Designer Interview – Bridget Pupillo

Knitting Designer Interview, Bridget Pupillo - Portree Poncho, cabled poncho knitting pattern

Bridget, modeling her own Portree Poncho

Bridget Pupillo has been knitting for over thirty years and began publishing her designs three years ago. She particularly likes colorwork, cables, and in-the-round knitting, and she incorporates these techniques into her designs. When not knitting, she is a mom, a librarian, and a professor of Italian literature.

English or Continental? – Continental

Cardigan or Pullover? – Cardigan

Cables or Lace? – Cables

DPNs or Magic Loop? – Magic loop

Yarn: Solid or Variegated? – Solid or Heather

Socks: Toe Up or Top Down? – I’ve never in my life made a pair of socks!

Needles: Wood or Metal? – Metal

Wool, Cotton, Acrylic, Alpaca, Cashmere, or Silk? – Yes please!

What was your first design, and how do you feel about it now?

I’ve always played fast and loose with patterns or made up my own designs, ever since I began knitting. But one of my earliest “published” designs is a child’s pullover with a construction truck theme. I designed it for my little boy, and it always reminds me of his love of trucks. It’s still a popular seller even now!

What is your favorite design of yours with Knit Picks, either with IDP or in a collection?

I am really happy with the Eldfell sweater design. I love that I was able to use the Wonderfluff yarn line to create a traditional Icelandic-style yoke sweater. I also love to see so many knitters who are new to stranded knitting and yokes giving the pattern a try with great success!

Knitting Designer Interview, Bridget Pupillo - Eldfell Pullover fair isle stranded colorwork yoke sweater knitting pattern
Eldfell Pullover, from Knit Picks’ Encircled pattern collection

What is your favorite current Knit Picks yarn?

This is tough. I am rather obsessed with ALL Knit Picks yarns, and I can’t really choose a favorite! I love working with some of the specialty lines like Capra and Preciosa, but I also find myself returning to the staples like Wool of the Andes and Palette!

When/how/why did you first learn to knit/crochet?

My mom is a professional knitter, and she taught me to knit and crochet at age seven. She taught me to knit continental style and used Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Knitting Without Tears as her personal bible. My mom is still my top knitting resource.

When/how/why did you first start designing?

For me, knitting and designing go hand in hand. I’ve always lived by the mantra: if you don’t like something, make it your own! I very rarely follow a pattern to the letter (unless test knitting), and I often alter measurements and stitch patterns to suit my own tastes, not to mention converting every possible thing to in-the-round and seamless to minimize finishing work (which I loathe). So creating my own designs was a natural progression. I also find that pattern writing appeals to that weird rational/mathematical part of my brain which otherwise gets very little use. I find it strangely soothing to create charts and calculate measurements!

Knitting Designer Interview, Bridget Pupillo - Kildalton Hat, cabled beanie knitting pattern Knitting Designer Interview, Bridget Pupillo - Vesterland Hat, fair isle stranded colorwork beanie with tassel knitting pattern
Kildalton Hat, from KP’s Woodsmoke collection, and
Vesterland Hat, from KP’s Strands of Color collection

What does your stash look like?

My mom and I share a stash, which is currently stored in the basement of our house in over 100 industrial-sized bins. I have only one word to describe our stash: terrifying.

What is your favorite thing to knit?

I love knitting sweaters. Finishing a sweater and wearing the fruits of my labor to work or at home is an immensely satisfying feeling. I also find that larger, more complicated designs keep my interest while smaller, monotonous projects can get a bit boring. I hate having to knit two of the same thing, which is why I’ve never made a pair of socks.

Knitting Designer Interview, Bridget Pupillo - Hemsedal Hat, fair isle stranded colorwork beanie with pom pom knitting pattern
Hemsedal Hat, Bridget’s newest IDP pattern

What is your favorite thing to design? Why?

My first designs were hats and children’s garments, because the project size seemed more manageable to me as a fledgling designer. But now that I’ve been at it a while, I really love designing adult sweaters as well. Stranded knitting and Aran (cable) designs are my favorite. I love the look of lace, but I feel less confident about lace design. However, I plan to exercise my lace muscles in the future.

Your biggest knitting/crochet-related pet peeve?

I often find myself frustrated that non-knitters (and non-crafters in general) do not appreciate the amount of time and effort which go into handmade items. I wish we, as a society, would cherish quality over quantity and the enduring satisfaction that comes from creating beautiful objects with our own hands. I am on a personal mission to make this a reality, in whatever small way I can!

Knitting Designer Interview, Bridget Pupillo - Inverness Tam, cabled hat beret tweed knitting pattern
Inverness Tam, Bridget’s most popular IDP pattern

What do you hope to design in the future or where do you want to go with your designs?

I wish I had been more aware that once I started, I would never be able to stop designing. It is a time-consuming but extremely fulfilling activity, and my only wish is to have more time to dedicate to it. Right now I wear many hats in life (including single mom, professor of Italian language and literature, and freelance translator), but looking into the future, I’d love to make designing my top priority, right after motherhood!

What do you hope to design in the future or where do you want to go with your designs?

In the future, I hope to publish at least one solo collection of designs based on a theme (in fact, I have one in the works right now). I’d like to continue to work on larger designs (adult sweaters) and to branch out of my comfort zone to tackle lace design as well as the dreaded pair of socks!


3 comments

  1. Amy / March 5, 2018

    I love the way she uses color in her work. Bellissima!

  2. Louise Wallace / March 6, 2018

    Glad I get to see your beautiful projects in person Bridget.

  3. jean margolis / March 8, 2018

    I am in the throes of making her Inverness tam with my Knit Picks tweed. She is a great designer.

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