Nichole of the Restless Knitter Designs joins us today.
Look at her patterns on Ravelry. See her photos on Instagram.
What excites you about the GAL? What’s your favourite part?
This is my first time joining the Gift-A-Long. I’ve been following along watching for the last couple of years but never seemed to have the time to join in and always missed the deadline. This year I scraped in by a whisker, literally at the last minute! I’m excited to be a part of such an exciting global community. I love how something as simple as knitting (and crochet!) can bring so many people together. I’m really looking forward to discovering some indie designers that I haven’t seen before.
What makes you excited about being a designer? What part of the process do you find rewarding?
For me, it’s when an idea comes to fruition. I don’t know if it’s just me but I second guess every design choice, every step of the way, until I cast off, wondering if I made the right choices. Seeing the finished object come to life is rewarding, even if it doesn’t turn out as planned. For example, the crown pattern on my BUX hat was a happy accident. It wasn’t until I knit it up that I realised the crown made a beautiful star shape. Happy accidents are the best!
What inspires you?
I find inspiration literally anywhere! Ha! Sometimes it is something in nature, sometimes I see a stitch pattern I like, sometimes it’s a phrase. I have a tee pattern I want to make inspired by a children’s rhyme!
Are you a full-time or part-time designer?
Part time, even more so the past two years. I went back to university last year to get my graduate diploma in education and now I teach high school English. It has been a hectic two years and I thought I would have to give up designing completely, but I’ve managed to sneak it back in a little. I just had a design submission accepted for publication early next year so I have no choice!
Does the place you live affect how or what you design?
To an extent. I live in Australia where it gets pretty hot and the coldest winter temperature is around 10 degrees Celsius so I don’t typically need a lot of warm clothes; however, I hate being cold so I do like hats and cowls. I’d like to knit some designs using linen yarns specifically for summer wear.
I’m also mindful that the knitting community is worldwide so I take that into consideration when I design. A lot of my customer base is in the US and EU as well as Australia so I tend to design things that suit most climates.
What’s your favourite thing to design?
Hmm, I love the instant gratification of accessories like hats and mitts but I love designing garments. I’d love it more if I had the time to knit them! I’d really like to design a few shawls as they are my favourite thing to wear and I love seeing all the interpretations on shape and construction.
Are you a big gift knitter? What’s your favourite knitting to give?
Nope. I rarely knit for people, again because of my lack of time to do it. If I knit for you you must be REALLY special to me! Haha
If someone were to knit you a present, what would you most love to receive?
Socks! I love knitted socks and I have knit pairs for my kids, my best friend and for commissions, but every time I knit a pair for me they end up as a failure destined for the frog pond! I have a sock knitting curse!
Tell us about your favourite yarn.
That is a hard one! I get to knit with some amazing yarns and I’ve seen some stunning new ethical yarns hit the market I’d love to try. I don’t know that I have a favourite but I definitely favour natural fibres, usually merino or other wool, linen, and silk. White Gum Wool in Tasmania makes the softest merino yarns, it’s like knitting with a cloud! I love all the crazy speckle yarns that are popular right now and I really need to get some in all the neon colours!
What’s one thing about being a designer that surprised you?
The fact that I could actually DO the math! My high school math teacher wouldn’t believe it if I told her.