May 28, 2023

Suomi by General Hogbuffer

Suomi by General Hogbuffer


Featured in amirisu Issue 26, published in 2023.


This time we're interviewing General Hogbuffer, who designed the intricate and engaging socks, Suomi. This is a fun design for using up some leftover yarns and playing with color.
Reading the interview, you can feel his respect for Finnish traditions and his sincerity and dedication to design.

amirisu: What was your inspiration for this design?
 Finland is the land of over 180,000 lakes and has many regions of outstanding natural beauty. As well as many traditional crafts, it also has a long standing tradition of knitting, and hand knitted socks are still a very popular item to give as a gift to loved ones. Its geopolitical history, however, makes it less easy to pinpoint specific regional styles, and Finnish knitters are notorious on Ravelry for their eclecticism and fearlessness when it comes to tackling new techniques and styles.

amirisu: What, if any, challenges did you encounter during the design process?
The goal was to use a variety of different techniques and elements to fully showcase the breadth of sock knitting in the Finnish tradition, so the difficulty was to design a sock that would not look cluttered or randomly chaotic. My sock uses cables, stranded colourwork and textured pattern, and these should complement and enhance each other aesthetically.

amirisu: If you were to knit this design in another color, what would it be?General: I have used shades of blue to reflect the water and the beauty of the boreal landscape, but my original submission also included an alternative version in strong, primary colours in the Saami tradition. In this case, I would probably increase the number of colours used. A very subtle version in purely neutral shades could equally look very elegant.

amirisu: How did you start your knitting journey?
General: I was taught the basics by my grandmother as a child, but I never did much until I knit a very simple tube dress for a course of my fashion degree at college. When I later found myself between jobs, I decided to utilise my free time to learn something that could possibly be of use professionally as well, and I ended up with sock knitting, probably because the different construction methods to achieve the correct shape around the heel really interested me, and the overall project was not too overwhelming for a beginner.

amirisu: How do you like to spend time in the summer? What do you like to knit or make in warmer months?
General: I am not great in very hot weather, and I hate the feeling of sticky yarn or sweaty fingers, so generally high summer tends to be more of a season for other crafts for me. However, I spent most of last summer knitting a blanket for my goddaughter, so clearly there are no hard and fast rules...

Thank you, General!