We got to sit down with Kelly McClure this month! Read on to get to know her better.
Plus, she was generous enough to give us a great coupon code to use as well! Thanks, Kelly!
Tell us more about you and your background. I grew up in Northern Ontario (Canada) but have also lived in BC, AB and NB over the years. I now live in Prince Edward County, in southern Ontario in a 130 year old farmhouse with a barn, gardens and a wee forest out back. I live with my husband, 4 year old son (Cameron) and our dog (Lois), 2 cats (Percy and Persia) and Pumpernickel the carnival goldfish!
Who taught you to knit? My Mom taught me to knit when I was about five or six but I didn’t knit seriously until university when I also taught myself to crochet.
What made you want to do knitting design? When Bohoknits was born about 15 years ago, I was living in a camper van and feeling very Bohemian, traveling around and exploring Canada. I was selling one-of-a-kind unique knitted items at markets and later on Etsy. I began designing patterns officially while working at a yarn shop in Canmore, AB in 2009. A coworker told me about this amazing new phenomenon called “Ravelry” and I immediately signed up and started publishing designs that I was making for the shop, starting with the Sockhead Hat!
If you are looking for a nice little free bundle, I would suggest the Sockhead Hat, the Sockhead Cowl and the Pioneer Gloves. They are all free patterns with multiple sizes, all use fingering weight yarn and all are very simple to make.
Do you design full-time or part-time? I have been working full-time at Bohoknits for the last 8 years or so. Before that, I always had another full-time job while designing late at night. Lately, most of my time has been dedicated to my Etsy shop of stitch markers which has left little time for designing. However, I will have a new bandana cowl pattern coming out soon!
What’s your favorite color? My favourite colour is any shade of teal especially deep shades.
What are your favorite (other) things (fibers, weights and types of objects)? If I had to take one yarn weight to a desert island it would be fingering/sock yarn, however, I do use a broad range of weights from lace to superbulky on a regular basis. I really enjoy trying out “exotic” fibres like qiviut, milk protein, camel or possum. But I’m also a fan of a soft wool-silk blend or maybe sourcing out a local wool or fibre for spinning from a local herd. My favourite things to knit are any kind of sweaters.
Do you have a design that you think people should give a little love? One of my favourite unassuming designs is the Bubbles Bandana Cowl. It’s made with one skein of fingering weight and is really fun to make…the catch is that it’s best to use a yarn with a long colour “stripe” which is what makes the bubbles “pop”.
Where do you get your inspiration from? Inspiration for my designs usually comes from the outdoors. Living in some pretty snowy and cold areas of Canada has made me a layering expert so some designs rose from the pragmatic desire to stay warm (and to warm up loved ones with woolly gifts). While a lot of my patterns rely on simple design motifs and stitches like garter stitch, more textured and natural elements sneak in from time to time.
My best knitting adventure was teaching knitting to women in Nepal.
What was your greatest knitting adventure? By far, my best knitting adventure was teaching knitting to women in Nepal. I designed for a hat company for many years (Ambler) and we traveled to Kathmandu where the hats are made. The women work from home and are paid fair trade – working with them was an unforgettable experience.
Can you tell us about your signature style? When Bohoknits began I was creating unique one-off items and making whatever moved me in the moment. By the time I began publishing patterns, I was designing more simplistic patterns for yarn shop customers. Most people seemed to appreciate an easy-to-follow design made with one skein. My repertoire has evolved to include some more challenging pieces like the Tweed Rex Shawl and Honey Pie Cowl but I will always make my designs as easy to follow as possible.
What is your nemesis? The thing that makes you want to run and hide when you think about it. This is a tough one! I haven’t yet met a knitting challenge I didn’t like. If I tweaked the question to, What is my toxic knitting trait? it would be that I have way too many WIPs and I’m notorious for starting multiple sweaters at once. But my path to FOs is paved with good knitting intentions!
What does your typical Kelly-day entail? A typical day for me is a balance of work-chores-playing-knitting-cooking-tea drinking. I’m lucky to have a partner who contributes to half the household chores and childcare. We both work from home running our own businesses so we have the flexibility to work a few hours and then swap duties. My days are characterized by coziness in the winter and wild abandon in the summer.
Other than knitting and designing, do you have any other creative endeavors? I love any kind of crafting and I try out as many as I can: weaving, spinning, felting, dyeing yarn, painting, embroidery and sewing/quilting. I’m also nurturing a healthy houseplant addiction that is slowly taking over our house.
Do you have a stash? Or, once you buy it you make it up pretty quickly? Oh, yes…I have a stash. I tried to confine it to one closet but I recently got some barrister’s bookshelves from my Mom and a tall cupboard-hutch which I immediately filled up with yarn before my family got other ideas. I generally store it in plastic totes organized by yarn weight.
And, most importantly – where can we find you? You can find me in a few places: Instagram (@bohoknits), email ([email protected]) and Ravelry (bohoknits) would be the best places. I will always reply to help queries via any of these platforms. You can also try bohoknits.com for patterns if you are not a Ravelry user!
And now, here’s your discount…
Readers can use the code KNOTIONS on Ravelry to get a “Buy one pattern, Get one pattern for free”
Thanks again, Kelly!