Today’s designer is Mary from Kino Knits.
What makes you excited about being a designer? What part of the process do you find rewarding?
It cracks me up to see something that existed only in my brain on someone else. But I think I get the biggest kick when a knitter not only creates a gorgeous item, but says she loved the knitting process and learned new something, too.
Are you a full-time or part-time designer?
Part-time. I have a full-time job and a family, and it’s really hit me this year that these three areas of my life (work, wife and mom, and knitting) are NOT a Venn diagram. It can be frustrating.
Does the place you live affect how or what you design?
Less so now that I’m living in Maryland, but living in East Africa for three years was definitely inspiring. I have published items inspired by safari animals (Maribou), a carved gourd (Skein Watch Socks), the Kenyan climate (Rainy Season), an Ethiopian pilgrimage site (Lalibela) and there’s probably more to come!
What’s your favourite thing to design?
Ummm… I’ll a little all over the place. Sometimes I worry that I don’t fit a niche, but I think that is thematic in itself. I think my fans like that they can expect something unexpected from me, in that I design across types of patterns and use various techniques. I’m a process knitter and a process designer!
Are you a big gift knitter? What’s your favourite knitting to give?
I am – my brain usually turns to holiday gift knitting around September 1, whether I want it to or not. I end up knitting lots of socks for family!
If someone were to knit you a present, what would you most love to receive?
I think I would actually most like some handspun!
Tell us about your favourite yarn.
My favorite across the years has to be Brown Sheep Nature Spun Sport. It’s my go-to for colorwork. I’m very good about tracking my stash in Ravelry, but my big bin of Nature Spun Sport is the exception – I find it much more inspiring to just paw through all the colors. And despite it being labeled sport, I’ve used it for fingering-weight patterns for years without bothering to convert anything. That’s why I was so excited to design my A Nice Cuppa pattern out of it – and it’s great for Never Not Gnoming, too!
What’s one thing about being a designer that surprised you?
I knew I’d have to market my work to attract customers, but the sheer amount of marketing (which is time not knitting!) is sometimes overwhelming.
Giftalong interview with Kino Knits