Oct 18, 2015 :: by Leila Raabe
It's Knitbot Month here at Quince, and last week we opened up the blog comments for readers to Ask Hannah Anything. Thanks so much to everyone who left a question! Today we serve up Hannah Fettig's answers, as well as the results of our randomly-selected winner of an autographed copy of Knitbot's Home & Away. Don't miss out on the conclusion of this post, as we have a special giveaway announcement to make.
But first, let's dive right in to our Q&A session:
Leanna: I wanna ask about your tools! What needles do you love using. What is in your notions bag?
This is honestly ever changing for me. I love to try new tools. And I vacillate between wood and metal needles. Currently I'm into wood. I think my favorite notion I currently own are my brass stitch markers from Fringe Supply Co. They really elevate the experience of knitting for me! And as for notion bags, this is also ever changing, just ask my husband. :) I am currently obsessed with pouches and bags from Bookhou. I have several of each. :)
Leah: I would like to know if you favor any type of fiber over the other- wool (breed?), linen, cotton, etc. and why?
I love all fibers once I'm working with them, but as far as what I'm especially drawn to it's wool it's 100% natural state. I'm still have a lot to learn about breed specific fiber. I'm working with Clara's Cormo 2.0 right now and I guess most of us know that Cormo is pretty fantastic. :)
Mr&Mrs Scribs: Im curious what is your biggest (or worst) "what the..." Project? We all have (at least one) that starts out so well and turns into a train wreck that should be thrown at the wall and set ablaze.
Ha! Well, there may be some that have been published, but I fear telling those. :) So let's say, there was a blanket I designed for my first book, Closely Knit. It was huge, knit entirely out of Alpaca. And it featured an intarsia tree. My sweet, sweet aunt lovingly knit the entire thing, and though her knitting was beautiful, the tree was hideous. A giant heavy (heavy!) alpaca blanket in not very nice shades of brown, with badly translated "tree". Needless to say, it was not published. :) I hauled it around with me for a few years out of guilt and finally disposed of it with our last move.
Janet L.: How did you get started in the industry? Who taught you to knit and how old were you when you learned?
My grandmother was a huge knitter and she taught me when I was a teenager. I really got going with it when I started working in a yarn shop in 2006. I knit everything in site, which lead to me designing my own pieces. I attended an industry trade show with a few of my designs with The Fibre Company in its early days, we were both from Portland, ME. An editor saw my pieces, and this lead to my first book deal!
sophie c: I am new to knitting and a great fan of all the knit.fm episodes. I am wondering What would be your greatest tip for someone who wants to make their first sweater?
Kristen M: I'm almost done with my first sweater, and I was wondering if you could recommend one of your patterns as a good second sweater project. Also, do you have any tips for beginner sweater knitters? Thanks!
Sophie & Kristen - My biggest tip is to make sure you are getting gauge! This will ensure that the project comes out to the specified dimensions. Once you can knit predictably, it is so much more satisfying! I'm not sure what your first sweater was...I know beginner knitters have been knitting the Lesley Pullover from Home & Away with good results. It's knit using aran weight yarn so it goes pretty quick. The Trail Jacket from Knitbot Essentials is also a quick knit. You could also try knitting a baby sweater, like my Cradle Cardigan. This gives you a chance to practice all the parts of sweater knitting quickly.
Leslie W-H: I am currently finishing up the Boothbay (love) and have a specific question about blocking. When I picked up the collar, where it meets the bottom of the back, it is not a completely rounded edge on either side of the back. Note that I knit the sweater top down in one piece. I have looked at photos in Home & Away and on Ravelry, and others don't seem to have this slightly squared off shape on the bottom corners. My question is whether I should try to block it out or whether it can look a bit like a design feature.
That's a great question about Boothbay. When picking up I suppose you could have picked up right into the corners of the bottom edge and perhaps achieved more of a curve. If it's really bugging you, you could play around with a tapestry needle threaded with the project yarn and see if you can sew some tiny stitches in those corners. And then block the heck of it, yes! So glad you are enjoying your projects, knitting is so great.
Katarzyna A:I would be happy to hear from you what is especially important to you when designing, and also where you draw your inspiration from. And one more thing, how you manage to combine so well being a mother and knitter, designer - any secrets or advice? :) - as both preoccupations are lovely but time-consuming.
Elaine: I want to tell you that I love the simplicity and clean lines of your designs. I'm not an overly frilly person, and your patterns hold a lot of appeal for me. Can you tell me what inspires you when you create your designs?
Katarzyna & Elaine, wearability is the most important factor when I'm designing a sweater. To me, wearable means comfortable, versatile, timeless yet fashion forward at the same time. I'm definitely influenced by fashion, both vintage and modern. As for the work / family balance...ah yes, it is a balance. We choose to keep our life simple so that we can fit the things that matter most to us. Knitwear design has worked out well as a job for a stay at home mom, though I still have to remember to keep it in its place. There are so many fun industry events and opportunities I have to say no to, which can be hard. But in the end I'm happy to be able to spend so much time with my family!
510doitagain: Do you ever go through periods of feeling uninspired, and if so, how do you push through them? Would love to hear more about how you overcome challenges, either in the design or knitting process!
OH yes, truth be told I'm in that place right now. :) I've found it just takes time. And then suddenly I'm hit with a surge of inspiration, and manic knitting behavior follows. Forcing it never seems to work...so I just ride it out and focus on something else I like to do. Right now I'm really into reading. :)
Trishington: I love your clean and elegant design aesthetic - such a perfect match for Quince & Co. yarns. I'm curious to know how much of your design inspiration comes from their yummy yarns. Do you usually have a silhouette or shape in mind or do you like to let the fibres and colours guide you? I image it's a bit of both but do you find it leans more one way or the other most of the time? Having access to such an amazing range of textures and colours must just blow your mind sometimes! ;)
Good question! I usually start with the yarn, come up with a design and then choose a color. Sometimes I come up with the design first, but in most cases it started with yarn in hand and then thinking of a design that suited that yarn.
Emilie: Where do you go (physically or mentally) to find inspiration for new knitting design? And is there any country or place around the world that you particular like according to knitting style?
I go shopping a lot, either physically or online. And I also look at vintage knitting patterns. I especially like looking at fashion from the UK, but Scandinavia is definitely on my radar, too. :)
Megan: Do you prefer knitting with straights, fixed circs, or interchangeables? Any particular maker you love? Trying to find my true love and would be grateful for your expert opinion. xo
I prefer fixed circs, but for practical sake I do own a few interchangeable sets. I have Knitter's Pride wooden and Addi Turbo interchangeables. I think I prefer the Knitter's Pride interchangeable and the Addi's fixed if I had to say, but honestly I tend to bounce around with my needles and try different things. Whatever's the most handy often wins. :)
A huge thank-you to Hannah for taking time to answer our readers' questions and join us on the blog this month!
And now, we're pleased to announce the winner of Home & Away, signed by Hannah—congratulations, Leanna! Thanks again to everyone who participated.
[Update October 29: Our grand prize giveaway is now closed. Our randomly picked winner for a project's worth of yarn is...Kayla H! Kayla, we'll be in touch with all of the good details.
A heartfelt thank you to all of our wonderful customers for joining us in celebrating Hannah Fettig's lovely designs!]
Lastly, to wrap up Knitbot Month we are doing a very special giveaway. The prize: Enough yarn to make the Knitbot project of your choice!
To enter: All you have to do is purchase any Knitbot book or bundle from the Quince & Co. website during the month of October.
If you've already ordered something, you're already entered to win! And if you haven't, you have from now until Thursday, October 29th to place an order and become eligible for the prize. How sweet is that? If you haven't yet taken advantage of this month's special promotions, now is the time to do so—you may just win a project's worth of yarn.
Here are some handy-dandy links to get ordering and enter for the grand prize:
The small print: Individual pattern purchases are not eligible for this giveaway. Orders placed from October 1 through 12pm EDT on October 29 will be included in the random drawing. Once picked the winner will be contacted, and this post will be updated with our winner announcement.
Don't forget—there's still time to join our Knitbot KAL on Ravelry. Jerusha still has to cast on for her project, and I'm about to go in for project #2 (still waffling: Mitts or hat? Hat or mitts?).
Thanks again for celebrating Knitbot Month with us—make sure to enjoy the rest of the weekend while it lasts!