Jaya is one of our most prolific designers! She’s the woman behind this month’s Leafy Paths Wrap and numerous others. We thought it was about time for you to get to know her even more!
And you all must really love her work too because many of her designs get into Ravelry Hot Right Now too.
Tell us a bit more about yourself
I’m Jaya (pronounced “”juh-yah” or “jeh-yah”). I’m an avid knitter and knitwear designer living in Mumbai, India with my twin girls and husband.
My mom taught me some knitting and crochet as a kid during a summer vacation. I couldn’t do more than crochet a nice long chain. I very well remember knitting a brown garter scarf and a mauve stockinette scarf, and even carrying it to school to knit in between classes.
But, it was not until a decade ago that I picked up knitting and crochet again. I found my passion in knitting and slowly designing happened.
Aside from knitting, I do enjoy traveling, reading and yoga. I read more online, and of late the topics are mostly parenting, kids yoga, dealing with picky eating, toddler tantrums and such 🙂
What are your favorite things?
- Colors – Pink, Blue, Red
- Yarn weights – DK, fingering, worsted
- Types of objects (e.g., shawls, hats, etc.) – cowls, shawls, baby/kids garments
Why do you like to design?
I think designing is a way for me to give wings to my imagination. I find it hard to stick to a particular way or method of doing things, and often find myself doing things my own way, whether it’s cooking or knitting :)!
I’m an experiential learner, so designing helps me apply and learn, and also play with yarn, stitch patterns and shapes. And in this wired world, designing also helps me reach out to all of the wonderful members of our fiber arts community, which is exciting and rewarding in its own way!
Where do you get your inspiration from?
It’s usually yarn, subtle or rich colors or interesting stitch patterns. I also love mood boards but I find it difficult to interpret some of them.
I browse Ravelry and other knitting websites to view the work of various designers and also understand the latest trends.
What did you do before you were a designer? Do you secretly miss it? Or, are you glad that you don’t have to do it any more?
I was a techie and have dabbled in tech support, software training, development and documentation. I was also actively engaged in a lot of corporate social responsibility initiatives at work. I don’t really miss the corporate world, but I do miss technology and all of the community work that I was involved in.
What does a typical Jaya-day entail?
Since I mostly work late nights, I find it hard to wake up early. On days that I do wake up early, I begin the day with some surya namaskar.
I begin my mornings with coffee and a quick check of my social media feed and emails. I get my girls ready, drop them off at school, pick up some groceries on the way back home, prep lunch, do some laundry and cleaning.
I try to pack most of my core design work in the mornings for the 2.5 hours that the kids are at school – whether it’s pattern writing, social media promotions, working on design proposals, making charts etc.
After the kids are back from school, like any other mom, I deal with the usual drama and toddler tantrums. For brief periods when they are playing well or watching their favorite cartoon or napping, I try to focus on my design work. I always have some pick and go, simple knitting on hand to keep me sane through the day.
Evenings, I take them out to play and then again I try to catch up on emails and social media. I like to carry my knitting with me, but of late I find that knitting at parks isn’t really possible. Then it’s dinner time, and I just can’t wait for the kids to finally go to sleep, so I can get back to work again 🙂
Other than knitwear design, do you have any other creative endeavors?
Well, other than knitwear design, I just like to imagine myself engaging in other creative endeavors like crochet, sewing and even gardening…and I only wish I had more hands or more time 🙂
Do you have a stash? Or if you buy it you make it up pretty quickly?
Oh yes, I’m a yarn hoarder. I love ‘grazing’ yarn websites and Ravelry destash pages. I buy any and every yarn I think I’ll use someday on some project. There’s yarn that’s been languishing in or moving across bins and cupboards and homes for years now! I love imagining new projects in new yarns and even cast on some of them, and then drift away to other projects.
From the Editor: I hope you enjoyed learning a bit more about the woman behind some of our most popular designs! And if you’re anything like me, you felt a bit of relief when she admitted that, she too, has a stash of her own 😉