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.
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.
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?
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.
Love stories and inspiration? Follow us on Bloglovin’, and never miss a post.
Last updated: November 12th, 2015.