Friday, June 12, 2015

creative chat: Melody of Mandarine's

I am beyond excited to share a second interview with you. Today we are talking to Melody of Mandarine's about her work, inspiration and creative process. 

I first found Melody's work through Instagram and immediately fell in love with her photos and beautiful knitting. Melody lives in the woods of Riga, Latvia where she not only knits but also designs patterns. You can find her on Instagram, Ravelry and her blog

This month, for June's project I'll be knitting the Pinecone and Mulberry hat which Melody released last fall. But more on that at the end of the post. Let's dive right in to my chat with Melody!  

If we were able to have this conversation in person, in a cafe with a warm drink and our knitting, what would you be drinking? Are you a coffee or tea person (or both)?
I love beverages! I’m always interested to try something that I’ve never tried before. So I would most probably look at the menu and see if there’s a drink that I haven’t tried before. If not, I would most probably get a flat white or something caffeinated!
Both! When I’m outside, I always get coffee, but when I’m at home I drink a whole lot of different teas and infusions, and little coffee! But I love them equally!

Tell us a little bit about what led you to knitting. How did you choose this path?
I’ve always wanted to teach myself how to knit & I’ve been wanting to knit for a very very long time. It all started when I was in high school. One of my classmates came to school one day with a beautiful black chunky scarf. She told me that her grandmother knit it for her, and I thought that it was the most amazing thing ever. A couple of weeks passed, and I decided to ask my mother to teach me how to knit. We practiced with a very thin baby pink wool - the only yarn that we had a home at that time, and some metallic needles. But after a few attempts, I had to admit that I wouldn’t learn that way. And it’s only a few years later that I decided to give it another try.

That was during a long Summer in France, I was preparing to spend the next year in China, and I had the whole Summer ahead of me. I took advantage of that free time, and decided that this was the perfect moment to give knitting another try. So I went to the only yarn shop that I knew in Paris, and got some Christmas red yarn, which was probably a sport weight, and some 10mm needles. I didn’t know how to read the yarn label or what swaching was at that time.  I came back home, and immediately started. I remember spending hours and hours, sitting on my bed, watching videos online, trying to master the knitting and purl stitch.
I finished my scarf in China, and wore it during the very cold Winter months. During the two years that I spent in that country, I barely touched the needles. And it’s only when I came back to France that I really started to get interested. Now I cannot imagine spending a day without my needles.

Your work and photos are beautiful! Can you tell us a little bit about where you inspiration comes from?
My work is inspired by the nature that surrounds me. I take a couple of walks in the woods during the week, and I find a lot of inspiration from them. Canopy was inspired by this vast pine forest that surrounds my home. Travelling is always a great source of inspiration too. Not only for the wonderful lansdcapes that you might see but also and mostly from the wonderful feeling that you have when you come back from a trip and you feel completely refreshed and full of energy!

What does your creative process & daily routine look like?
My creative process is different everyday. It all depends on my mood! Some days I can spend up to 18 hours working, and some others no more than 4. Having a creative job keeps me busy and entertained in so many different ways, and that’s what I probably love the most about it ; every aspect of the job is very different. 
I try to stick to a weekly schedule rather than a daily schedule. I know what has to be done during the week, so if some days I feel that I have to work more/less I can decide what’s the best to do. But most of my days are spent in front of the computer writing patterns, and knitting on the couch or in the park to make the samples.

Where do you most like to make and create?
In coffee shops probably or in a countryside house in the middle of nowhere. To extreme opposites!

What are you currently working on or knitting? Anything new or exciting coming up that you'd like to share about?
I’m working on a couple of new patterns at the moment. And yes, there’s a couple of “secret” projects that I cannot quite talk about yet. But be ready for this Fall! I’m all excited!

Thank you so much Melody for taking the time to share about your work and creative process with us.

As I mentioned, for June's project I'll be knitting the Pinecone and Mulberry hat. Because I already have the pattern (and because I think that EVERYONE should knit this hat) I've decided to gift the pattern to one of you, to support Melody and share the knitting love.

Melody is also kind enough to offer one person their choice of a shawl pattern. She has two beautiful shawls- Canopy and Blóm, I know it will be difficult to pick between the two. 

Just comment below (or on Instagram) to be entered. I'll draw two winners and the first will have their choice of shawl or hat, and the second will receive the other prize.  


  1. I have been planning to knit all three patterns. Just love them. Carla

  2. oh how absolutely lovely to learn more about the always so inspiring Melody!
    a big thank you to both of you :)

    i already have both the Canopy pattern and the Pinecone & Mulberrry one but i would LOVE to
    win the pattern for her Blòm shawl. i have the Canopy on my needles and i have knitted two P & M hat's, such beautiful designs.


  3. Her feed is one of my absolute favorites on instagram, so I was very excited to see this interview and giveaway. :)

  4. Thanks for the interview! It would be nice to win the patterns!

  5. I've been following both of you on instagram and loving the posts! A little late to game this morning realized you had a blog. Love it! Would love one of Melody's patterns too.

  6. I love all of Melody's patterns and it was great to learn a bit more about her creative process- thanks for the opportunity to win a pattern too! :)

  7. How inspiring and lovely both of you are, thank you for the interview!

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  9. Great post! Both of you are my real inspiration! Melody´s patterns are so beautiful!

  10. I follow you both on Instagram. I'd love to knit one of those patterns. Thank you!

  11. Love her patterns I want them all. Beautifully photographed too! Thanks for the interview always interested in the creative process

  12. I love learning more about my favourite designers, and Melody's work is truly enchanting. I would love to win a pattern!!
    Thanks for sharing!

  13. both shawls are so beautiful,but i would love to knit blom`,probably in the very same shade of terracotta.thank you for the generous giveaway!

  14. I'd definately pick the Canopy shawl I've been wanting to knit this one for a while now, it's a gorgeous design and her instagram is beautiful her photo are so inspiring! x

  15. I would love to knit Blom ~ it's such a lovely addition to anyone's accessory wardrobe!