Thursday 17 December 2015

Indie Design GAL 2015: Meet a designer: Kate Bostwick

The past few weeks have been spent frantically knitting Christmas gifts, enjoying end of term events and writing my PhD thesis. And now Christmas is almost upon us, I'm starting to have a little more time to get back on board with the Gift-A-Long on Ravelry. One of the things I wanted to do during the GAL was to introduce you to a few fellow designers whose work I admire. So, in the first of a series of interviews, let me introduce you to Kate Bostwick, who can be found on Ravelry as cowtownknits.
When I was looking through all the GAL designs, I was immediately drawn to Kate's designs, especially her cabled homewares.
Ribbon Weed, image copyright Kate Bostwick

1. How long have you been knitting, and who taught you? 
I’ve been knitting off and on for about 13 years, but more seriously/obsessively since I was pregnant with my son in 2008. I learned from my Mom and grandmother when I was little, but it finally stuck when my university roommate taught me years later.

2. How did you get into designing?  I got into designing when I was looking for a pattern that didn’t quite exist in exactly the way I wanted it. I had been starting to take knitting more seriously and realized that I could probably start designing things for myself.

3. What is your favourite part of the design process?  My favourite part of the design process is finishing! I like all of it, but there’s this great sense of satisfaction you get when the piece comes out exactly the way you had it in your head. When I finished knitting my Sea Oak sample and put it on the pillow form, and it fit and looked exactly the way it was supposed to, I couldn’t stop grinning.

Sea Oak, image copyright Kate Bostwick

4. Which is your favourite of your designs?  My favourite of my designs is Siffleur. That one took a long time to work itself out in my head before becoming a pattern, but I’m so proud of it now that it’s done.

Siffleur, image copyright Crissy Jarvis

5. And your most underappreciated?  Hmm… My most underappreciated would have to be Kensington Tweed. She’s pretty, but I understand people not wanting to tackle that much applied i-cord.

Kensington Tweed, image copyright Kate Bostwick

6. You’ve recently moved from to the UK from Canada; has it been much of a culture shock knitting-wise, or is crafty completely international now? 
That’s a good question. I think I feel more immersed in yarn here. I love being able to see sheep in the countryside all the time, which doesn’t really happen much in Canada. And since I now live in a gigantic city, there are a lot more crafty goings-on that are available to me. Otherwise, I think the level of knitty-ness here is similar to back in Canada. I’ve experienced lots of culture shock in other realms though!

7. You’re a mum of two; how do you find juggling crafting time around family time? 
This year has been the first year that my kids are both in school full-time, so now I have a lot more time to devote to knitting and designing. It used to be that I would do all of my calculations and writing in the evenings when the kids were asleep, and knit when I would get a chance through the day. Now I can do all the thinky stuff while they’re in school and squeeze in the knitting on the bus and in the evenings. It’s still hard though, because working from home comes with the feeling that I should be doing housework all day. It’s hard to justify sitting and knitting when the bathrooms need cleaning.

8. Which other GAL designers are on your must-knit list?  I am trying to get in some Giftalong knitting this year, which is nice. I’ve finished a Waverleaf scarf from Faye Kennington, and three Bubbly Scrubbers from Amy Kenagy. I’m also working on a Hobby Horse for Little Knights by Aurelie Colas, a Beignet by Laura Nelkin, and a Quatrefoil Cup by Katya Frankel. There are lots more wonderful designers whose patterns I’d love to get a chance to make, including yours!

Waverleaf, image copyright UkeeKnits

Bubbly scrubber, image copyright Amy Kenagy

Hobby Horse for Little Knights, image copyright Aurelie Colas

Quatrefoil cups, image copyright Katya Frankel

9. What is your favourite knitting technique?  I absolutely love doing stranded colourwork.

10. Are there any knitting techniques you’re keen to learn? 
I’ve been working with Brioche a bit lately and I’m keen to get more familiar with it and how to manipulate it better.

11. If money was no object, what crafting object would you like to unwrap on Christmas morning?
If money was no object, I would love a fancy sewing machine. I had an inexpensive one but it is sitting in storage back in Canada because I wasn’t sure I’d have room for one here. Now that I don’t have one I’m really wishing I did.

If you want to find out more about Kate and her designs, you can find her in the following places:

The Gift-A-Long continues until the end of the year. Full details can be found in the Indie Design Gift-A-Long group on Ravelry.*

*Note that you must be logged into Ravelry for this link to work.

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