Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Design von Hinterm Stein

We always look forward to the chance to interview our favourite designers and this month we are delighted to introduce you to Jutta von Hinterm Stein.  If you haven’t come across this amazing designer, you are in for a treat.  Her patterns are stylish, contemporary and thoughtful as well as beautifully written.

Cross Pockets

KP: Tell us a bit about you.
JvHS: I live in Austria, in a very old house from 14th century, surrounded by a big natural garden and the charming landscape of the pre-alpine uplands. My head needs fresh air and my hands need to be in the earth, digging holes for new plants or harvesting what miraculously grew. Fortunately, I have a husband who is my IT specialist, otherwise I would be lost…

Quadri Shawl

KP: When did you start knitting and crocheting?
JvHS: During a winter holiday in the alps, my beloved toy rabbit needed a warm coat and my grandmother helped me to crochet a little red coat with golden buttons (the coat got lost but Rotten Rabbit still lives with me…). Soon I moved on to knitting – it was so much quicker! I have spent my whole school- and university-time knitting (a lot!).

Holey Comfort

KP: How did you become a designer and is it your main job?
JvHS: By chance! And what a chance! After a break of 25 years, I somehow felt the need for something warm and cozy in my hands, so I checked out my old wool boxes and started to knit, and a few months later, in search of inspiration, I discovered Ravelry. I posted a few projects and got an incredibly positive response - some knitters even asked if I would write a pattern. Wow! What a feedback! That’s how I started my little designing career that miraculously became more and more successful. I owe a lot to all the nice chaps on Ravelry, who have supported me and my work . Recently the “knitting business” is progressively taking over more time and growing to a full-time job.


KP: What is your favourite of your own patterns?
JvHS: Must I choose? 
Triangle. for its versatility. You can wear it for an interview as well as on weekends.
I like the simplicity of Louvre and the coolness of Holey Comfort. And I wore Cross Pockets until it fell apart.
And of course, QUADRI! Which has such an ingenious technique.

Janukke's Tiling Fish
KP: Which designers do you admire? 
JvHS: As a girl, I passed by a Jil Sander shop and swore to myself that one day, I would wear one of these elegant suits – there’s still time. 
And there certainly is Coco Chanel on top of the list.
On Ravelry, there are Purl Soho’s cool and sleek designs, Janukke’s Escher (!) and Himawari’s clear lines … and many, many other talented people! 


KP: What is your favourite yarn?
JvHS: If you ask me about yarns, there will always be Alpaca in my mind. It is soft and durable at the same time and I love the fact that it does not attract smells. You can cook a whole meal in your alpaca sweater and the next day you won’t smell any onions. My recent design “Flying Feathers” is knit in Alpaca, and it is super-light but warm at the same time.

KP: Do you have any new patterns coming out?
JvHS: For the near future, I have planned BasiX, a very wearable sweater for every day and a festive Trumpet Solo - I have lots of new ideas.

KP: Which is your favourite KnitPro product?
JvHS: I have the beautifully coloured Symfonie interchangeables which I really like when knitting a sleek silky yarn!

Thank you Jutta!

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Sneak Peak at our New collection - Part 2

We are delighted to offer you our second sneak preview of our 2017 collection which will very soon be arriving in a yarn store near you or at your favourite online retailer.  This month we are very excited to show you some of our new winding and yarn accessories

We know many of you buy your yarn in hanks, not just from indie dyers, but many of the big brands have them in their collection these days.  Carefully unwinding your hank is essential to preparing your yarn for knitting or crochet, so we have developed a range of handmade wooden products in natural, decorated and our signature wood that we use in the Symfonie ranges.

Our beautifully made swift expands to accommodate any hank, no matter how large or small.  The mechanism rotates smoothly make unwinding easy and it packs away very neatly.

The new KnitPro ball winder is a wonderful piece of engineering, which will fix to any surface and makes a wonderfully even ball to work from thanks to the special belt mechanism.

Now that you have unwound your yarn we have the tools to make sure your ball doesn't bounce around the floor picking up dust.  Our new range of yarn boxes are very elegant and will tone in with your decor, while our yarn dispenser rotates as you use your yarn and holds your ball perfectly.

We hope you enjoy our new collection.  Don't forget to keep an eye on our Facebook page to see our new tools in action.

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Sneak Peak At Our New Collection - Part 1

We are delighted to offer you a sneak preview of our 2017 collection which goes in store from mid-August.  Because we have so much yumminess to show you we are featuring the products over two posts to whet your appetite.  This time we are looking at the fantastic range of storage solutions and accessories winging their way to a yarn shop near you.

Our cute elephant-shaped View Sizer has so many uses.  You can check the size of your needles and hooks, check your tension and even cut your yarn with the handy tusk cutter.  It comes in this lovely blush colour and lilac too.

We are very proud of our hand-printed fabrics which come in colours to suit your style; we are introducing new needle rolls for straight, circular, interchangeable and double pointed needles.

There are a number of new project bags including a very spacious craft caddy

If you are prone to loosing your stitch markers we now have a natty little pouch that you will find useful in fabrics to match your project bag and needle roll.

Our chart keepers are loved by knitters and crocheters alike and now they are even more stylish because they are available in a range of our fabrics. You need never loose your place in a pattern again.

And for those of you who want to make your own bag we have a DIY kit in faux leather so you can create your own look.

You will start to see the collection appearing in your local yarn shop soon so be sure to ask them to let you know when the new ranges arrive.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Interview with Emma Varnam

In the latest of our occasional series of interviews with our favourite bloggers and designer we caught up with the delightful Emma Varnam.  Her fascinating blog covers both her knitting and crochet adventures, and she has published a number of books including Cute Crocheted Animals which we constantly refer to.  She has also created designs for the top UK magazines such as Simply Crochet, Knitting and Inside Crochet

KP: How did you get in to knitting and crochet?
EV: I was taught to knit by my Grandma when I was about 6 or 7 on bright yellow needles. I really wish I still had those needles as a souvenir. They were very bendy and squeeky. Throughout school I always enjoyed craft and art, and at University I spent the long train journeys and my downtime doing needlepoint. But it was when my friends started having babies in our twenties that I picked up the needles again. I became  interested in crochet because I wanted to reduce my huge stash of yarn. My interest grew and grew but the yarn stash has never reduced.

KP: Which do you prefer?

EV: Well that is difficult to say. I swap between the two depending on the project. I am more likely to knit a jumper but I am much more fluent now in crochet. For toys, homeware and accessories I prefer crochet. Perhaps because the majority of my design work is in crochet I see knitting as more of a hobby. That suits me fine and I have the best of both worlds.

KP: We know you have published a number of books, do you have any in the pipeline?

EV: Yes I have a crochet book coming out in August – Granny Squares Home and I am just finishing off the projects for another crochet book.

KP: When did you start your blog?

EV: I started my blog in 2010. Well to be honest, my husband started my blog. He got so fed up listening to me talk about it that he created the space and said; ‘There you go it exists now, you had better write it’. Even though Instagram and Facebook have begun to dominate social media, my blog is still my favourite little space.

KP: What can people expect from your blog?

EV: Predominately my blog is about the creative inspiration and the design process for my crochet and knitting designs. I am huge fan for gardening so flowers and plants do sneak their way in too. Readers will find quite a few free patterns and tutorials. I also aim to do a few giveaways which I can share with my regular readers

KP: How do you fit in your blog, designing, writing alongside your busy life?

EV: Honestly, I have no idea. I would love to say I have a tardis. But in reality I have a very supportive family and I don’t do lots of things I should do. Without a doubt I should find more time  to exercise.

KP: What are your plans for the future?

EV: When I have finished the latest book I have promised myself that I will finish a fairisle carditgan that I began designing. I wanted to have it ready for the summer. Ah well, next summer perhaps. There are also quite a few babies on the way, and I love to make for new borns so those will be my next projects.

KP: Which is your favourite KnitPro range?

EV: KnitPro Zings are my favourite knitting needles. If I could I would replace all my needles with the Zing range. I find my tension and my speed is far better using them.I have also begun to experiment with Tunisian Crochet and the Symfonie Wood interchangeable set makes the process so much easier. Having a good point for your hooks and needles helps me technque no end.

We look forward to seeing lots more designs from Emma in the future.  In the meantime don’t forget to check out her blog