As promised, here is the interview with Alana of the Never Not Knitting blog and podcast. I have been dying to share it with you, so enjoy!
What was your inspiration for learning to knit and crochet and what do you like most about the craft?
I fell in love with my friend's crocheted acrylic afghan (I know!) and had to learn how to make one immediately. The next day I went to the library, got a very advanced crocheted afghans book and started teaching myself. It was a very ugly, slow process.
Later I taught myself to knit with 2 metal DPNs and some worsted weight acrylic. Also very scary.
Somehow I was able to persevere through the learning process and become the knitter that I am today. It took a very long time though. It wasn't easy learning on my own.
I fell in love with knitting and crochet as soon as I first touched the yarn. Well.. maybe it was the second or third time since my first experiences were so awful! The idea of creating a functional artistic piece has always really drawn me to the craft. As a knitter today, I really appreciate knitting as a calming quiet process that produces the most beautiful things. Its a craft that is portable and easy to pick up and put down when you have just a few moments.
What made you want to start designing?
I decided to become an independent knitwear designer as a nice change of pace from my previous job at my local yarn shop. This is something that I am able to do while staying home with my daughter, and it's a lot of fun!
My daughter initially was my inspiration for my design work. I've loved making her little knitted things and see her wear and get use out of them. When I really started writing up my patterns, I started with little girl garments. It was fun putting together colors and textures and seeing the item go from concept to finished piece.
What continues to inspire you for your designs?
I've gotten great feedback on my patterns. That really motivates me to keep designing! Also.. I love yarn. There are so many gorgeous yarns out that are so wonderful to work with. When I find a yarn I like I try to think of what the most perfect project would be to show it off.
Is there one project that you’ve designed that is your favorite?
I would have to say my favorite pattern to date has been the Cedar Leaf Shawlette. I loved it from beginning to end. And I love wearing the finished product!
Do you have one project that was the most difficult for you to complete?
YES! I had to knit my Cosette Wrap pattern twice to get it right. Its a very easy pattern to follow and I love it, but designing it was a pain. I hate having to unnecessarily reknit things.
Is there something that you would love to design but have not yet?
I would really love to get into stuffed animal and toy design. I love to knit toys for my daughter, I think it would be a fun thing to try.
Do you have any designing goals for yourself?
I would love to keep branching out in my work, and eventually self publish a pattern booklet. I am currently working on getting Never Not Knitting designs in yarn shops around the world.
What do you consider the most difficult thing about being a knitwear designer?
Pattern writing and number crunching can be pretty tedious at times. Math was never a strong subject for me!
What advice would you give a budding designer?
Anything can be accomplished with hard work and perseverance!
As a busy mother, when do you find time to knit and design?
In the middle of the night. I stay up way too late for my own good!
What made you decide to start blogging and podcasting?
I started the blog and podcast for fun! As an obsessed knitter, I had a lot to say on the subject and wanted to share my projects with others that were interested in the craft.
What inspiration helped you to continue blogging and podcasting?
My wonderful podcast listeners and blog readers! They are so supportive and encouraging!
Do you have a favorite yarn?
It always changes.. right now I am really into Madelinetosh, Handmaiden yarns, Malabrigo, and Becoming Art. I'm always finding new and exciting yarns to work with though!
What kind of knitting needles to you prefer and tend to use the most?
I am picky about my knitting needles. I only like metal nickel plated circulars. Knit Picks needles are my favorite!
In your home, do you store yarn in any strange places?
Not exactly, but I keep all my good yarns in ziploc bags. I am obsessed with keeping my yarn very clean. If say, my yarn accidentally rolls onto the ground outdoors, or gets pet hair on it, I die a little inside. I'm weird like that.
How many works-in-progress do you tend to have at any given time?
I don't like WIPs. I try to only have a few projects going at once. I don't like to leave them lingering. I try to finish everything quickly.
I'm all about having the finished product.
Thank you Alana for the interview! It was fun to learn a few new things about you.
If you are interested in purchasing any of Alana's patterns you can do so on Ravelry by browsing her designer page. If you are interested in carrying her patterns in your shop, Alana can be contacted at NeverNotKnitting@gmail.com
Now for some more fun stuff! Readers of this blog have a chance to win a free Never Not Knitting pattern! Oh yes, it's true. Alana has been so kind as to offer a signed copy of her newest pattern, the Cosette Wrap.
This is a beautiful, versatile wrap that is knit in worsted weight yarn with a gently curved shape and picot edge. I love the functionality and simplicity of this shawl and have been dying to knit this since the pattern first came out.
To enter this giveaway, simply leave a comment under this post sharing which Never Not Knitting pattern is your favorite. This giveaway will run for two weeks, until April 7. On April 8th a winner will be chosen using the Random Number Generator. Good luck!