I first noticed Dawn’s patterns when someone on our Loopy Groupies board on Ravelry posted a knitted test tube. (A knitted test tube. I NEED one of those for our Loopy Science Camp theme!) I went looking it up and fell into a whole grouping of hilarious patterns that are perfect for Camp this year. I wanted to introduce you to Dawn and her great work.
Loopy: Hi Dawn! Thanks so much for being in our Designer Spotlight today. Your patterns are so fun. Test tubes, flasks, Bunsen burners, monsters. All fun! How long have you been a knitter and who taught you to knit?
Dawn: Hi Loopy! I’ve been a knitter since I was a small child. Both my grandmothers were keen knitters and I owe my passion to them.
Loopy: Same with me – and isn’t it nice to carry on the tradition? What is your favorite type of item to knit?
Dawn: I like knitting my Amigurumi Frothing Flasks most. It’s a fairly simple pattern, so easy to knit watching TV, and I love the finished effect with the stuffing bubbling out of the top.
Loopy: I think it’s the bubbling “steam” that makes all of your chemistry patterns so whimsical! (And speaking of whimsical, I also love the Toadstool Fairy Cottage.) What is the most challenging thing that you have knit to date?
Dawn: I once knitted a queen sized free-form patchwork blanket as a gift for a friend. It took me a couple of years and many, many hours. Not the most technically challenging thing I have ever knitted, but it was a real labour of love. Fortunately, she was delighted to receive it!
Loopy: That is a huge project! Sounds like you picked the right friend to gift that to, because she appreciated it. When did you start designing, and what spurred that interest?
Dawn: I started designing in 2009 when I stayed up all night trying to follow a poorly written baby bootie pattern. I simply thought, I could do better than this!, and began designing things which interested me, trying to write simple and really clear patterns.
Loopy: Do you have a favorite pattern that you’ve designed?
Dawn: Yes, I am super fond of my Cyclops Pot Plant pattern. I’ve made about eleven myself and my ex husband has one on his office desk that I gave him years ago. It’s often a talking point.
Loopy: I need to make one of those for our checkout counter! And maybe the Baby Cactus Garden, too. What is your favorite part of your designing? And your not-so-favorite part?
Dawn: My favourite part is the finished project – especially when I am pleased with it! The very much not-so-favourite part is proofreading my patterns, I tend to re-read them about 5-6 times and it is extremely boring!
Loopy: Do you have other jobs outside of pattern designing?
Dawn: Yes, I also run my own business making and selling my finished designs, often to scientists and science teachers and students. I often get thank you messages from my customers, which really make my day.
Loopy: I can see how news would travel, as people see (and want) your projects. Who wouldn’t want one?? This Amigurumi Coronavirus is particularly timely – and I appreciate the addition of gloves in the photo. Nice touch! Do you do this business full-time, or on the side? And is that hard?
Dawn: I design new patterns every chance I get, but it can be difficult fitting it around family commitments, especially the school holidays
Loopy: I bet your family loves your creations. And I like the addition of eyes on your projects – seems like everything is cuter with little eyes. (More fun: Monster Pencil Toppers, Eyeball Sea Anemone,). Does anyone else in your family knit?
Dawn: Yes, my adorable six year old daughter is a keen knitter, although her creations tend to be a little, um, unique. My big daughter has gone to the dark side and taken up crochet. We love to watch movies and craft together as a family.
Loopy: Well, it’s nice to have both a knitter (or two) and a crocheter in the family. Are there other hobbies that you enjoy?
Dawn: Yes, I enjoy painting, drawing, photography and writing. I’m generally creative and can’t just watch TV. I like to be doing something at the same time 🙂
Loopy: Totally agree with you there. What would be your favorite way to spend a day off?
Dawn: I love to visit museums and art galleries with friends. If a delicious meal or afternoon tea can also be involved, then my day is perfect!
Loopy: Ok – last questions: Morning or Night person? Coffee or Tea? English or Continental? Solids or Multicolors? 🙂
Dawn: I would say I am a night person. I love coffee. It has to be an English breakfast! Ooooooooo, generally solids, but sometimes multicoloured yarn can be a nice surprise. I love using a new variegated yarn for the first time and seeing what the finished effect looks like. Very exciting!
Loopy: Thanks for sharing your time with us today, Dawn! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Dawn: If you’ve got a dream, never be afraid to try to make it come true. I started designing over ten years ago and I can honestly say I have my dream job. It takes a lot of hard work, perseverance and sometimes sacrifice, but it is possible to make your goals happen, big or small.
If you have fallen in love with Dawn’s inventive and quirky designs, you might want to check out the pattern deal she is offering. You can get all six of her Chemistry patterns for $10 with the code: ChemistrySet1 I bought the set and am ready to make several!
You can find her other patterns here: Butterflylove1
Happy Friday to you all –
(All photos used with permission)