When I was looking at ways to grow Woolaballoo and make it a bit more interactive for our woolly community, I thought it would be great to involve some Indie Dyers as well as both Knitting and Crochet Designers. As a result, I reached out to one of my favourite designers, Lynne Rowe from The Woolnest, and asked if she would be interested in a small interview to coincide with our Sock Month.
As with all best laid plans, holidays got in the way and I am rather late at posting this blog than first planned. However, I think you will enjoy reading more and who knows, maybe it will inspire you to try your hand at something new?
Q. What is your first knitting/crochet memory?
I remember visiting my lovely Nan each week and she would always have a knitting or crochet project on the go. I can picture her now in my mind, sitting and knitting so fast that I was completely mesmerised at the speed of her hands as she turned yarn into fabric. Often she would close her eyes and I’d think to myself that she was a super star – knitting in her sleep. But I can see now that she was just resting her eyes, as it’s something I do too.
Q. What is your favourite knitting/crochet stitch or technique?
Gosh there are so many different stitches and stitch combinations that it’s so hard to choose, I love a knitted dot stitch – the little bumps created by the purl stitches are so pretty and it’s amazing how just changing one stitch now and again can transform a plain stocking stitch into a beautiful texture.
I also love stash busting although I’m not sure if that can be classed as a technique? But I love how you can mooch in your stash, find some long-forgotten yarn and turn it into something practical and beautiful, without having to spend another penny. Turning the smallest scraps into a lovely blanket is so rewarding and satisfying.
“Turning the smallest scraps into a lovely blanket is so rewarding and satisfying.”
Q. Of all the patterns you have designed, which is your favourite and why?
This is such a difficult question as I tend to love all my designs (some more than others, I must admit). But I really love a couple of the blankets from my ‘Fairytale Blankets to Crochet’ book with Search Press. The Deer, the Polar Bear, the Wolf and the Dinosaur are so popular and I love seeing readers makes. I’m so lucky that readers take the time to send me photos of their finished blankets. It’s makes me happy to know that they are delighted with their finished projects and that their children or grandchildren love them so much. They’re crocheting happy memories that will last forever.
Q. Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Pretty much everywhere, and especially nature. I can be out on a walk and see some flowers that are a beautiful collection of colours and it can inspire a new project. I also save all the gorgeous cards that I receive for birthdays and often use those for inspiration, and I use colour wheels to play with colour too, especially for striped patterns. Mainly I love beautiful buildings, especially those from different countries – the colours of the brickwork and window frames or intricate carvings can often spark an idea to be developed. I usually snap a few photos so I don’t forget.
“I find it so therapeutic to knit round and round and round”
Q. If you were stranded on a desert island, what is the one project you would want to have with you?
It would have to be socks. I love knitting socks. I find it so therapeutic to knit round and round and round, and when I pick up my sock project (I always have one on the go), I can almost feel my body heave a sigh of relief. I can also knit them without looking so I can imaging myself gazing into the horizon as I knit, listening to the waves and breathing in the warmth. I love hand dyed sock yarn too, so I’d make sure to take a few gorgeous skeins from my favourite yarn dyers.
Q. What is your “go to” pattern for sitting in front of the telly with?
Either a granny square blanket, or socks. I love to have a few projects in my basket that I don’t even have to think about, or wonder where I’m up to in the pattern, or have to check what the next row or round is. I love to just pick up a project when I have a few moments and instantly get into the flow of the stitches. I recently knitted a whole blanket by sitting each evening, catching up on a TV series that we had recorded but not watched (I’m very good a binge-watching) and before I knew it, I’d watched the whole series and also crocheted a blanket for charity. Definitely a win-win situation.
Q. In the yarn industry, who are your biggest influences and why?
There are some people that completely amaze me with either their incredible design skills or their approach to business. I love Janie Crow for her beautiful designs; Lucy at Attic 24 for inspiring so many crocheters; Christine at Winwickmum for teaching so many people to knit socks and providing free resources; Erika Knight for her stylish designs and gorgeous yarns. I could go on – there are so many inspirational individuals within the knitting and crochet industry, which is fabulous.
“…there are so many inspirational individuals within the knitting and crochet industry”
Q. Do you have a default yarn or yarn weight that you go to when playing around with pattern ideas?
I tend to go with a double knitting/light worsted weight when I’m playing around with stitches and pattern ideas, unless I’ve been specifically asked to use a particular yarn. Once I have the basis of an idea, I might then try different yarn weights, just to see the fabric it creates and whether it has the characteristics I’m looking for. I love it when a design can be made in different yarn thicknesses and still have the same qualities. It means you can delve into your stash and find anything to use.
Q. What is the name of your new book/pattern and when is it released? Which part of it are you most proud of?
My latest book is called ’The Sock Knitting Bible’. It was released last year in November 2021, and I’m so proud that it’s been ranking high in the top selling knitting books on Amazon, ever since it was released. I really didn’t expect that. I love how the whole book turned out, thanks to the fabulous team at David and Charles. The photography and styling is perfect and the step-by-step guides to cuff-down and toe-up socks are really detailed and helpful for new sock knitters. The designer section of 10 beautiful socks turned out so well and I’m currently knitting my way through them all so that I have a lovely new sock selection all ready for the Winter months.
There are a small selection of books by Lynne Rowe available to buy in our shop, including “The Sock Knitting Bible”… https://woolaballoo.com/?s=lynne+rowe
You can also follow Lynne on the below links for news of all new projects and releases: