Meet Linda Choo ~ Indie Designer

One of the fun aspects of the annual Indie Designer Gift A-long promotion is the designer interviews we get to do. Last year I met several wonderful designers, and this year I am meeting more. One is Linda Choo, who designs under her Garden Canadensis label. She also maintains the “fiber” side of her family’s blog ~ where you can see some beautiful garden photos and some of Linda’s shawl designs.

Here are some of the interesting things I learned about Linda through interviewing her……..

Tell us something about yourself:
I learned to knit from my mother and to crochet from her mother at an early age. At first I knit mostly sweaters, but I did crochet a few dresses in high school. Knitting and crocheting (actually all of my crafts) were my sanity and escape when my job as an engineer in the nuclear industry became stressful.

I retired early 6 years ago and am devoting most of my spare time to designing. I also started to spin during the last 5 years and often use my hand-spun lace-weight in my designs. I also do quilting, cross stitch hardanger, and sewing, but knitting and spinning are the current main hobbies.

spring garden walk shawls by linda choo

© Linda Choo

How did you get started with designing and selling your designs?
I have always made my own designs. It started with altering patterns, then doing them from scratch. I started writing them up in the last 5 years. I started with focusing on beginner lace patterns, and used them for teaching at a local LYS. I have moved on to more advanced lace shawls, and recently into socks, and accessories.

What do you see as your design style?
I have been told that my designs look more difficult than they actually are. My design philosophy is to keep things as simple as possible without sacrificing the look of the final shawl.

What influences your designs?
I draw influence from our garden mostly. It could be in texture, colour, atmosphere. Most of my designs are named after our garden.

What do you enjoy most about designing?
I enjoy creating something that is pleasant to knit, something that I would knit and wear. My engineering background taught me communication and writing skills, which are very useful in presenting a design clearly and concisely. I love working with charts, but also include written instructions.

Do you have any projects coming up that you can share with us, or give us a sneak peek of?
Yes, I am in the middle of finishing a set of accessories, called “Autumn Maple”, using a new yarn (to me) from Georgian Bay Fibre Co. I came across their yarn at a local fair. There will be a scarf, socks, and fingerless gloves, all beaded. You can see them in my group, along with their inspirational pictures here. (note – this link is for Linda’s Ravelry group)

woodland path socks by linda choo

© Linda Choo

Do you get to do much knitting/crocheting for yourself?
Not as much as I would like, but I do knit sweaters and socks for myself and my husband. I also test knit for Rosemary Hill, so that takes some of my time,, but I love her designs and learn so much from her.

What prompted you to participate in the 2014 Indie Designer Gift A-long?
Other local designers were participating and they encouraged me to join. Also, last year, I saw that everyone had so much fun. I moderate the 12 shawls group on Ravelry, and everyone who participated had a great time.

What is your favorite part of the GAL?
I think seeing more finished projects in my designs is the most rewarding part, at least so far.

Has the GAL met your expectations, so far?
So far, yes. It is a well organized group
.

Where can folks see your published designs?
I publish my designs mostly on Ravelry ~ here.

I hope you will take some time to check out Linda’s designs ~ she does beautiful work.

Happy Knitting ~ Jean