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.