Kalurah (Ang’s Cousin) is amazingly talented she is a mother, a wife, photographer, cook and last but surely not least a Knitter Extraordinaire!
When and how did you get into knitting? What was your first project?
In late 2008 a friend of mine, who was a knitter, offered to teach me. I was extremely excited, as I had longed to learn how to knit for quite a while. I was hesitant at first, but after seeing all of the gorgeous work and intricate stitches that were so boundless in knit wear designs, I just had to give it a try. My friend invited me over to her home, fed me hors-de-overs & wine and placed needles and yarn in my willing hands. Over an hour or so later, I was a defeated, pathetic bundle of nerves. So I guess you can say, the art of knitting did not just spring alive in me naturally. I went home, feeling totally dejected. But over the following weeks, the drive to learn something new could not be quieted. My husband hated seeing me in my conquered state, so one day he brought me home a Knitting kit that came with needles, yarn and a how to booklet. We both sat down and spent the afternoon trying to tackle the cast on. After we pulled out half a head of hair, we moved on to the Knit stitch and then the Purl stitch. Before long, I found myself knitting up little swatches with the pretty skein of wool that my friend gave me. I would bring them to her and gain approval and make sure I was doing it all correctly. I soon tackled my very first project, which was a long cabled scarf. I still have it to this day. Less than a month later, I created my very first knitting pattern, “Jazz Baby”.
Do you have an ‘artistic process’ when it comes to knitting and design, or do you tote your yarn & needles wherever you go?
My process has a complete mind of its own. It strikes anytime, anywhere; while watching a movie, driving in traffic, or lying in bed. I quite literally “dream” up some of my designs. Inspiration hits me most often when I’m not even thinking about it.
Is there a particular piece that you’re especially proud of? Or have a special attachment to?
There is one that I am very proud of and I hold it dear to my heart. When my cousin Misty was undergoing her Chemo treatments, I knitted her my hooded neck warmer. I picked out the softest Merino Wool and lined it with pretty fabric. I think I poured all of my love into that special piece.
What are your favorite kinds of things to knit? How do you decide which yarn to buy?
Obviously, by looking at my designs you can tell I have a passion for accessories; gloves, scarves and hats. I do enjoy making sweaters too, but usually only for myself and close friends. The yarn I use for a particular project is usually determined by the functionality of the garment. Does it need to be warm? Will it be worn up against the skin? Do I want it to drape or do I want a sturdier fabric? My project always dictates the yarn I choose. However, in turn, yarn does tell me what it wants to be on occasion. I’ll find a beautiful Alpaca & Silk, for instance and the fibers just cry out to be made into a lacy hat.
Who is your favorite knit wear designer?
This is a very difficult question, as I have a few. I guess I’ll start with my FIRST favorite designer. Basically, she is the sole reason I was determined to learn how to knit, Ysolda Teague. Her designs are whimsical, uniquely constructed and beautiful. I’m also in love with Stephanie Dosen of Tiny Owl Knits and Norah Gaughan. But trust me, there are far more who are equally as talented and inspiring.
What made you want to start your own business? And how did you come up with your business name?
In 2007, I was a stay at home mom; my children were 2, 4, and 6. I found myself longing for something fun, creative and relaxing to do with my time while the munchkins were napping and playing. My mother-in-law sat me down and showed me how to crochet, so I found myself making cute little accessories for my 6-year-old daughter and photographing her in them. I was big into blogging at the time and a couple of bloggers that I followed had Etsy shops. So I signed up, opened a shop and the rest is history. As for the name… I think that speaks for itself, don’t you?
Where do you draw inspiration from for new patterns/creations? And do you have any new projects in the work?
As I said earlier, inspiration can come from anywhere, but I find myself gravitating towards vintage design. I will often come up with an idea while watching an old movie. I’ll find myself concentrating on what knitted accessory would pull the actresses ensemble together. I find myself constantly inspired to design. I just recently wrote 3 new patterns that will be published by a Fiber company. I can’t share them until they are published but you can look for the first in mid-February in their Spring/Summer 2013 Knit e-Book.
Do you have any advice for new knitters trying to refine their craft, or trying to start designing?
Stay true to yourself. You have a voice, listen to it. There are a million different ideas out there, be unique. Stand apart. More importantly, be patient. Rome wasn’t built in a day. You can’t force the creative juices, they’ll flow when they’re ready. Surround yourself with beautiful things and people you love and the inspiration will follow.
Any knitting books in particular you’d especially recommend to others looking to get started in knitting?
The best Knitting resources out there cannot be bound with stitches and glue or be read in written word. She is your grandmother, your aunt or a close friend. Even if you have to go to a local yarn store and have one of their lovely knitters sit down with you. The very best resource is a kind and patient teacher, someone who is willing to take the time to guide you along the way. Oh, and YouTube can be a godsend as well.
Do you have any other creative outlets you enjoy besides knitting?
I love photography and writing. I think these two things in particular are what have played a crucial role in the success of my brand. Many people, especially knitters are visual. What they see in front of them will be their first impression, so make it striking, beautiful and something they feel they can’t live without. I also spend a large amount of time writing my descriptions for my patterns. I want to tell a story, set the scene, pull my audience in by making them picture a place or time. Once there, they won’t want to leave.