Blogger of the Week : The Vintage Knitter
This week our Blogger of the Week is Liza from The Vintage Knitter. Below she talks to us about her love of craft and all things vintage!
I’m Liza (aka Knit1Monkey on Ravelry) and by day I work as a ecologist, which I love as it has the added benefit of working outdoors; this is great when its a lovely sunny day – although we haven’t had many of those so far this year! Apart from ecology, my interests are craft, vintage and history based, which keeps me pretty much occupied for most of the time. I’ve also been writing articles for a vintage lifestyle magazine, which have ranged from knitting through to classic cars and 1940s literature- quite varied really.
When did you start knitting?
I started to learn properly back in the winter of 2008. I had been ill with a nasty bout of ‘flu and all I could do was sleep, read or watch tv whilst recovering. I became bored quite quickly, so I thought that I’d have yet another go at learning to knit – with the help of Youtube! I had tried to learn to knit before, but somehow couldn’t get to grips with it; but this time everything just fell into place and before I knew it I was addicted! Finding out about Ravelry was also a big incentive to improve my knitty skills – especially after browsing through the pattern pages.
What was your first knitted project?
My first knitted project was a cardigan: Sirdar’s 9050 pattern, which I knitted up in their ‘Big Softie’ yarn in black. It looked like a simple project for an absolute beginner and I thought that using a chunky yarn would mean that it would knit up faster. I finished it and although there were lots of mistakes with it, I was so happy to have finally knitted an actual garment.
Who or what are you most inspired by, and why?
Firstly, it has to be Ravelry and its users that I find most inspiring; there are some very skilled and creative knitters (and crocheters) on there. I could easily spend more time browsing Rav than actually knitting and I’m a fiend for adding projects to my queue but never getting round to start them!
I find fellow bloggers inspiring, especially those who specialise in knitting from vintage patterns; its great following their projects from the start through to the finish.
I’m also inspired by knitting patterns and ‘Stitchcraft’ magazines from the 1930s, 40s and 50s. I always have to nip into any charity shops that I’m passing to see if they’ve got any of these patterns or magazines. Finding any of them is always guaranteed to put a smile on my face!
What is the project you dream of one day completing/finishing?
A difficult question to answer as there are so many – you only have to take a look at my queue and favourites on Rav to see what I want to knit next!
However, I love the vintage knits that Susan Crawford and Jane Waller have re-worked in their ‘A Stitch in Time’ books; they’ve taken all the hard work out of using vintage patterns: thank you ladies! I’ve got my eye on ‘A Swagger Coat’ pattern from ‘A Stitch in Time – Volume 2’, which would be an ideal autumn cover-up and the ‘Lady’s Ripple Jumper’ from the same book is utterly gorgeous.
As I’m trying to improve my fair isle technique at the moment, I think my dream project would be knitting (and completing with minimal frogging) a 1940s-style fair isle cardigan.
How and when did you decide to start blogging about your knitting?
I started my blog, http://thevintageknitter.
I can honestly say that blogging has been such a positive experience for me as I’ve met some wonderful people through it who have become great friends; I would recommend starting a blog to anyone.
What are you focused on now? And what do you have planned?
Knitting-wise, I’m still focussed on the fair isle, but I would like to learn how to crochet. I’ve seen so many amazing crochet projects on Rav that I reckon I’m missing out on not being able to make them. I had to ask my friend and fellow Raveller, tickety-boo, to crochet me a pair of skirt-guards for my bicycle as the only crochet I know is the foundation chain! She’s offered to teach me, so I’ll have to take up her kind offer.
If you had to choose a favourite piece you have made what would it be?
It would have to be the Debbie Bliss fair isle beret that I struggled with earlier this year. Although I had to do a few ‘modifications’, it turned out far better than I thought it would. Its been the kick up the backside I needed to get over my fair isle fear!
How many pieces of work do you have at home right now that haven’t been finished?
Umm, twenty-something-ish….and that’s just a conservative guess. Can we just skip over that final question, please ?!
Last updated: December 6th, 2013.