Well today is my stop and I am so excited that Donna let me be a part of it! I had a few questions for Donna and she was nice enough to take the time to answer them for me.
Me I always wanted to knit because my grandmother did. Who or what inspired you to knit and how long have you been doing it?
Donna I learned to knit from my grandmother when I was about 5 years old, maybe younger. I actually do not remember not knowing how to knit! I don't know what projects I made when I was young, but I do remember making a yellow swatch of honeycomb cables. My grandmother was going through a phase of making Aran sweaters -- she called them "Iris Patterns" -- and honeycomb was my favorite stitch.
Me Do you plan on doing any more animal related books?
Donna I have enough ideas for a second volume of Kitty Knits, but it won't be right away. I've got all of the sketches and some swatches already done and filed away, though. Other than that, I haven't had any ideas for animal-themed books.
Me I wonder if I can order my copy now :)
Me How did you learn to knit, were you self taught or did you have a teacher?
Donna My grandmother taught me, but then I stopped knitting until I was a teenager and I bought one of those $5 "Learn to Knit" books at a hobby store when I wanted to start again. My mother also hadn't knitted in many years, but she did remember how to cast on. Which is a good thing, because I didn't remember and I don't think I could have figured out the long-tail cast-on from a book! Once I started to make a sample swatch, my hands remembered the rest.
Me I do basket weaving, jewelry making, and I used to do cross-stitch. What other crafts do you do?
Donna I crochet and spin and dye my own yarns from time to time. That's all I've done in the past decade or so, but in the past I've done all kinds of things like candle- and soap-making, and sewing most of my own clothes as well as curtains and other home dec items. I also like to cook and bake and make jam. When I used to work for computer companies, my co-workers were always completely shocked that I did these kinds of "domestic" hobbies, because it didn't fit in with their idea of me as a techie-geek.
Me What is the most number of projects you have had going at one time?
Donna Right now, I think I have 28 UFOs. I wasn't aware of this until I started to take inventory to post pictures on Ravelry. Now I am trying not to start one more thing until I get a least half of these finished! It's embarrassing. I do get behind on my personal knitting when I have publication deadlines, though. So does that give me an excuse?
Me Yes! :)
Me What items do you love/hate to make?
Donna I love mittens and scarves and lace shawls. I also enjoy making sweaters. I also love felting projects. The knitting is so fast and I never get over the little thrill of seeing it shrink in the washing machine. I usually like to have 2 kinds of projects on the needles: something challenging like lace or cables, and something really easy, like a garter stitch scarf or shawl made out of a fabulous hand-dye yarn. That way, whatever I'm in the mood for is already started. I made socks for a while, but I didn't catch on to that addiction. I like Fair Isle for small projects, but I don't really like it for sweaters. I prefer the rhythm of texture stitches. And I hate doing Intarsia, although I absolutely love the finished projects! I actually bought a very expensive kit from La Lana wools a few years ago, and I never started it. I'm seriously thinking about hiring someone to knit it for me.
Me Well Donna thanks again for taking the time to answer my questions, I am sure everyone enjoyed learning about you and your book.
Donna Thanks again for inviting me to your blog for this interview!
If you are interested In Donna's book there is a link to the left of this post showing the book (it's a little cut off I know but I don't know enough about blogs to fix it) but you can click the picture and it will take you directly to the Amazon page listing the book so you can purchase it.
I have to say that if you are a knitter or even know a knitter who likes cats this is the book for you. There are so many wonderful projects that I almost didn't know where to start. I have made two of the cat toys but they aren't felted or stuffed yet. I am waiting to do that part because I am working on another project from the book that will be felted as well. That project is the felted Carpet Bag with a cat chasing a butterfly on it. When I saw it I knew I had to make it since cats and butterflies are two of my favorite things. If I had stopped to think it through I probably wouldn't have started it this soon because I am a self-taught knitter and still pretty much a beginner but those of you who know me know I don't often stop to think! :) I just plunge ahead with what ever I am doing. I did have a bit of an advantage because I was used to reading charts because of doing cross-stitch before. Plus I also had a magnetic board to keep my pattern on and it helps keep track of the row I am on. I also have my own scanner so I scanned the chart and that way I could make notes or marks as needed. I did not have access to the yarn Donna used for her tote so I ordered Wool of the Andes yarn from knitpicks.com. It is a beautiful yarn and very soft. I was a bit hesitant to use wool because I remember wool being very scratchy but this yarn was wonderful. I will post pics of the finished articles as well as the pics of the "in progress" items as well.
I can't say enough about what a great book this is for knitters and cat lovers alike. You can see by the pics that Donna is owned by two cats and the pictures below of my four "owners" :) This book would make a wonderful addition to any knitter's library and I am sure you won't regret getting it. You will love the patterns and your cats will love you for making more things for them too. Especially if they are like mine and think I never do enough for them in the first place :)
PS I should have the work in progress pics up in a bit, hopefully it won't be too long but since they need to be taken outside and it's raining right now that makes it a bit difficult!