A couple years ago, I (Bre) was roaming Ravelry looking for a convertible mitten pattern for my now Husband. When I came across Jane Richmond’s Quick Mittens for Men, I was stoked! She had the perfect pattern for my man, and it was affordable. I started to knit it up right away, with her very easy to follow directions. When I feel like knitting something up, but not quite sure what, I’ll check her shop out first to see if anything tickles my fancy. I have purchased about 6 patterns from her shop, and knitted up 2. I have plans to get to the others, like the Oatmeal sweater I’ve started about 3 times, but never quite like the yarn I use. I really need to get new yarn for that….Anyways, back to the point.
Recently we had a wonderful chance to interview Mrs. Jane Richmond herself.
First let’s do the usual: when did you start to knit?
I learned to knit at age 5 but relearned in my late teens through books
Are you a project at a time kinda gal, or do you have numerous knits going on at once?
I used to be a monogamous knitter but now that most of my knitting is designing I tend to have many projects at different stages. I think it’s the result of having too many ideas that I’m dying to get
started on, Startitis I believe it’s called. Thankfully I finish most of what I start.
How would you describe your knitting strategy when creating a new design? Do you work from the skein to your idea, or your idea to the skein?
I definitely jump back and forth on this one. I have a sketch book of ideas that I work from.
Sometimes, but not often, I allow myself to buy yarn just because it’s beautiful. I normally save these splurges for fibre events, I love to discover new local or independent dyers.
What is your favorite yarn to knit with?
I have this natural obsession with your standard, run of the mill, inexpensive wool. I really like Cascade 220 and Patons Classic Wool because they are sturdy, affordable, and are available everywhere and in a huge range of colours. I also love wool blends, it’s the best of both worlds.
Would you call your knitting and designing an addiction at times?
Yes, it’s totally an addiction. I think Tanis (from Tanis Fibres) said it best when she said she knits because she has to. I am high energy so sitting still for a movie or a long car ride without something productive to do is a struggle for me, I can’t not knit.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself, maybe outside the world of knitting?
Well, I just turned thirty this year. I’m momma to Miss Elsie Jane (3 ½) and I have been with my husband 8 years. Despite a ton of moving around we are Islanders at heart and call Vancouver Island home. I am almost as addicted to gardening as I am to knitting (my poor hands!) and I love to be outdoors. I have lived in many countries (Australia, South Korea, the US) and when people ask where I’m from I say “All over”. I love to cook and consider myself a foodie. I wish I knew how to sew properly. I love movie nights and live for Knit Nights!
How had your Husband and Daughter inspired you knit-wise?
Knitting for them is fun and also challenging. Finding something that they genuinely like and want to wear is a challenge so when I get it right it’s hugely rewarding. Career wise, my husband sees how much is involved in the design process and how much I put into it, he really “gets” it and I am lucky to have his encouragement.
We have many newbies to crafting that follow our blog. What would your advice be to them to start knitting?
When I was a teenager picking up knitting again, the internet was young and there was no Ravelry, I felt like the only knitter in the world. Ravelry has connected me with other knitters and introduced me to Knit Nights. Knitting is all over the web, blogs, YouTube, there are entire websites devoted to knitting help, with all of the resources available the possibilities are endless. And because of this, knitting has evolved, this isn’t your grandmothers knitting anymore, beginners are starting with awesome fashionable knits that would make any non-knitter totally envious! It’s a great time learn to knit!
Do you think you’ll teach your daughter to knit? Have you tried to get the hubby to try?
Elsie sees me knitting constantly and has already asked to join in. She likes to play with little scraps of yarn, I can’t wait to teach her when she is old enough to learn. My husband was taught to knit by his grandmother when he was a boy, it never stuck 🙂
Do you have any favorite knitting designers, books, or blogs?
There are many, and the list just keeps growing…
I am hugely inspired by designers that self publish, at the top of this list are: Ysolda Teague, Gudrun Johnston, Kate Davies, Jared Flood, Melissa LaBarre, Veera Välimäki. I read their blogs and love following their careers.
When I like something in a knitting publication it’s always the work of someone on this list: Cathy Carron, Pam Allen, Norah Gaughan, Cecily Glowik MacDonald, Cirilia Rose, Melissa LaBarre. I’m so predictable but it’s fun to have favourites and be pleasantly surprised when the same designers are creating all of your favourite pieces in the latest magazines and books.
And of course, what is your favorite alcoholic beverage to consume while knitting?
Granville Island Winter Ale
Now I have many designers to check out! We would like to thank Jane so much for her interview. Don’t forget to check out her blog , Etsy and Ravelry, where you can view all the projects people have created with her patterns. I’m sure you will be in the same awe as we are.
Bre & Ashley