Today we have Stephanie from Tellybeanknits in our Designer Spotlight. Stephanie’s designs are colorful and fun, ranging from sweaters to shawls to accessories, and I know you’ll enjoy them! (Yarn links go to The Loopy Ewe, pattern links go to Ravelry. The code today will also work on Stephanie’s website, also linked below.)
Loopy: Hi Stephanie! Thanks for being in our Spotlight today. Tell us, how long have you been a knitter and who taught you to knit?
Stephanie: Thank you so much for having me! I learned to knit at my LYS in 2007, during my senior year in college. Beginning knitting lessons were a birthday gift from my mom. It turned out to be the best gift anyone ever gave me.
Loopy: That’s a fun birthday gift! What a great idea from your mom, and I bet she loves seeing where this has taken you. What is your favorite type of item to knit?
Stephanie: I really love any project that uses LOTS of color. I’m not picky about sweaters or accessories so long as I get to use mini skeins or self-striping yarn. The more colors the better!
Loopy: That is one of the first things I noticed about your designs – all of the happy colors. I love that. What is the most challenging thing that you have knit to date?
Stephanie: Not long after I learned to knit, I designed a steeked, saddle shoulder, all-over cable cardigan for myself using bulky Icelandic wool. It was an epic knitting adventure that made me feel like Wonder Woman. Knitting always makes me feel like a superhero.
Loopy: First of all, steeking. Second, all over cabling. Third, bulky wool. Fourth, self-designed. And to top it all off, “not long after I learned to knit”? That all adds up to amazing and impressive. I think Wonder Woman was probably an appropriate label after that – ha! When did you start designing, and what spurred that interest?
Stephanie: When my oldest daughter, Telly, was born, I couldn’t find any clothes that were as awesome as she was, so I started knitting sweaters for her. I had a hard time finding just the right patterns to jazz up her tiny wardrobe, so I started designing my own. Pretty soon, she had a whole drawer full of rainbow sweaters.
Loopy: Aww – I love that motivation to start designing! Do you have a favorite pattern that you’ve designed?
Stephanie: I think the Little Sock Arms pattern is my favorite. So many knitters have sent me photos of their kids wearing these incredible rainbow sweaters. It doesn’t get better than that!
Loopy: That is definitely adorable. It’s fun to look at all of the projects on that one. And a great way to use up minis and leftovers. What is your favorite part of your designing? And your not-so-favorite part?
Stephanie: I love connecting with other knitters. Sharing a knitting passion with so many different and talented makers is pretty incredible! My not-so-favorite part is modeling my knits in photos. I get nervous in front of the camera, and then I act like a goofball.
Loopy: Well so far, all of your pattern photos look great and your personality definitely comes through! Do you do this business full-time, or on the side? And is that hard? Do you have other jobs outside of pattern designing?
Stephanie: This is my full-time job. It’s sort of like having a third child. It can be overwhelming to juggle the business and motherhood, but mostly, it is an amazing adventure. I’m extraordinarily lucky to do what I do.
Loopy: I’m glad you’re able to work it in with your family life. Having your own business is very time consuming! Does anyone else in your family knit?
Stephanie: My grandmother-in-law, Gytel, is an extraordinary knitter. We named my oldest daughter after her. She has been a huge influence on my knitting and my business. Also, I’m teaching both of my girls (5 & 8) to knit.
Loopy: That’s a great age to start them knitting, and I’m sure they were so excited to learn. I hope it’s a lifetime love for them. Are there other hobbies that you enjoy?
Stephanie: I love to read and draw. I also run quite a lot. I sort out most of my design ideas while running.
Loopy: What would be your favorite way to spend a day off?
Stephanie: I love playing board games. If I were planning the perfect day off, it would go something like this: I would play Catan in the morning, while eating chocolate. Wingspan in the afternoon, while eating chocolate. Then, Azul in the evening, while eating chocolate. That’s a perfect day!
Loopy: I like the chocolate eating sprinkled throughout your day. 🙂 Last questions: Morning or Night person? Coffee or Tea? English or Continental? Solids or Multicolors? 🙂
Stephanie: I am an early morning person. I start to shut down around 8pm, but I’m ready to jump out of bed and go running as soon as the sun comes up. I don’t drink coffee; I think I would be terrifying caffeinated. I knit continental. Definitely, multicolors!
Loopy: Sounds good! Anything else you’d like to add?
Stephanie: It was wonderful chatting with you!