Category Archives: interviews

Designer Interview: Raven Knits

I know Raven (Ravelry link) casually from the four years of  the Gift-a-Long and elsewhere on Ravelry, and also from Google+. (She’s posting an inspiring daily hat feature for the GAL over there, by the way, and also on Instagram.) I associate her with her cute dog, Amber, and also patterns named for less well-known aspects of Tolkien’s Middle Earth.
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Designer interview: Nim Teasdale

Here is my second of three designer interviews for this year’s Gift-a-Long. (Ravelry link)

I met Nim Teasdale (Ravelry link) in the Gift-a-Long two years ago. I was knitting one of her amazing shawls, and she was already following my blog for the stitch patterns. We have since become friends, and also collaborators. She’s designed several shawls that use my stitch patterns: some that are here on my blog, and also some that I have designed exclusively for her.

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Designer Interview: Robynn Weldon

One of the things I like about the Gift-a-Long (Ravelry link) is working with other independent designers on a giant project. It’s a nice way to support each other. I also like introducing some of them to my followers.

I met Robynn on Twitter this year and then realized we’d been in the Gift-a-Long together in previous years. Somehow this is extra satisfying.

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Designer Interview: Sarah Sipe

Here is my last designer interview for the Giftalong (remember the Giftalong?) — last but not least, by far. Sarah is my partner in crime design. We sit on her couch together some weeks and chat about this and that; other weeks we go out to a coffee shop or on a fiber field trip.

Often, something she says will spark an idea for me, or vice versa. Other times, we’ll solve each other’s technical issues.

And she’s the one of the very few people I know of who’s used my secret code techniques to make her own designs for at least a personal project. (Here’s our friend O’s post about Sarah’s 99 Names of God.)

Designer interview: Sarah Sipe

Sarah often uses the Durham area as inspiration for her designs. Her most recent pattern release in this vein is the Fitzgerald Bricks hat (Ravelry link), shown above. It uses mosaic knitting (easier than it looks) and a combination of gradient handspun and solid commercial yarn (though it could use any two contrasting worsted-weight yarns).

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Designer Interview: Barbara Benson

I’ve been following Barbara Benson’s design work for a while now, and was delighted to see her involved with the Giftalong. She has a knack for combining techniques that I wouldn’t have guessed would go together, such as mosaic knitting and lace. (Who knew!?)

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Designer Interview: Justyna Kacprzak

Justyna is primarily a toy designer – she has a lot of really cute crocheted amigurumis (and a few knit ones) and measuring tape covers, among other things. Her blog is full of delightful adventures – her crocheted “mini-me” took an international trip and she hosted a crochet mystery featuring the evil villain, Dr. Hookenstein.

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Designer Interview: Sarah Jane

To celebrate the Giftalong, I’m going to be blogging four interviews with other designers who have patterns in the sale. Because the sale is only a week long, I’ve decided to give you all a chance to get their discounted patterns – the interviews will all be published this week!

First up is Sarah Jane, a really creative crochet designer, whose work I’ve admired for quite a while now. If I could still crochet, I’d be making one of her patterns for the giftalong in a snap!

Designer Interview: Sarah Jane's lingonberry tam

Lingonberry Tam (Ravelry link), perhaps.

Designer Interview: Sarah Jane's frostberry hat

Or Frostberry Hat (Ravelry link), though that’s not on sale.

Or… well, I’d have trouble making up my mind! Maybe some of her Steampunk collection? (Ravelry link)

1. Please tell us a little about yourself.

Well I don’t really know what to say…I am a 47 year old mother of 8…..7 live at home ☺ I like to say that it’s organised chaos but truth is there is probably not so much of the organised about it.
Crochet was the first craft I ever learned and even though I’ve dabbled in lots of other crafts I always seemed to come back to crochet….with so many kids crochet is portable and leaves less mess than most other crafts (if you don’t count the stash and the UFO’s). Also it’s more difficult for babies to poke holes in themselves or others with hooks than it is with needles.

Aside from crochet I love to read and occasionally knit. Housework seems to have become an optional extra around here!

2. Somehow you manage to combine crochet stitch patterns in ways that are really fresh and different. Can you name any particular influences that inspired this, or is it the stitches themselves that catch your eye?

Thank you, I really appreciate you saying this. The stitches themselves always catch my eye, I love the textures and seeing how they work together. Colour and yarn is a big influence too…certain yarns and colours seem to call for different types of textures and stitches. I love certain styles, like steampunk and a romantic gothic type style and I think you can see this influence in some of my designs……reality is it doesn’t really take much to inspire me, it can be anything from the shape of a leaf to a combination of colours I notice somewhere.

3. What attracted you to joining in with the Giftalong?

I participated in the giftalong last year after noticing it mentioned on the Designers board and I had a ball. It was a fantastic opportunity to meet and interact with both designers and crocheters/knitters. I didn’t expect it to become so big but this year it looks like it’s going to be even bigger. I have been really excited about it this year, for me it is all about the interaction. Here in Australia there aren’t too many opportunities to meet other designers so this is great fun.

4. What are a few patterns from the Giftalong that you’d really like to make?

Goodness there are so many…I wish I had unlimited time and cooler weather ☺…..I love a lot of Darleen Hopkins crochet patterns but I just adore her Patchwork baby kitty throw (Ravelry link). If I could I would make anything by Julia Trice (Mind of Winter on Ravelry) especially Loden. I love this shawl Leventry (Ravelry link) and I think this Minimissimi (Ravelry link) coat is truly spectacular even though I’d never be able to wear it over here. I could go on and on…..

5. Is there anything about crochet that you wish more people knew?

That it’s easy…you can make anything if you work through it a stitch at a time and also that it doesn’t have to look like something from the 60’s or 70’s, crochet can be fashionable and modern as well as a bit different.

Here are some of the places you can find Sarah Jane online!
Facebook –
Pinterest –
Ravelry –

(All photographs used by permission.)

Designer Interview: Jean Clement

I’ve been participating in the Indie Design Giftalong on Ravelry. This is a group of people who are all knitting or crocheting patterns from participating designers and talking about it together. It’s a lot of fun, people are making things for other people or themselves, and there’s a lot of sharing going on. (There are also prizes.) It’s not too late to join in!

One of the things I’ve enjoyed about it is the chance to work on a large project with other independent designers – there’s a lot of camaraderie involved, along with the chance to learn about each other. We’re also enjoying interviewing each other and sharing those interviews with our readers.

I was pleased to interview Jean Clement. (Ravelry link) We were both working on the same part of the Giftalong project: pinning all the eligible patterns on Pinterest. I’ve also admired her Pelerine Dolman sweater since it came out.

These are just a few of the patterns she has included in the Giftalong, enough to give you a taste:


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