Episode 107 – Cocoknits
We’ve had a short break and we are excited to be back in Episode 107 with another varied program for you. Today’s feature interview is with Julie Weisenberger, the founder of the company Cocoknits. Many of you will have heard of the Cocoknits method which is a top down and seamless method of sweater knitting with a very particular way of constructing the shoulders. We are also very excited to be taking you to a small town in the Alsace region of France called Colmar. Colmar is a perfect chocolate box village with an abundance of charm. It has cobblestone streets lined with half-timbered medieval and early Renaissance buildings. There will also be an update on Andrew’s lace project, I’ve finished my L’Anse au Loup and I’ve prepared a short tutorial on steek sandwiches for you. It’s another very full program!
If you’re located in Denmark and not able to watch the normal Episode, please try this link – for Denmark only. (This problem is due to an ongoing dispute between YouTube and Koda, the Danish royalties collection agency. We have created a new version of Episode 107 without some of the music to get around this problem.)
Cocoknits Founder Julie Weisenberger
Julie Weisenberger is a knitwear designer and the founder of the company Cocoknits. Julie has developed a seamless, top down and tailored method of sweater construction which she calls the Cocoknits method and it’s described in detail in her book Cocoknits sweater workshop.
This tailored shoulder construction is Julie’s signature technique. During the interview she shows us exactly how it’s done and all the ways you can modify it. We also see lots of different Cocoknits designs. I think they should appeal to a broad range of knitters because they aren’t technically difficult to knit and they are easy, wearable pieces that are simple to modify to fit your body or style well.
Julie has also developed a line of high-quality tools to make the process of knitting these Cocoknits sweaters very pleasurable and much easier. Julie is particularly passionate about her tools and really lights up when she’s talking about them.
Julie has been in the knitwear industry since the 1980s. She’s seen a lot of changes over this time, she’s also had a lot of teaching experience and what drives her is helping knitters to become very happy and successful garment knitters.
Patron Discount – Cocoknits
Julie is offering Fruity Knitting Patrons a 25% discount on all patterns available via the Cocoknits website. This offer is valid until 2 October 2020, full details here.
L’Anse au Loup by Jennifer Beale
I’m very happy to show off my finished L’Anse au Loup by Jennifer Beale. It has been a super fun design for me to knit and I really love how unique it looks. It’s definitely a modern looking garment but it also has a slight costume feel about it, which is very much my style.
Steek Sandwich Tutorial
As I said many times before this garment is a study in steeking. After completing it, you will have lost all fear of the technique. Steeking is great for eliminating any purling during your colorwork but the down side to steeking is that you have slightly bulky, frayed edges that need to be properly finished.
At the end of each cuff you end up with 4 steek ends and Jennifer finishes them very creatively with a steek sandwich. This is one of my favourite parts of this design. I have made a tutorial showing you in an abridged version how that is done. You’ll really enjoy seeing that and once you know how to do it, it’s the kind of technique that can be applied to all sorts of things.
Bowie top by Lisa Richardson
Andrew is continuing to make progress on his Bowie top by Lisa Richardson. Here is the completed back piece which, as he’s said before, is around 25,000 stitches of stocking stitch. Andrew has persisted with his flicking technique and thinks it’s getting pretty good, but hasn’t dared to time himself again. At this point he doesn’t think the stopwatch is his friend.
Paisley Kofte – Sidsel Høivik
I’m always so excited when I start a new project and I’m especially excited if I’m knitting it in a radical green with iridescent pops of contrasting color, which is exactly this project. The design is called the Paisley Kofte by Sidsel Høivik, who we have featured on the show a few times. The jacket uses three stunning greens together, so I’m in heaven. A lime green, an apple green and an olive green.
Colmar & the Isenheim Altarpiece
Many of you really enjoyed seeing our short segment on Strasbourg in the last episode so we are very excited to be taking you to a small town called Colmar in the Alsace region of France.
Colmar has cobblestone streets lined with half-timbered medieval and early Renaissance buildings. It’s also the birthplace of Bartholdi, the creator of the Statue of Liberty. We’re going to take you on a walk through the colourful streets, show you some of the most stunning sights and also take you to the famous renaissance masterpiece, the Isenheim Altarpiece.
There is a very interesting story behind this altarpiece, and since many of you have been enjoying Andrew’s short detours into obscure topics, he’s going to tell you about this story as well.
We were wearing
- Andrew was wearing Guido by Carlo Volpi
- Andrea showed off her L’Anse au Loup by Jennifer Beale, but that’s all. (Turned out it was pretty warm today…)
- J. S. Bach, The Well Tempered Klavier, Prelude No. 3 in C-sharp major, BWV 848, performed by Kimiko Ishizaka, Creative Commons Attribution 3.0
- Henry Eccles, Violin Sonata in G minor, performed by Thrax, Creative Commons Attribution 3.0
- Beethoven, Piano Sonata no. 8 in C minor ‘Pathetique’, Op. 13, Adagio Cantabile, performed by Paul Pitman, Creative Commons Public Domain 1.0
- Images of the Isenheim Altarpiece are Public Domain.
- Image of ergot fungus in barley is Hordeum vulgare Claviceps purpurea 23-7-2009.JPG, by Dominique Jacquin, via Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported
Thank you for your excellent interview with Julie of Cocoknits. She is such an inspiration and joyful person. Particularly inspiring was the last question about her finding a creative outlet whilst caring for her child. Such an important message for everyone, particularly during these surreal times we are all living through. She is a great role model in more ways than one. And, as always Andrea, your excellent questioning shows the depth of research and effort you put into your interviews. Thank you again.
I cannot see all your Youtube videos in Denmark anymore. Some of them including the latest two ones have some content called KODA_CS which cannot be shown in my country, so those episodes don’t even show up on Youtube with all the others. It goes for some older episodes two all of a sudden.
I hope you can solve it, as I don’t want to miss your show. Thanks.
Hi Jeanette. For this Episode we have created a new version which should be ok in Denmark. You’ll find a link to that right at the top of this page. For earlier Episodes we will have to see about creating special “Denmark” versions. That is a fair bit of work, and right now we are travelling and working in Denmark (!), so we won’t be able to get to that for a while. Hopefully YouTube and Koda will come to an agreement and the “normal” Episodes will become available again. Hope you understand. Cheers, Andrew.
Your programs are wonderful! I have just found them and have been enjoying them a great deal.
I particularly liked the segment where you interviewed a British author of a book about the relationship between knitting and the English language.
Could you remind me? Was ut This knitting Fleece???
Hi Liz. You’re after Episode 88 – This Golden Fleece – Esther Rutter. That is a great read for a wool enthusiast. Cheers, A + A.
Hi A & A. Thank you so much for the danish version of your program. Let’s hope that the issues can be solved, so danish viewers still can enjoy your wondeful show
Hi A&A, I am in love with Fruity Knitting….all of it! and am on my second viewing of all episodes. I have learned so much and been inspired, so thank you! your daughter is a joy. I just received a personal thank you from Andrew. What a treasure you are.
Question: I wonder if it is possible for you to post or send me the photograph that was the inspiration for the Paisley Kofte? I would like to design a sweater myself after that photo.
Best wishes and thoughts for you all.
Thanks again for being a Patron, Leslie.