Ribblr of the Week - Meet Andrea 🏅

Say hello to Andrea (@oopsnloops) - our new Ribblr of the Week and the designer behind [OOPS & LOOPS!]

Hi! Happy to have you here, tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Andrea and I’m the person behind oops & loops. I’ll try to describe myself without sounding like I’m at a work interview. So, I stand by breakfast being the most important meal of the day – it must be salty; fluffy scrambled eggs are my go-to. True crime documentaries and medical shows are my guilty pleasure, but I am a sucker for a good sitcom (they just don’t make them like Friends anymore).

Half of my weekends are planned around 20 guys driving fast across the globe and if you’re wondering what team I cheer for, obviously Mercedes. I find joy in discovering new places and am devoted to find the best coffee shop wherever I go, except I don’t drink coffee so I judge them solely based on their chai lattes. And, of course, for three years now, you can almost always find me with a ball of yarn in one hand and a pair of needles in the other.

When did you start crafting and how?
It was my mom who first introduced me to knitting and embroidery. I can’t remember exactly how old I was, but definitely very little. I wasn’t a prodigy by any means, always embroidered on top of pre-drawn designs and my most ambitious knitting projects where garter stitch scarves done on flat knitting needles.

Oil painting was my safe creative space for the longest time, but I strayed from it as I grew older since it was very time consuming. After I graduated from school I went to live abroad and finding a creative outlet was an essential part of starting that new chapter for me. I debated for a long time between different mediums but the day I finally made up my mind I walked into an art store to pick up oil paints and turpentine and left with a yarn skein and my first pair of circular knitting needles.

And how did you start designing?
I knitted and crocheted for about a year before I even considered sharing my makes online. It was actually my best friend who encouraged me to do it – she even came up with the name and everything, absolute genius.

The purpose behind my Instagram wasn’t for it to turn into a crochet and knitwear design brand originally, but I had some lovely experiences test knitting for other designers and being a part of this big community that I just had to give it a go. My first design was The Lieblingsjumper, I knitted it for my 22nd birthday with some second-hand yarn I got off eBay. From there I kept thinking of things I wanted to create and haven’t stopped.

Do you have a favorite craft type and if so - why?
I always say no, but I must admit that I do mostly turn to knitting – perhaps because I consider myself a much more skilled knitter than crocheter. Also, I think they are so different and cannot be used interchangeably. Knitting to me has a certain flow to it that is ideal for garments whereas crochet gives me the structure I might want for accessories or even home decor. With knitting I’m very orderly and meticulous, always planning ahead. Crochet on the other hand brings out the fun, messy part in me.

Occasionally I’ll turn to embroidery or cross stitch – they’re like a palate cleanser that helps me clear my mind when I’m stuck with my designs.

What has been the most memorable project you worked on?
I’d say the first project I worked on after picking up knitting again. I had no idea about anything (imagine me googling the difference between knits and purls) but managed to get by with the help of the art store’s employees and a sweet online group of German knitters. It was a huge shawl that took me over a year to complete. I didn’t finish it all in one go, so you can see the difference in tension each time I picked it up again, which I think makes it that much special.

Here’s a recent picture of me wearing it to class!

What are you currently working on? Be honest - how many WIP do you have right now?
Do mind-WIPs count? If so, probably a hundred. My mind is always running with ideas that I’d certainly bring to life if I had a couple extra sets of hands.

But, currently on my needles, three. Two of them are scarves in the most beautiful pink shades. It’s getting a bit chilly outside, so small wool scarves keep me so cozy without adding too much bulk around my neck. I love the texture on them so much; hopefully I get to test and release the pattern this winter. The other WIP is a striped cardigan/top design I hope to finally cast on today and am super excited about – ugh, I love stripes!

Which of your makes/designs are you most proud of?
Definitely my Lieblingsvest. I was a newbie designer, and it was a fairly big challenge since it required a few techniques I wasn’t all too familiar with. But I had this vision in mind, and I couldn’t compromise on it. After a lot of YouTube videos and blogposts, lots of frogging and restarting, I knitted the exact thing I had envisioned. It gave me a huge confidence boost and the reassurance that I could pursue this if I wanted it badly enough.

What is your usual process of designing?
There’s two very opposite ways in which I design. One of them is very organized and schematic. I keep a super worn-out notepad around me to sketch out any ideas – I’ll make a note of the fit I want to achieve or the stitches I might want to use. Then I’ll move onto fibers and colors, which is a huge part of the process for me – I definitely think the wrong choice in this step can completely ruin a piece, so I’ll swatch a few options before deciding on one. While working on the sample I always keep an open mind as a lot of my plans often need a few tweaks here and there to create a piece that is not only pretty to the eye but also fun to make.

Other times it’s much more organic, I’ll pick out a yarn from my stash and just start knitting or crocheting with it –no planning or end goal. This route doesn’t always lead to a perfect garment, sometimes I only end up with a little square to hang on my wall, but it’ll always succeed in sparking excitement and curiosity in me, which is more than I can ask for in any project.

What inspires you to create/design?
My designs are always things I wish I had in my closet but don’t, whether that’s an upgraded version of something I already own or my own twist on something I’ve seen somewhere else. I definitely value texture and color work the most in my work – I think it’s fascinating how much you can create with just two stitches.

Earlier this year I made a color vision board for myself; it included nine pictures that resonated with me at that time, and it’s been so helpful as I no longer make things I love in colors that simply aren’t me. This is a great way to use platforms like Pinterest, as opposed to simply mindlessly scrolling through it.

Any favorite song, book or movie you would like to recommend?
Yes! So;

Song – anything by The 1975. Here are three of my favorite ones; I Think There’s Something You Should Know, Robbers and Pressure.

Book – Encontrarse by Charles Pépin. I read it for a uni class this year and absolutely loved it, definitely food for thought.

Movie – The Parent Trap. Classic, reminiscent of my childhood, only movie I can watch over and over again without ever getting tired of it.

Share a funny story that happened to you recently!
I’m getting a degree on Psychopedagogy and recently visited a school where a little girl kept asking me why I was talking to her in English. It took me a minute to understand that she was confused by our different accents, so much so that although we both spoke Spanish, she thought my Salvadoran accent was a completely different language. In retrospective, this might be only funny to those that work with children, lol.

What is your favorite feature on Ribblr?
Do you know how many times I’ve messed up a project because I read the wrong stitch count?! I love that you can opt to only view your size on the Ribblr platform, it’s so much easier than highlighting your size on the traditional pattern PDFs and saves me from many potential headaches caused by frogging.

Pay it forward - your shoutout to a fellow Ribblr
Here are some designers and patterns I love I love seeing on Ribblr!
@jaimecreates - The Aviva Wrap Top
@honeysuckleknits - The Cordially Yours Tee
@cosmaudi - The Pixel Hood
@DarnGoodYarn - Tiny Holiday Ornaments Bundle

Thanks so much for being here this week Andrea, it’s a pleasure reading about you!

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