Posts Tagged ‘design’

WEBS Staff Spotlight – Kristin

Monday, March 18th, 2013
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Kristin is one of our fantastic Customer Service Represenatives. She’s been with us for 5 years this summer! When she’s not knitting, Kristin likes to read and has even dabbled in bookbinding. She just can’t resist making things and has done all sorts of crafts. With two little ones at home, her time is limited so her scope of hobbies isn’t quite as wide as it used to be. But Kristin does whatever she has to do to get in some fiber time whenever possible!

Tangled Yoke Cardigan knit in Rowan Felted Tweed

What is your favorite yarn to work with?
Ohh gosh this is a hard one. I love wool, and especially woolly wools. The Cascade 220 Fingering is a current favorite of mine. I aspire to all kinds of colorwork projects when I see it. Another yarn I’ve been loving lately is Malabrigo Twist with its soft and squishyness. Then I have to mention Rowan Felted Tweed as a really great yarn that holds up well over time. I just love yarn really.

Do you have a favorite project you completed or one you’re most proud of?
I think my Tangled Yoke Cardigan (above) has really stood the test of time. It was a lot of fun to knit, and it was actually my first big garment. I’m really proud of those horizontal cables. The Rowan Felted Tweed I used still looks great today several years later. No pilling at all.

How long have you been involved in your fiber crafts? Are you self taught or did you have someone special show you?
I learned to crochet from my Mom when I was in elementary school. I’m a lefty and she’s not, so it was a bit of a challenge but she managed to get the point across. I did a bit of crochet here and there, but my love of fiber crafts didn’t really start until about 2005. I’m not sure what happened, but I decided out of the blue that I needed to learn to knit. I got a book from my local library, bought some cheap wool, and borrowed some needles from a friend. I started a scarf that was about 16 inches wide…yep I frogged that one. After that, someone introduced me to spinning and I started collecting spindles. I started working at Webs and took the Intro to Rigid Heddle course and couldn’t resist getting a loom for myself.

The Wilder Cowl knit in Malabrigo Yarns Rios

You design such beautiful pieces! What draws you to design?
I like figuring things out. Designing for me is kind of like solving a puzzle. I really do like knitting other peoples’ patterns and you can learn a lot that way, but sometimes I need a mental challenge. The designs that get me the most excited and creative are the ones where I’m working within a narrow set of parameters. The Wilder cowl (above) came about because I wanted a cowl that would look great in one of Malabrigo’s highly variegated yarns. Stitch patterns can get lost with hand dyed yarns like that, so I wanted to find a way around it.

With my most recent pattern, the Tree Bark Mitts (below right), I was playing around with moving stitches in different directions in the knitting, and thought it would be interesting to have the knit/purl stitch pattern move in the opposite direction. This had the added benefit of creating a stitch pattern that draws in a little and keeps my hands warm. I’m learning a lot about pattern writing and the design process and it has been a lot of fun!

What are you working on right now?
I’ll stick to the highlights, because I’m not really a monogamous knitter. I’m designing a fun little hat right now with Dream in Color Smooshy Sock which has been lots of fun. It has knitted pleats and slipped stitch patterning. I try to keep some non-design projects on the go too. I’ve always got a pair of socks going because they’re just so easy. I’m working on a simple lace shawl with Queensland Rustic Tweed which has been a lot of fun and I can’t wait to wrap it around my shoulders on a cold day.

(Left) Basic Rigid Heddle Scarf with Knotted Fringe. Hand dyed Colrain Lace by Kristin.
(Right) Tree Bark Mitts knit in Northampton Sport

In Kristin’s own words, “I love to make things. I’ve always looked around for something I can make. I knit, crochet, spindle spin, dye my own yarn, sew, weave… anything I get in my mind I want to do. Whether it’s making food, designing a webpage or crafting, I just enjoy creating things. It may sound cliched, but there really is something meditative about it.”

 

Tuesday’s Tip – Graph Paper!

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012
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This week’s tip is from Kirsten Hipsky, the WEBS Design Manager. She fills us in on one of her favorite designing resources!

What’s a crafting tool that’s thin, light weight, portable, and lets you see what your knitting or crochet will look like BEFORE you even touch your yarn? A good piece of graph paper!

You can sometimes find a limited selection of it in the stationery section of office supply stores, but what if you want smaller, bigger, or clearer grids than what they sell? What if you want a rectangular grid that represents your actual stitch and row gauge? And what if you want to arrange triangular or hexagonal motifs?

http://incompetech.com/graphpaper/ is a free online source for a large variety of graph paper that you can generate to your exact specifications and print out yourself. I’ve used it for years for charting my stitch patterns and sweater shaping, and it’s saved me a lot of time and aggravation. I’ve even printed out multiple pages and stapled them into a booklet for when I’m travelling.