknits Method…at some point the lightbulb goes on – whether it’s the shoulder construction or the ease of the worksheet – almost everyone falls in love and I don’t think I’ll ever tire of that!
We absolutely love the Cocoknits Method! How did this come about?
Years of teaching and designing – and listening to my students! I’m always paying attention to what they like and dislike – so my challenge was to find the easiest and most seamless way to knit the most flattering sweaters! It all came together in one class at Clara Parkes retreat several years ago – and then I knew I had to write a book.
What’s your most favorite fibers and colors to knit with?
Um, my favorite today?! 😉 I can say I will never tire of WOOL and I’m a sucker for un-dyed or very natural colors – especially naturally dyed…
Current WIPs, FOs or any sneak peeks?
I just launched Olivia, Amy and Renee…and have two more coming soon. And I’m never not working on new designs, so stay tuned!!
Can we just take a moment to gush over all of the wonderful cocoknits knitting accoutrement? We love them all! Can you share a bit about them? Any new ones?
Thank you!! At some point I just got so frustrated with the lack of quality tools for knitters – I decided to just jump in and make my own. I avoid plastic and garish colors in every other part of my life, so why was I accepting it in my knitting life? No more bright green or pink plastic, please…I would like knitting to be taken seriously as a craft for women – not seen as a joke. No one laughs at a man for his woodworking hobby – it should be the same for women and knitting.
The latest are the 4-corner linen/leather bags and the washable kraft Accessory Roll and Project Portfolio – which I hope people will use for everyday life beyond knitting!
Favorite thing to listen to/do while you knit … podcast/book/movie/show/etc
I “watch” tv while knitting – and love pbs, netflix, prime, hulu….there is so much good stuff. I’m bad about listening to podcasts and I should probably start listening to books on audible since it’s hard to keep up with my reading!
Where can our readers find you? Any sneak peeks/what’s in store for Cocoknits?
Find us at Cocoknits.com and we have a BRAND NEW website launching hopefully the first week in March so please give it a spin and let us know how you like it. We are hoping it is a more streamlined experience for people and you’ll still have all your patterns in your cocoknits account whenever/wherever you need to access them…
We’re so excited to see your new website! Thanks for visiting our blog and we hope to see you soon, dear Julie!