Published on November 13th, 2015 | by Angie


5 minutes with Kate Bostwick

This week, we caught up with Kate Bostwick, who just released a fabulous new pattern.

Hi Kate, thanks for joining us! Could you please share with us when you learned to knit?

Well, I’m pretty sure I was taught by my mother and grandmother a few times when I was young, but it never stuck. It wasn’t until my last year of university that it finally sunk it. My roommate and I were running out of student loan money, as one does when one reaches that last year of university. Our priorities were also typical; we had enough funds to make sure we could keep the liquor cabinet stocked, but were eating cabbage soup and keeping the thermostat at 12o C [to save on heating]. So, while sipping White Russians and wearing slippers, toques and blankets, we set out to make Christmas presents for our families.

Kicking Horse mittens by Kate Bostwick - download at LoveKnittingAbove: Kate’s “Kicking Horse” mittens – click this image to download the pattern

She already knew how to knit a mean sock, so when I was having problems with my stockinette stitch scarf, she would help me pick up dropped stitches or tink back when I accidentally increased a stitch here or there. Having someone beside me when I ran into issues helped take the fear out of the process and I finally picked it up. I’m pretty sure my mom never wore that scarf I made her, and I don’t blame her as it had no edging and subsequently curled into a tube! But, I learned to knit and never looked back.

I didn’t start designing until 10 years later. I think I started out the same way many designers do; I was looking for a pattern that just didn’t exist in the way I wanted it to. I realized that there was no reason I couldn’t come up with it myself. I’d been knitting a lot by that time, and had a strong background in math, spreadsheets and technical writing. So, I gave it a shot, wrote the Everyday Hoodie pattern, and haven’t stopped since.

The everyday Hoodie pattern by Kate Bostwick on LoveKnittingAbove: the Everyday Hoodie pattern – click this image to download

What is the most meaningful thing you ever knit?

The most meaningful thing I’ve ever knit would have to be the sweater, booties and hat I made for my kids when they were babies. I used the Pea Pod Baby Set pattern by Kate Gilbert and knit it in beautiful Alpaca yarn. The hat never fit, but the sweater and booties were worn a lot and have been tucked away as keepsakes.

What things do you take into consideration when designing a new garment?

I usually start with a shape or detail that I want to feature. Then I think about construction and grading; how can I put the piece together so that it flows nicely and works in all sizes? Then I start thinking about what kind of yarn I want to use, considering weight, fiber content and colour. Colour is really a big thing for me. I also think about my audience – is this a more beginner pattern, or will this appeal to the experienced knitters?

Ribbon weed blanket pattern by Kate Bostwick: download at LoveKnittingAbove: Ribbon Weed blanket – click this image to download the pattern

We’re big readers here at LoveKnitting HQ – what’s your favorite book?

My favourite knitting book would be Shirley Paden’s “Knitwear Design Workshop”. This has been such a great reference for me as I design garments. I also love “Knitting From the Top” by Barbara Walker.

My favourite fiction book is “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee. I’ve read it a handful of times and still get goosebumps when I think about it. I even named my son Atticus!

If you were a yarn, what would you be?

Ooh, good question! I would be something really colourful, like a variegated skein with saturated tones. And although I’m not much of a sock knitter, I’d probably be a sock yarn. Something soft and warm but with some toughness and durability mixed in, like a Merino Cashmere Nylon blend.

Thanks, Kate! And now, drumroll please…

Kate wants to unveil her brand new Stripy Ziggy Stripy Zaggy hat patterns! With 4 sizes that fit children to adults, these classicly designed toque hats are a must have and must make this holiday season. Kate recommends these hats as a fantastic intro to colorwork, as you’ll only ever work 2 colors at a time. These hats feature Rowan Pure Life DK Superwash, a super soft machine washable yarn with versatility and durability.

Stripy Ziggy Stripy Zaggy hat s by Kate Bostwick - download at LoveKnitting!Above: the new hats by Kate Bostwick – click this image to download the pattern

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About the Author

Jack of all trades, Master of Netflix and video games. A musician by passion, a gamer by choice, and a crafter by chance: I write about knitting and crochet and design fun patterns!

Last updated: November 12th, 2015.

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