Friday, July 22, 2016

On Balla Mara with Jen

Designer is Jen Hagan is next up in my Crosby Querstionnaire. She is the lead designer at Figheadh. As it says on the website, "The word itself is Gaelic and means knitting or weaving and is pronounced Fee-yugh."

Her work is an inspiration in color and cables. I caught up with her recently and below is our wonderful conversation.

Read, create, and enjoy.

So, Jen, tell me where were you born?
Langdale, Alabama, a town that no longer exists.

Where do you live now? And for how long?
Tacoma, WA, for the past 13 years

What place that you’ve lived would you call your favorite? And why?
I love the PNW! The climate, the landscape, the culture—it's the best! But who knows where the next adventure will take us?

Do you enjoy travel? Why or why not?
I do enjoy travel, but I love traveling by car the best. I suppose my grandparents instilled a love for road trips in me at a very young age. I have fond memories of roadside picnics with them as we made our way through Georgia and Alabama to visit relatives and attend camp meetings with singings and “dinner on the ground.”

Where have you been that you long to see again? Why?
Washington, DC—the museums! The food! I spent two weeks there once and it wasn't enough.

What new place do you dream of seeing? Why?
British Columbia—we live in driving distance but I have yet to go to the mainland. I loved our trips to Vancouver Island and want to see more!

What three things do you never travel without?
My husband, my knitting, and a good book or two

What is your favorite part of a trip away from home?
Exploring, especially seeing the landscape from a car window! That way, you can stop and further explore anytime and anywhere you want.

What do you like least about being away from home?

I am a homebody, so there is no place like home.

How did you come to be entangled in the world of yarn?
Aran sweaters, of course!

Have you any pet peeves or pet joys about the knitting process?
I love working with yarn in natural fibers. It's alive and it will tell you what it wants to be. There is so much to learn that it could keep me happily occupied forever.

What Mrs. Crosby design would you most like to have featured with your questionnaire?
Our Balla Mara Shawl in the Figheadh Yarnworks line.

Tell me something of how this design came to be. Were you responding to a personal need? Inspired by something in your world? Or simply in the mood? Do tell.
When I was tumbling this thing around in my head, I knew the shawl would be great worked up in Mrs. Crosby Satchel, because it is a lofty single fingering and the simple stitch patterns would definitely hold up to some hand-dyed yarn. Mrs. Crosby sent me some of her yarns to play with last year, so I had swatched with this lovely stuff and knew I wanted to use it. I put in a request for some Satchel in Submarine, because why not keep this whole thing about the sea, right? The nice folks at Mrs. Crosby sent me the two skeins I requested and I was off for a lovely time knitting this shawl up. I hope you'll try both my shawl and Mrs. Crosby's yarn Satchel. You won't have a moment of sorry.

So, complimentary. Dear, it was truly my pleasure to chat with you.Thank you so much, darling, for being a part of our big, wide world.

Discover more about the lovely Jen Hagen here: and shop for Balla Mara and more here: