This week yarn tragics around the globe are taking part in World Wide Knit in Public Day (WWKIP). I'm proud to be hosting an event in Canberra you can RSVP over here . To help celebrate I'm also interviewing some well known bloggers every day this week at suzy hausfrau about what they are working on and their plans for WWKIP. So make yourself a cuppa, sit back and enjoy today's guest blogger, Kirsten Johnstone...and excuse me for my indulgence as I just admire her work sooo much!
Kirsten Johnstone is an Architect based in Melbourne, Australia. She uses yarn, fabric and photography to explore her modern Architectural aesthetic on a smaller scale.
She has an eye for flattering forms that are deceptively simple yet frequently transformable; designs with a distinctive urban edge yet elegantly wearable.
I can knit and crochet. But I seriously lack confidence with crochet! Crochet needs me to clear the room of distractions and set aside hours to wrap my head around it for some reason. But knitting? Pick up and knit a few rows here, there and anywhere.
Tell us about how old you were when you learnt and who taught you.
I was taught to sew, knit and crochet by my mum who has always been incredibly creative – she sewed her own wedding dress! She recalls me knitting booties at 5 or 6 years of age. I am very thankful to her for passing on her love for “making” to me and I hope to do the same with my children.
I have always designed and sewn my own clothes but my knitting stopped in my teens until a return to knitting in 2007, inspired by the blogosphere.
Tell us about what project/s you have on the go right now.
Right now... Okay. I cast off a new hat design this morning while sitting in the car waiting for a Site Meeting to start (I like being able to take small projects with me in the car to pass my time productively whenever and wherever I can!).
Other than that, I am awaiting a yarn delivery for a new design for a US yarn company and not really wanting to get myself involved in something else until I complete that.
Tell us about what project/design that you hold most dear.
I have a couple of projects that are particularly special to me.
The first would be my Paper Crane Cardigan – my first knitwear design and such an amazing learning experience! I was very thankful for the encouragement and assistance from my blogging community which made the process even more rewarding.
Another dear project is my Kakomu Jacket – a piece that helped sustain me through the death of my best friend early last year.
We never stop learning as knitters/crocheters...helps to keep the Alzheimer's at bay! What is next on your wish list to learn/conquer?
I am keen to improve my skills in colourwork/intarsia in particular.
A complete aside: I recall knitting an Annie Blatt Colourwork jumper as a teenager that would be just perfect for those 80s parties we are now getting invited to! Must ask my Mother-In-Law if I can have it back for some classic photos if nothing else.
Just because we want to rid ourselves of some guilt...
How many UFOs have you got in the cupboard?
My Ravelry projects page comes up with 5 projects and that is correct. Not sure if that is more or less than most!
However, I choose not to reveal the number of sewing UFOs I have tucked away...
Could you open a yarn store with your stash?
I could potentially open a very small yarn store although I suspect it would not be very successful as it would only appeal to those who like the greyscale! It is the Architect in me: black, white and everything in-between.
...and because we're curious,
Are you a year round or seasonal knitter/crocheter?
Definitely a year round knitter. I try to match yarn with season – linen for summer, wool for winter, for example. I love knitting with linen while sitting around the pool on summer holidays and, at the moment, beside our open fire with worsted weight wools!
Do you have a favourite yarn or fibre that you work with?
The natural texture and drape of linen appeals to me enormously. I am very excited to see some new linen yarns being released and the potential for these.
My pet hate (as I am sure it is for most knitters) is pilling, so I prefer to work with yarns that limit this response to the wearing of the knitted garment. One that I am particularly enjoying at the moment is Shibui’s Merino Worsted – it has wonderful stitch definition to provide a beautiful knitted texture.
My other favourite yarn that I keep returning to is Stainless Steel. Habu Textiles and, more locally to me, Dairing, offer variations of this yarn which is essentially a very fine thread of stainless steel wrapped in either silk or wool. It is incredibly strong and malleable - the design opportunities with it are seemingly limitless and I really enjoy exploring new ways to use it.
What will you be doing for World Wide Knit in public Day?
I believe knitting and fine coffee go hand in hand so I will be seeking to indulge in both at my local coffee shop! Who’s coming to join me?!
You can follow Kirsten over on her Blog, Facebook, Twitter and Ravelry.