Meet the Bloggers

The Blogger’s Edit for MODE at Rowan is Brought to you by four very exciting and talented Bloggers – Tiam Safari, Samantha Hall, Katherina von Blumenthal and Lily Kate France. They took time out to talk to us about what inspires them, their favourite yarns and what they have on their needles at the moment.


Tiam Safari @knitsafari

When did you start knitting?

My mum taught me when I was 5 or 6, and it wasn’t until I started teaching at knitting workshops and writing my own patterns that I realised: I knit differently! I taught myself English style as I knit Russian style, and always have to be conscious that I flip stitches that lean or need to be twisted to make sure it works properly.

What is your inspiration for designing?

I like to wake up early and spend some time with Pinterest and a coffee, before the rest of the house wakes up. I pin everything—stitches, shapes, colours, you name it—in case it helps for a project down the track.

What is your design process?

If I have an idea, I sketch it out as a technical drawing, pop all the measurements on to the different areas, knit up a speedy swatch, work out the maths and off I go! I grade in sizes XS-5XL, and I often do that at the start in case any of the repeats or shapes do not quite work I can sort it out before I’m set on the idea.

Do you have a favourite piece from the Blogger’s Edit?

I love my Cocoon Cardi, I can’t wait to snuggle up on the sofa and watch TV in it!

Do you have a favourite MODE yarn to work with?

I love Big Wool for chunky things! So soft and squishy.

What attracts you to the MODE colour palette? 

I love the soft shades and neutrals—I wear a lot of black, grey and white in my day-to-day life so these colours really appeal to me.

Is there a favourite stage of knitting that you like to blog at?

I love a finished piece, it’s the best part. The excitement of the WIP stage is great but often I’m knitting in the evenings, and the low light isn’t great for taking pics!

When is your favourite time to knit at home?

Once my daughter goes to bed, I grab my projects. When she was younger I could knit or crochet while she was playing, but now she’s into everything (EVERYTHING!) and I’ve had to wind or pick up stitches or chase yarn around the house too many times, so I’ve learnt the hard way to craft after dark.

Do you have a favourite person to design for? 

I like to make things that I want to wear. The bonus is, I get to wear them!

What do you have on your needles right now?

So, so much. A pair of socks, two handbag ideas, two tops (one knit, one crochet) and three swatches for an idea I’m working on in the background and just trying to iron out the issues before I get going.

Aside from knitting, what have you been up to lately?

I’ve pulled my sewing machine out of hibernation and have made some pretty summer dresses. My daughter and I have some matching outfits now, which I think is super cute (and she is too young to complain… for now!)

Samantha Hall @pippy_eve

When did you start knitting?

I learnt the very basics of knitting in primary school as we learnt to make little yellow knitted chicks to cover chocolate Easter eggs. It was not until adulthood that I picked up needles again. I had three young children and loved how knitting allowed me time and space to focus on something I wanted to do. I loved the challenge of learning a new technique and the feeling of satisfaction in mastering something new.  

What’s your inspiration for designing?

I love vintage styles and have an extensive collection of vintage knitting and sewing patterns I use for inspiration for my designs. I enjoy bridging classic and contemporary feels into my knitwork.     

What’s your design process?

Sometimes I plan out the design, swatch stitch patterns and try yarns and other times I will dive straight in and let the design evolve as I knit.   

Do you have a favourite piece from the Blogger’s Edit?

The Darcy wrap cardigan for sure! I’ve had the idea for a ballerina style cardigan in mind for so long I knew it would be a wonderful edition to this collection. The combination of the feminine design and the delicateness of Alpaca Classic and Kidsilk Haze yarns is perfection. 

Do you have a favourite MODE yarn to work with?

I LOVE Alpaca Classic. It is such a versatile yarn.  

What attracts you to the MODE colour palette?

I am drawn to the subtle understated elegance of the colour palette, knowing any piece in the palette will work in anyone’s wardrobe.  

Is there a favourite stage of knitting that you like to blog at?

I enjoy the idea and design stage, looking for the perfect yarn or colour to compliment the design idea I have. I do like it when it all comes together, but the initial idea and design stage where anything is possible, is so exciting to me.     

When is your favourite time to knit at home?

In the evenings when the house is quiet. But I am also known to sneak in a few rows here and there when I should really be doing something else…  

Do you have a favourite person to design for? 

Babies and children but I have loved the opportunity to design for women for the Mode at Rowan Bloggers Edit. It has given the opportunity for knitters to have pippy eve designs for themselves.      

What do you have on your needles right now? 

I am currently working on a cropped v-neck cardigan in brioche stitch in a burnt orange cotton yarn. I am excited to get it finished and added to my wardrobe. Its versatility means I can pop it on over dresses as well as wearing it with high-waisted jeans.  

Aside from knitting, what have you been up to lately?

A second creative passion of mine is sewing. There are so many wonderful sewing patterns and fabrics to choose from…. my fabric stash is nearly as big as my yarn stash!  

Katharina von Blumenthal @katandleni

When did you start knitting?

I learnt one summer as a teenager but only started seriously after my daughter was born, so about 5 years ago now.

What’s your inspiration for designing?

It usually starts off with a need I have for a particular item to knit—to complement existing outfits or simply that I wish to knit. For example at the moment I need more light-weight cotton jumpers so I’m currently working on a few designs for those.

What’s your design process?

I start with an image in my mind and then I normally jump straight to the numbers part. I never really sketch as I’m terrible at drawing. Once I have the numbers more or less sorted, I knit the first version. I then knit a second version as I write the pattern.

Do you have a favourite piece from the Blogger’s Edit?

That’s too hard to answer. They’re all so good!

Do you have a favourite MODE yarn to work with?

I love Alpaca Classic DK! What attracts you to the MODE colour palette?  It’s so modern and clean. A real move away from the “crafty” palette a lot of knitted items gravitate towards and towards a more fashionable, on-trend colour scheme.

Is there a favourite stage of knitting that you like to blog at?

Hmmmmm, never! I have so little free time to knit I can’t waste a second to blog!

When is your favourite time to knit at home?

In the evening when my girls are asleep.

Do you have a favourite person to design for? 

My two girls and myself!

What do you have on your needles right now?

I think a better question would be “what don’t I have on my needles right now?”

Aside from knitting, what have you been up to lately?

Home-schooling and building a sandpit and just trying to survive lockdown!

Lily Kate France @lilykatemakes

When did you start knitting?

I learnt to knit at age 8 and haven’t stopped since!

What’s your inspiration for designing?

My number one priority when designing is to make something that will be lovely to wear, whether that be as the perfect everyday cardigan, or that sweater you reach for to feel a little bit special. Simple details can make all the difference.

What’s your design process?

Often it starts with the yarn, or a particular stitch/technique that just "needs" to be used in a certain way. Sometimes I have a fully-fledged idea from the beginning, and sometimes inspiration strikes mid sample-knitting and I go off in a slighty different direction. Once the first sample is knitted, I then grade the pattern into nine sizes and send it off to test knitters. Seeing other people make my patterns their own is my favourite part.

Do you have a favourite piece from the Blogger’s Edit?

I love Kat’s lace front jumper, Tiam’s oversized cardigan/wrap/blanket, and Sam’s wrap cardigan. Of my own designs, I think the Rumpled sweater is my favourite—it was a joy to knit!

Do you have a favourite MODE yarn to work with?

I adore Brushed Fleece—it’s so unique and I love how lightweight the fabric is for such a chunky gauge.

What attracts you to the MODE colour palette? 

I love bright colours, but there’s no denying that neutrals are the most useful items in my wardrobe. A palette of neutrals just works so well for the items you want to wear on repeat.

Is there a favourite stage of knitting that you like to blog at?

I’m definitely most excited about my knitting when I see it all come together towards the end. It’s so satisfying to see a sleeve or neckline come together how you hoped, and I love sharing that!

When is your favourite time to knit at home?

In the evening, after dinner, with either a cup of tea or glass of wine at my side and a good Netflix show.

Do you have a favourite person to design for? 

Is it cheating to say everyone? I genuinely don’t have a particular age/person/style in mind when I’m designing. I hope that most items are classic enough that they’d work on anyone.

What do you have on your needles right now?

Right now I’m just finishing up two projects—a hand-dyed cropped cardigan with fluttery mohair sleeves, and a cardigan version of my favourite Anyday Sweater. These will (probably) be my last summer knits of the year; I love working with summer yarns but it’s time to get cracking with Autumn designs now.

Aside from knitting, what have you been up to lately?

Knitting and university work have taken a large chunk of my time during lockdown, but now that my exams are over I’m spending more time cooking, running, enjoying the outdoors and finally tackling The Lockdown Clearout. Exciting stuff!