Featured: New Sponsor, Inspiration Knits!

We have a new friend for the blog and podcast! Please welcome Louise, the designer behind Inspiration Knits. You can find lots of amazing accessory patterns that are just perfect for using up stash and playing with colour. What's more, we have a coupon code and who doesn't love one of those right?

Louise aka Inspiration Knits and her 'Trust Me' design

I asked Louise a few questions to help you get to know our Playful new friend...

What was your favourite childhood game?

I played a lot of different card games and board games when I was little. I used to play basketball competitively (read: very competitively). When I was a student, if I wasn't in the textiles studio you'd find me on a basketball court.

What is your favourite Munch or Schlurp?

Good chocolate, good coffee and good wine. Great food, in general. I'm a cliché. I prefer quality over quantity. Having said that, I probably wouldn't turn down cheap chocolate! I really am a dreadful coffee snob. I won't drink instant coffee unless I'm ambushed with the stuff. If I suspect I'm being offered instant, I'll always choose a cup of tea instead because it's harder to fake.

Do you have a current knitting crush (can be yarn crush)?

Hmmm. This is difficult. I have loads of things I want to knit, and loads of yarns I want to try. Pick any hot indy dyer and you'll probably find I want to try all their yarns - right now! I'm not into the big brands because it can feel a bit bland by comparison. Some of the character will have been squashed out by the corporation, or at least that's how it makes me feel, which isn't good for my creativity.

'Song of the Sea'

I have been slightly obsessed with Blue Sky Alpacas Metalico over the last year. Finally, I have it on my needles. I'm making an ombre version of Song of the Sea. It feels amazing - my kids keep cuddling it, which is terrifying when I've crammed the stitches onto slightly-too-short circulars. I am a card-carrying environmentalist at heart, so I always have my eye out for environmentally-responsible choices that don't involve sack-cloth and sandals. This yarn is undyed and is all-the-more spectacular for it.

Having said that, I'm also obsessed with Fyberspates' silk colours. Whether blended in Silk Twizzle or Faery Wings, or all on its own in 100% silk, the way the silk fibres take Jeni's colours is truly spectacular. That's my colour obsession right now.

What is your favourite ever FO?

I don't think I can choose one! I have a few things I do wear all the time though. I've a small triangle shawl in Handmaiden SeaSilk in Hemlock which is wrapped round my neck for half the winter. It's so soft and the colour is perfect. I'll take the fifth on the pattern I followed. Suffice to say, was a real eye-opener as to how full of errors a free pattern can be!

If I'm in a rush, I grab my Song of the Sea snug cowl instead because it's so easy to throw on under a coat. It's warm round my neck but not bulky. Mine is in Fyberspates Scrumptious 4ply in a one-off colour called Sea Green, appropriately. I love that yarn.

With little kids, fingerless mitts are essential. I absolutely adore the pair of Blue Sky Alpaca mitts a lovely friend made for me last Christmas. They're soooo warm, and purple!

Midnight Ocean (c) Inspiration Knits

Midnight Ocean gets compliments whenever I wear it, so it makes me feel proud to have designed it. I wear it if I need to look presentable. The sparkle in the Fyberspates Sheila's Sock really lifts it. My grey Stay Awhile in Sokkusu O is my new alternative for dressing-up. Both of these are perfect day-to-evening. Their versatility is probably why I wear them so much. 

And finally...... Your knitting nemesis?

I hate badly written patterns, but that's more of a bete noir than a nemesis.

There is an individual who writes about knitting in a popular magazine. They're probably closer to a nemesis. My husband tries to stop me from reading their contributions because I get so angry about the poor quality of the writing and lack of basic grammar. I suppose reading these pieces does at least encourage me to knit…so that I can calm down! 

I think I am particularly sensitive to bad writing and long sentences because I try so hard to make my patterns clear. I confess that if I see a really long sentence I have to count the words. I know that's really geeky but I can't resist it if I see a possible new record. The writer I mentioned holds the current record with a 62-word sentence. Yes, unsurprisingly, it was completely incomprehensible. I know I break the rules when I write, but I do it knowingly and for effect; I just hope it comes across that way!

A big thank you to Louise for joining our Playful tribe and taking the time to answer these questions. Louise will be donating a pattern of the winner's choice to our Big Love along that will kick off at the end of the Ravellenics. What's more, she's offering 10% any of her patterns with the code playful at the Ravelry Checkout. Go forth and knit!