Designer Spotlight: Tiny Owl Knits

Today, we have the owner of Tiny Owl Knits, Stephanie. We love all of her designs! You may have seen her patterns Beekeeper’s Quilt, Some Cloudy Day, Hopsalots, or Orchids & Fairy Lights.

Loopy: Thanks so much for joining us today! How long have you been a knitter and who taught you to knit?

Stephanie: Around 14 years ago I got a job at a yarn shop. However, I didn’t know how to knit! I was hired as a crochet teacher and that was all I knew how to do. My first day on the job I had to help tons of people with knitting questions and I even had to help put a sweater together! It was a very steep learning curve. I went home that night and crammed the entire ‘stitch n bitch’ book into my head.

Loopy: Oh my – what a crazy first day! What is your favorite type of item to knit?

Stephanie: I love felting things, so anything I can shrink. Also I love colorwork, sweaters, SOCKS!, wristees.. um.. maybe I should just stop here before I list everything. OH! animals! I love knitting animals, stuffees, shapes.. I like knitting things with structure.

Loopy: It is always fun to see the end product of felting! What is the most challenging thing that you have knit to date?

Stephanie: That is a good question. I feel like every new skill has been a little challenging at first. But I’d have to say the first time I tried to knit a sock was probably the time when I went the most insane. It was after work, and I was knitting a toe-up sock with heavy metal dpns and tiny yarn and I got super frustrated and freaked out. I could literally NOT do it. I ended up in actual tears and threw the wad of junk behind my bed and it stayed there I think until I moved. Now I love knitting them. I’m addicted to them!

Loopy: Sometimes it’s best to just set something aside for a bit. I’m glad you were able to get going on socks again! When did you start designing, and what spurred that interest?

Stephanie: At first when I started working at the shop I didn’t know how to read patterns. I would take yarn home and make things up. When I would get to work everyone would ask how I did it, but I had no idea. The wise owls that worked at the shop taught me, (forced me) to write them down. It was kind of funny because I really didn’t want to write patterns because it took too much patience! There were times when my bosses and co-workers would literally sit me down at a table and put the paper and pen in my hand. Then they would kind of walk me through the process and push me along. I was not super willing. But then I really did grow to love it. I got a lot more organized… and patient… and now again, addicted!

Loopy: I’m sensing a theme 😉  Do you have a favorite pattern that you’ve designed?

Stephanie: I probably wear “Midsummer Night’s Dream” the most. But I do love the faery wings.

Loopy: It’s a cute hat! What is your favorite part of your designing? And your not-so-favorite part?

Stephanie: Favorite is wearing it as soon as I’ve finished it! Not so favorite is probably yarn hunting or photoshoots.

Loopy: The best part about finishing a project is wearing it right away. Do you have other jobs outside of pattern designing?

Stephanie: I had a pretty fun music career for a while. I was living in England and touring and putting out records. But now I’m back in the US and a full time mommy to my sweet little boy Woodson. I knit and write patterns while he naps! My mom and I also have a flea market booth. We do a lot of antiquing and thrift store junking together.

Loopy: It’s fun you have been involved in so many creative type of projects. Does anyone else in your family knit?

Stephanie: My mom taught me how to crochet when I was little and she still does quite a bit of fiber work. Lots of super gorgeous afghans come from her direction. She uses beautiful wool and they are really classic and elegant.

Loopy: I hope you’ve been the recipient of at least one of her elegant afghans! Are there other hobbies that you enjoy?

Stephanie: I love making the house beautiful and creating sacred space. I love making essential oil blends and lotions. I do a little working with other fibers, and sewing. I’m also pretty obsessed with books and collecting books on certain subjects. Also video games. Is video games a hobby? I’m an indoor cat.

Loopy: Video games definitely count. What would be your favorite way to spend a day off?

Stephanie: We like to head up into the mountains for a bit, then come down and have lunch at the Bohemian Biergarten. Then home to sit on the deck with friends and family around the fire. Of course there would be a little knitting in there too.

Loopy: It sounds like a lovely day. Morning or Night person? Coffee or Tea? English or Continental? Solids or Multicolors? 🙂

Stephanie: Night person, coffee, both – (I like the way English feels, but I’m so much faster with Continental and have so many patterns I’m trying to finish that Continental usually wins,) solids. 😀

Loopy: Interesting! Not many people can do both interchangeably. Anything else you’d like to add?

Stephanie: I’d like to encourage people to not be afraid of knitting! When I was working at the shop, so many of our customers were super afraid of trying new things, or afraid they would mess up. I was kind of on a mission to take the fear out of knitting. Be afraid of bears or jumping out of airplanes, but never be afraid of your knitting! 😀

Stephanie has given us a 20% coupon code good from today until January 5th! You can use the code HOOTS for a discount on a single pattern from Stephanie’s design store.

And the List Keeps Growing

Rav Meme from The Loopy EweI don’t know about you, but one of my favorite parts of Camp Loopy is seeing all of the cool patterns that everyone links to and knits up. My list of Favorites grows and grows all summer long, ensuring that I have plenty of good patterns to choose from in the Fall and Winter. There are so many patterns on Ravelry that it’s impossible to ever go through them all. And of course I never just add one at at time. One leads to another, which leads to another, which leads to another, and on and on it goes.

Knitting Baskets The Loopy EweDo you use the queue feature on Ravelry for keeping track of what you will make next? I don’t think to use the queue. But I do keep a running list in my knitting notebook, that lists yarns I want to use soon, and patterns I want to make soon. I also keep “soon to use” yarns in the baskets on the wall in my office. Although, honestly? It’s look a little overfull at the moment, don’t you think? I find that keeping patterns/yarn visible makes me more focused on getting the current project done, so that I can be on to the next one. (My baskets came from here and my KNIT sign came from here.)

How do you keep track of the next few projects you will be working on? Or do you just pick one at a time and not keep a list? How do you keep track of what yarn you will use soon? Do you have any organizing or planning tips that you use for your knitting? Share with us some of the things that work for you!

Sheri alwaysinterestedinknowinghowothersdothings

P.S. No Monday Update tonight, since we’re still working our way through all of your Camp Loopy Project Two orders. Remember, Camp Store Week for Project Two ends tomorrow evening, so be sure to make your final decisions and get your order in. July 1st will be here before you know it!