Meet Jenna – an aspiring knitting designer, avid knitter, and has something I think all knitters wish we had – a husband who also knits! Jenna has an awesome pattern up on Ravelry. Tadpoles is a gorgeous pair of socks, which would be perfect to knit up as a holiday gift, or just a little something for yourself to keep those toes warm! I’m so excited to feature Jenna on my blog!
jaykayknits: Tell us a little about yourself.
jenna swanson: I started knitting early in 2005 after seeing my mother-in-law knit socks. I watched her knit this weird spiral, and became entranced, especially because it didn’t seem too hard. She taught me the basics, but by the time that I got home, I’d forgotten. So I got a book from the library and checked out a few websites. After I realized I was knitting through the back loops, my knitting and I were inseparable My husband was happy because I gave up scrapbooking for a more “productive” hobby. Ha! I used to knit all the time, breaks at work, whenever I was home, and in the movie theater. Now that I have a 1.5 year old, my knitting time has been limited to naps and after he goes to bed for the most part. In some ways it has forced me to concentrate on what I really want to knit, but in other ways it has allowed me the liberty of designing instead of always relying on a pattern (hard to look at a pattern, knit, and chase after a toddler all at the same time). I prefer to knit toys, socks, and baby knits for their instant gratification, but I just finished up my first sweater for me!
jkk: Pattern design is definitely no easy task. What process do you use when designing?
js: I usually have an idea in mind. Then I try to sketch it out. But mostly, it is knitting, ripping, knitting, ripping, and extensive note taking. It isn’t the most time efficient method, but I need the visual representation of the design in addition to the word or chart. Once I’m happy with the design, I write up the pattern, do the math for different sizes if needed, and send the pattern out to be test knit in some cases. Then I send the patterns out for publication, and wait.
jkk: What fibers do you enjoy knitting with the most?
js: I prefer knitting with natural fibers. I really love merino wool because it is soft and usually shows stitch patterns well.
jkk: Do you have any particular yarn that you would recommend to the readers?
js: For socks: I’m really loving ShiBui Sock at the moment.
For garments/etc: Cascade 220, it’s one of the best workhorse yarns around and comes in a great variety of colors.
Kids & Toys: Berroco Comfort. I know it’s acrylic, but it is super soft, comes in great colors, and, best of all, is washable.
jkk: What inspires you daily?
js: I read a lot of blogs, some knitting, some not. I like seeing what other knitters are making, what modifications they make, and how they like the finished product. I browse Etsy and Flickr. almost everyday. I find inspiration in a wide variety of mediums.
jkk: What is your most prized possession (handmade or otherwise)?
js: Hands down, the stuffed lion my husband gave me in our third month of dating. It looks quite bedraggled now, but I still love it and take it with me everywhere. (that is SOOO sweet!!)
jkk: If you could live ANYWHERE in the world, where would you live?
js: Somewhere with all four seasons. Preferably with a great, local farmer’s market, a large body of water, and a yarn store. I would say the Pacific Northwest, but I’ve never even visited there, so I can’t say for sure. 🙂
jkk: Finally – if you could have any super power, which one would you choose?
js: To knit with my mind. I’d get a lot more done that way!
Jenna, thank you so much for allowing me to feature you on my blog! Everyone be sure to check out Jenna’s page on Ravelry, as well as her pattern (it’s free to download!), Tadpoles, and her blog!!