Kay Hopkins Interview Gift A-long 2019

Kay Hopkins Interview Gift A-long 2019

Indie Design Gift A-Long 2019 Interview with Kay Hopkins of Knit For The Soul

Today we’re chatting to knitwear designer Kay Hopkins, tell us a little about yourself and your business please, Kay.

I strive for simply, elegant designs that are versatile to wear and have lots of options for the knitters to choose from to make it their very own design.  I’m way into versatility for wearing as that’s my lifestyle.  “From the beach to the Board Room” is often my mantra.  I started my career as an accountant then transitioned over into IT and Business Consulting.  It’s kind of funny how much the skill sets are the same for IT and knitwear design.  It’s all the same process actually and that is a little amusing to me.

I specialize in sweaters and shawls and do a few hats for the winter season.  I try to design things that I would wear myself and I love sweaters the most.   

How did you get into knitting/crochet and who taught you?

I used to sew a lot but when my daughter played a lot of soccer, I switched to knitting.  It’s kind of hard to lug a sewing machine to the soccer field…. And I’ve always done something creative.

Forest Park Cardigan by Kay Hopkins

Forest Park Cardigan by Kay Hopkins

What made you want to start designing?

I didn’t!  It’s funny how that started.  I was such an idiot that I just started playing around and didn’t even think of buying a pattern.  A friend of mine finally made me join Ravelry and put one of my designs out there.  I figured if I sold 12 patterns that then I could deduct my yarn cost as a business expense so just went with it….well, that was a slippery slope and here we are.

What’s you favourite part of the design process?

The ideas, the yarn, the swatching of ideas, and knitting up the sample.  I’d then like fairies to pick up the rest and I’d just move on to the next idea.  There are so many…..  lol

What inspires you?

Most of my inspiration comes from nature and beautiful places I’ve seen.  The PNW is full of gorgeous beauty.  I love the ocean, rivers, lakes, mountains and small, picturesque towns.

Puget Sound Pullover by Kay Hopkins

Puget Sound Pullover by Kay Hopkins

Are you a full-time or part-time designer and how does that fit into your life?

I design full-time on top of still doing a little IT and Business consulting……  I try to keep a balance but it’s hard.  I strive to get off of the computer in the evenings and on Sundays and be able to just enjoy knitting.    The needles go everywhere with me! 

What’s your favourite of your own designs and what do you love about it?

Gosh….I don’t know for sure.  I love my Forest Park cardigans and Puget Sound pullovers although the latter missed the GAL deadline by a couple of days. 

Is there anything new you can tell us about or a recent design you’d like to chat about?

I love my recent Forest Park cardigan and Puget Sound pullover….I’m wearing those a lot and they are fun to make too.

Have you been a participating designer in the Indie Gift Along before and what do you love most about it?

I participated in 2017 and I think the camaraderie and support for each other is the best part. 

Which Gift Along 2019 designers inspire you and why?

I’m looking at a lot of designers that I’ve not even heard of and it’s exciting to see what all everyone is doing.  There are a lot of talented designers in the group this year!

Love the crochet designs by Ruth Brasch
Love Christallk’s creative colorwork
Love Frogginette’s Children’s designs and can’t wait for Grandkids
Love Ukeeknits festive designs!

How do people get in touch with you or see more of your work?

Blog:  haven’t started mine yet
Website:  www.knitforthesoul.com
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Kay-Hopkins-Designs-313660885763735/
Ravelry pattern store: http://www.ravelry.com/designers/kay-hopkins

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/knitforthesoul/
Pinterest:  not very active there


 

 

 

Aline Modular Cardigan ladies knitting pattern is released

Quick links to our shop

Austermann Yarns, Baby Yarns, Debbie Bliss Yarns, Lanas Stop Yarns, Araucania Yarns, Schoeller & Stahl Yarns, Felting Yarns, Noro Yarns, DK Yarns, 4ply Yarns, Aran Yarns, Fur Yarns, James C Brett Yarns, Lion Brand Yarns

Hunter Hammersen Interview Gift A-long 2019

Hunter Hammersen Interview Gift A-long 2019

Indie Design Gift A-Long 2019 Interview with Hunter Hammersen

Today we’re chatting to knitwear designer Hunter Hammersen, tell us a little about yourself please Hunter.

I was supposed to stay in school for a shockingly long time, get a respectable-sounding job, and quietly become a proper grownup. Instead I got distracted by colorful string, started writing knitting books, and fled to the rocky coast of Maine where I spend a frankly alarming amount of time in my back yard taking pictures of yarn. But don’t tell anyone…I’m still slightly worried someone will find out I escaped and try to drag me back to that other life.

How did you get into knitting/crochet and who taught you?

I mostly taught myself.  It took a few tries, but with enough books (and these days, enough youtube videos), you can teach yourself almost anything.

What made you want to start designing?

I  am frankly terrible at following directions, so I started making stuff up myself almost as soon as I started knitting.  After a while, folks started asking how I’d made the things I was showing off on Ravelry.  I’ve always been alarmingly willing to tell people what to do, so it wasn’t much of a leap to start writing patterns. 

What’s you favourite part of the design process?

I love swatching.  Swatching is where you get to work out all the fiddly bits and make sure that good idea you think you have actually works in real life.  I like the swatching bit MUCH more than the actual knitting.  Once I have everything worked out on the swatch, I sort of want a fast forward button for the actual knitting part!

Nestled by Hunter Hammersen

Nestled by Hunter Hammersen

What inspires you?

I never know how to answer this bit!  It seems to vary hugely from one project to the next!

Are you a full-time or part-time designer and how does that fit into your life?

Full time.  I put my first pattern out in 2009.  My first book came out in 2011.  My first self published book came out in 2012.  And I decided to switch to designing full time in 2015. 

Do you have a favourite thing to design and why?

I have a terrible terrible weakness for hat crowns.  They are more fun than they have any right to be!

Various Hat by Hunter Hammersen

Various Hat by Hunter Hammersen

Do you have much time to make things for yourself or for gifting?

Nope!  Somehow having something go from a hobby to a part time job to a full time job means you have very very little time to actually knit.  There are some weeks where I don’t knit a stitch!

If someone knitted or crocheted a gift item for you, what would you love the most?

I’ve never actually had a hand knit sweater.  Now, I totally don’t want anyone to make me one (I am not a small person, that would be a substantial amount of work)!  But if that ever happened, I’m pretty sure I would just about wear it forever. 

Do you have a favourite yarn and why?

Whatever is headed for my needles next!

Abeyance by Hunter Hammersen

Abeyance by Hunter Hammersen

What’s your favourite of your own designs and what do you love about it?

Oh that’s not even a little bit fair.  I’m going to cheat and pick two.  For practical stuff, I love slippers.  Super cozy, don’t take nearly as long as a sock.  Abeyance are my current favorites, but really I love them all.

And for frivolous things, I still think the tiny little leaf babies (the pattern is called Nestled) are unspeakably cute.  

Is there anything new you can tell us about or a recent design you’d like to chat about?

My most recent book just came out this week!  It’s called Shoreland, it’s full of delightful socks, and I got drag my friends and family out to all sorts of cold, rocky beaches to take the photos for it.

Shoreland Cover

Shoreland Cover

What’s your favourite colour?

Grey/Gray

 

Have you been a participating designer in the Indie Gift Along before and what do you love most about it?

Oh goodness yes.  This is my fifth year participating.  I’m always amazed (and if I’m being honest, a tiny bit overwhelmed) by how chatty everyone is.  It’s lovely to see folks making time to cheer everyone on, especially at such a busy time of year!

Which Gift Along 2019 designers inspire you and why?

Robynn Weldon’s work is amazing (my recent brioche obsession is largely her fault…she has a lot to answer for!).  Alex Tinsley does all sorts of delightful things, as does Barbara Benson. 

How do people get in touch with you or see more of your work?

 

 

Aline Modular Cardigan ladies knitting pattern is released

Quick links to our shop

Austermann Yarns, Baby Yarns, Debbie Bliss Yarns, Lanas Stop Yarns, Araucania Yarns, Schoeller & Stahl Yarns, Felting Yarns, Noro Yarns, DK Yarns, 4ply Yarns, Aran Yarns, Fur Yarns, James C Brett Yarns, Lion Brand Yarns

Brenda Castiel Interview Gift A-long 2019

Brenda Castiel Interview Gift A-long 2019

Indie Design Gift A-Long 2019 Interview with Brenda Castiel

Today we’re chatting to knitwear designer Brenda Castiel, tell us a little about yourself please Brenda.

Hi, I’m Brenda Castiel, I’m Goodstuff on Ravelry.  I’ve been designing knitwear for close to 10 years. I do shawls, accessories, sweaters, and kids clothing. A little of everything!

I also have an Etsy Shop, GoodStuffCrafts, where I sell handmade project bags, and notions pouches. Link https://www.etsy.com/shop/goodstuffcrafts

How did you get into knitting/crochet and who taught you?

I am a self-taught knitter. I taught myself out of an old black-and-white brochure published by Patons. I may have picked up a few odd ways of doing things since I figured lots of techniques out by myself. I still think I don’t pick up stitches in the right way.

I knitted a few items when I was in my teens. They turned out fine.

Then when I was older, I knitted a few baby items when my son was born. But then I dropped it again until 2007. I came across an old abandoned knitting project that had languished for over 20 years, picked it up again and finished the project. Knitting was becoming “cool” again so I joined right in.

What made you want to start designing?

I started designing when Knit Picks announced their independent design program. I thought they might be interested in working with a newcomer, since they were new to this area themselves. They accepted my first design,
and then I was off and running. I submitted ideas to every magazine and publication I could think of, and my design work started to take hold.

What’s you favourite part of the design process?

My favourite part of the design process is the beginning, when your head is full of ideas and you just want to get started and cast on! The less interesting part is actually writing out the pattern; making sure the math works, and that you have covered the different sizing options.

I’m also not great at the photography part! I’ve recently started asking my granddaughter to be my model. She is more photogenic than I am 🙂

What inspires you?

I guess I get inspiration from many different places. I might see an interesting stitch pattern somewhere and try to figure out how it was made. Sometimes a particular yarn inspires me.

I guess I get inspiration from all around me. It’s hard to pin down!

Are you a full-time or part-time designer and how does that fit into your life?

I would have to say I’m a part-time designer I only spend a couple of hours a day on my knitting design work. I also spent two or three hours a day working on my Etsy shop. So I guess both together add up to nearly a full-time job!

Do you have a favourite thing to design and why?

My favourite thing to design is shawls. There is so much scope for creativity in shape, colour, stitch patterns. And luckily it doesn’t have to be sized to fit every body type. Having said that, I often try to make shawls in at least two sizes though, because some people like a shawlette, and some people like a big cozy shawl to wrap around themselves and keep them warm. I also like to adjust patterns so that you can make it bigger if you have more yarn.

Do you have much time to make things for yourself or for gifting?

It’s rare when I knit someone else’s patterns, but I do occasionally — if I want something quick for a gift, or a design is so unique that I couldn’t hope to emulate it myself. The Hitofude sweater comes to mind. I like to knit for my two grandchildren – there’s a girl who is 10, and a boy who is 6, and for now they still seem to appreciate my knitting. I made them both mittens last winter.

If someone knitted or crocheted a gift item for you, what would you love the most?

I would really appreciate anything someone made for me, it would be wonderful!

Do you have a favourite yarn and why?

It’s too hard to pick a favourite yarn. There are so many talented independent dyers, it would be impossible to choose. I have some great yarns in my stash that I haven’t had a chance to get to yet.

What’s your favourite of your own designs and what do you love about it?

It’s so hard to choose but I might say it’s the Pistachio Ice Cream Shawl. It uses two yarns that, at first, look like they don’t go together. It’s a way to use a highly variegated yarn that might be too wild to use on its own, so it’s paired with a solid that helps tone it down. It doesn’t use lace just blocks of garter stitch and stockinette stitch, and there are wedges of colour created by short rows. It’s a very achievable shawl for most knitters, and I think it gives a great result. 

Pistachio Ice Cream Shawl by Brenda Castiel

Pistachio Ice Cream Shawl by Brenda Castiel

Is there anything new you can tell us about or a recent design you’d like to chat about?

One of my recent designs is theFirst Impressions Shawl by Brenda Castiel.It was inspired by a beautiful yarn dyed to represent Monet’s water lilies paintings. I designed the shawl to feature the beauty of the yarn, and also to hint at the ripples of the pond that the water lilies grew in. I think the marriage of pattern and yarn turned out great.

First Impressions Shawl by Brenda Castiel

First Impressions Shawl by Brenda Castiel

What’s your favourite colour?

My favourite colour is the blue family, anything from sky blue to dark blue to teal. I love Reds too!

Have you been a participating designer in the Indie Gift Along before and what do you love most about it?

I have participated in the GAL for several years now, and I love the way it inspires knitters to try new things, and the way it helps to showcase some designers who otherwise do not get much visibility.

Which Gift Along 2019 designers inspire you and why?

Oh gosh, there are so many designers I don’t think I could pick a just few to say that I admire them. I think they’re all so talented!

How do people get in touch with you or see more of your work?

Blog: http://knitandtravelandsuch.blogspot.com/

Facebook:  https://facebook.com/Brenda Castiel
Ravelry pattern store: https://www.ravelry.com/designers/brenda-castiel
Instagram: @bcastiel

 

 

Aline Modular Cardigan ladies knitting pattern is released

Quick links to our shop

Austermann Yarns, Baby Yarns, Debbie Bliss Yarns, Lanas Stop Yarns, Araucania Yarns, Schoeller & Stahl Yarns, Felting Yarns, Noro Yarns, DK Yarns, 4ply Yarns, Aran Yarns, Fur Yarns, James C Brett Yarns, Lion Brand Yarns

Tamara Moots Interview Gift A-long 2019

Tamara Moots Interview Gift A-long 2019

Indie Design Gift A-Long 2019 Interview with Tamara Moots

Today we’re chatting to knitwear designer Tamara Moots, tell us a little about yourself please Tamara.

Tamara has over 80 patterns available through Ravelry, LoveKnitting, Knit Picks, WEBS, Love of Knitting magazine, Knit Now magazine and others. When she’s not designing or knitting, she raises two boys and travels whenever she can manage. 

How did you get into knitting/crochet and who taught you?

I was a weaver before I was a knitter.  My friend Sherri taught me how to knit by starting me on a simple rolled brim hat in the round. I loved it so much that eventually I sold my loom to buy more yarn!

What made you want to start designing?

I love the idea of carving out a career for myself doing something I love.

Starry Night Cowl by Tamara Moots

Starry Night Cowl by Tamara Moots

What’s you favourite part of the design process?

I love the math and the thought process from idea to finished project and I really, really love the brain power it takes to turn one size into 6 or 7 sizes in a finished pattern. I know that sounds a little geeky but I don’t mind – many of my friends are engineers, programmers or mathematicians and most are board game players. So I’m in good company!

Nebula Shawl pattern by Tamara Moots

Nebula Shawl pattern by Tamara Moots

What inspires you?

Colors and textures. I almost always start dreaming about a knit from the color first and then textures come next and shapes come later.

Are you a full-time or part-time designer and how does that fit into your life?

I have been a full-time designer. The flexibility of being self-employed is great for keeping up with family life and raising boys. In 2020 I’m looking at taking an outside job and changing to a part-time designer.

Botanist Hat by Tamara Moots

Botanist Hat by Tamara Moots

Do you have a favourite thing to design and why?

I love to design sweaters. And I love to design cowls. Sweaters because I love the math. Cowls because they are so easy to wear as a pop of knitting and are relatively quick projects to knit.

Do you have much time to make things for yourself or for gifting?

I almost never have time to knit things just for fun. That is one of the reasons I love the GAL – it helps me make it a priority to knit other people’s designs. Plus the added bonus of finished pretties to put in the holiday gift basket!

If someone knitted or crocheted a gift item for you, what would you love the most?

Maybe mittens. I’m always wearing mittens and trying to give loved ones mittens to keep their hands warm.

Do you have a favourite yarn and why?

I love yarn but I don’t really have a favorite yarn. I do have favorite types of yarn! I love wool and wool blends that hold stitch definition well for cables. And I love deep saturated colors.

Ren Fest Shawl by Tamara Moots

Ref Fest Shawl by Tamara Moots

What’s your favourite of your own designs and what do you love about it?

I actually really love my Ren Fest Shawl that came out this month. I love the top down construction, the cables and the really generous wing span so it wraps nicely around the shoulders and upper body. It is cozy and warm! I didn’t actually get to wear it on our trip to the Ren Fest this year because the day we went was unseasonably warm. But I keep finding other occasions to wear it.

Is there anything new you can tell us about or a recent design you’d like to chat about?

This is new. A friend and I just recorded our first test podcast over the weekend! We’re still in the process of learning and figuring things out. But I’m excited about it!

What’s your favourite colour?

Maybe rusts right now. (I’m thrilled to see rust and deep oranges back in the stores this season!) But also greens, reds, browns, blues, purples. It is hard to pick a favorite color! I love earthy colors and jewel colors best.

Springerle Cowl by Tamara Moots

Springerle Cowl by Tamara Moots

Have you been a participating designer in the Indie Gift Along before and what do you love most about it?

I mentioned earlier about loving the push to knit other designer’s patterns and filling the holiday gift basket. Also I love all the chatter and fun and sense of community in the threads! I have a hard time keeping up with all the chat but I do really love it.

Which Gift Along 2019 designers inspire you and why?

That’s a hard question. I’ve just looked back over all 12 pages of participating designers and there are so many great designers there! These are the ones that caught my eye (in no particular order):
Christelle Nihoul – The photos in her Instagram feed are always wonderful and inspiring.
Amy Van de Laar – I love her textures and colors.
Liz Corke – I love her textures and mitts.
Jennifer Weissman – Texture again. (I’m sensing a theme.)
Nidhi Kansal – She’s got some great hats and shawls.
Sabine Kastner – Textures again and great mittens/mitts. In fact, I started a pair of her InGENEous Mittens last year during the GAL and I love them. I didn’t finish the second mitten because life got in the way but I’m definitely finishing them this year.
Jayalakshmi – Beautiful, beautiful shawls.

And I’m sure I missed tons of others because 286 designers is a lot to look through.

How do people get in touch with you or see more of your work?

Blog: www.tamaramoots.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/designsbytamaramoots
Ravelry pattern store: https://www.ravelry.com/designers/tamara-moots
Instagram: tamaramoots
Pinterest: tamara moots
Podcast: tba – yes it’s that new!

 

 

Aline Modular Cardigan ladies knitting pattern is released

Quick links to our shop

Austermann Yarns, Baby Yarns, Debbie Bliss Yarns, Lanas Stop Yarns, Araucania Yarns, Schoeller & Stahl Yarns, Felting Yarns, Noro Yarns, DK Yarns, 4ply Yarns, Aran Yarns, Fur Yarns, James C Brett Yarns, Lion Brand Yarns

Christelle Nihoul of ChristalLK Designs Interview Gift Along 2019

Christelle Nihoul of ChristalLK Designs Interview Gift Along 2019

Christelle Nihoul of CristalLittleK Designs

Christelle Nihoul of ChristalLK Designs

Today we’re chatting to a good friend of mine, the gorgeous, stylish and totally fabulous Christelle Nihoul of ChristalLK Designs.  Christelle Nihoul is a much-loved member of the Mod Team for the Indie Design Gift Along and a very talented knitwear designer.  You can check out her designs here at ChristalLK

Who is Christelle Nihoul?  

I’m a knitwear designer born in Belgium, but “Jack of All Trades” is probably a more suited title.
With the help of my husband, and amateur photographer, and my three reluctant models, I founded a small company based on our passions of photography and design.

Tell us, Christelle Nihoul, how did you get into knitting/crochet and who taught you?
I learnt to knit, crochet, knead bread with my grandmother, I also learned to trace sewing patterns. For my grandmother, it was an essential skill to learn ! But I enjoyed it, it was so interesting to see her working on her sewing machine, creating a dress from scratch or knitting a sweater.

What made you want to start designing?
I started knitting again after my last daughter’s birth and designing was a way to go further on that subject. And it was also quite obvious for me that it was the right thing to do.

What’s you favourite part of the design process?
Definitely sampling !

Hazel & Nut Cowl from the Four Seasons Ebook

Hazel & Nut Cowl from the Four Seasons Ebook

What inspires you?
I find inspiration in colors, “haute couture”, fashion, nature, architecture (amongst so many other things)

 

Are you a full-time or part-time designer and how does that fit into your life?
I’m a full-time designer and have been for a few years now and it’s like an other job you can do. With its good and bad sides.

Do you have a favourite thing to design and why?
I love designing shawls because you can play with shapes, patterns, colors … more than with sweaters. But recently, I design more Fair-Isle and colorwork accessories. And I’m starting to love this more than shawls !

Zone System Sweater by ChristalLK

Zone System Sweater by ChristalLK

Do you have much time to make things for yourself or for gifting?
No, knitting for design takes all my time. Job time and leisure time. So the Indie Design Gift Along is a way to knit patterns from other designers. And a way to make gifts for other people who aren’t modelling for me.

Lauris Sweater pattern by Christelle Nihoul ChristalLK

Lauris Sweater pattern by Christelle Nihoul ChristalLK

Do you have a favourite yarn and why?
I don’t have a favourite yarn (even if I love knitting silk or blend with silk). Because every fibres has it’s own personality. And I’m trying to emphasize that personality with my designs !

What’s your favourite of your own designs and what do you love about it?
This is not really my favourite design. But I’m pretty proud to have released my first plus size design in June. It was a challenge for me, I was so hesitant to create a plus size line, I had this in mind for ages but it meant that I had to take the risk to not have enough testers, that it could be a failure and above all that I had to play the model.
But I made it slightly_smiling_face

Is there anything new you can tell us about or a recent design you’d like to chat about?
There is something new. I’m working since months now to create my own brand of yarn. But I can’t tell more about this. Stay tuned, it’ll be announced early in 2020.

What’s your favourite colour?
Lilac and a lot of purple shades (but not the old lady purple color ^^)

Have you been a participating designer in the Indie Gift Along before and what do you love most about it?
I’m a participating designer for 4 (or 5?) years now.  And I literally LOVE the spirit of giving, laughing, sharing. More than knitting. Because let us be frank, I chat more than I knit!

June Plus Size Sweater by CristalLittleK

June Plus Size Sweater by ChristalLK

Which Gift Along 2019 designers inspire you and why?
There are so many great designers participating to this event.  If I have to name someone I’d name Tatsiana Kupryianchyk because she brought a wind of change in the crochet world!
For knitting, it’s quite more difficult. I’m not able to name only one person, could I say : take a look on the participating designers list ? And you will find a lot of the designers who are so inspiring in their own way !

How do people get in touch with Christelle Nihoul or see more designs from ChristalLK?

Website:   www.christallk.com (not updated for ages!)
Facebook:   Christelle Nihoul
Ravelry pattern store: https://www.ravelry.com/designers/christelle-nihoul
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/christallittlek

 

 

Quick links to our shop

Austermann Yarns, Baby Yarns, Debbie Bliss Yarns, Lanas Stop Yarns, Araucania Yarns, Schoeller & Stahl Yarns, Felting Yarns, Noro Yarns, DK Yarns, 4ply Yarns, Aran Yarns, Fur Yarns, James C Brett Yarns, Lion Brand Yarns

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