Today we’re chatting with a good friend of mine, Cheryl Chow who is a knit and crochet designer taking part in the Indie Design Gift-A-Long.
How did you get into knitting/crochet and who taught you?
My mom taught me to crochet and then knit when I was a teenager. Knitting was a real struggle for me … plastic needles, acrylic yarn, and sweaty hands don’t play well together! For the first few years I mostly crocheted but in college I got the hang of knitting and knit for most of my adult life until recently when I started to crochet again.
What made you want to start designing?
I started off designing free patterns for charity. I was a stay at home mom whose kids were in school and I wanted to do something to give back. When Ravelry started to allow patterns to be sold on their site I created a few patterns for sale to help fund my yarn habit. Designing just took off from there.
What’s your favourite part of the design process?
What’s you favourite part of the design process?
The math is what excites me the most about pattern writing. I just can’t wait to start a new spreadsheet and start all the calculations. I love the challenge of making the numbers work. I also love the knitting/crocheting too. Being able to touch the yarn and work it into something practical makes my day.
What inspires you?
I love the outdoors and grew up hiking, camping, and backpacking with my family. Many of my designs are green/blue and have leaf motifs. My friends give me a hard time … “not another green project”! Another influence is the Japanese culture. Their eye for balance and color is probably the most beautiful of any culture I’ve experienced.
Do you have a favourite thing to design and why?
I don’t have a favourite thing to design. I like all the things and get bored easily with doing too much of the same.
Do you have much time to make things for yourself or for gifting?
Most of the patterns I design are things that I would use or wear. So yes, I do make things for myself but they are also samples for my shop.
If someone knitted or crocheted a gift item for you, what would you love the most?
Hmmm … that’s a hard one. I think I would love any type of amigurumi since I don’t tend to make these. And anything “sheep”!
Do you have a favourite yarn and why?
Wool! Anything wool I love, especially the more rustic types of wool and specialty wool from unique sheep. I have the book Pure Wool by Sue Blacker and was initially amazed at how many different types of wool yarns are available.
What’s your favourite of your own designs and what do you love about it?
Another tough question … probably my Waterfall Cardigan. I loved the challenge of working out the math for all the sizes and have the columns of cables line up with the lace at the hem. The fit is also really good for my body type and Beloved Yarn’s Magical Sport is gorgeous.
What’s your favourite colour?
Blue, green, teal are my favourites.
Have you been a participating designer in the Indie Gift Along before and what do you love most about it?
Yes! I love the Gift Along. This is my sixth year participating and I love seeing designers come together and support one another. Also, knitting/crocheting from other designers patterns is so relaxing. No need to work out the math or pay attention to the details, just follow the instructions and create a project.
Which Gift Along 2019 designers inspire you and why?
There are so many amazing designers that participate each year, it’s hard to choose just a couple. I love Natalia Kononova’s (Outstanding Crochet) sense of style and many of her designs have leaves/flowers which I am always drawn to. And who can resist Sarah Schira’s (Imagined Landscapes) gnomes. They are all so cute!
Outstanding Crochet: https://www.ravelry.com/designers/natalia-kononova
Imagined Landscapes: https://www.ravelry.com/designers/sarah-schira
How do people get in touch with you or see more of your work?
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