I met the lovely Rebecca from TinyLovely at KAN in 2013, and she designs some super cute patterns for kiddies! More recently she's ventured into designing for bigger people, and her Autumn Branches beanie was one of the favourite items I knitted last year. I have a quick chat to her about what she's making and creating.
Tell me a bit about TinyLovely - how did you get into designing?
I have always enjoyed craft and using my creative side. I started designing after a couple of years of test knitting for other designers. I really enjoyed the process and decided to give it a try, my first design was Woodland Tee which was published by Petite Purls. After that I started self publishing on Ravelry and I have really enjoyed coming up with new designs.
When did you start knitting? Did you grow up crafting or was it something that came a bit later on?
I learned to knit when I was about 8yrs at school, but didn't really pick it up again until I was pregnant with my eldest in 2009. As child I enjoyed sewing a lot and went to classes with my Mum.
You have a young family - how do you fit your designing and craft time around everything else?
I often work at night after everyone is bed, and knit during the day. It can be hard sometimes and I try not to work too much when the kids are at home. It has been a lot easier now that they are at school and kindy. And I'm very lucky to have good support from family.
Your early patterns focus on little people - did this begin from wanting to make unique things for your kids?
Yes it did, I love creating new designs for my kids and they are actually not too bad at modeling these days. Although they still pull silly faces which is fun. Often I get an idea for a neckline or a texture that I want to try out, or just that one of them really needs a new hat for example. And my eldest has really started taking an interest and will help when I'm sketching an idea out.
You've also started designing a few accessories for adults (love your Autumn Branches hat!). What are the main differences in your design process between designing for kids and adults.
Thank you Autumn Branches is one of my favourites too! I think designing for adults is about refining an idea and thinking about how it would appeal to adults. Or it can also be about designing something that I want to wear.
What are your plans for TinyLovely this year? Are there any specific designs you have in mind to make?
My plans for this year, like most years are big and optimistic. I want to release more designs than the fourteen I did last year. I have just released Lennix and Elowen for Mosaic Moon yarns. And Mackenzie in testing now. I hope to release my first adult sized garment and plan to work on a shawl or two as well as the kids wear designs I have in the pipeline.
When you make stuff as part of a business, it can be hard to separate crafting from also being a job. Do you have any non-TinyLovely related crafting on the go too?
It can be hard to separate crafting from business, but I do enjoy the design process of knitting the prototype a lot. I always have a few wips on the go that are patterns from other designers. I'm definitely not a one wip kind of person!
Being in New Zealand, we have some amazing local yarn suppliers. Do you have any favourites?
Yes I love using yarn from indie dyers! We have a thriving indie yarn scene in New Zealand, but my favourites would be Meraki Studio NZ, Featherbrush yarns, Hollyberry designs, and I have just cast a new design in the silver lining heritage merino from Skeinz.
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