RED Thread sweaters

RED Thread sweaters

About The Artist

Sue Peterson • Glenview, IL
Clothing - Accessories • WHOLESALE AVAILABLE

I design one of a kind sweaters that are hand loomed in fine quality, natural yarns. All pockets and buttons are sewn together by hand. Great effort is given to selecting buttons, trim color and other embellishments. As a child, I created a multitude of outfits for Barbie and other dolls and after high school attended Iowa State University to major in Textiles and Clothing with an emphasis on design. When I was introduced to sweater design at one of my first jobs out of college, something just clicked and I was fascinated that string could become an actual piece of clothing, for Barbie or otherwise. While I mainly sell my sweaters to small boutiques, I LOVE meeting the actual customer in person and working with them to find their next favorite sweater. I really enjoy hearing what draws a person to a sweater. I find it especially gratifying to create a design, pair it with yarn, knit it and have my customer tell me that she is still wearing the sweater 10-15 years later.


Artist website

Q&A with the Artist

Tell us how your work is made.

First, a design is created and yarn is selected. The order of that part changes. A swatch is knit up to see how the yarn behaves. A pattern is written and a first sample is made. In most cases, there is much trial and unwinding of yarn before settling with a finished sweater. The actual knitting is done on a knitting machine where each piece is knit separately such as back, front, sleeves, etc. are knit piece by piece. The necklines are shaped by placing needles on hold. We can also place stitches on hold to achieve extra stitches in certain areas of each sweater. The pieces are then connected by "hanging" them back on the machine, knitting and binding off. From that point ends are worked in by hand and the sweater is sewn together. Additional trims are hand cut, serged when needed and sewed on. All pockets and buttons are also sewn by hand.

What makes you passionate about the medium you work with?

Each time I start a new sweater with a new yarn, I can't wait to see what takes shape. Sometimes it's a disappointment either with the design or the yarn but it's still intriguing. Sometimes a sweater looks fantastic on paper but not knit up. Sometimes a yarn looks great on a presentation board but does not knit up nicely. That being said, simply knitting a sweater leads you to other ideas for design and in how you're able to manipulate the yarn. The entire process is very fun and where you end up is almost never where you started.

What is something unique about you or your practice?

Sweaters always speak to people differently than other clothing. The texture, the coziness, the color, the design all speak to people. Another thing that is unexpected is that when I first started designing sweaters, I took a yarn at its face value. Now, I enjoy that I'm able to take a piece of yarn and mix it with another piece of yarn for a totally different look and feel.