In today’s Designer Spotlight, we are featuring Laura Aylor. I have long loved her designs and have several in my favorites. I’ve made two of her Derecho patterns, but also want to do Oak Park, All the Shades of Truth, and Glace Bay sometime soon. I know you’ll enjoy learning more about her and her design process. Be sure to catch the special at the end of the post.
Loopy: Hi Laura! Thanks for being in the spotlight today – we’re glad to have you. How long have you been a knitter and who taught you to knit?
Laura: Hi Loopy! I learned as a kid from my mom, but rediscovered it as an adult when I came across Barbara Walkers Learn to Knit Afghan book while hanging out at the library with my kids. Knitting quickly replaced quilting as my go to hobby since it was so portable – really important when you’re going to dance classes and ball games!
Loopy: Yes, there is definitely a lot of sitting/knitting time during classes and ball games. I’m surprised I never saw more knitters working on projects during that time. What is your favorite type of item to knit?
Loopy: Well that’s a good way to think of sweaters. I can’t seem to finish many, but others sure seem to. What is the most challenging thing that you have knit to date?
Laura: I really can’t answer that – when I was first starting out, everything was a challenge! And I have kept pushing my limits so usually whatever I knit last! I guess I find big yardage projects the toughest. It’s so hard to keep plugging away when there are other things I want to work on. Knitting just isn’t difficult as long as you can count and read – and if you do mess up (which I do often), you can rip it out and have a do-over.
Loopy: When did you start designing, and what spurred that interest?
Laura: I wanted to knit my daughter a blanket out of Kureyon and couldn’t find a pattern I liked. Lizard Ridge was the result.
Loopy: That was such a cool blanket. (Fun to have your first pattern printed in Knitty, too. And I like how at the end of that Knitty article you say you probably won’t design another pattern. Hee!) So do you have a favorite pattern that you’ve designed?
Laura: That tends to change often – right now it’s my latest sweater – Ingonish. I love the stitch patterns I used and the shape of the sweater. I’m reknitting it just to have one that I can wear all the time since I need to keep my sample nice for trunks shows.
Loopy: That is a beautiful sweater. Looks so comfortable and warm. What is your favorite part of your designing? And your not-so-favorite part?
Laura: Not-so-favorite part is when I have to model. Favorite part? Everything else! I love figuring out the design, swatching, grading, choosing yarn and color, hanging out with my test knitters in my Ravelry group, the rush of a new release, not to mention the knitting part!
Loopy: Do you have other jobs outside of pattern designing?
Loopy: So do you do this business full-time, or on the side? And is that hard?
Laura: Full-time. Like all day every day full-time. I enjoy what I’m doing so much that it’s hard to tear myself away. The hard part is NOT working. I’ve been trying to find a better balance this year (with limited success so far…)
Loopy: Isn’t that always the thing? When your work is something you love to do, it’s hard to stop sometimes. Does anyone else in your family knit?
Laura: My daughter is an excellent knitter and sometimes helps me out with sample and test knitting. My son knows how, but hasn’t made anything since the tail-warmer he knit for the cat when he was younger. My family could not be more supportive of my design work, they are the best and I love them to bits 🙂 My husband retired recently and has taken over the cooking and cleaning which gives me more time to work. He’s pretty happy that I’ve been able to find this new, portable career! We were able to spend last summer in Nova Scotia which is something we’ve been wanting to do for years.
Loopy: Ha ha – a tail warmer for the cat. I love it! So nice to hear that your whole family is on board with your career, and the Nova Scotia summer sounds amazing. Are there other hobbies that you enjoy?
Laura: Reading, hiking, traveling. And I hope to get back to my quilting at some point – still have a few WIPs to finish…
Loopy: When I read your background, I kept thinking about what fun things you could do in quilt designs. I’m going to keep my fingers crossed for that one day. What would be your favorite way to spend a day off?
Loopy: Ok – last questions: Morning or Night person? Coffee or Tea? English or Continental? Solids or Multicolors? 🙂
Laura: Both – which makes it difficult since I don’t like to nap 😛 Tea, Continental, and Semi-solids.
Now, I hope you all have had a chance to pick out some fun new patterns from Laura’s designs! You can get one pattern of your choice at a 20% discount through Ravelry by entering the code: theloopyewe upon checkout. (Code valid from March 6-13.) Click here to see all of Laura’s patterns.
Have you made some of Laura’s designs? Which is your favorite?