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Designer Spotlight: Whakamārie Top by Françoise Danoy

Françoise Danoy is a quick study when it comes to knitting and designing. She taught herself how to knit in January 2014 as a New Year’s resolution. Since then, she’s published 22 original knitwear patterns!

As a Franco-Māori American Australian (that’s right, she has four citizenships), Françoise tries to bring a rich sense of heritage to all of her designs. The newly released Whakamārie Top (Māori for calmness/tranquility) is a stylish, drop-sleeve tee knit in Berroco Maya. It features a beautiful center panel with lace and cable details.

Get 10% off when you purchase the Whakamārie Top by Sunday 8/2!

Whakamārie Top by Françoise  Danoy
Whakamārie Top by Françoise Danoy

Tell us how/why you came up with this design?

One of my goals this year was to challenge myself in terms of design and one of those challenges was to learn more about garment design. Whakamārie was my answer to this challenge. It includes waist shaping, picking up stitches, diverse knitting techniques and texture, grading a pattern for various sizes and providing knitters the option for knitting the garment seamed or seamless. I also love combining lace and cable stitches as center panel motifs, allowing space for stockinette sections on the side, giving even more power to the knitter to easily adjust and modify the pattern as they see fit.

How did you decide on the yarn?

I wanted a yarn that would knit up quickly but also wouldn’t be heavy or too hot for the summer months. My friend Lucinda, who owns the yarn store Mont-Tricot in Quebec, helped me choose the yarn. I love the chainette construction of the yarn, as well as the cotton/alpaca blend.

What’s your favorite thing about knitting?

Knitting has given me a way to reconnect to the Māori culture. Having grown up in the US and France, I never had a good chance to learn about my cultural heritage. Ever since I picked up knitting and designing, both of my parents encouraged me to incorporate Māori motifs into my designs. I had to do lots and lots of research, but I’ve learned so much about my mother’s culture, and I have so much more to learn and connect to. It’s thanks to knitting that gave me the push to do so!

Whakamārie Top by Françoise  Danoy
Whakamārie Top by Françoise Danoy


Do you have a cool design you want to share? Or did you recently finish a project with Berroco yarn? You can email Ashley: or post it to the Berroco Lovers forum in Ravelry.

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