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Monday, 24 November 2014 09:10

giftalong 2014 Interview with Stana D.Sortor

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today's feature is on designer Stana D.Sortor aka Fifinka on Ravelry.com
My username is Fifinka and my website is stana-critters-etc.blogspot.com/

Hello, Stana! Welcome to our blog, Just in case people don’t know who you are… Who are you? Where are you?

My name is Stana. I am a dreamer, artist, photographer, writer, and designer. Originally from Europe, I live on the East Coast of USA at the moment.

Chameleon Leon Minion Pencil Box  
Fifi Minions  

How did you get into designing? Who taught you to knit? Can you crochet?

My grandmother taught me how to crochet when I was a little girl. She tried to teach me knitting as well, but it took me a while to actually enjoy it. Nowadays I hardly crochet, but spend plenty of time with knitting needles and yarn. 
Couple of years ago a friend of mine asked me to explain to her a knitting pattern that she had trouble with, and at first I did not understand it as well. I have spent a lifetime with knitting but never really used knitting patterns. I always improvised and made up my own stuff. Anyway eventually I figured out that particular pattern and was able to help her. After I joined Ravelry I have received messages from other knitters asking for patterns for my creations, so I tried and wrote my first pattern. I still keep trying and working my way through it.

I love your designs, Stana, your use of clever details in your toy patterns is both creative and beautiful, what inspires your designs?

I try to keep my eyes open and let the nature and world around inspire me.

Do you find yourself working often in a specific style or is every piece different for you?

It varies. Sometimes when answering the call for submission I work within their set guidelines. But for toys, I am free and playful and let my imagination go wild. Of course there is always somebody asking for something specific, and as every mom in the world I try to make my child happy by knitting whatever is on the never-ending and ever-evolving list.

Who are your yarn heros? Do you have a favourite yarn or brand you love to use?

For toys I prefer to use cotton, or acrylic (for my charitable donations). Otherwise I let the colors and yarns speak to me.

What is your favourite part of designing? Is there a least favourite part of designing?

Playing with yarn and knitting needles and watching the finished project come to life, is probably my favorite part. My least favorite part is sitting in front of computer and type.

Who are your design heroes? What is about them that inspires you?

Too many to list.

What do you see yourself doing/exploring in 2015? Is there something you’d love to learn?

Hopefully by the end of January The Knit Season my e-book will be ready. After the work on this e-book is finished, perhaps a week or two without deadlines. 
I still would love to try Entrelac and play with polka dots in double knitting.

I can’t wait to see what you come up with in 2015! Thank you for taking time to chat to us, Stana! If you’d like to see the Stana’s latest work, check out her website:

Stana’s critters etc: 
Blog: http://stana-critters-etc.blogspot.com/ 
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Stanas-critters-etc/1857978... 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Stanascritters 
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/stanascritters/ 
Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/shop/Stanascrittersetc

Thursday, 20 November 2014 12:40

WIPs Giftalong2014 OPPs in focus

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I've bought a few patterns in the giftalong2014 promotion so far, these are listed below and I'll be doing regular updates of my progress with pictures and comments.

Taliesin Sweater by Leeana Gardiner

Taliesin Sweater

The mystical Taliesin is another treasured character from The Ancient Future by Traci Harding. His violet eyes and magical abilities were what came to mind when using the purple sparkly yarn for the Mini Taliesin. The Celtic cables with their many twists and turns complements Taliesin’s many plans and abilities.    I love the cable panel and the ease of shaping for this piece, I need to add hip and waist shaping as well as short rows for the bust.

This pattern is bottom up and in pieces. The set in sleeves and seams help to provide structure in this sweater. 

Mom's Favourite Color (hat) by Paige Reisenfeld

Moms Favourite Colour hat

“Mom’s Favorite Color” is a quick, slightly slouchy bottom-up hat that looks more complicated than it is. It uses only one color per row and the plaid effect is created by slipped stitches. The name is a tribute to my mom, who in answer to the age-old question, “What is your favorite color?” always replied, “Plaid.”

Brix Coat by Denise Voie de Vie

brix coat

the yarn used is Lion Brand Amazing, I've used this a lot and it's a fantastic value choice, washes well too!   I have some gorgeous purple fur yarn to trim this with and can't wait to use it.   This would be my first crochet garment, so wish me luck!

 

postgrad by Alicia Plummer.  

postgrad by Alicia Plummer 

I'm also knitting

Cranberry Brioche Sweater by Ashwini Jambhekar 

Cranberry Brioche Sweater

This sweater is worked from the bottom up, flat, and seamed. The sweater back is plain stockinette, while the front has a cable panel, which is proportional across sizes. The sleeves feature a cable detail at the wrists. The cowl neck is worked in the round in brioche rib-- brief instructions for brioche rib are provided in the pattern, as well as links to photo and video tutorials online.   I have some deep, rich red yarn which would look fabulous for this pattern.   Planning to cast on today and finish for Christmas.

The Spear Maidens Heart Fingerless by Erica Mount

The symmetrical heart and spear motif breaks through the latvian braid, creating interesting detail in these mitts.  The pattern is appropriate for intermediate colorwork knitters. It includes instructions for the braids. The chart is color coded.

 

Thursday, 20 November 2014 00:00

GAL Interview Leeana Gardiner aka whirlsie

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Today we are chatting to Leeana Gardiner, her username on Ravelry.com is whirlsie and my website is whirlsie.com

As well as Ravelry and my website, you can also find me in these crafty places online:

Blog | Craftsy | Etsy | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter | YouTube

Hello, Leeana! Welcome to our blog, Just in case people don’t know who you are…

Taliesin Sweater by Leeana Gardiner
Who are you? Where are you? 

Hi everyone! My name is Leeana Gardiner and I live in Canberra, Australia. I am well known everywhere online as Whirlsie, and will even answer to it!! My life is filled will family, friends, knitting yarn and anything crafty. I share my life with my wonderful partner and his gorgeous 6 year old, who has become my little model for my designs and is learning to knit herself.

How did you get into designing? Who taught you to knit? Can you crochet? 
I learned to knit at age 6 and was taught by my mother, however less than 2 years later she sadly passed away and I think I continued to knit as my way of keeping that connection. I learned to crochet granny squares at 15 but it has never really grabbed me as knitting has. My knitting world never really expanded until I was introduced to Ravelry back in 2008, then it was an explosion of patterns and learning new techniques (You should see my queue, it has over 800 patterns!)

As for designing, I have always modified patterns, but a wonderful friend of mine, Sophie, encouraged me (for years!) to start designing. It wasn’t until I created the Maile Beanie pattern that I thought it was for me. So, since March this year I have designed 12 patterns and I have been having a blast!

Little Taliesin
I love your designs, Leeana, your use of cables and clever finishing details is gorgeous! What inspires your designs?
 
I adore cables! I have always been a fan of celtic knots and the more intricate and challenging the better. Most of my designs have been inspired by my favourite book, The Ancient Future by Traci Harding, as there are certain features that reflect different characters, such as the hearts for Katren and the twists and turns in the Taliesin sweaters.

Do you find yourself working often in a specific style or is every piece different for you? 
I try really hard to make my designs different, but more often than not there will be cables involved.

Who are your yarn heros? Do you have a favourite yarn or brand you love to use? 
My stash is made up mostly of Bendigo Woollen Mills yarn, as I love the big, 200g balls (less ends to sew in), the colour range is amazing, and the price is reasonable. I also have a lot of Fibrewebs yarns, however these are a little harder to come by (twice a year at the local markets here in Canberra), but I am lucky in that I know the dyer. I am hoping to try some more yarns in the future, so my yarn stash continues to grow.

What is your favourite part of designing? Is there a least favourite part of designing? 
I get so excited when someone has knit my designs. I love to see the pattern pages pop up and all of the photos being added. This is by far my favourite part of designing. I love to chat with everyone, so I am always around in my group on Ravelry, on my Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram. 
My least favourite part… I’m not too sure… I guess I drag my feet a little when it comes to writing the pattern up, but that’s only so that I can make sure I get the wording right. I am lucky that I have some wonderful test knitters who help me out, when I get stuck on the wording.

Little Cherry Sweater
Who are your design heroes? What is about them that inspires you?
 
I have so many designers that I adore. Amy Herzog, Elena Nodel, Georgie Hallam, Kelly Brooker and Alex Tinsley. They are all very talented, have wonderful designs and gorgeous photos.

What do you see yourself doing/exploring in 2015? Is there something you’d love to learn? 
I think my goal for 2015 would be to have a design published, it would be lovely to see my work in ‘print’, it is something I am a little nervous about, but that just means it’s a great challenge to set myself!

I can’t wait to see what you come up with in 2015! Thank you for taking time to chat to us, Leeana! If you’d like to see the Leeana’s latest work, check out her website:www.whirlsie.com

Today's intervew is with Knitwear Designer Jessica K Larson, aka GooseBearKnits on Ravelry.com.    Like us, Jessica is taking part in the Indie Designer Gift-Along2014 and has a bundle of gorgoues patterns with 25% off from 13th-21st November so don't miss out!

When did you learn to knit Jessica?

I’m a knitwear designer based out of Cleveland, Ohio, USA. By day I’m a design engineer in the aerospace industry. In the evenings and on the weekends, I knit to unwind.

What made you start designing knitwear?  Can you crochet?

My mother and my grandmother taught me to knit when I was about 5 or 6. I knit on and off over the years, but when I graduated from engineering school, I suddenly had lots of free time. I dug out my knitting supplies and have never looked back. It wasn’t until then that I learned how to read a pattern, so I’ve always had the ability to improvise a pattern.

After spending several years knitting patterns from other designers, I began to improvises more and more. Sit and Knit friends at my LYS eventually succeeded in encouraging me to publish my creations so they could make one too ;-)

My crochet skills are limited to things that enhance my knitting…crochet chain for provisional cast ons, scallops for blanket edgings, etc. There are some amazing crochet patterns I’d love to try someday, but it’s hard to put aside my knitting for something else.

Which of your designs feature in the GAL promotion?

GiftAlong2014-Designs by Jessica K Larson - GooseBearKnits

I love your designs, Jessica, your use of colour and texture is gorgeous! What inspires your designs?

Thank you. My inspiration comes from lots of sources. My family, my travels, a fun stitch pattern, a new-to-me technique I want to try.

My brain likes to play the “What if” game with knitting, especially when it comes to shapes and construction…what if I place an increase here instead of there, what if I wrap the yarn this way instead of that way, what if I use short rows in a slightly different way, etc…

I love architecture and I have endless of ideas inspired places I’ve seen in my travels.

Lakewood Shawl
Do you find yourself working often in a specific style or is every piece different for you?

For me, each piece is different. The beauty of self-publishing is that I can knit what I want when I want. I have a tentative plan, but no hard deadlines, so I can move things around to suit my whim.

Everything I design start fulfills something in particular…an item I want in my wardrobe, a gift I want to give, a technique I want to try, a yarn I want to play with…the rest of my design process flows from there.

Who are your yarnie heros? Do you have a favourite yarn or brand you love to use?

Ooh, I’m so glad you asked this question. I love working with and helping promote indie dyers. Lately I’ve been working with three amazing women.

First there’s Annie Riley of Annie Yarn which is available through Woolhouse Fiber. Annie offers a wide array of options from subscriptions and kits to an extensive list of dyed-to-order colorways and bases. Her Madison bases are the softest squooshiest merino I’ve ever laid hands on ;-) 
Ravelry Group: Annie Yarn

Next up is new indie dyer CSDye. Amanda’s day job is as a CSI. She’s creatively combined her love for her work with her love for fiber and color. Soon I’ll be releasing a Hat and Mitts set knit up in her Motive Worsted base and let me tell you it is beyond swoon worthy! 
Ravelry Group: CSDye

Last but not least is another new Indie Dyer Call Me Sally Yarn. Sally’s specialty is gradient yarns, all colors connected on a single strand of yarn. Her gorgeous gradients inspired my Snark shawl. Oh and she does custom colorways with fast turn around times too. 
Ravelry group: Call Me Sally Yarn

Oh, this might be a good time to mention that any GAL project is eligible for prizes (including goodies from these yarnies) in the GAL with GBK event over in my Ravelry Group. Stop over and check it out.

Drexmore Hat
What is your favourite part of designing? Is there a least favourite part of designing?

My favorite part? Trying out new ideas and finding a way to make them work. I’m happiest when I have yarn and needles in my hands ;-)

Oh, and my fans. They’re my favorite too. It’s so gratifying that other people enjoy my designs enough to use their precious yarn and knitting time to make them too!

Least favorite…hmmm, it used to be photography but now that I’ve found someone to take care of that for me, I’d have to say the marketing/self-promotion.

Who are your design heroes? What is about them that inspires you?

Mia Rinde. She designs the most beautiful shawls and her patterns are clear and easy to follow. I wish I had time to knit every one of them because I want them all ;-)

What do you see yourself doing/exploring in 2015?

I’ll be starting off the year with an MKAL (mystery knit-a-long), which I’m very excited about. In May I’ll be teaming up with the Prject-a-month KAL group on Ravelry for the first time.

As far as new designs, I’ve got several shawls in the works. I’ve got some other ideas brewing ;-)

 

Thanks for chatting to us today, Jessica

To see more of  Jessica's work,  Jessica K Larson, aka GooseBearKnits on Ravelry, Twitter, Ravelry Group for GooseBearKnits

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday, 20 November 2014 00:00

Indie Gift Along 2014 - interview with Arlette Thibodeau

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Indie Design Gift Along 2014 Interview with Arlette Thibodeau aka arlette on ravelry.com and @arlette_knits

As part of Ravelry's Indie Design Gift-Along, I'm interviewing desigers. 

Hello, Arlette. Welcome to my blog. Just in case people don’t know who you are… Who are you? Where are you?

I’m Arlette Thibodeau, born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Arlette Knits

How did you come to design knitwear? Who taught you to knit/crochet?

I learned to knit about ten years ago. My friend Sarah Fama tried to teach me, and I just plain did not get it. It was infuriating. I was really used to being smart and able to pick things up quickly, but even after half an hour of her patient explaining, I couldn’t knit a single row unassisted. I got so  that I bought myself a copy of Stitch ‘n’ Bitch and pretty much didn’t leave the house for six weeks until I could knit, purl, increase and decrease, cable and even do some rudimentary two-color stranded knitting.

As for desigining: The Bay Area has a very strong maker culture. The gap between liking something and being a part of it yourself is very small. People tend not to tell you “That sounds hard, are you sure you want to do it?” and they don’t treat you like you’re crazy for wanting to put your stamp on the world. There were designers in most of the knitting groups I went to, so it always felt like something I could be if I wanted to. And because I’m massively competitive, I couldn’t just, say, knit a hat, I had to see if I could take it all the way through to self-publishing it. I’m terrible at having relaxing hobbies.

I love your designs, your modular shawl Flatirons is stunning! What inspires your designs?

flatirons shawl
Thanks! That’s what I like to hear!

Like many designers, I’m inspired by places and nature. I like unearthing details and relationships you might not notice until you get up close. Temescal is named after a neighbourhood in my city, Oakland, and features a yarn from Pigeonroof Studios, an incredible yarn dyer the next town over. There’s another hat design I’m working on that’s based on the way the Lake Merritt, which is right in the center of Oakland, reflects the city lights at night. Flatirons happened after I walked all the way from downtown Boulder to Chautaqua Park in the middle of winter and scrambled most of the way up the peak, when I had plenty of time to notice the parallel lines of the sandstone that makes up the rock formation.

For me pattern inspiration is a grown-up, artsy version of turning over rocks as a kid and seeing what – and who – I’ll find underneath.

Do you find yourself working often in a specific style or is every piece different for you?

I am an unremitting tomboy. I have a hard time with lace, frills, ruffles, bright colors, and so on. I end up playing a lot with texture, or tonal variations like in Flatirons, to scratch that itch for variety in a very restrained way. I like things that are subtle from afar but incredibly rich and layered up close – like Brian Eno’s ideas about ambient music.

Except for stripes, and the color red. Those I will use in any combination, as much as possible and as loudly as possible. I’m finishing a huge second sample of Flatirons to better show off the stripes, in the most vivid hot orange and red you can think of. You could probably see it from space. But even then I’m finding a way to crank down the texture – it’s in laceweight yarn, so the individual stitches practically disappear.

Temescal Hat

Who are your yarnie heros? Do you have a favourite yarn or brand you love to use?

Yeah! One local, one less so.

Pigeonroof Studios is just jaw-dropping. The colors are vivid and deep, the yarns are incredible to knit with, and the colorways are so my style: There are these colorways like “Meteorite” and “Railroad Spike” that look gray or blue or black from afar, but up close, you can count a dozen different colors in them. I love that.

The other is Gypsy Wools (they’re on Google+ too!), a yarn dyer and yarn store in Boulder, Colorado. The nature-inspired colorways get me every time! Whenever I visit I tend to freak out and get the same colorway across multiple yarn bases – the yarn materials really affect the final colors and I find it completely fascinating. 

What is your favorite part of designing? What’s the hardest part of being a designer?

The best is that moment when a swatch comes together after a whole lot of wrong attempts and outright failures, and I know my sketches and drawn-out ideas are about to become real.

Least favourite? Waiting for test knitters to update me on how their projects are going. Waiting is the worst. 

Who are your design heroes?

In a Pinterest-happy world that’s all hung up on spare, floaty, very delicate and minimalist fashion, it’s really nice to see examples of women who have really unconventional and kinda earthy but restrained styles that run through all of their work.

Kate Davies – I love her style! I ended up buying the exact same little red backpack as she has because of one of her posts, and I love her fresh twists on really traditional styles. Deco is just perfect. I love her sense of place. She immerses herself in the history and seasons of the places she admires. I also love her very feminist appreciation for the work of women and blue-collar workers throughout knitting history.

Caitlin ffrench – Different place, but many of the same reasons. She is so utterly herself, and so close to the places she loves.

What do you see yourself doing/exploring in 2015?

Grading my first sweater design. I have a lot of ideas for garments, but it’s going to be a big step up for me, knowledge-wise.

I can’t wait to see what you come up with in 2015! Thank you for taking time to chat to us, Arlette!

If you’d like to see more of Arlette's work at arletteknits.com

 

 

Indie Design Gift Along 2014 Interview with Brenda Castiel

As part of Ravelry's Indie Design Gift-Along, I'm interviewing desigers. In this interview we meet Brenda Castiel aka goodstuff on Ravelry.com 

Hello, Brenda. Welcome to my blog. Just in case people don’t know who you are… Who are you? Where are you?

I have been knitting on and off since my teens, but became somewhat obsessed with it in 2007.

I’m a transplanted Canadian living in Los Angeles. I just love squishy wools, lots of cables and

textures, but there’s a limited season for them here in LA. I like to work with cottons and blends

for our mild climate.

I believe that even beginner knitters can create something beautiful and useful, so I try to keep

patterns simple yet original. I am “Goodstuff” on Ravelry, and I blog at

http://knitandtravelandsuch.blogspot.com/

collage designs 2014 small medium

How did you come to design knitwear? Who taught you to knit/crochet?

I got into designing in 2010, mainly because I just wanted to give it a try and see if I could do it! I submitted ideas to magazines, and they got accepted! I'm a self taught knitter; I taught myself out of a little pamphlet from Paton’s when I was a teenager. I like to figure things out for myself even now. No sorry, I don't crochet, apart from a single chain stitch.

I love your designs, instant classics, your use of colour and yarn texture is gorgeous! What inspires your designs?

Inspiration - that's a good question! Sometimes I see a beautiful yarn and I want to do something with it. Sometimes I come across an interesting stitch pattern and I just want to use it somewhere. Sometimes I just sit down and sketch and think - what can I do that's different from what's out there? So for example, there so many triangle shawls out there, that I decided to try different shapes... just to be different and stand out from the crowd. Sometimes I'm inspired by a specific event: for example I designed a shawl for a knitting retreat that was being held in a famous apple growing area. I decided to symbolize that, so I took the theme of apples and designed the “An Apple a Day” shawl. It has motifs of apple blossoms, harvest baskets, and apples, and leaves.

Richmond Mitts by Brenda Castiel

Do you find yourself working often in a specific style or is every piece different for you?

I guess there are some common aspects, but mostly they are different each time. A baby sweater will not have much in common with a beaded shawl!

Who are your yarnie heros? Do you have a favourite yarn or brand you love to use?

There are a few special yarn companies out there that I love. One that I've had good success with is 3 Irish Girls. They just turn out beautiful colors year after year and they're very inspiring. Other favorites are Malabrigo - everybody's favourite, Madeline Tosh, and Sweet Georgia. I like Cascade and I’ve done a lot of work with Knit Picks yarn. I find it really nice to work with.

What is your favorite part of designing? What’s the hardest part of being a designer?

My favorite part of designing I guess, is the inspiration. The fun part is getting the ideas, and putting them together. The least favorite part I think, is actually writing up the pattern. The knitting is done, now you have to write it all out step by step. That can be tiresome, especially when there are a lot of numbers involved!

Who are your design heroes?

Design heroes -- there so many! One of my favorites is Norah Gaughan. She just has a way with texture and cables and shapes that is really impressive. Amy Herzog with her Knit to Flatter approach. She helps you analyze what type of sweaters work on different body types and encourages you to adapt patterns to make them work for you. Also Romi Hill for her shawls – beautiful!

What do you see yourself doing/exploring in 2015?

2015 -- that's a good question. I have a couple of contracts with magazines which should result in some published designs next year. I hope to continue to work with 3 Irish Girls yarn company and I'm looking to get involved with some new yarns. For example Outlaw yarns, from New Zealand, looks really interesting and I hope to work with them.

Thank you very much for the opportunity!

I can’t wait to see what you come up with in 2015! Thank you for taking time to chat to us, Brenda!

If you’d like to see more of Brenda's work at http://www.ravelry.com/designers/brenda-castiel

 

Welcome to the fabulous Indie Design Gift-a-long 2014. All the designs in this bundle by Loraine Birchall for Woolly Madly Deeply will be on sale from November 13th to November 21st for 25% off, using the giftalong code that works for all the participating designers: 

giftalong2014

And join us for fun, games and gift-knitting: KAL/CALs will run from Thursday, November 13 at 8pm (US-EST) through our New Years Eve party, Wednesday, December 31 at midnight (US-EST), plenty of time to knock out all your holiday knitting and crocheting. We have games, tons of prizes, great conversation, and a lot of fun, so pull up a chair and join us!

thanks for reading.  Happy Knitting from Loraine

GiftalongBanner medium

 

 

 

 

 

 

Indie Design Gift Along 2014 Interview with Hanna Tjukanov

As part of Ravelry's Indie Design Gift-Along, I'm interviewing desigers. In this interview we meet Hanna Tjukanov aka Hannairina on Ravelry.com 

Hello, Hanna! Welcome to my blog. Just in case people don’t know who you are… Who are you? Where are you?

I’m an interior architect by profession, and a knitter, sewist, yogi, gardener and baker on my free time. I live in Helsinki in southern Finland.

image medium

maireaknits.tumblr.com/

How did you come to design knitwear? Who taught you to knit/crochet?

I first began to write patterns when I posted a crohet cat toy on my blog, and someone asked if I could write a pattern for it. My first two paid patterns (Tiptoe Slippers and Stripe on Stripe Socks) were things I originally designed for my Etsy shop to sell as finished knits. After a year or so I began to realize that I’m not really a maker, and maybe knitting just one sample would make more sense to me. Yes, it did make more sense, and I really enjoy the design process from sketching to pattern photography.

I learned to crochet when I was six, and knit maybe a year later. Nothing special about learning to crochet: my mother taught me. Knitting is a little different, though. My sister got a knitting starter kit as a birthday present, but I knew she wasn’t that into doing crafts. I sort of stole it from her, and taught myself to knit following the tutorials in the kit. I still have those 5 mm needles somewhere in here.

I love your designs, instant classics, your use of colour and yarn texture is so beautiful! What inspires your designs?

(Ok, I blushed a little. Thank you!) My designs can be divided into two groups: functional things (Tiptoe Slipper, Piilo and Peti) and things that just look nice or are interesting to knit (the rest). I like to come up with ways of using knitting techniques functionally. As an example, the colorwork stripe in Tiptoe Slippers is there to double the amount of yarn near the toes, so that the toes stay warm. In Piilo and Peti I wanted to use garter stitch vertically to gain more structure.

When I design stranded mittens I draw inspiration from traditional Nordic knitting. I have a couple of magazines from 1940’s, and it’s really interesting to examine the charts. What I especially like is the way of keeping long floats to minimum without losing the variety in ornaments. I’m always exited when I manage to chart something interesting, but still easy to knit without constantly twisting yarns.

Piilo

Do you find yourself working often in a specific style or is every piece different for you?

When I come up with a potential new design I usually check it against all others to see if it fits in. I have a vague idea of my brand or concept -what ever you want to call it- and try to ask myself where the sketch goes within the outlines of it. I don’t have a long term master plan, but sort of want to keep things together.

Who are your yarnie heros? Do you have a favourite yarn or brand you love to use?

I have a very good relationship with Pirkkalanka from Pirkanmaan kotityö. It’s a smallish Finnish company, and the yarn is the best traditional wool yarn I’ve come across so far. Not too soft and doesn’t pill much. And last, but definitely not least, it comes in about 70-80 different colors. I try not to over-use it on samples, though, because it might be too hard to get worldwide.

What is your favorite part of designing? What’s the hardest part of being a designer?

Favorite: sample knitting. 

Hardest: dealing with numbers. I get dizzy just thinking about that.

Who are your design heroes?

I’m going to have to say Michele Wang, because a) I keep ending up knitting her designs by accident, and b) her patterns are sometimes like detective stories and I stay up too late knitting because I need to know what happens next.

What do you see yourself doing/exploring in 2015?

This is a tough one at the moment. I’m not sure how EU tax laws are going to affect on what I do, and everything is currently on hold because of that. What I would like to do though, is to look further into what I could do with knitting and furniture. Or furniture type objects. That’s something that hasn’t been done much, and to me it’s always interesting to look for new ways of using old techniques.

What would you like to learn in 2015?

Ha! How to fit knitwear design into my daily schedule of 2 hours at the yoga studio, 8 hours at the office, and 7 hours sleeping.

I can’t wait to see what you come up with in 2015! Thank you for taking time to chat to us, Hanna!

If you’d like to see the Hanna’s latest work, check out her website: add url, link to facebook, twitter etc

Instagram: http://instagram.com/hanna_irina 
Tumblr: http://maireaknits.tumblr.com

 

Indie Design Gift Along 2014 Interview

As part of Ravelry's Indie Design Gift-Along, I'm interviewing two knitwear designers. In this interview we meet Corley Groves, aka cagroves91 on Ravelry.com her website is http://craftedbycorley.blogspot.com/   to see Corley's Giftalong patterns, click here

 

Hello, Corley! Welcome to my blog. Just in case people don't know who you are... Who are you? Where are you?

Hello! A little about me: I’m a recent college graduate currently working as a nanny and performing in different plays at local theaters while I try to work it all out. Taking it all one step at a time. I’m currently in the US in Central Florida in a tiny little town.

GAL medium

How did you come to design knitwear?  Who taught you to knit?

When I was in 8th grade my English class spent one of our class periods going to the school book fair like we did every year since kindergarten. Only this time they had a kit to learn how to knit! I’d always wanted to learn and this came with a set of wooden needles and 5 small balls of yarn in fun bright colors all packaged in an adorable wicker basket. I knew I had to buy it! So I went to my Gammi’s (grandma) house where she taught me the basics: casting on, knitting, and purling. From there I took off! When I wanted to learn something new I hopped on the internet and looked it up. So other than that first lesson, I’m a self-taught knitter.

Designing came to me much later. I’d always wanted to try it out but was too nervous. I didn’t think I had anything original to add. But as time went by I became more and more inspired by the different patterns I came across and decided to bite the bullet and just try it out! That first design I don’t even count as my first design. My Wonderful Tea Wallet. I just wanted one and couldn’t find a pattern that I liked. It wasn’t until 2 years later (June of 2014) that I published what I consider to be my first design: Lattice Baby Hat. I’m not sure what was different this time, but it felt more real to me. The process stuck with me and I knew I wanted to keep designing

I love your designs Corley! What inspires your designs?

I get my designs from all over! I never know what’s going to inspire me until I see it. Sometimes it’s a stitch pattern that I come across, or a garment I see someone wearing. I’ve gotten inspiration from fabrics and scrapbook paper. Something will just catch my attention and I’ll think “I could use that..” Then it’s off to the sketchbook to figure out what it’s going to turn into.

Diamonds and Cables Cardigan small

Do you find yourself working often in a specific style or is every piece different for you?

Every pattern is its own adventure. While I don’t start out with a specific style in mind, I think now that I’ve got a few patterns out there I’m starting to notice some common themes. And I think that just comes with the territory. When you’re designing your style and energy shine through each piece whether you are specifically intending it or not. I like to keep things fun and I like to have a good mixture of simple and challenging pieces.

Who are your yarnie heros?  Do you have a favourite yarn or brand you love to use?

I’m always on the lookout for inexpensive yarn that doesn’t feel inexpensive! I’ve become a huge fan of all of the Knit Picks yarn. I don’t have a LYS so all my yarn shopping happens at chain craft stores or online. And Knit Picks has become my go-to for online yarn shopping. They have such a wide variety of types and colors and their pricing is great!”

What is your favorite part of designing?

Oh all of it! I have so much fun during the whole process. Most of the time I even have fun doing all the math! Though sometimes I wish that part would do itself. But I think my real favorite is watching the design take shape. Once I’ve written out the pattern and I start to work up the sample and I see the design come to life - you can’t beat that!”

Beanstalk vest
Who are your design heroes?

While I am constantly impressed and inspired by all of the wonderful designers out there, I find myself making a lot of Boknits designs. I’ve been a test knitter for her on about 5 designs now and I know I’ll do more in the future. I’m mostly in awe by how quickly she can knit and crank out new patters! She always has multiple tests going on at once.

What do you see yourself doing/exploring in 2015?

My current designs focus on babies and children and I’d like to start expanding out from that. I will continue to design baby and kid knits (I’ve got a couple designs in the works now) but I want to expand my audience. So my next endeavor will be some adult accessories. Maybe some cabling or color work. Who knows! We’ll just have to wait and see.

I can't wait to see what you come up with in 2015! Thank you for taking time to chat to us, Corley

Corley on Facebook, Corley on Google+

Thursday, 13 November 2014 13:01

Designer Profile - Danielle Morgan aka goldenapple

Written by

Today's profile is about Knitwear Designer Danielle Morgan, aka goldenapple on Ravelry.com.    Like us, Danielle is taking part in the Indie Designer Gift-Along2014 and has a bundle of gorgoues patterns with 25% off from 13th-21st November so don't miss out!

When did you learn to knit Danielle?

I learned to knit in 1st grade and forgot by 6th. When I started knitting again in my twenties, everything I knit was free-hand - without patterns. This helped me gain confidence as a knitter, but it was often frustrating because I’m a perfectionist. Every project was ripped out and started over more than once. In 2006 I decided I was ready to take on sweaters and patterns. Of course, I ended up modifying these as well.

What made you start designing knitwear?

In 2013 I began publishing my designs and started a new website and blog. Over the next year I will be traveling through the southwest (and beyond, hopefully) to learn everything I can about locally produced fiber. I will also be interviewing designers, yarn dyers, weavers, spinners and other independent fiber artists.

I have a Ravelry group which is here, do come and say hello and join in our KALs.   See me on Facebook, See me on Instagram

Which of your designs feature in the GAL promotion?

GAT PT 500 medium

Whitman, a cute, slouchy hat made with moss stitch which is perfect for those indie dyed, semi solids and mottled yarns. Sized from kids to adults, you could make one for all the family.

the matching Whitman Mitts, another cute pattern, ideal for gift knitting, go on, treat yourself or someone you love, you know YOU WANT TO.

Freemont Market, An adventure in color, this shawl was inspired by the Fremont Sunday Market in Seattle. The textured stitch pattern in the central panel is accented by garter stitch wings which increase quickly. Recommendations and guidance are given to help you make choices along the way so that you can design a color adventure all your own. The pattern includes recommendations for one, two and three color designs. This is also an excellent choice for stash busting mini skeins and remnants.

Del Norte, Inspired by the mountains of Northern New Mexico, this shawl uses texture, ratio and geometric space to create a subtle play of light and shadow. Although the pattern is best suited for fingering, sport, or dk it can really be knit in any weight of yarn because it is based on ratios. In order to knit this pattern as written, it is best to use a kitchen scale; however, instructions are included and support is available if you do not have access to a scale.

Thanks for chatting to us today, Danielle

 

 

 

 

 

 

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