Tucson summers were made for sitting on the porch watching dramatic sunsets and knitting, preferably with a glass of something cool close to hand.
Of course, the wool blend blanket I’m working on has been relegated to ‘air-conditioned areas only’ knitting. Porch knitting is all about the cottons, linens, bamboos and silks.
Right now, it’s Yumiko Alexander’s River Ripples pattern in DanDoh Silk+ that has my attention. I was so taken with how good River Ripples looked on one of our regulars, Kathy, a couple of months ago, that I added River Ripple pattern to my summer list.
Sometimes seeing the piece up close, how it drapes, how it feels can convince you of your desperate need to make the item – I think that might be especially true when considering knits for the desert. That’s why we’re so excited about this trunk show with a twist.
Trunk show with a twist
Rather than focusing solely on the yarn, this rotating trunk show will focus on design. Samples of Yumiko Alexander’s designs rotate from one local yarn shop to another. Each sample is made with DanDoh yarns which we carry at Birdhouse Yarns.
This month we have Yumiko’s Urban Chic, Shania and Oasis samples for you to check out!
UrbanChic by Yumiko AlexanderShania by Yumiko Alexander
Meet the designer
We asked the designer a few questions about her approach and knitwear in the desert.
Yumiko Alexander hails originally from Japan, but moved to the Arizona desert when she was 27 years old. Her designs and choices of yarn reflect both a modern, simplistic aesthetic and practical garments and accessories for the desert.
What patterns and yarn would you recommend desert knitters to chose from your designs and yarns?
Most of the designs are great for warm months, but I really recommend Cotton Fine yarn for wear in the warmer months. The surface of the yarn has a special coating which aids in moisture absorption and evaporation to keep cool in warm. It make great shade for a skin from the sun as well.
Where do you source your yarn?
DanDoh Yarn comes from Japan. I design my yarn with the manufacturer in Japan.
What inspires your designs?
My design ideas come what I want to have in my closet. I love decorative garments that I can wear with a simple tank top. When I dress in the morning and feel something is missing from my closet, that becomes my next design.
Which of your patterns is a favorite?
I like many of my designs, but I wear the Chic, the Sunset Dunes, and the Seasons often to go out.
How has your design process and aesthetic evolved since you started?
I used to like complicated designs that only some people enjoy knitting. My designs have got simpler, but I make use of fun stitch patterns. So my designs are good for many knitters.
Thank you Yumiko.
Watch our Instagram and Facebook platforms for updates on the show.