This is a new feature, and I hope it will last longer than just one week! It’s time for The Giddy Kipper’s Crafty Q&A where I’ll be talking to a talented person about the craft they love doing! If you want to feature in this, then please leave me a comment or get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org!
This week’s it’s Axelle, from Milan, who loves knitting! That’s her wearing her work in the shape of a pretty amazing beret!
When did you first learn to knit and who taught you?
I began three years ago when I was pregnant. I knitted some scarves as a child but I had really forgotten so much about knitting. So, I went on to You Tube and found so many tutorials. I guess I can say that I am self-taught.
Why did you want to learn to knit?
As a future mum, I wanted to create some unique little gifts for my baby. Nowadays everything is global, you know? You find the exact same clothes all around the world, so I guess this was my way whilst waiting for him, to craft some special things for him. Later, when friends of mine had babies, I added a small knitted item in the gift for the baby and I noted that they always looked at the craft more than the bought thing. Now I always make something.
What was the first thing you knitted?
A very basic scarf but with very soft wool.
What is it about knitting that you love so much?
As a child I learnt to sew and embroider basic things at elementary school, and with my granny. I remember those as very special moments. In my professional life in PR and Communications I use many ‘techie tools’ and I have to work very fast to satisfy my clients expectations. Knitting is just a way of slowing down, putting yourself into”pause mode” but producing something unique. Even if you follow a pattern there is always something very personal: the choice of the materials, your own style.
Do you go to a knitting class? Can you give me details of it?
Yes, I do now. After knitting so many baby things I wanted to learn new techniques; try to knit more complex garments, and moreover, do some for myself! I found a really nice person who is in charge of the “Stitch n’ Bitch” club in Milan. She comes to my home once to twice a month, and friends join us, so it’s like a kind of knitting club. We learnt the circular needles technique and many other things. Now we are beginning to knit more complex garments.
What has been your biggest knitting achievement?
The first little cardi for Archibald.
What has been the toughest thing you have knitted? Any mistakes you have made?
I guess my last project, the beret, because it was the first time that I used the circular needles.It was very rewarding. I haven’t made too many mistakes!
What’s your favourite wool to knit with?
When you begin to knit, you also become interested in the different kind of wools. It is never-ending. The internet is full of websites which sell wool all around Europe. I don’t have a favourite one as such, it really depends on the pattern,but some cashmere to make little baby booties is just gorgeous. Alpaca wool is beautiful too.I tried Shetland once and I loved the result. Then you discover all the wool brands – it is just mad! I would say that in the end, you don’t save money knitting – it’s really about the pleasure of it, not for any saving aspect. As far as I am concerned, I think that if you spend so much time trying to make something beautiful, the right choice of the wool is a must – and that doesn’t mean the more expensive one, just the right one.
How long did it take you to knit your beautiful beret?
Less than a week actually. I knit at night because I work. It was quite quick. was very careful because it was the first time that I was knitting with circular needles.
What is your next project?
I am making a really cool jumper for Archie, then a cardi for myself. Ravelry is an amazing knitting community on the net and you can find everything related to knitting: patterns, forums, info about wool and so on. I found my patterns there and in some books. These are the two project patterns. For Archie, Fisherman’s Pullover, and for me, Quintet. (Please note that you might have to register on Ravelry to get on the site.)
The rhythm of knitting puts me to sleep – do you experience this?!
If I am tired, absolutely! It can be like being hypnotised!
Anything else you want to share about knitting?
Knitting is quite easy!
And there are lots of book out there to help. Here are some that I bought when I first started.