Monday 11 June 2012

Joy Gerhardt//Knit Nerds

This week I have the lovely Joy joining the knit nerds; Joy has designed some amazing patterns and is one of my favourite designers of the moment. Here she is:
 How long have you been knitting and who taught you?
I learned to knit about 5 years ago, completely on a lark - I was at Michaels (a US craft store) with some friends who were picking up art supplies, and I wandered into the yarn section. I grabbed some colourful yarn and big needles and a friend taught me to cast on and knit. Virtually everything else - including binding off that very first, very holey scarf - has been self-taught with the help of websites and YouTube.
What is your favourite thing to knit?
Socks and shawls! I'm nuts about accessories, but I just can't get enough socks and shawls in particular. While a woolly hat or pair of mitts might languish in my cupboard for months at a time, socks and shawls can be worn in all seasons. I also like that they're relatively quick projects, and great for using beautiful skeins of hand-dyed yarn.
 Who is your biggest knitting inspiration?
My all-time knitting hero is Cat Bordhi. From her seamless knitted moebius to her dozens of sock innovations, I am constantly staggered by her ability to come up with new ideas and techniques. I hope one day to be half as creative a knitter as she is.
What is your favourite finished object of your own?
That's tough, because my favourite FO is usually the one I've finished most recently ;) But one that I get a lot of wear out of is my Heartland Lace Shawl by Evelyn Clark - - It's bigger and heavier than most of the other shawls I've made, which makes is nice and cosy for wrapping myself up when I'm cold. The alpaca yarn was a gift from a friend at university, and I think of her every time I wear it.
 What has been your favourite thing to design so far?
Well, I had a whole lot of fun with something I've just recently finished -- but I can't tell you about it because it won't be released until autumn ;) Sorry!
But I'm particularly proud of the Interwoven Hat - - It was my first pattern published in a magazine, and I first had the idea for it back before I even started designing. It's seamless and utilises a technique I 'unvented' for cables that go both horizontally and vertically.
What led you to start designing your own pieces?
I'm notoriously unable to follow a pattern. Whether it's adjusting a sweater for fit, converting cuff-down socks to toe-up, swapping stitch patterns or using a different weight yarn -- I've always changed things around as I knit. So, it wasn't such a huge leap from doing that to knitting things up that were entirely my own (and then to writing them down).
 If you could give 3 pieces of knitting advice, what would they be?
- If you have a knitting problem, there is a very good chance that someone else has had the same problem. We are so lucky to have a wealth of information available to us through the internet - take advantage of it! I have solved many a dire issue with the help of Ravelry, YouTube and/or Google.

- Knit what you want to knit, and don't let anyone (even yourself) tell you that you can't do it because it's 'too advanced'.

- If you don't like doing something, you don't have to do it! Knitting should be fun. Hate seams? Knit seamlessly. Don't like scarves? Don't make scarves. On the other hand, don't swear off of anything entirely - every once in a while, try something out again that you didn't think you liked. You may find that you enjoy it!

Joy is giving away one pattern from her collection over on Ravelry; all you have to do is check out the patterns, come back here and let me know which one you would like if you were to win.

You can also find Joy on her:
Thank you so much to Joy for her lovely interview. If you would like to become a knit nerd please feel free to contact me - I will interview anyone and everyone!!! I've got people organised for June, and then a special 30th birthday interview from me (July 2nd) with a little giveaway.

V xo


  1. Lovely interview - she sounds like a sweetie :)
    I'd love to win one of her patterns - the garden path one is my favourite!
    (I'm yet to start the fab tiny owl pattern I won from you... but it is one of the next things on my list!!!)

  2. I cannot believe that I have never seen one of her designs before, they are so pretty and inspired! I'm definitely going to queue the Elven Slippers right now, they are my favorite!

  3. I love the Elven slippers, I really really think I need them!

  4. Love her blog...have been following it for a little while now...since I started knitting and found her inspirational! I am love with those elven slippers and would LOVE to knit them!!!!

  5. I love to read Joyarna Knitblog. I would choose the pattern "Appleby Scarf" to use some self-striping yarn I have in my stash.

  6. What a great idea! The Alessandrite socks look very interesting to me

  7. Cute socks! They remind me of a pair my favorite aunt knitted for me when I was in grade school. Keep on blogging!

  8. The grateful crane is my favorite.