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Interview: Melanie Porter, author of The Hand-Knitted Nursery

Interview: Melanie Porter, author of The Hand-Knitted Nursery

We’re all about homewares in this issue of Let’s Knit, and what room carries more sentimentality than a nursery? Expectant parents know the delight of preparing for their bundle of joy only too well, and the 35 projects in Melanie Porter’s newest book are sure to offer inspiration. We caught up with the author to find out more.

When did you first learn to knit?

I learnt to knit with my grandmother when I was a child. I rediscovered my love of knitting when I was studying fashion design at college.

What is your favourite knitting memory?

I love being creative with knitting and often get asked to work on unusual projects.  Working through the night to create knit-covered mannequins for a shop window, and running a workshop on knitted lampshade making in Somerset House for The Campaign for Wool spring to mind.

Tell us a little bit about the ideas for The Hand-Knitted Nursery. Where did the inspiration come from?

I was pregnant with my own son while writing The Hand-knitted Nursery and I imagined I was creating a magical space for him. Many of the projects in The Hand-Knitted Nursery have origins in items I remember from my own childhood, dreamt up by my creative grandmother and mother. I also think contrasting scale knits give a wonderfully cosy effect; I love a giant knit rug next to a fine knit throw.

What do you think makes nurseries special?

Nurseries are spaces which you create for the most precious being to enter your world.  They are somewhere you can suspend the real world and indulge in warmth, play and a little bit of fantasy.

How important is preparing the nursery for expecting parents?

Most parents enjoy preparing a nursery in preparation for their little one (even though they rarely sleep in there for the first few months).  I believe creating this safe little space gives you reassurance that you will be a good parent.

What are the most important things to remember when knitting for babies?

If you are knitting an item of clothing, make it a size bigger than you expect.  There is nothing worse than spending weeks knitting an item for it to be worn once.  And always make sure that anything you attach on to your knitting is extremely well secured.

Is there a particular yarn or fibre that works well for babies?

Alpaca is a naturally hypoallergenic yarn, so that can be a good choice. Alternatively, knitting in strips of cotton jersey creates a lovely chunky texture without the irritant fibres of some other yarns.

The Hand-Knitted Nursery will be available to buy for £12.99 from 13th March. Pre-order your copy now!

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