Saturday, 20 April 2013

Alicia//Knit Nerds

This week I have the lovely Alicia of Woolen Diversions. Everytime Alicia blogs, she takes her readers on an adventure with her, she knows how to tell her tale - which I love. She has a passion for design, in particular socks and hats (my favourite) so when she contacted me asking to be a knit nerd, I jumped at such an amazing opportunity.

Here she is:
1. How long have you been knitting/crocheting, and who taught you?
 I have been knitting for 7 years, I first learned from a friend in college to keep me busy while I had knee surgery. I became really obsessed with it about 4 years ago when I started grad school. I found that knitting was the perfect distraction from the rigors of scientific studies: creative but still productive, portable and beautiful, comforting and fun.

2. What is your favourite yarny thing to make?
My favorite thing to knit is a toss-up between shawls and socks. I love wearing both and will usually incorporate them into my daily wardrobe. Shawls are gorgeous and the perfect layering pieces year-round. Socks are great portable projects and a fun way to try out lots of interesting stitches on a smaller item. Plus, they're so comfortable and there are so many great sock yarns out there.
3. Who is your biggest yarny inspiration?
I have a TON of yarn-y role models but the biggest is probably the Yarn Harlot. Her blog and books got me really excited about yarn and knitting in the first place. Following the instructions in her book, Knitting Rules!, is how I learned to knit socks and her blog is how I found Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock, my favorite sock yarn. Her blog is also part of why I started spinning. So yeah, I have a big knitterly crush on her. I also adore the writing of Clara Parkes. I learned so much from her books (The Knitter's Book of Yarn, The Knitters Book of Wool, and The Knitter's Book of Socks) about fiber content, yarn structure, and how it affects your knitting. I highly recommend them.
4. What is your favourite finished object?
My favorite completed project is difficult to choose but I think it might be my Rock Island shawl (designed by Jared Flood) knit with Mithril, a lovely laceweight Merino wool yarn now sold by The Verdant Gryphon. It's such a great weight and a versatile piece: pretty enough to be worn over a dress but casual enough to be worn kerchief-style on an everyday basis. It is probably my most worn shawl and it is surprisingly warm for its lightness. 

5. What inspired you to start your blog?
I started my blog, Woolen Diversions, while I was in the midst of writing my master's thesis. I had just started designing and (again!) needed a distraction from working all the time, so it fit the bill nicely. Plus, I'm pretty sure my friends were getting tired of me blabbing about yarn all the time and the blog gave me another outlet through which to do so to an audience that actually cared.
6. As a designer, what is your favourite of your own designs?
It's difficult to choose a favorite design, as I have a soft spot for all of them! I think the one that is the most fun to knit, though, is my Syrinx Shells cowl design. It is made with superbulky Malabrigo Rasta yarn and incorporates a really interesting and addicting Estonian shell stitch. Since it's such a bulky yarn the knitting goes super quickly and the cables, lace, and twisted stitches are really fun to work.
7. If you could give 3 pieces of yarny advice, what would they be?
1- Knit everything. Even if you think you can't do it, try it, you might like it. For the longest time I thought knitted socks were weird and totally didn't get it. Then I knit them, saw how awesome they were, and now they're my favorite!
2- Study up. Learn about fiber, learn about yarn structure, and think about these things when you are choosing yarn for a project. Besides being a fascinating topic in and of itself, the anatomy of the yarn used makes a huge difference in the overall quality and beauty of a finished piece.
3- Use the good stuff when you can. I'm a sucker for hand-dyed, natural fibers and have found that if I don't love the yarn I'm using, I won't finish or love the knitted item, so for me it's worth the expense. I also like supporting artisans and companies whose work and ethics I admire, so that comes into my choices as well.

Alicia is doing a giveaway of 2 patterns; and you could be in with a chance to win BOTH of them. So what do you have to do?
1. Pop over and like Alicia's Facebook page; then come back here and leave a comment letting me know you've done it.
2. Pop over to Ravelry and add Alicia as one of your favourite designers; then come back and leave a seperate comment letting me know which of Alicia's designs is your favourite.
If you do both 1 and 2, please make sure you leave 2 comments, to be in it to win it!!!
The winner(s) will be chosen at random on Saturday 27th April 2013!!!

Thanks so much Alicia for the wonderful knit nerds interview and the fabulous giveaway.
V xo


  1. Have liked Alicia on Facebook!
    lindarumsey on Ravelry

  2. My favourite design is the Fiasco socks, great with jeans!
    lindarumsey on Ravelry

  3. I favorited Alicia on Ravelry, I dont do FaceBook so I couldnt enter that way.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    Ummrania on ravelry

  4. Thanks for the interview, Vicki, it was super fun! :)

  5. I wasn't sure how to add as a favorite..well, I don't do facebook and I didn't know about it on Ravelry... I have done her comfort hat in the past..