Emma Sadler, Indie Design Gift A-Long 2019 Interview

Today we’re chatting to knitwear designer Emma Sadler, aka esadler tell us a little about yourself please Emma.

I am married to Phil and have two teenage children. We have a gorgeous but crazy GSD called Arthur. I am originally from Hayling Island in Hampshire on the south coast. We moved to North Yorkshire 16 years ago and I love the beautiful countryside.

Keep yourself alive by Emma Sadler
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Keep yourself alive by Emma Sadler

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

My nan taught me to knit when I was around 6 or 7. I used to knit one row, and she would knit the next because I always thought it was too hard to go backwards.

I knitted right up until I was about 19 or 20 but then I stopped and I’m not really sure why. I didn’t pick up my needles again until I was in my mid 30s. I was off work for a few months and I went shopping to a craft store with my parents and came home with needles and wool. It was like riding a bike! The rhythm of knitting was soothing and I haven’t gone more than a day or two without knitting since.

What made you want to start designing?

I started designing about 6 years ago. There weren’t the kinds of patterns out there for what I wanted to make, and I also found that I didn’t like following instructions. So I started to design my own things.
Autumn Cape by Emma Sadler
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Autumn Cape by Emma Sadler

What’s you favourite part of the design process?

I like to make lots of different kinds of things. I certainly don’t like to make the same thing again and again as I get very bored, very easily. I enjoy the knitting part of designing the most. I have to write the pattern straight on to the computer as I go, otherwise I find I have loads of scribbled notes in a book that make no sense to me at all.
 

What inspires you?

I used to knit a lot of things that my daughter would wear, like headbands, boot toppers and scarves. She is less interested in wearing my designs as she gets older and so I mainly knit things for myself now. I love hats and cowls. I don’t really like to purl, so if I can just knit then that suits me. This means I have started to design more things in the round rather than flat as I used to.
Doing Great by Emma Sadler
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Doing Great by Emma Sadler

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

I was designing full time. But as my kids have grown older I found I was becoming a little lonely spending all day and evening on my own. My husband works away for many weeks at a time and I decided to take a part time job in the local further education college. I only work 13 hours a week because my son has autism and so I am his carer. But this gives me a little bit of time out of the home and with other people. It means that going forward I might not be able to design as much as I have previously, but I think that it has been good for me.

Do you have a favourite thing to design and why?

I like to make lots of different kinds of things. I certainly don’t like to make the same thing again and again as I get very bored, very easily. I enjoy the knitting part of designing the most. I have to write the pattern straight on to the computer as I go, otherwise I find I have loads of scribbled notes in a book that make no sense to me at all.

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

I used to knit a lot of things that my daughter would wear, like headbands, boot toppers and scarves. She is less interested in wearing my designs as she gets older and so I mainly knit things for myself now. I love hats and cowls. I don’t really like to purl, so if I can just knit then that suits me. This means I have started to design more things in the round rather than flat as I used to.
Clan Fraser Boot Cuffs by Emma Sadler
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Clan Fraser Boot Cuffs by Emma Sadler

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

If someone was to make something for me, I would like it to be an item that I couldn’t make myself. I have basic crochet skills, so I would love some crochet amigurumi. My favourite animal is a giraffe, so I would love it if I was gifted one. Or a brioche shawl. I love the look of it but I haven’t had time to master the technique yet.

Do you have a favourite yarn and why?

My favourite weight yarn would be 4-ply or DK. I love how quickly chunky knits up, but I prefer the material made from a finer yarn. I was gifted a skein of malabrigo rios last year which I used to make a hat for myself. It was so soft and I loved the colours. I think that is probably the nicest yarn I have worked with so far. But there are many gorgeous ones out there I have yet to get my hands on!

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

I think my favourite design of my own is Spring in Robin Hood’s bay. I love the panels of lace and stocking stitch and the way the 4-ply yarn drapes. I made the sample in grey and so it goes with most of my outfits too!
 
Spring in Robin Hood's Bay by Emma Sadler
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Spring in Robin Hood’s Bay by Emma Sadler

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

I have two jumpers which are in various stages of design. They are both 4-ply and made from sock yarn. I love the way the sock yarn knits up into clever stripes, but I wanted to explore how the colours looked when worked in the round on a bigger number of stitches. I am hoping to be able to release the first in January.
 
I have plans to go back over some of my older patterns in the new year and re-visit them. I want to re-write the patterns to make sure they are clear, add charts if possible and make new samples in alternative yarns. I would also like to make some in different weight yarns. For example, Mathilde is a scarf made in laceweight, but I have been asked for it in DK, so I would like to be able to do that soon.

What’s your favourite colour?

My favourite colour is blue. All shades from blue blue, to green blue, grey blue, teals and navy colours. One of the things I especially love to see when knitters make one of my patterns is the colour wool they pick because if I had my way everything would be made in blue.

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

This is my fourth year as a Participating Designer in the Indie Gift-A-Long. I love the community spirit. Everyone is so friendly and helpful. I mainly hang out in the general chat thread, and I love to see what everyone is planning to make and the progress pictures. I use the time every year to learn new techniques or master something I find I am less confident in. This year I am concentrating on fair isle. I can knit colour work but I have never steeked before. Hopefully I won’t be able to say that by then end of the GAL 2019!

Which Gift Along 2019 designers inspire you and why?

There are many designers that inspire me! I love the amazing lace shawls by Mary E Rose. I cannot resist a great hat, and Allison Janocha has some amazing ones. I have enjoyed making projects by Jessie McKitrick both in this and past GALs. And I am in awe of the stitch patterns created by Melissa Burke.

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

I am @allneedles on IG and FB.
And my designer page is here – https://www.ravelry.com/designers/emma-sadler

My new website is https://emmasadlerdesigns.co.uk

 

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