close knit: the neighborhood yarn shop

Friday, April 2, 2010


When I became a Ravelry member a few years back, I was pleasantly surprised to gain access to a number of independent designers from around the world. One of my favorite designers on Ravelry is Canadian designer Heidi Kirrmaier, also known as PiPiBird. She was gracious enough to share a bit about her process and inspiration.

Heidi is truly inspired by nature, and she likes to give her designs natural names to “evoke the positive feelings” she gets from a particular place or element. Names like Snowbird, Raindance and Buttercup certainly conjure up some lovely images of the natural world.

Her clean and simple designs feature innovative construction techniques and thoughtful details. She generally “starts with one little idea, like a particular line, shape or other detail” picked up from somewhere. Many designs are worked side-to-side or created without seaming. She enjoys the “challenge of thinking of interesting but logical ways to construct a garment, where the outcome is still something beautiful and wearable.” Her love of simplicity is evident in her work, and she notes that “there’s a lot that can be done with some pretty basic skills.”

Heidi uses lightweight yarns to design graceful tops perfect for layering in cooler months and wearing alone in warmer months. She spends much of the cold Alberta winter indoors, so “non-wooly garments are quite wearable [in Calgary] even during the winter.”

Many of Heidi’s designs are worked in DK weight yarns. If you are looking for a lightweight spring or summer project, Rowan Wool Cotton and Rowan Calmer would work very well for many of her designs. The new Rowan Purelife Revive, a recycled silk/cotton blend, would also be a nice choice.

We carry a variety of wool and alpaca yarns that will work wonderfully at this gauge, including Ultra Alpaca Light, Rowan Felted Tweed, Rowan Purelife Organic Wool and the ever-popular Madelinetosh DK.

If Heidi’s designs appeal to you, too, check out her Ravelry pattern store and come down to Close Knit to find the perfect yarn for your very own PiPiBird design.

All photos courtesy of Heidi Kirrmaier


  1. Oh wow, Leah, fantastic designer!!!

    Thanks for this post about her. I love hearing about independant designers.

    Of course the designers published in magazines are very talented and have good solid designs, but I am always curious for those gems out there like this one.

    Love these designs. I love her sensibility!

  2. My queue on Ravelry has several of her yummy patterns waiting to be put on the needles. Her photos are so clean and the finished products are all so feminine and simple. Love it!