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 jane, who is enthusiastically returning to the knitting scene. Click on the 'read more' link below.
First up, do you knit or crochet or both?
I only knit these days, but in my previous life I did do a little bit of crocheting – the most basic though. Taking some lessons in crocheting is on the list of things to do. I love the way it seems to grow so much faster!
Tell us about how old you were when you learnt and who taught you.
My mother taught me to knit when I was probably about 8. She was very frustrated though because I let the needle go, put the yarn around, and picked up the needle again. I knitted like this until 18 months ago when a ‘no weight bearing broken ankle’ kept me on the lounge for six weeks and I persevered and now knit the correct way! Not satisfied though, I want to have a go at knitting continental as well.
Tell us about what project/(s) you have on the go right now.
I have a few on the go at the moment. Panoramic Stole, by Hannah Fettig in BC Garn Silkbloom Fino which is my ‘anywhere’ knitting project. I carry it in my bag ready for any opportunity to sneak a row or two in. Of an evening I am knitting Hayward by Julie Hoover in Mad Tosh Light – a boxy and stocking stitch jumper; and then at home with no distractions I am just finishing up a Georgie Hallam cardigan using BC Garn Semilla for a one year old which is great because it is challenging me in different and new ways of doing things.
Tell us about the project that you hold most dear.
Four years ago I knitted my first thing after 20 years – a Debbie Abrahams blanket. I picked the easiest called Building Blocks and knitted my way through a terrible period filled with grief. I couldn’t believe how therapeutic it was, how rewarding it was, and how life saving it was. Knitting then became my new best friend and remains so today. I have no doubt it will always now be such a major part of my life, and can’t imagine ever sitting down with my cup of tea, coffee or wine without automatically reaching out for the ‘project’!
We never stop learning or perfecting our craft. Tell me what is on your 'to learn or conquer' list.
Knitting a cardigan/sweater for me top down! I purchased Hannah Fettig’s featherweight pattern and yarn in September 2012, followed by Kirsten Johnstone’s Raiun pattern and yarn in December 2012. I have the patterns, I have the yarns, but I always manage to find something else to knit first. I will, however, conquer this and hopefully end up with garments I love as much as I do these two patterns in the pictures. The other is to knit beautiful perfectly even stocking stitch which is why I made myself learn to throw the yarn properly in the hope it would help. Still hoping!
Just because we want to rid ourselves of some guilt…
How many UFOs have you got in your cupboard?
I have been thinking about this. It is embarrassing. I have three garments that need to be sewn up, and I have the three work in progress ones I mentioned above. And if I was really honest, I am sure I could find a couple more unfinished projects lurking in the back of the cupboard.
Could you open a yarn store with your stash?
I could definitely open a display of yarns for people to see! I love my yarns, and I cannot help myself from adding more and more to the stash. I have this terrible habit of thinking things will run out so best buy now while it is there. I also have a tendency to pick safe colours but am really liking the beautiful colours available, particularly with linens and cottons, and starting to step out of my comfort zone. I just wish my needles could work as fast as my imagination and my Paypal account.
…and because we're curious
Are you a year round or seasonal knitter/crocheter?
I am definitely a year round knitter. I knit with the cottons, and more recently, linen in the summer. And then I knit with the winter weights in winter.
Do you have a favourite fibre or yarn that you like to work with?
I don’t think I have a favourite as such, but I am particularly finicky about the ‘feel’ and content of yarns so that is the factor that decides me on which yarns to use. I try to choose yarns with a nice drape. I don’t like yarns that grow or have any roughness to them. I love Shibui Staccato, Tosh Light, and my lastest stash addition, though not knitted with yet, is the Malabrigo which feels nice and soft. When I was a teenager living in Canberra I loved knitting French patterns with Angora and am when I see old photos am surprised at what I actually knitted and finished. Unfortunately living in Sydney the beautiful worsted weights and arans are too heavy for me except knitted into a scarf. I am really looking forward to adding some Quince & Co to my stash as I find I spend far too much time looking on line when I could be knitting.
What will you be doing for World Wide Knit in Public Day this year?
I am not sure – spreading the word by sitting somewhere in public with my needles. I love that knitting has made a massive comeback. I just taught my daughter in law to knit and my three week old first grandchild is wearing the very easy garter stitch cardigan she made while pregnant – mistakes and all! I thought it was great that she wanted knits for the baby, so I am one happy new Granma with lots of projects in that queue as well to do!