Friday 25 November 2016

#GAL2016: Meet Susan Ashcroft

As part of the Indie Design GAL, I decided it would be nice to learn a bit more about some of the designers taking part, so over the course of the GAL, I will be posting interviews with some of my favourite designers. First up, we have Susan Ashcroft.


Susan Ashcroft is a well-established designer, having designed patterns for over five years (you may have seen her TGV shawl, Quaker Yarn Stretcher and Hogwart's Express shawl, which have been popular on Ravelry for years). Her approach is often mathematical, using a percentage system to design shawls that can be knitted in any yarn weight and at any gauge, with the aim of making the most of the yarn you have; last Christmas I knitted her Love Train shawl in some beautiful worsted weight yarn and it is now my most worn hand-knitted item. Susan's knits are simple and relaxed, and let the yarn do the talking; her blog is also an excellent source of tutorials and knitting tips and tricks.

TGV; image copyright Susan Ashcroft

Quaker Yarn Stretcher; image copyright Susan Ashcroft

Hogwart's Express; image copyright Susan Ashcroft

When did you learn to knit?

Not until I was about 13 - I taught myself from a book I got from the library.

How did you getting into designing and pattern writing?

I’ve been modifying patterns as long as I’ve been knitting - with TGV I came up with a slightly different construction so I thought share it and it all took off from there.

What designs do you have in the pipeline?

A collection inspired by my recent trip to Murano.

What’s your favourite knitting technique?

Mosaic knitting because it’s such an easy way to get colour effects. 
Often a specific yarn is my starting point and I try to find what will work best for that yarn to “do right by the yarn”.

Do you knit Christmas gifts? What are your favourite gift knits?

I give knitted items to friends/family throughout the year. If you come to dinner at my house, you’ll probably go home with a knitted item, so usually people get something different at Christmas.
But when I do make presents I tend to make smaller items like hats and gloves (I never have any of those “in stock”; they always seem to get adopted as soon as they’re finished).
Image copyright Susan Ashcroft
Susan Ashcroft can be found on Ravelry as stitchnerd, and blogs at

If you want to find out more about the Indie Design GAL, start by reading my blog post on the event, or head straight to the GAL group on Ravelry.*

*Note that you will have to signed in to Ravelry for this link to work. Joining Ravelry is free and Ravelry is an excellent resource for knitters and crocheters.

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