Knitwear Designer Kate Fisher

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Join us this Saturday, April 7 at 2pm as we welcome knitwear designer Kate Fisher. We will have a lot of beautiful samples for you to admire. Recently, Kate joined the Shibui Knits Design Team. Kate's bio reads:

"Kate Fisher is a mixed media artist, art therapist, and knitwear designer. She launched Black Bird Knits in 2014, but her history with the craft of knitting began much earlier in her life. She was seven years old when her friend's mother taught her how to knit.

Using raw materials and simple tools to make things that are beautiful and functional has always intrigued Kate. Creating an object "one stitch at a time" is a powerful experience for her. She is proud of the fact that she has taught hundreds of young people how to knit. 

Her modern elegant Black Bird Knit designs are named after the streets of Rochester, New York, where she lives with her husband, Ken Fisher."

Kate launched Black Bird knits in 2014

Kate launched Black Bird knits in 2014

Q and A with Kate Fisher

We learned through your bio that your friend's mother taught you how to knit when you were a child. Can you tell us a bit about that?

Like many knitters, my history with the craft began early in my life. I was seven years old when my friend’s mother was teaching her how to knit. I asked her to teach me, too. I knit a shawl for my doll. I remember that by the time I was done it was dirty, twisted and triangular due to my sweaty little hands, hard work and unintentional tension changes. This was the beginning, and from that point on I was determined, and definitely hooked.

Besides knitting, you do also other crafts?

I am a painter, quilter, printmaker and artist bookmaker.

Uptown Park Sweater  Photo credit: Debra Wallace

Uptown Park Sweater

Photo credit: Debra Wallace

How and when did you start designing knitwear?

I started designing almost as soon as I started knitting. In the 80s when my daughters were babies I had a few designs published and then I put designing for money aside to become an art therapist. This really suited my specific talents and passions. 

In recent years I decided to launch Black Bird Knits to see if others would be interested in my designs and related prints. It has been a huge learning process and very satisfying on so many levels, both interpersonally and professionally.

Alexander Street Sweater

Alexander Street Sweater

How did you become a designer for Shibui?

My wonderful LYS owner Patti Odinak at Yarn Culture has been so so supportive. She connected me with Shibui Knits and they have been fantastic since our very first meeting.

Castle Bar Road Poncho

Castle Bar Road Poncho

How would you like to describe your style of designing and what inspires you?

I enjoy designing with clean but interesting lines and mixing fibers. I am inspired by beautiful yarn. The fibers, textures and colors of Shibui yarn all draw me in. I love the flexibility that “mixing” the weights of their yarn give to me in my designing process.

My garden, my walks around my neighborhood and my knitting group are all sources of inspiration. My knitted pieces are named after the streets of my city, where I frequently take my walks, collecting sights and found objects.

Highland Parkway Sweater  Photo credit: Debra Wallace

Highland Parkway Sweater

Photo credit: Debra Wallace

Thank you, Kate, for answering our questions! You can find Kate on Raverly as kfisherblackbird and visit her website

Sibly Place Sweater  Photo credit: Debra Wallace

Sibly Place Sweater

Photo credit: Debra Wallace