Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Interview with Carmel

As I said the other day I am going to be doing things a little bit differently around here.
Thursdays I am going to save for interviews with a designer/knitter/blogger.

Today the first installment will be with my funny and most wonderful friend Carmel.
I love her work, her humour and her knitting. I have known her for a year I think? I have acquired a good bit of her stash because she's just that generous. Though I know the yarn I have from her has barely put a dent in her stash. In fact I'm pretty sure she has more yarn than her LYS..haha!

Carmel is currently living in Washington state with her husband and two adorable Boxer dogs; Gabby & Quintus. I think you'll love her as mush as I do!

I've known you for quite some time now in the blogosphere, Ravelry, and Facebook. We have a lot of things in common and besides the constant emails and texts we share everyday, our biggest thing we share is our love of knitting.

How old were you when you started to knit and who taught you?

I was 26 years old when I first learned how to knit. I would love to say that my mom taught me but she didn’t, however she did pay for the beginning knitting class I took, it was five weeks long and all I took away from it was how to cast on, cast off, decrease (barely) and increase by mistake. I cranked out a lot of crap and a lot of scarves. I didn’t understand gauge until 4 years ago when my niece asked me to teach her and like my mom I signed her up for beginning knitting and signed up myself as well. That’s when the flood gates opened and it all made sense!

Do you knit english or continental?
I am definitely a continental girl. I have been known to throw on occasion but it usually involves cables, and I can only do it on the knit side……(side note: I always get confused with the term English or Continental…I googled to find out which way I swing)

Wow! I definitely did not know this about you. I knit english, though I can knit continental, it is not my preferred choice.

So what is the one thing that you would love to learn whether it is spinning or a knitting technique etc?
I think a technique I would like to learn is Intarsia…..there are a few projects out there that require it and I really like them but haven’t learned the technique yet…….I think I’d also like to master the actual sewing of a sweater, I really really hate putting a sweater together so 90% of what I make is top down with as little sewing up as possible.

I have to agree with you on the seaming of a sweater. I too only knit one piece, top down sweaters. However, One of the things I will be sharing soon will be a video of how to seam set-in-sleeves. When I watched it, all of a sudden everything clicked.

What would be your preferred yarn of choice?
There are so many, I don’t think it’s fair to pick one so I won’t I’ll toss a few out there. Malabrigo worsted is fabulous, it’s soft and lovely and they have the best colors with it. That being said, I’m a simple girl and I love a good solid worsted weight wool and I find that in Cascade 220. I’ve had people scoff at me when I say it but you can’t fault the price, the yardage, the feel and the way it knits up. I make worsted weight book socks with it, I’ve made cardigans with it that look fabulous to this day, I’ve made baby sweaters, mittens, booties, and hats with it. It’s my go to yarn you could say…….

You have my heart on yarn choice. I'm 100% with you!

What do you have on your needles currently?

Currently: I have a hat for my mom’s friend Grady, it is the Watch Cap from Knits Men Want, I am also working on the last project for Red Barn Yarn and have hit a wall so I’m chewing on it for a bit, trying to wrap my head around it. I also have, Big Bad Baby Blanket almost done, and a Multnomah Shawl (3rd one) almost done.

Ah yes, I remember your Red Barn Yarn project. Let's hope for the best!

What was your most favorite thing to knit and what made it so special and/or fun?
I think my most favorite thing/special thing: Falling Leaves Cardigan by Nikki van de Carr for my best friends baby girl, and the Simo dress by Cirilia Rose for Berroco. (both knit in cascade 220 hahaha)

Cirilia is FANTASTIC!

This may be a dangerous question but, how many projects do you currently have on the needles total?

I’m going to throw a random number out there and know that I’m pretty close………probably about 20 items in various stages of finishing or waiting to be frogged but still sitting on the needles because I can’t bring myself to admit that it was a bad project and it has to go……’ll all get done eventually and I’ve found that my yarn stash has more patience than I do.

I don't know if I have that many, but at one time...I too had about 20

And lastly, who is your favorite knitwear designer and why?
Holy Cow, there are so many that I love…….again I don’t think I can pick one so here we go, Thea Coleman aka BabyCocktails: she does almost all of her stuff top down so that’s a plus for me and I just love her style. Cirilia Rose, she just seems so sassy and I love her style and the stuff she creates for Berroco. MsKimba (you) of course, I enjoy working on your stuff so much! Jared Flood, a lot of that has to do with his photography though I’m thinking but his knitting continually stuns me. Alana Dakos of Never Not Knitting, her patterns are so well written that there is no way you can fail at a project. I could really go on and on with a list of my favorites but for now, these are the ones that I follow closely and whose patterns are always in my Ravelry Shopping Cart.

Aww thank you! Well I certainly don't compare to any of the others, and Jared is amazing, all of them are really. Thanks for being my first interview! I've learned a few things already.
If you would like to read more about Carmel and her amazing work, & see her husbands race car with her very own knit logo on it!!! (how amazing is that?) you can find her on her Blog & Ravelry.

Happy Knitting