Designer Interview: Sarah Sipe

Here is my last designer interview for the Giftalong (remember the Giftalong?) — last but not least, by far. Sarah is my partner in crime design. We sit on her couch together some weeks and chat about this and that; other weeks we go out to a coffee shop or on a fiber field trip.

Often, something she says will spark an idea for me, or vice versa. Other times, we’ll solve each other’s technical issues.

And she’s the one of the very few people I know of who’s used my secret code techniques to make her own designs for at least a personal project. (Here’s our friend O’s post about Sarah’s 99 Names of God.)

Designer interview: Sarah Sipe

Sarah often uses the Durham area as inspiration for her designs. Her most recent pattern release in this vein is the Fitzgerald Bricks hat (Ravelry link), shown above. It uses mosaic knitting (easier than it looks) and a combination of gradient handspun and solid commercial yarn (though it could use any two contrasting worsted-weight yarns).

Designer Interview: Sarah Sipe
© Kathryn Walbert

I’ve knit her Circulus (Ravelry link) from our spindle hat book for the Giftalong.

Designer Interview: Sarah Sipe
© Naomi Parkhurst

Here’s my version of her Piedmont Slouch (Ravelry link).


And her Warren Creek Cowl (Ravelry link), a great use for bulky yarn. I don’t usually like bulky lace, but a simple pattern carefully used is awesome.

1. Please tell us a little about yourself.

I’m a knitting enthusiast and mother to three boys calling Durham, NC, home. I grew up in suburban Minnesota, met my other half in Chicago, and spent a couple of years at the grind in Washington, DC, before moving south. I’m trained in Middle Eastern Studies.

2. What inspires your designs?

The history of Durham, and North Carolina in general, has been a huge influence on my designs.

3. What attracted you to joining in with the Giftalong?

Last year, I participated as a knitter. I was in the middle of the morning sickness stage pregnant with my third son while signups for designers were taking place, and I just couldn’t pull it together to participate as a designer. Seeing how much fun everyone had made me want to give it a try this year on the design side!

4. What are a few patterns from the Giftalong that have really caught your eye?

I’ve been knitting Petites Feuilles Cardigan (Ravelry link) by Lisa Chemery for my middle son. The unique construction has made it a fun change of pace from the average raglan sweater. I’ve also had my eye on Langstroth (Ravelry link) by Elizabeth Green Musselman for my oldest. He’s really into bees, and the honeycomb pattern in yellow yarn sounds just about right for him!

5. Is there anything about knitting that you wish more people knew?

Even a mistake can turn into something amazing, and even after knitting for 13 years, I’m still learning new techniques!

Places to find Sarah Sipe online:

Ravelry: Sarah Sipe
Ravelry group: Two Designers on a Couch
Blog: Durham Knits

Photos used by permission.