Theme and Variation by Veera Välimäki

Huge and exciting drumroll for Veera Välimäki's design from The Book of Haps: Theme and Variation
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Finnish designer Veera (to rhyme with fairer), has been designing knitwear for 7 years. She learned to knit more than 20 years ago, and it has been her passion for the last decade. Having studied architecture, Veera turned to publishing knitting patterns, and soon patterns such as her Still Light TunicFolded and Stripe Study shawl were going viral among the knitting community. I caught up with her to chat about her hap design...
Jen: I am a big fan of your aesthetic! Your designs have an inherent simplicity (both in the knitting, and in the finished design), without being trivial. How do you bring something fresh to each new design, without losing that? Do you ever get tempted to throw in 5 extra techniques, or a bonkers complicated stitch pattern?
Veera: Oh, such a good question! I think this might have something to do with me being a total process knitter - and designer! If I'm not enjoying the knitting, I really will not enjoy the finished piece. This is why I want to make the knitting process smooth and fun, and often it will show in the finished piece too. Partly, I started designing knitwear because at the time I couldn't find patterns I liked. My style has always been quite simple and I wanted my knits to be like that too!
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Jen: One of the things I love about the collection of haps in this book, is the variety of shapes the designers have all chosen. You’ve designed over 70 neck accessories - what’s your favourite shape to knit, and is that the same as your favourite shape to wear?
Veera: I tend to choose the shawl shapes based on how I most often like to wear them - and I like my shawls wrapped around my neck multiple times! Only rarely I keep my shawl just on my shoulders or fasten it with a shawl pin. That's why my most favourite shapes are always longer in wingspan! But sometimes I just want to try out a shape that I find not so easy to wear. 
Knitting-wise I like the shawl to start with just a few stitches and end with gazillion. That way I can keep my interest in the actual knitting; first the shawl grows super fast and when the rows are getting very long and tedious, I will already see how awesome the shawl will be in the end and that will keep me going!
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Jen: I’ve got a confession to make… I cast on Theme and Variation a couple of weeks ago, when we were working on the final book proofs. I was lucky enough to have some help (from the yarn shop where I bought my yarn) in choosing two shades of Tosh Merino Light. Choosing colours is something many people find tricky. Do you have any advice for knitters planning shade combinations for your design?
Veera: Choosing colours is one of my favorite parts of designing and knitting in general! Since colour is perceived in such an individual way, there really aren't wrong or right answers. But whatever colours you choose, make sure you know what you are choosing or maybe more accurately know what you want! If you want to have a very dynamic, bold and flamboyant hap, choose high contrast colours or complimentary colours. For a more subtle outcome, choose colours accordingly - maybe with less contrast or analogous colours!
Jen: Thank you so much for being part of Team Haps, and for talking to me about your design.
Theme and Variation - 1
Theme and Variation comes in three sizes (modelled shots in the largest size, my knitting photo in the medium size), and uses 2-3 skeins of Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light. For full technical details, see the Ravelry pattern page for Theme and Variation

The next design will be revealed tomorrow on Kate's blog, so don't forget to stop by. You can see all of the patterns as they are released on Ravelry: The Book of Haps

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Final image © Arnall-Culliford Knitwear, all other images © Kate Davies Designs.