Joji (pronounced Ho-Hee) says she learned to knit at about age 8, mom taughter her to a garter stitch scarf. Not exciting and the yarn was not a thrill so that was it till she was in University she started thinking about taking crafts up. At 24, she was about to get married but decided to quit smoking. Her mom had left some needles at her house and she picked up knitting again.
At first she didn’t have access to patterns, with her mom’s help she was able to improvise in her knitting. Then she found Ravelry. There she was able to follow her favorite designers and improve her skills, till she became a designer herself.
When she starts a design, she has an idea of what she wants to make but it sounds like the particulars work themselves out in process. In the beginning, she was so engrossed with what she was working on, she would forget to write things down as she worked on them. Even without completely understanding English her designs communicate classic beauty.
In spite of the changes in import/export laws, which makes it hard for someone like Joji to purchase yarn. she says ‘Don’t Worry’ she has a good supply at hand. Malabrigo is from Uruguay, right next door to Argentina! Sometimes, the colors she is sent by a yarn designer is not what she had in mind, and then she finds the design becomes based on the yarn itself.
Her latest design, Japan Sleeves, based on another of her cardigan designs, Old Romance, incorporates lacework from Japanese charts, and has been very popular among JojiKnits fans. Old Romance was very well received, which inspired her to continue the thought of the lace panels down the sleeves and the rest of the sweater constructed from that. Then she was sharing her inspiration for Japan Sleeves and the thought of stripes and her friend reminded her stripes in this would be like shawls that you see often. Working out the stripes in the short rows, but she loves that the design came together well.
Another of Joji’s designs that is popular is Boxy and Buttony. a next step after Boxy, by their nature as oversized and their boxy shape becomes comfortable and drapey. (Joji later shared that she personally likes the Boxy design so much she wears it all the time!) She also discussed how the feminine shape of Meridien comes together.
Joji says she gets most of her designing done in the evenings after her two boys go to bed. Her husband does freelance work as well, so this works for her family very well! Check out her designs in Ravelry: http://www.ravelry.com/designers/joji-locatelli
If you missed listening LIVE, the show can still be heard at: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/yarnthing/2014/09/09/joji-knits or if iTunes is more convenient: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/joji-knits/id313541727?i=318697507&mt=2