This time, the lovely Sue from Knit ‘n’ Caboodle answers our questions…
When and Why did you start designing?
The first design I remember was a tiny jumper knitted with sewing thread on dress-making pins for a baby doll approximately 2 cms tall ( I was about eight, I think), because I loved making things and enjoyed a challenge. (I still have it somewhere).
Where do you find inspiration for your designs?
It often starts with the yarn – the colour and texture suggest something. This can be immediate or gradual. Sometimes learning a new technique immediately invites and stimulates ideas for its application.
What is your favourite thing to design? Why?
No one thing. I love the feeling of fulfilment when all the elements (colour, texture, form and function) combine in the way I wanted.
When did you start Knitting/Crocheting/Crafting?
I can’t remember a time before making things. I probably learnt to knit at my grandmother’s knee in the early 1950s.
What new skills have you acquired since you started designing?
I’m learning all the time. There’s so much more to pattern writing than you’d think, in particular describing specific techniques or giving complex instructions both clearly and succinctly, so this is something I’m looking to improve all the time.
What are your biggest challenges?
Finding enough knitting time.
Producing or adapting patterns that keep my arthritic thumbs happy.
Recording what I’m doing while I’m doing it and in enough detail for writing up as a pattern.
Keeping up with technology and producing photo/video demonstrations.
Do you have a day job? If so, do you find any inspiration from the people/tasks you encounter?
I’m one half of Knit ‘n’ Caboodle, so find this a constant inspiration and motivation through contact with customers, colleagues and suppliers.
What are your favourite shapes and colours?
No favourite shapes.
I tend to be drawn to deep, rich colours, in particular reds.
If you could take any workshop at Fibre Flurry 2013, (apart from your own!) which would it be and why?
Anniken Allis – Continental knitting with Norwegian Purl. I love Anniken’s designs and because I love to acquire new techniques. I learn best from demonstration and need dedicated time to focus, uninterrupted, and practise with help at hand.
What plans do you have for 2014?
More patterns, kits and developments for Knit ‘n’ Caboodle.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
Just my love of knitting, the yarns, the people, the skills, the knowledge, generosity and enthusiasm you find within the knitting world.
Knitter, retired from the NHS, mother and great aunt, married to an artist, living in a canal-side cottage near Rugby in Warwickshire. Member of two knitting groups, Tilton-on-the-Hill (Leicestershire) and Percival Guildhouse Knitters (Rugby, Warwickshire)
Also dancer with Tribe-Ulations and Sword Sisters (tribal/fusion belly dance).
Share our garden with swans, ducks and moorhens and my wool-shed and give much more thought to what knitting to take with me than to what clothes or food whenever we go narrow-boating.
In 2010, together with fellow Director/ co-owner Julie Beardwell, acquired and re-opened Knit ‘n’ Caboodle specialising in our unique knitting kits and carefully selected supplies for small projects.