Sunday 16 November 2014

Indie Design GAL 2014: Meet a Designer, Corley Groves

As part of the Indie Design Gift-A-Long 2014 I’m going to be running a series of interviews with fellow independent designers on my blog. This is first in the series, and is with Corley Groves (Ravelry user name cagroves91). Corley is participating in the Indie GAL 2014, and all her designs can be found on her Ravelry designer page. A relative newcomer to the design game, Corley can also be found via her blog, Facebook page and Etsy store. I caught up with her via email, and this is what she had to say.

1. How long have you been knitting? And who taught you to knit?
I've been knitting for just about 10 years.  I picked up a kit on how to knit at a middle school book fair and went straight to my Gammi's (grandma’s) house where she taught me to cast on, knit, and purl.  She hadn't knit for quite some time and we both had a blast!  I haven't been able to stop since.  A few years later I decided to branch out and taught myself (with the help of the internet) new stitch patterns, shaping, fair isle, and so much more.

2. How long have you been crocheting? And who taught you to crochet?
I can't remember when I first learned to crochet.  I taught myself!  I was tired of seeing so many pretty patterns that I couldn't make because they were for crochet.  So I looked up videos and blog posts to learn to crochet.  It was probably about 4 or 5 years ago.

3. Which do you prefer, knitting or crochet? Are there any other crafts you do?
Most of the time I prefer knitting.  But I find myself going through stages where I prefer crochet.  I guess it just depends on my mood :)  I also sew.  That was my first window into the crafting world!  I was about 11 or 12 when my mom signed me up for a sewing machine class and I loved it!  I was gifted a sewing machine that year for Christmas and it's the machine I still use today.

4. When and why did you start designing?
This year!  Although technically my first design was published August of 2011, I don't consider it my start into design because I didn't realize that's what I was doing.  So to me I started designing in June of 2014.

5. What was your first published design?
Technically it was my Wonderful Tea Wallet.  But the one published in June was Lattice Baby Hat.
Lattice baby hat, image copyright Corley Groves
 6. Which of your designs are you proudest of?
Oh that's such a tough one!  I have three that I'm very proud of: Diamonds and Cables Cardigan, Sleep Tight Baby Sleep Sack, and Beanstalk Vest.
Beanstalk vest, image copyright Corley Groves

Diamonds and cables cardigan, image copyright Corley Groves
7. If money was no object, what would be your dream crafting item?
I really want a spinning wheel!  I would love to learn how to spin my own yarn.

8. Who is your most knitworthy recipient?
I am!  I'm the easiest to knit for because I know exactly what I like and I know I can be trusted to take care of everything I make.  But, besides me, my mom and my Gammi (the one who taught me to knit).  They both appreciate all the hard work that goes into my items.  I get high praise from them both and I know they take good care of what I make.

9. What inspires your designs?
Anything and everything!  Pictures, other patterns, fabrics, you name it.  I know when I see it.  As a nanny and a babysitter I do get a lot of inspiration while working.  Hence all the baby items :)  But I'm starting to branch out into other works for other age groups.

10. I love your SleepTight Baby Sleep Sack; what inspired this design?
I was browsing patterns on Ravelry and came across a knit pattern for a sleep sack.  I realized it was the first one I'd seen on Ravelry and I was surprised.  So I decided to create my own version!  I've used many different sleep sacks as a nanny so I know how practical they can be.  I sketched it out and then flipped through stitch patterns until I found one that would be perfect.  I was on the hunt for something solid (little fingers and toes can easily get caught in holey patterns) and yet pretty.  I'm really happy with how this design turned out.
Sleep tight baby sleep sack, image copyright Corley Groves
 11. If you’re not working on one of your own designs, do you have a favourite designer whose patterns you turn to?
Usually if I'm not working on a design I'm testing for Boknits (Boadicea Binnerts).  I really love her designs.  And she knits at lightening speed so she always has multiple tests going on!

12. What’s your favourite knitting/crochet technique?
I love knit patterns that incorporate seed stitch!  I just love the look and the texture it brings to different items.

13. Are there any techniques you’re keen to learn?
One day I will learn to knit socks!  At the moment they are pretty intimidating but I am determined that one day I will learn.

14.   Are there any techniques you have no interest in learning?
Steeking.  I'm too scared!  And I also don't like the idea of knitting something just to cut it up.  More power to those who can do it!

15.   What are you planning on making during the gift-a-long?
A nice balance of gifts for others and gifts for myself.  I plan to make a bunch of the Tiptoe Slippers to gift out to friends and family, Antiquity for a friend and for myself, and then if there's time I'll make some of the other patterns I plan to purchase. 

16.   At Bake Day Wednesday we like a nice piece of cake, so what is your favourite type of cake?
Funfetti!  What could be better than vanilla cake with sprinkles baked in?

Thanks so much for chatting to me, it’s been lovely finding out all about you. Corley is definitely a designer to keep an eye out for; I’m excited to see what she’ll come up with next!

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