Monday, June 10, 2013

WWKIP 2013 | guest blogger | heathercairns

This is the week that knitters take to the streets, to create a spectacle and take part in World Wide Knit in Public Day (WWKIP). As well as hosting two WWKIP events this week, one in Canberra and the other in Sydney, I am honoured to be interviewing five wonderful ladies on my blog. Asking them about their knitting (or crochet) journey and all of their knitting secrets, including UFOs and stash size! 

So sit back, maybe with a cup of tea and enjoy today's guest blogger the gorgeous (& extremely productive) heathercairns. Click on the 'read more' link below.

First up, do you knit or crochet or both?

A knitter only at this stage! One of the members of our Cairns Raveller’s group is a crocheter and she has shown us how to crochet granny squares. It was fun, but my heart is firmly with knitting.

Tell us about how old you were when you learnt and who taught you.

I asked my mother this question last year. In my mind, I couldn’t picture anyone teaching me to knit and believed myself to be entirely self-taught. To my surprise mum told me that my father taught me to knit when I was quiet small. Dad was from a generation who could turn their hand to anything.

My knitting life really began when I was expecting our first child; then it lapsed entirely until our fourth and fifth grandchildren, both girls, were born two years ago. Finding Ravelry was a revelation; so many wonderful patterns to choose from, inspirational knitters and stunning projects.

Tell us about what project/(s) you have on the go right now.

A Boxy for my daughter in Madelinetosh Merino Light. Boxy is endless stocking stitch, but is a great project for mindless TV or conversational knitting. When it is completed, I’m looking forward to starting a French Cancan shawl, and some smaller projects; a CabernetHat-DK and a new pattern MarooMitts from Australian designer Ambah O’Brien.

Tell us about the project that you hold most dear. 

It would have to be my “Matahari”, Double Agentshawl by Mary Lawson. I was knitting this shawl when my mother passed away before Christmas. It is a large shawl that goes all the way around you, and it is comforting, and holds special memories for me.

We never stop learning or perfecting our craft. Tell me what is on your 'to learn or conquer' list.

I have three knitting resolutions for 2013.
  1. Learn stranded colourwork – completed this one with a very sweet pattern From Demark with love – hat
  2. Learn to knit a pair of socks
  3. Conquer my fear of intricate lace shawls, and learn to read the accompanying chart. I’ve attempted three different lace shawls and failed each time. I’m hoping French Cancan will be the breakthrough that gives me confidence with lace.
Just because we want to rid ourselves of some guilt…
How many UFOs have you got in your cupboard? 

Oh do I have to tell! Quite a few, about ten, I think, including the failed lace shawls.

Could you open a yarn store with your stash?

Absolutely! I enjoy acquiring luscious yarns made from natural fibres. It’s amazing how much you can spend on yarn, but the end result with a beautiful yarn is worth it.

The tendency/obsession to acquire a large stash of yarn is most likely an extension of my former life as a university Special Collection librarian; acquiring precious rare books and building specialized research collections, I’ve swapped that life for the acquisition of yarn!

I’m currently trying to knit from stash!!

…and because we're curious
Are you a year round or seasonal knitter/crocheter?

I’m an all year round knitter. I even knit in the heat and humidity of the tropical Cairns summer. I mainly knit at night, nearly every night, it is so relaxing.

Do you have a favourite fibre or yarn that you like to work with?

Madelinetosh - I love it! It is so soft and squishy with a wonderful stitch definition, and the colours are amazing. Madelinetosh spoils you for all other yarns, however, it is not suited to every project. I also enjoy working with the Holst Garn range. The colours are bold and subtle at the same time. Knitted Holst items have a slight rustic look.

What will you be doing for World Wide Knit in Public Day this year?

I’m not aware of any events being held in Cairns to celebrate. It is however a wonderful idea to showcase hand-knitting to the public. Cairns Ravellers meet once a month in a very public place to knit and chat over coffee. It is amazing how many people come up to us and ask what we are doing, or to tell us how wonderful it is to see people knitting, or just stare!


  1. What a great interview! Loved learning a bit about you Heather.

  2. I have been following Heather's projects on Ravelry for a while. They are just beautiful!!!
    It is lovely to read more about her

  3. I think Heather has more than enough yarn to open a lovely store! I love knitting in public with her once a month :-)


Thank you for taking the time to read my blog...I especially love it when I get comments. Have a great day, suzy xoxo


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