Today’s interview treat is being brought to you by Tin Can Knits!
I’ve been fantasising about the perfect yarn for their Snowflake pattern …maybe I should discuss the matter with them in person at the EYF…?
Tin Can Knits is the transatlantic design collaboration of Alexa Ludeman (Vancouver) and Emily Wessel (Edinburgh). They design and publish irresistible patterns with a signature mix of retro quirkiness and playful attitude.
What’s special about Tin Can Knits books?
- Irresistible, unique, mostly-seamless designs
- Patterns designed for all sizes – so you can knit them for your adorable little man or your handsome old man!
- Alexa’s fun and fabulous photography
- Emily’s irreverent and entertaining write-ups
- Brilliant in-depth tutorials supporting our patterns
- All patterns included in the book are also available for individual download
When did you start knitting?
Emily: I got crazy about knitting in 2006 when I was not working (just snowboarding) in Whistler, BC.
Alexa: I decided to learn to knit when I was 15 and my mum bought me a stitchionary from the 70′s. It had some introductory pictures in the beginning. No one in my family knits so I was on my own, I have odd technique because of it….
What was your first knitting/spinning/crochet project?
Emily: I recycled and dyed some chunky angora-blend yarn then designed / knitted a TERRIBLE cowl necked vest. At first I was knitting from the bottom up, but then I decided the first bit should be the cowl, so I turned it upside down, and continued down to the hem. It wasn’t great.
Alexa: I knit a hideous purple square in acrylic yarn. After that I was hooked on knitting so I made these great big blankets that were basically 6 foot scarves sewn together. I learned the different stitches in that 70′s book, a different stitch for every scarf. They came out kind of crazy.
Can you show us some of the products you’ll be bringing to the festival?
We will be bringing our books: 9 Months of Knitting and Pacific Knits, and print patterns from Great White North too, as well as some knitted samples, so you can try before you buy!
What product/pattern are you most proud of?
Emily: I am most pleased with how the Low Tide cardigan turned out. The finished garment turned out almost exactly how I had hoped, and the slightly atypical construction method turned out to be very simple for knitters to understand.
Alexa: The Antler Cardigan is one of the first sweaters I designed and its popularity has my eyes shining with pride!
How many WIPS have you got?
That’s not a polite question to ask a knitter!
Do you use Ravelry
Ravelry is how we reach most of our knitters, in countries all over the world! We wouldn’t be the duo we are without it.
Have you got a favourite pattern designer and why?
Emily: I admire many designers! I love the work of Kate Davies and Ysolda Teague, the basic genius of Elizabeth Zimmerman, Evelyn Clark’s elegant lace, the subtle and complex colourwork of Alice Starmore, and the bold crazy colors of Kaffe Fassett.
Alexa: I love Elizabeth Zimmerman, not only for her wisdom in knitting, but a her outlook on life as well. Brooklyn Tweed takes beautiful pictures of beautiful knitting, something I definitely aspire to. I enjoy the simplicity of a Jane Richmond pattern too.
What’s on your needles right now?
Emily: Miles of lace – for my upcoming collection Handmade in the UK – more info here: http://blog.tincanknits.com/2012/04/24/handmade-in-the-uk-something-beautiful/
Alexa: Sweaters for my little munchkins, and new designs of course!
If you had to pick just one kind of yarn to knit with/ tool to work with / fibre to spin for the rest of your life what would it be?
Emily: What?! Only one? Variety is the spice of life! But… if I had to choose, Skein Queen could probably satisfy all my desires for the rest of my knitting career. She does so many colours and has such great base yarns!
Alexa: I would go with a subtle hand dye in a worsted weight. My top 3 at the moment have to be SweetGeorgia, Sweet Fibre, or Tanis Fibre Arts…..I just can’t choose!
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