Interview with Melanie Berg

von Pascuali filati naturali - 1 Oct, 2019

Interview with Melanie Berg
The sun is shining wonderfully today, what is actually your favourite activity in weather like this? 

"Easy answer - sports! I love being in movement and feeling healthy at the same time. We do a lot of climbing, and I also like running, inline-skating, biking, yoga, strength training or funny stuff like doing handstands, juggling or weird balance exercises..."

Is nature important to you and does it have an impact on your designs? 

"I‘m living at the edge of the city, so it‘s easy for me to escape. But there‘s not a lot of wild nature here - it‘s mainly fields and grassy areas. But it‘s not a far trip to the closest forests either - and then there‘s the beautiful Rhine valley, of course. That being said, yes, nature is very important for me - but I don‘t know if that necessarily reflects on my designs."

We know that you are living in Bonn. What are your favourite places around this area? 

"There‘s even many! I love my city and I spent most of my life here. The old city is beautiful - especially when the cherry blossoms are in bloom. Strolling the streets at that time very much feels like you‘re walking through a magical forest. As a teenager, I used to work as a waitress at the beer garden „Alter Zoll“, and even if I‘m only seldomly there these days, I always enjoy it. The Rheinauen parks in the south of the city are a beautiful area of green and lakes - art installations, exhibitions and events take place there. And then of course the city centre with its countless cafés!"

You actually started off as an IT-engineer... is that technical background helpful when developing patterns and does programming language maybe inspire you?  

"My technical background is definitely helpful, as most of my work actually happens at the computer and not with knitting needles. Knitting really is just a little part of my everyday tasks - mainly I write patterns, edit photos, respond to emails or curate my social media channels."

When designing a new pattern, how important are colours to you? 

"Colour choice is extremely important for me and actually one of the earliest decisions in the design process - it often happens right after choosing the yarn base. So much depends on the colours. Many times I see my designs knit up in different colour combinations and they appear like complete different patterns! Isn‘t that just fascinating? It amazes me each time to see knitters come up with their own ideas!"

What are the advantages of triangular shawl in comparison to rectangular scarfs when thinking about design? Which was your first triangular shawl? 

"You can wear a triangle shawl in multiples ways, having it safely wrapped around your neck without having it come off. That makes them very functional in everyday life, and at the same time they provide stylish accents. But not all triangle shawls are the same - depending on the construction, there‘s countless different design options. My first triangle shawl, if I recall correctly, was Mindy Wilkes‘ Holden."

Can you remember the day when you decided to become a 100% professional designer? Was it a special moment for you? 

"I don‘t remember the exact day of my decision, but I do remember the day I cancelled my job. A good moment - we clinked glasses in the evening, and I never regretted this decision."

What changed the most since you made that decision? 

"My life is a lot more relaxed. I‘m very grateful for being allowed to organize my work the way I like to. I can freely decide with whom to work or not, how much I want to work, where I give workshops and so on. That‘s very beneficial for our family life, too."

Let’s talk about our new project Balayage. Paul and you together developed this blend of yarns. What were the reasons for you to go for a merino-alpaca fibre mix? 

"That‘s easy: I love alpaca! Just look at the animals - they‘re truly have a personality! And the wool is so soft and cushy. Alpaca generally is a great choice for colour work patterns, which I love to work on."

As an expert for colours you were suggesting the colour palette for Balayage. Does the colour palette follow a special principle? 

"I enjoy knitting with many different colours - so the palette had to be diverse, with many possibilities to combine. For the same reason, it‘s important to have a good mix of colour pops and neutral shades - accents are wonderful, but you need more subtle colours as well to provide a good canvas for them. I think we did that extremely well with Balayage and I‘m looking forward to seeing all the different kinds of projects knitters will create with it."

Though this will definitely be a special yarn to you now, which is your favourite Pacuali yarn besides Balayage? 
"At H&H 2018, I fell in love with Alpaca Royal when I first held it my hands. Shortly after, I designed the Winter on my Mind shawl with it - one of my absolute favourites. So soft and delicate, and a real eye-catcher, knit with neutrals."
Winter on my Mind

Thank you very much Melanie! It was a pleasure having you at our showroom in Frechen!
Further beautiful triangle shawl designed by Melanie Berg, you can knit with our yarns.
Two Roads