After studying fashion design in New York City and discovering a love for knitwear, Madison native Laura Walgenbach brought her knitting and sewing skills back to her hometown and founded Pointelle Designs. She creates knitted scarves, mittens and hats and sells online at etsy.com and to more than 15 retailers in the Midwest.
Pointelle Designs knitwear can be found at Madison retailers The Social Lounge on Lakeside Street, Middleton’s The Regal Find and Shoo on State Street. Walgenbach is also November’s featured artist at Hatch Art House.
Walgenbach graduated with an undergraduate degree from UW-Madison and then moved to New York City and attended the Fashion Institute of New York. It was in her fashion classes that she discovered a love for knitting and knitwear.
“I was always sewing and making things, but I ended up loving knitwear and specializing in it,” she said. While she had known how to knit for years, she learned how to knit on brother knitting machines. She uses that method now for the fingerless mittens she designs. Her line this year also includes winter headbands, hats, cowl scarves and infinity scarves. Most pieces are knit, but some scarves are also made in silk, cotton or rayon blends.
The pieces are identifiable, she said, by their soft texture and full, extravagant shapes. She primarily uses natural fibers of wool and alpaca, especially from the American yarn manufacturer Brown Sheep.
While she sells on etsy.com to buyers throughout the United States, Walgenbach said her best reaction has been by building relationships with local gift stores.
“I think handmade pieces like this do best in stores because people can feel the quality and the substance of the piece,” she said.
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