Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Designer Interview Series: #2 Jennifer Thompson

Jennifer Thompson, the cycling knitwear designer, was kind enough to hop off her bike for a "hi" shot.  Jennifer (fern1knits - Ravelry) is a designer partaking in the Indie Designs Gift-a-long on Ravelry.
Jennifer stopped to say "hi" before cycling off to her favorite Idaho wilderness haunts

So put the pedal to the cycling metal and rev up to 2nd gear while we learn all about Jennifer.  I shall do my best not to fall flat on my face while keeping up with this speedster.  
Jennifer got up to speed much faster than I did
She's fashioning her Botanical Doubleknit Caplet design
Available for $5.00 on Ravelry

1. If you could only knit/crochet one item type of item, what would it be?
Sweaters. I’m someone who always feels cold and one of the great comforts about knitting is being able to knit for myself cozy sweaters to bundle up in when I might be otherwise freezing. Right now, in fact, it is -6F/-21C where I live, and I am wearing multiple handknit sweaters. I honestly cannot imagine the possibility of having too many wool sweaters. I also tend to enjoy working on larger projects that take up to a month to finish, as they feel more satisfying to me.

Hmm, it wouldn't perchance be your SUPER cozy design - Oblique Motion - would it?
Available for $7.00 on Ravelry
2. Which of your patterns make for really great gift knitting?
My Skullsmittens seem to be fairly popular for gift knitting. I always like to look at the photos and read the comments from people who knit my patterns, and I have noticed that a lot of people make the skull mittens as gifts.
Available for $6.00 on Ravelry
Pattern includes both variations - this one and one above in Q3.

3. Which has been your most popular GAL design/s?
Probably the Skull Mittens.
Available for $6.00 on Ravelry
Pattern includes both variations - this one and one above in Q2.
4. What has been the most exciting part of the GAL for you?
I feel really lucky to have been a part of the GAL this year. It has been a great opportunity to collaborate with other indie designers, as well as finding out about so many amazing designs that I hadn’t seen before. During the sale period, I bought quite a few patterns and I’m hoping to knit them for my holiday gifts this year.

5. Will you have any new designs out in the GAL period? (before December 31)
Unfortunately no. I’m working on several designs that I’m really excited about, but the timeline just didn’t work out to release during the GAL.

Since you don’t have any preview pictures, I’m gonna highlight two of my favorite Jennifer Thompson designs – Oleander and Dreaming.

Available for $4.99 on Ravelry
6. Have you every knit with eco yarns (organic, sustainable, socially responsible, or alternative fiber)? If so, what pattern (including links)? Please provide a quick review on the yarn, too!
If not, do you have any questions about eco fibers you’d like me to answer in the course of the blog?
I have not but I would love to learn more about your yarn!

Since you asked, sourcing eco yarn has been made infinitely more accessible with Ravelry’s advanced search option.  Just scroll down the sidebar to the very bottom and click “organic.”  Be sure to also click “No” under the discontinued option a few bars above or the results will populate with yarns no longer available.

Organic is highlighted in green on the left here. 
You can also sort by "Vegetable fiber" - 2 lines below "Organic"

Also in the Eco Chic Knits Group I’ve started a thread “eco yarns” for a list of yarns that are organic, natural, socially responsible, sustainable, fair trade, and/ or animal-fiber free.  Other members have added yarns that are available in their markets too.  I’m working on a project to have a page tab with yarns companies listed sorted by “how they are eco,” but I’m still in the development stage.

7.Do you find any influences from you international education or cycling passion appearing in your designs?
In some of my future design releases, absolutely. I’m actually planning a series of cycling related accessories specifically for the cyclist who rides in the cold weather. Over the years, I’ve knit various accessories (mittens, gloves, balaclavas, hats, etc.) for myself as well as other cold weather riders, and have found that some designs work much better than others. For example, hats with ear flaps that can fit under a helmet. Or “glittens” to keep your hands warm while still allowing you to use your hand brakes. Of course, function will only be a part of it… since I tend to lean towards colorwork knitting, they will all have cycling specific colorwork designs.

Glittens?? Now that something worth checking out in the future - they are either fingerless or fingered gloves on the inside with a mitt like flap that you can pull over your fingers for extra warmth.

Thanks for interviewing Jennifer!  Bye for now :-)

Jennifer is headed off now, but you can still find her on-line at the following places:
Ravelry: username - fern1knits, designer shop Jennifer Thompson
Website/ blog:
Goodreads: fern1knits


1 comment:

  1. I really like some of your sweater patterns (tumbleweed). Some of which I have seen on knit picks. I hope to make this during 2014 during my "learn how to do sweater mode". Rav id tweetee