So many questions – thank you! I’m going to spread them over a couple of blog posts. Get my money’s worth out of you.
What was the first project you ever knit? Do you still have it? Do you use it?
Let’s see, I think the first project I ever knitted was a hot pink mohair tank top. I was 8 at the time. And I wore it proudly! But no, I don’t still have it. The first project I knitted when I took knitting back up as an adult was a self designed cushion cover in chunky alpaca. I was quite proud of it, until Snickers chewed off all four corners.
Was there a moment when you suddenly felt like a Knitter as opposed to a knitter?
I think I still feel like a knitter!
What’s your favourite pair of shoes?
That’s like asking me to choose a favourite out of my cats (which I totally have, but will never say Out Loud, in case the others hear). But I’ll try. It would be hard to choose between the heels, because I have so many, and they are all so pretty. So probably I’d say my old pink Converse. I got them in America, and it’s taken me four years to get them to look as grubby and battered as I wanted. I love my Cons.
Are you a hat person? What’s your favourite hat? (I love hats, so I’m really hoping you’ll answer this one!)
I used to be, but since I had all my hair cropped short, I look kind of bald when wearing a hat. Which makes it hard to stay warm in winter. So if anyone has any hat recommendations for someone with super short hair, then go for it!
Why, oh why, are there no recent kitty photos on your blog? Tell us about the kitties!
I dunno, probably because they seldom stay still! There was a photo op a few days ago; they were coiled together in an intricate pattern on the floor by my feet, sleeping peacefully. They looked very decorative, but the moment I stood up to get my camera, they woke up and moved. I do have a couple of snaps of some chickens that wandered into our garden the other day though. I love chickens.
What fun things are you planning to do on your upcoming trip to France?
As much as we can cram into 7 days! We’re near the Spanish border, so we’re going to spend a day in Barcelona. There’s a huge waterpark nearby, so we’ll be going there. Biarritz and Perpignan are both must sees. We want to do some snorkeling. And I’m mildly tempted to visit the town nearby that is a nudist town – yes, that’s right, folks. Shops, and banks, and everything. All nekkid. Of course, you have to be nekkid to get in, which might spoil the fun a little.
Have you ever dyed yarn that you really, really hated?
Oh yes! Kidsilk Lace, the lace weight mohair/silk that we did in Winter 07. We loathed the stuff. It matted up like hair. Bleugh.
Are there any colors you refuse to dye with?
Well, I used to refuse to do blacks or greys. But I bowed to public demand. So no, there’s none we won’t do.
Do you dye yarn and keep it for yourself because you like it so much?
I’m going to take the Fifth Amendment on that question, just in case Tony reads this.
What are you knitting right now, and how many – honestly – projects do you have in limbo?
My current WIP’s are a pair of 3×1 ribbed socks, made from some Koigu that I got from Get Knitted a few weeks ago. Sarah (The Plucky Knitter) and I got the same colourway to make the same socks, so that we would be sock twins. Ahhhh. And I’m halfway through Mystic Waters, which I’m doing in cream Sophia 2ply. And sliding into hibernation is a Noro baby blanket for Zara (Cariad Yarn), who is expecting her first baby in October. I need to work out how many rows a week I’ll need to do to finish that in time, and make myself do them. I did 5 inches then lost interest. It’s a giant piece of garter stitch, people!
In limbo, oh dear. A scrap shawl. A Cobblestone for Tony from Kilcarra Tweed. Another sweater for me in Kilcarra. A Fair Isle sweater for me in Rowan Felted Tweed. I think that’s all. I may be blocking some more out of my mind though!
What is your favourite knitting book or pattern.
For atmosphere, America Knits. For patterns, A Gathering of Lace.
What’s the most worn thing you have ever knitted – not worn by you or worn by you.
My first pair of socks. I wore them, literally, to death. I’m still in mourning.
Do you have time for any other crafts?
Unfortunately no. I found that I didn’t have time to spin and knit, so I’ve gone back to knitting for now. Maybe one day……..
I’d love to know how you and your husband got into the yarn dyeing business. Was he always the dyeing person?
NO! I started dyeing about 6 years ago. Just dabbled to begin with, then started selling the yarn. Got busier, and busier. Finally persuaded Tony to give up his business and join me in Posh Yarn about three years ago. (one of his ‘friends’ predicted he would only last 3 months. Boo Ya!) He was my assistant for quite a while, and gradually he did more and more of the dyeing, until he took over completely about 18 months ago. Even then, for a few months I would still mix all the colours for him. But now he does it all. I rarely set foot in the dye room.
I would love to know how you come up with the amazing names for the colours…and how you don’t duplicate!
Well, I do duplicate, very often! Some names are just so perfect that I have to re-use them on occasion. But I do try not to. Originally, I came up with the names, and then created colourways to suit them. I know that seems back to front, but I’m a very wordy person. That was when we dyed to a set range of colourways. Once we started doing one off colourways, I switched. I look at each colourway, and come up with a name for it. Some days it’s harder than others. The trick, I find, is to switch my conscious mind off, and just let my subconscious drift along. Names pop up, sometimes one that fits the colourway obviously, some others that I just love the sound of. I’m having a lot of fun naming the batts, because there are less of them, and only ever one or two of each colourway, so I let myself use longer names (imagine writing ‘There’s Klingons On The Starboard Bow’ twelve times on yarn labels!).
What is your favourite place for a picnic and what is your favourite food to take along?
Do you know, I don’t ever picnic? Isn’t that a shame? Especially when we live in such a beautiful place. However, we’re hoping for a good summer this year, so that we can take the boat out more often. There’s a little beach near us that can only be got to by boat. Me & Zara plan to get dropped off there, so that we can read, and build a little fire, while Tony & Gerd fish for our supper!