As the second in our series of guest bloggers, we invited Little Cotton Rabbits to answer a few questions about her life as a knitting blogger – here’s what she had to say …
What does knitting mean to you?
Knitting is an essential part of my daily life. It is my source of relaxation and enjoyment, it challenges me to learn new things and I love that it is such a productive way to spend time. There is something very fulfilling about taking a ball of yarn and making a finished object with your own two hands. I also like that when I am knitting something simple or something from a familiar pattern my fingers find the rhythm on their own and my mind is free to day dream.
What are your earliest memories of knitting?
Both my Gangan and my mum were enthusiastic knitters and made all manner of toys and clothes for my brother and me. I still have the wardrobe of knitted clothes that my Gangan made for my favourite doll. I remember the click clack of my mum’s needles in the evenings and how proud I felt when I finally managed to finish my first ever project – a squeakily acrylic red garter stitch scarf for my dolly.
What are some of your favourite memories of knitting and why?
I was 18 when I first moved away from home to go to college at the other end of the country from where I’d grown up. I can remember sitting in my little bedsit room and knitting and that it made home seem less far away. I could only afford cheaper yarns as a student but when I finished college I moved to London and started earning good money. Liberty was just around the corner from where I was working and their Rowan wool department was my favourite place to hang out at lunch times. I was like a child let loose in a sweet shop and rather a lot of my new salary was spent in there! I still have some of those unused balls of vintage Rowan yarn in my stash.
How has blogging and writing about knitting changed your life?
I originally wanted a way to connect with other people who liked to craft and create, and a way to fill my days while the children were at school. Writing the blog has provided this and so much more. Through blogging I’ve met new friends, been able to share ideas, learnt new techniques (there’s always new tricks to learn, even for this old dog!) and grown a little business. Writing the blog and knitting patterns has now become my day job. I try to write a new post every week or two but I find it’s better to write when inspiration takes hold.
Where do you find your knitting inspiration?
All sorts of places! I love the geometric nature and symmetry of traditional Nordic designs and sometimes I use these as inspiration. I love photography and often browse flickr for colour combination ideas which I often find in natural or landscape shots. My biggest source of inspiration probably comes from yarn itself. I love finding new yarns to work with and get a sense of childish excitement when I get my hands on a new-to-me yarn. I have a particular love of hand-dyed yarns which always look so rich and varied compared to a flat coloured yarn. I often find that the yarn itself suggests the project that it best suits and I’ve found it best not to argue with such wisdom if you don’t enjoy frogging hours of work!
Julie writes and knits at www.littlecottonrabbits.typepad.co.uk
Have you voted in the British Knitting Awards yet? There’s less than a week to go before voting closes, so it’s your last chance to win that £500 mini-break, courtesy of Great Little Breaks!