…getting to know all about you.
Sorry I had to do a little sing in my head there and if you are my kind of person you probably did too!
The inspiration for todays post came from watching some recent podcasts on sewing that were using the seamstress tag, well I say inspiration I blatantly stole the questions they all answered and put them in a knitting context because quite frankly other than probably my very first post about 4 years ago I don’t think I have ever really who I am and how I got in to knitting so I thought this would be a good opportunity to tell you a bit more about myself.
Who are you?
My name is Nadine and I am a 37 year old stay at home mum to 2 little girls. I currently live in the North West of the UK just outside Manchester but am originally from Yorkshire. In life before babies I was a project manager working in the field of crime reduction and community safety.
When and why did you start knitting?
I started knitting when I was about 4 or 5 years old so that is more than 30 years I’ve been doing it and I still make some very obvious mistakes. I a from a very large family (one of 8 children) so growing up my mum always seemed to be pregnant and as an extension of that she always seemed to be knitting. I therefore learned to knit sat next to my mum making dolls clothes for my Sindy doll whilst she was making baby clothes for my younger siblings.
What is your favourite/ proudest make?
Apart from my own designs I think my proudest make is probably my first attempt at a Fair Isle sweater. I finished it just after I’d had my first child and it has been in constant use ever since. It is my favourite because it was my first attempt at Fair Isle, it fitted really well ( gauge swatches make all the difference!), I made loads of modifications to the original design and they worked, knitting it whilst my baby was tiny meant that I have wonderful memories of her stealing my wool and generally being very cute knitted in to every stitch, it also survived the little madam putting it on a 90 degree wash very briefly! Details of when I made it are available here.
What is your most disastrous make?
I don’t really have any of these, don’t get me wrong I make plenty of mistakes and mess up sizing etc but I either rip it back and fix it or throw it against a wall and eventually get round frogging it completely and knitting something else with the yarn.
Where is your favourite place to wool/ yarn shopping?
As my budget is quite tight I don’t make a habit of buying endless amounts of wonderful and exotic yarn. I buy what I need when I need it for the most part which pretty much rules out indulging in indie dyers unless as a very special treat I go to a wool show, this means that the majority of my wool purchases are done in 2 places. Firstly anything that relates to sock wool, knitting for children and babies or treating myself to semi luxury yarns (think alpaca/ silk blends rather than my usual wool blends) I tend to do online via Wool Warehouse . Secondly if I am buying for me, to add to my more mindful handmade wardrobe I buy from my LYS. I am very lucky that just over 5 miles up the road from my house is a woollen mill and shop that spins and sells its own yarns often using 100% British breed wool. The shop is called Wooly Knit and if the yarns wasn’t enough of a temptation it also has a wonderful café with gingerbread sheep and a log burning fire.
What is your most used pattern?
Aside from a vanilla sock recipe with a fish lips kiss heel my most used pattern is a toss up between the Milo vest and my modified version of the sweater mentioned above the original design before modifications was a Rowan pattern called Maeva from Nordic Knits which is barely recognisable in my finished jumpers these days) To date I have made 3 versions of the Milo vest and 3 variations on my favourite sweater pattern.
What is your most dreaded knitting task?
I hate seaming, particularly setting in sleeves which explains my ever growing love of knitting in the round and yoked sweaters and cardigans!
What is your most favourite knitting task?
In terms of technique I would have to say Fair Isle or stranded colour work knitting in general, I love it possibly more than I love the father of my children! In terms of actual tasks it is probably the planning I enjoy, it has been a long time since I knitted a garment as directed in the pattern I have either designed it myself or made significant modifications that involved maths, graph paper or at the very least copious hand written notes. To me that is the most exciting part, the actual knitting is the meditative bit in the middle followed by the second most exciting bit at the end where you get to try on your finished garment.
What is your favourite knitting entertainment?
During the day I’d say this was knitting or sewing podcasts and at some point I will get around to drawing up a list of my current favourites of these but at the moment it is quite a long list and there is only so long my children will entertain themselves whilst I type away on this. On an evening once the children have gone to bed I am a bit of a crime drama junky, we don’t actually own a TV but I watch a lot of BBC dramas on iPlayer (I paid my licence fee for Poldark alone!) and spend a wonderful anti-social evening not having to talk (as my OH works nights) watching programmes my OH has no interest in and knitting away to my hearts content – the only time this ever gets a bit tricky is when it is a foreign language crime drama on BBC Four and I’m trying to follow a pattern that requires me to concentrate, reading subtitles and pattern notes at the same time is never going to end well.
Digital or hard copy patterns?
Most of the patterns I buy nowadays are digital downloads through Ravelry but I always end up printing them off or writing sections of them out freehand so I can tuck notes in my project bags and work from them. I can’t work from text on a screen as I find it too difficult besides as I am often using the lap top to watch a podcast or TV drama whilst I’m knitting it is too much faff to keep swapping between the pattern and whatever I am trying to watch.
What knitting tools do you use?
I don’t use anything fancy, no special apps or super jazzy expensive needles. Basically if I have Ravelry and a set of circular needles (of any kind or brand) then I am a happy bunny. The only time I am fussy about needles is when I am sock knitting and my preferred method is to do this magic loop using Knit Pro Symfonie fixed circular needles.
Do you have any other hobbies?
Other than knitting I try and find time to do the following;
- walking/ hiking
- watching films
Finding time to do them around looking after 2 small children and my OH is another matter though!
Hopefully you have enjoyed finding out a bit more about me, I would love it if people wanted to play along and answer the questions on their own blogs too. If you do write your own “getting to know me” post let me know in the comments below and I’ll be sure to pop over and have a read.