Read on to learn a bit more about her and see a few of her other designs too!
Tell us a bit more about yourself. Where do you live? Who do you live with? How did you end up there? Where are you from originally?
I currently live in Ohio, with my incredibly patient husband, our five children, 3 cats and puppy! We moved to Ohio over a year ago, leaving behind sunny Arizona, because my husband got a new position that brought us here. I’m not exactly warmed up to the cold weather, but at least I have more days that I can enjoy my knits now than before! I am originally from High Point, North Carolina, the furniture capital of the world!
Who taught you to knit?
I taught myself to knit, using a book I picked up from the library. I started knitting because my oldest son was super allergic to all the disposable diapers on the market, and so we had to cloth diaper him. I needed to wool covers (soakers and longies!) to go over the diapers, but we were a military family, barely scraping by from pay check to pay check, so I couldn’t afford the covers. I took a coupon and gift card to the local craft store, bought my supplied, got a book from the library, and the rest is history…..
Why do you like to design?
Designing taps into a creative part of myself that I feel like gets shut down a lot of times as a mom. I used to be a professional ballerina and after an injury, I was looking for another way to express myself in art. Designing gives me the opportunity to dance with string to make something beautiful.
Do you design full-time or part-time?
I design all the time, lol! I also homeschool my kids, work as a business coach, am the Design Coordinator for Malabrigo, and juggle half a dozen other projects, but designing is the unifying element of my day (also, if I am helping a kid learn to read, or working through a particularly difficult math lesson the yarn seems to ground me and give me patience I didn’t know I had!)
What made you get into designing?
When I was pregnant with my fourth baby, I had a vision of what I wanted them to wear when they arrived earth side, but I couldn’t ever find a pattern for it. So, I decided to make one of my own. It was a cute little, gender neutral striped romper, with enough room for cloth diapers and easy snaps for quick changes. Ironically, I’m finishing up my very first book for publication by Stackpole, and it is an entire book of whimsical baby rompers!
- Colors – Pinks, purples, brights!
- Yarn weights – Usually a good sock weight (I love shawls and one skein projects!), but lately, and since being in Ohio, I have a profound love of DK!
- Fibers– Natural fibers, I’m a Merino gal!
- Types of objects (e.g., shawls, hats, etc.-) Shawls definitely and I am always perfecting the perfect cardigan!
Is there a favorite type of knitting that you prefer to design for?
Since my life is so chaotic and loud, lol, I prefer to have things that I can easily set down and come back to with ease. I like just a bit of a challenge, but nothing that is going to make me stress out. I adore semi-circular shawl designs because they have just the right amount of math, with the ability to make the lace a bit more intricate, but nothing that is going to cause stress. (I’ve also recently developed a love of seaming sweaters, lol!)
Do you have a design that you think people should give a little love?
That’s a hard one! Either Wands Ready! Because who doesn’t love playing with mini skeins (and being inspired by the Fantastic Beasts movies!), or one of my skirt patterns because knit skirts are just so much fun!
Where do you get your inspiration from?
It depends, usually from something I see on TV. Most of my shawl designs are inspired by music. I’ll get a song lyric stuck in my head and instead of working out the choreography to tell the story, I’ll find a way to get the yarn to show the story.
Can you tell us about your process when you design? I’m curious about your inspiration and how you bring that to life.
Most of the time it starts as my feeling a lyric, or even a line from a book or movie, maybe something about a particular character, or even a mantra from my favorite Coach (look for a “Hands on Your Back” Cardigan coming soon, if you are Christine D’Ercole fan!), that I just feel deeply. It might sit with me for a few mintues to a couple of days while I look for yarn colors that remind me of that feeling I am trying to convey. I’ll play with stitch patterns and swatches until I finally see in the swatch the story that I feel in my heart. Then after some tweaks, I’ll grade out the pattern and then write out the pattern. Finally I get to knit and watch it come to life!
What made you choose to submit to Knotions (twice now!)?
The Call for Submissions! The ideas on the mood board and the pictures reminded me of a concept that I was playing with and wanted to bring to life.
What is your nemesis? The thing that makes you want to run and hide when you think about it.
Lightning! Thunder storms are the worst, my cat, Elphaba, doesn’t like them either, so we will either dive under the covers, or sometimes we even go as far to hiding in my closet, lol.
What does a typical Jessica-day entail?
Ooooohh! Good question!
My day starts off with my alarm going off, and a reminder to myself that I don’t HAVE to get up to exercise, but that I am blessed to get to get up and move! I spend anywhere from an hour to two hours every single morning working out (everything from cycling, strength training, and yoga!), then after a quick shower, COFFEE! Once I’ve had coffee we start our school day, and I work through the day’s lessons with my kiddos. We try to have things wrapped up by lunch time. After lunch, I head into my home office, and I get work done until it’s time to worry about dinner! Once dinner is done, I finally get to sit down and knit, until I am too tired to and then I go to bed, ready to repeat it all again the next day!
Other than knitting and designing, do you have any other creative endeavors?
I enjoy embroidery and have very basic sewing skills! I love to write as well. I’ve slowly been getting back into dance and have been working on mixing my Dance Choreography with my Yarn Choreography for an exciting new project!
Do you have a stash? Or if you buy it you make it up pretty quickly?
A lady never reveals the size of her stash, lol! My husband jokes that every time we move my books and yarn are the bulk of the expense….so, yes, I’ve got quite a bit of yarn!