Floral Heart Mittens
Hi guys! I hope you are well and that everything is fine. I was away for a bit on a short trip abroad, filling my batteries(really needed that one) and airing my head - as I like to put it. But now I am back I would love to introduce another fantastic designer I have the pleasure to meet through the GAL and that is Jessie McKitrick also known as Tweedlebug on Ravelry.
1. Can you introduce yourself for my readers, please?
Hi, I’m Jessie McKitrick, from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and my blog is at grammargrouse.blogspot.ca. While I have been self-publishing my designs for awhile now, I just had my first sweater pattern published in print, available in the September Issue (#39) of Knit Now Magazine.
2. How many years have you been knitting and / or crocheting and what do you specialize in making?
I’ve been crocheting since 2007, knitting since 2008, and spinning since May. I tend to work a fair bit with stranded colourwork, but I do enjoy working with cables as well. Mittens are definitely one of my favourites!
3. Can you describe your designing process? How do you start a project? Do you choose the yarn first or envision and draw it first?
I usually spend a fair bit of time envisioning the project, drawing, making notes, and then choosing yarn and swatching. However, sometimes the yarn does come first, and then I will tailor the project to the yarn instead of the yarn to the project.
4. What inspires you the most in creating your products?
In all honesty, I can’t resist a good mood board! When publishers put out a mood board, I am drawn towards it and often come up with at least two or three ideas to submit. For my self-published work, I just make a note of ideas when they strike (the sources can vary as widely as a set of colours from a garden, a sweater in a T.V. show, a texture glimpsed), and then re-visit my notes when I’m looking to develop an idea. Finding inspiration is not the tricky part; finding the time to develop the ideas is more the issue.
5. What is your favorite knitting / crocheting place?
My favourite place to stitch is my living room couch. I’ve made a bit of a nook for myself by adding a bookshelf next to the couch. I keep ongoing projects on a tray on the side table, and keep knitting books, needles, crochet hooks, roving, spindles and, of course, lots of yarn, on the bookshelf.
6. Who are your favorite designers (if you have any in fiber arts or otherwise) and why?
I’d say Veronik Avery, Carol Feller, Kate Davies, Ysolda Teague, and Ann Weaver. They all make beautiful, clever things that always make me want to cast on right away (if only I had the yarn handy).
7. Do you have a favorite design in your portfolio and what inspired you to make it?
At the moment, my Irish Cowboy neckwarmer. I really enjoyed knitting this one up, even the second time (normally, I only seem to want to knit something once). I had some leftover cashmere blend yarn, and wanted to do something with it because, you know, who wastes cashmere? This would definitely be a case of the yarn dictating the design, because it seemed to me that the optimal place to wear cashmere would be around the neck. Even better, it should end up with a semi-triangular shape so as to fill in the v-neck on my winter coat. I decided to make a rectangle, then sew it into place to create that triangle. I wanted lots of lovely cabled texture, so worked out a pattern that I liked, and worked in the moss stitch background and a few bobbles to round things out. Normally, I’m not actually a huge bobble fan, but sometimes you just need a few. I wear mine every time I head outside this time of year, and it is cozy and warm!
8. Any other crafts you like to dab into?
I do a bit of sewing, and quite enjoy it. However, I usually have to talk myself into getting around to starting, which is not a problem I have with knitting or crochet! Once I do start, I usually spend the next day or two straight working on the sewing. I recently took up spinning with a drop spindle. I have a couple of projects on the go, and several more being planned. I find spinning to be a nice counterpoint to knitting design. If I need a quick moment away from my work, I can pick up a spindle, spin for a little bit, put it back down, then get back to work again.
My perfect day would involve waking up early yet feeling as though I’ve had tons of sleep, enjoying a cup of coffee while knitting and visiting with my husband, followed by a lovely family breakfast and either an outdoor or craft activity with the kids (or both!). More coffee, knitting, spinning, then a trip to the library with the family, followed by watching a movie all together while enjoying pizza. Cozy book-reading time to follow.
10.Anything you’d like to add and I missed to ask?
Can’t think of anything at the moment, but I do want to say that I really appreciate you taking the time to interview me.
Thank you Jessie for being here!