4.05.2010

Giveaway #10

Last giveaway's winners are: ZaftigDelights ~ KnitzyBlonde and JuliaA . Congratulations, ladies! Please shoot me an email at yarnonthehouse@gmail.com with your info to claim your prize.

Whew! I can't believe another week has come and gone. We are now on the 10th giveaway! I am extremely grateful for all the support I have received and I have some really great stuff coming up for you over the next couple of months. You are going to love the yarns and designers I have lined up!

With that being said, this week I am proud to announce that I have the wonderful and talented Kate Oates from Tottoppers here with us. Have you seen Kate's children's hats?! OMG, they are so freakin' adorable! She has also started a line of knitwear called When I Grow Up that features beautiful and classic styles for us grown-ups. Kate was kind enough to answer one of the fun little interviews I do and some of the questions I used in this interview were from the many suggestions I received a couple of weeks ago. Enjoy!




1. Kate, please tell the followers a little bit about yourself and what you do.

I'm a mom of many pursuits! In knitwear design I focus on sweet and whimsical knits for children & babies, and BOYS especially. I've recently started a new line for adults called "When I Grow Up" and its been really fun thinking about things I want to wear that still reflect my general style, which I would classify as fairly preppy! In my "other life" I'm finishing up a PhD in political science, and I have two children, boys ages 1 & 2. I stay pretty busy with all that!

2. How did you learn to knit?

My aunt taught me to knit when I was in middle school. She actually taught my younger sister first, and I was jealous and eventually got her to teach me as well. She is now a big part of my publishing process-as she does layout work for all my patterns! I absolutely don't know where I would be without her.

3. As a designer, what inspires you?

My children, the seasons, outdoors...really I can't point to one thing in particular because each design comes from a different place. A lot of the time something will pop into my head as I'm trying to fall asleep. On one hand this is really nice, on the other...well, sometimes I'm lacking in sleep for this reason!

4. Can you give us a hint at any future designs that you have in the works?

Well, I am really excited about my next design for When I Grow Up (adult line). Its a garment that I've never designed before. The sample has been knit & photographed, now I'm just working on writing up the pattern & grading. I also have a few ideas for next fall that I would consider spin-offs of some of my more popular patterns from this year. Keep an eye out for my designs in a few books and magazines coming out in the next year or so!

5. What knitting techniques are you scared of or hate doing?

There isn't anything that I absolutely won't do, but I will admit that I don't have a terrible fondness for lace. If I'm doing lacework, it has to be something I can memorize fairly quickly. I can't stand to have to be referencing a pattern for every line of work. Also, I have never knit a scarf. I learned to knit hats, so I never did the 'learning to knit' type scarves and don't wear them normally so, still haven't knit one! I used to be scared of charts but have found a new love for them :)

6. Where is your favorite place to knit?

Usually I knit in my rocker/glider in my living room. It was a gift to me before I had my first baby. Honestly, I think this thing is the most comfy chair ever! I don't think people should have to have babies to own a rocker/glider. Everyone needs one (and now both my mother in law and my own mom have bought their own gliders for their houses because they love mine so much!) However, now that the weather is getting nicer, I'm spending a lot of time knitting in the backyard. Its nice because the kids can play and I can knit at the same time (this doesn't happen so much when we are inside)

7. How many projects are on your needles?

Just one. I'm not really a multi-projecter. I'm more of a finisher. I have occasionally had 2-3 projects going at once but it really bothers me. Once I start something I want it to be finished as fast as possible so I hone in on it. I just recently knit the Puff-Sleeved Feminine Cardigan from Fitted Knits (Stefanie Japel) over a weekend for this reason.

8. What yarn do you have in your stash that you're saving for a special project?

Actually, nothing! Seriously. I do have a good size stash, but once I buy yarn for a big project, I am fairly obsessive about getting it on the needles (see above question!) My stash is a bunch of single skeins. Since I do a lot of hats, this is great. It also gives me a lot of options when I'm swatching for new projects. As for favorite brands, like everyone else...I love Malabrigo. Spud & Chloe is a new brand as well, so perfect for children's garments.

9. If you could live and knit anywhere in the world, where would you knit and live?

I'm really happy living in the US. It's not something I take for granted. Now, there are loads of places I would love to visit & knit, but I want my children to grow up here, close to their grandparents/family!

10. And last but not least, if you were to be drinking a cocktail while reading my blog, what would it be?

A Margarita! Without a doubt. (runs off to go fix one...)

Thank you, Kate for doing the interview! In honor of Kate being here with us on the blog, she is giving away TWO of her Mary Swanson Cardi-Vest patterns and one of the lucky winners will also receive 2 skeins of Cascade Yarns Eco + in this fun raspberry dark pink (colorway 8448) to make the vest!



The Cascade Eco+ has been donated by my favorite LYS, Little Knits! I am so lucky to have such a wonderful store in my area to go to. Fulay with Little Knits has the best prices and a super selection of yummy yarns. If you have not visited her site yet, take a look because I know that you will not be disappointed. Thank you Fulay and Little Knits for sponsoring this giveaway!

A funny little story with all of this is that Sarah who was announced last week as the winner of the Cedar Tosh Lace does not only live in the greater Seattle area like me, but she also works at Little Knits! So, when I went to Little Knits this past weekend to do a little shopping and pick up the giveaway yarn, I got to actually meet Sarah in person! What a small world!

I would like you to do the following if you would like to be entered into this week's giveaway:


1) Have an address in the US to ship the yarn to. If you have a friend or relative that has a US mailing address who is willing to be your shipping sponsor, that will work as well. I will send it to them and they can then forward it on to you.

2) Post a comment on this blog post by the end of Sunday, 4/11/2010, with either a question or comment for Kate Oates. Kate will be back with us at the end of this month to feature another great giveaway and answer some more of our questions.

3) Please post only one comment to give everyone a fair chance.

Again, I'll randomly pick the winners on Sunday and post the results on Monday along with the new giveaway, so be sure to check back. Good luck everyone.

Sincerely,

Ve

113 comments:

Kelly K. said...

Kate - What is your process for creating a new design? In other words, what are the steps that you always take?

ohgivemeagnome said...

Kate-I love your hats. I find it hard to find boy things that are cute and boyish enough, especially for my "big" boy (5). I would love to see more options for summer hats for boys (I love the safari one)!!

Heather said...

I'm not usually a pink kind of girl, but for some reason that Eco is calling to me. ::fingers crossed for luck::

I'd love to know what made Katie want to start designing in the first place.

mommieof4munchkins said...

I was glad to see Kate's smiling face on here today ;). I love her patterns and have a great time chatting with her about them.

Amy said...

I would liket to hear more about Kate's designs for adults.

Me said...

Kate, I had not seen that vest pattern before and I really like it. May have to purchase if I do not win!!!

Alice said...

Kate, I adore your hats! It's nice to see some boy friendly hats. For some reason those always seem harder to find. I have a lot of little boy cousins, and these are great for Christmas! (yes, I'm looking to start Christmas knitting already)

PNWBookGirl said...

Have a friend who is due the first of June with a boy. She knits so I had to just post on her Facebook page about Kate as a designer. With a grown up boy I remember trying to find cute things for little boys and how hard it was.

SGiles said...

I LOVE Kate's designs...I drool over them on Ravelry!!! Kate, each of your patterns is very unique, despite the fact that there are so many designers out there. How do you come up with new ideas to keep things fresh???

Cheers, and thanks for such a wonderful giveaway!!!

Lisa said...

I would love to hear how Kate made the transition from knitting and thinking of things you'd like to design to actually designing patterns - do you have any recommendations for those interested in designing?

Nupur said...

Question for Kate: "Since you study political science, do you see yourself using your knitting talents for any community good or to change our world for the better?"

Kathy said...

What inspires you first the yarn or the pattern? Thanks for the give away. Happy Spring

Kristy Lorenz said...

Every week I am falling in love with all the beautiful yarns you have pictured. I'm not a big fan of pink, but my daughter absolutely loves it!

Now what ? said...

Eco is something that I have really been wanting to try... Good luck to ME! LOL

leah said...

I love the many hats that Kate has designed, but hope she keeps up with her adult line, because what she has designed has been fantastic and I'd love to see more of it! The Mary Swanson Vest is one of my favorite designs.

Tanya said...

Love the patterns and am excited to look forward to some upcoming new designs. I would be interested to know what how Kate chooses which yarn color to make each project with. Because she likes the color? because it seems to fit the design? etc.

Ginger said...

What made you start designing for children, was it only after you had children?

Ashley Farmer said...

Kate, I adore your patterns!! :) Of course, you know that. I do have plans in the future to knit this vest. :) It's so cute!

Christine said...

Kate. you are so lucky your Aunt does the layout work for your patterns!!!! but how did she know/learn how to do that?

Andrea said...

I'm definitely interested in hearing more about Kate's adult designs!

Pavla said...

Hello Kate,
love your designs! What was the first item you started knitting and finished?

Liz said...

Beautiful pattern, Kate! Question for you, unrelated to knitting: what's the name of the dog in the photos on the Mary Swanson Vest Ravelry page? My first dog was a weimaraner named Sally!

Sara said...

Cute hat!!!

A pattern and yarn...wow...Love that yarn!

Sarah V. said...

That raspberry colour is great!

Kim said...

Kate- I was checking out your site and the hats you designed are so adorable.

Camille said...

I really love all the cute boy patterns. I may have to knit up that Sand Vest soon!

aanderson said...

The cardi pattern would be a challenge since I usually only knit things that are flat. The raspberry yarn is luscious.

Andres and Julia Stell said...

kate - when are you going to design a brimmed easter bonnet for little girls :)

Sarah said...

I love that hat in the picture. I have been wanting to knit a vest so this would be perfect! I can't wait to look at Kate's other patterns. I am a newbie, so forgive me for not having seen them before!

Kristen said...

Wonderful designs! I really admire people who can imagine something and then turn it into reality.

JulieD said...

Excited about the new adult designs! What differentiates your thoughts between adult and children designs?

Thanks for the drawing. =)

Sursi said...

I'm glad to hear about you because I also love to buy single skeins that I can't live without. They make great hats and mittens. I really like that vest and would love to try making it.

Tracy said...

Kate, I am so jealous of your ability to be a "finisher" instead of a "starter who leaves projects halfway done scattered around the house"! :) I have to be REALLY into a pattern/project to get it done before starting something new.

knittingdancer said...

Kate,

I want to know when you have time to knit much else design a pattern with 2 small boys?

Knittingdancer on Ravelry

knittingknirvana said...

I haven't knit Kate's patterns yet, but I enjoy watching her grow as a designer. She is doing so well! What an inspiration!! :)

Jenna said...

Hi Kate and YOTH,
I can't wait for your new pattern booklet to come out. As a mom of a boy and wanna-be designer, I really appreciate the time and thought that go into your patterns.

Mary LeMaster said...

Love how she was honest in her interview about how she was jealous when her little sister learned to knit first!! Too cute

LOVE THE HATS

Barbara said...

I am extremely interested in the adult patterns - they sound so cool. Plus I love kids patterns - especially for little boys.

Krafty_Katie said...

Kate, did you find one thing to be most beneficial in your success? If so, what was the thing/action that most propelled your success?

Turtle said...

The world is a small place truly! I am across the water from you both... hoping we see some sun today!

Definitely interested in learning more about Kates designs for adults. Her childrens designs are charming.

Marlitharn said...

You've been challenged to a duel. Choose your weapon: DPNs or Magic Loop?

Jackie said...

Can't wait to see the When I grow up adult wear!

Jane said...

Have been looking for yarn for this pattern. This would be a good suggestion, but would love to win it, and pink is one of my favorite colors.

flossie said...

To Kate - What are you favorite needles to work with? Are they wood/plastic/metal, and what brand?

jeniffercox said...

Kate, congratulations on your success!

Amy said...

Kate - what's the first step when you design a pattern.

Love the vest - very versatile.

Lynn said...

How on earth does Kate manage to knit at all with 2 toddlers??!! Amazing!

mprezzia said...

I've test knit with Kate before and I have to say I love working with her! She's a wonderful designer and person;)

Sherry said...

Loved the interview. I can't wait to see Kate's grownup designs.

Heidi said...

Kate-
2 questions...
1)As a PHD candidate, I'm assuming you've sat through your fair share of boring seminars... any opinion about knitting in class?
2)You have a brimmed tot topper (brown), any suggestions for making the brim stiff?

PS... LOVE the bright pink Eco...

bigheidi on ravelry

Shelly said...

I love this yarn. We just had a brand new LYS open today and I bought some of this in the Scarlet colorway. I really enjoy your blog!

Thanks again!
Shelly

Phyllis said...

Thank you so much for introducing us to Kate!

Kate, your designs are beautiful. I love that vintage petti-dress!

Lissa said...

My question for anyone would be what to do with those single skeins we all end up with... I have many, in several weights and colors, along with scraps from old projects. I would love to combine them into something new but am lacking inspiration...
Thoughts?
Thanks for the giveaway, as always. That pink is shockingly beautiful1

Young Knit Chick said...

My question for Kate would be, what is your all time favorite FO?

Love your blog and the experience of reading about all these great knitters and seeing all this beautiful yarn.

BeccaH said...

I'm a huge fan of Kate's work - love seeing each new design! Your boys are young, but have they shown interest in your yarn / knitting?

Jaime P said...

Glad to hear that someone tries to complete one project at a time. Just curious what makes you sometimes start two or three?

Natalie Servant said...

My question: Have you got a tip for family/school/knitting balance?

I am Arizona; a person, not a place. said...

I love the cardi pattern! The yarn ain't bad either!! :)

I have 3 kids, so I love knitting kid's items, especially hats!

StephCat said...

What's the most important thing you'd advise a new designer about?

Needles And Ewe said...

Beautiful designs...I can't wait to see more!

patsy said...

Kate, I really like the little cardi-vest and look to seeing more of your adult designs. patsycoats@bellsouth.net

Aria said...

I like how versatile your vest pattern is. Cascade also seems like a hard wearing fall yarn. Perfect combination!
Knitmit on Ravelry

Jean said...

What is your favorite material for knitting needles? It would be wonderful to win the yarn to knit the vest with! How exciting!

Sinclair said...

Kate, how many knitting needles to you own? Or, more to the point, do you buy dpns and circulars in all sizes, or do you use interchangeables?

mysticmoon said...

Beautiful color and pretty pattern! j.mysticmoon@gmail.com

Jess roberts said...

I'd like to know does Kate sketch out her designs before she starts swatching, and what is her favorite technique cor knitting in the round?

Anonymous said...

Kate, what a busy lady! How do you find the time? Congrats on everything! Amanda

Susan G said...

Another great interview. thank you-
Kate mentioned Spud & Chloe yarns in one of her answers - which reminded me of anther Children's hat knitter - Susan B Anderson the voice of Spud & Chloe on their blog. Which brings me to my question for Kate - are there any knitting blogs that she reads regularly? Which is her favorite?

SisuGirl said...

Kate, you have such beautiful designs for children, I cant wait to see what else comes down the line for adults!

Passionate Design said...

Kate- What is your favorite fiber to knit with for baby hats?

Evelyn said...

I am absolutely IN love with that yarn!! It's such a raspberry-ey sort if colour!
Thanks!

livin4fishin said...

Kate- I love your designs. I will someday knit up the "little miss muffet" hat for my daughter. I'm sure she would love it in her favorite color pink.

Margo said...

Kate - what inspires you to create new designs? Do you look at other designer's patterns for inspiration?

JuliaA said...

do you knit english or continental, or some other method? what's your favorite knitting trick? (special increases, magic loop, whatever)

Kelly-ann said...

Kate...

What is the favorite knit item you have made for yourself?

Wonderful givewaway!

Jess said...

Kate I am loving those hats! I was wondering, what was your worst knitting disaster?

Serenity said...

Kate you have some of the most amazing designs that inspire so much in me. Thank you so much for doing so many boy designs! its so hard to find good ones!

morewithles said...

Great interview. Per the call for more questions: 1) Do you use any design software, especially when charts, etc. are necessary? If so, which do you recommend? 2) You have your pattern photos professionally shot and you also hire tech editors -- for budding designers, what are reasonable costs of these and other services necessary to produce professional patterns? 3) I notice you use a variety of yarns. Do you just buy what appeals to you and then stash-dive when you have an idea for a design? What qualities do you look for in yarns?

|chee-uh| said...

I like that several of your designs for children aren't too "kiddy" and are sophisticated.

monkalicious on Rav

Nancy said...

Kate,, it might seem to be the quintessential image of a knitter in a rocking chair,, but isnt it the greatest? And most comforting?

That vest is truly awesome!

Mandii said...

Kate, did you find it hard to design at first, or did it just come naturally? And do your boys wear things you make? I have two little boys and I find it hard to make things for them because I just can't seem to find anything to fit their personalities just right.

missilebird said...

You have some lovely patterns, not to mention excellent taste in cocktails!

peacefullyknitting.com said...

Kate your patterns are the cutest ever! I love your latest Dindy Beret. You are a true inspiration to the rest of us!

Tammy said...

I'm really glad to have found Kate's designs. Having 3 boys, it's extremely difficult to find patterns for them. I'm almost afraid to show them the hats, as I know they will not be able to pick just one. LOL!

Laurel said...

Hey Kate, I love that you design items for kids...especially boys! I knit lots of things for my daughter but few things for my son. Thanks!

Virginia said...

Wow, I just found this blog ... how lovely. I don't have a question for Kate, but I do want to say that I appreciate the thoroughness of the interview - well done!

Lori said...

Kate -- do you dink your margaritas frozen or on the rocks?!?

mountainweaver said...

Kate, the hats are so cute. I do love making hats too. Sure hope I win this yarn. Thank you!

Lydia said...

what's your favorite yarn to knit hats with?

adriennemccarthy2743 said...

Kate, I'd like to know if you have taken any design courses. Your designs are beautiful.

Crochetbunnii said...

Thank you for providing this interview. I love the information available on Kate's blog about how she goes about designing. I have often seen stuff in a store and thought "that is so cute" with no real plan of trying to make my own version. Your designs are beautiful and elegant! Thank you so much, Kate, for the inspiration!

kait.m7 said...

Kate - What's your go-to pattern, when you don't want to think too much? In other words, what's your favorite "mindless knitting" project?

Sophia said...

wow - that color is awesome, similar to the first giveaway? right?

I would love to know how long it takes to design something and how many times it needs to be knitted before the kinks are ironed out of the design.

persephone said...

I think a vest with a hood on it is a great idea. I think it would really work well for those not really cold, not really warm days that we have a lot of here in New Hampshire.

Cindi said...

Kate - do you ever find yourself feeling overwhelmed with the "work" aspect of your knitting? Designing/planning/testing - wishing you could just simply...knit...Of course, I LOVE your designs and certainly hope you never get tired of putting your patterns out there for us :) I've had your cardi/vest in my faves for a while now!!! Just haven't had the time to get to it yet.

Blendab1 said...

Kate, with everything that you have going on with your life, how do you find the time to design?

Alice said...

I love Kate's patterns so I'll definitely jump in for a chance to win one! I really would love to know how she does it all--especially with kids around?

Sarah said...

Kate - what was the first thing you designed and was there a specific thing that inspired you to start designing?

Natalie said...

I would love to know more about how Kate chooses a particular hat shape when she's beginning to design a pattern. also, what are some important features/lessons you have learned from designing for children?

Jeni said...

I love Kate's patterns, and have knitted several. Kate, what are your favorite fibers to use for toddlers?

trh said...

I absolutely LOVE that hat pictured. I think I need to knit that one for myself and then fight the teenagers to keep it from them. I also love the vest. I'm off to investigate Kate's patterns on Ravelry - thanks for the post!

kirika3 said...

as a new-ish knitter with a small boy i am excited to see all of kates designs for hats. they are so cute.it is hard to find boy styles, so thank you. i am also interested to see the grown up adult designs too. kate, keep up the good work :D

ooh that cardi vest looks like it would be fun to knit. good luck to everyone on the drawings :D

A Life of Knitting said...

Kate what are your favorite go to stitch books when starting a new design? What books would you recommend for thos of us who are beginners or intermediate?

phoenixfire said...

This was a great idea. I love tottoppers!

Kate, how often you have an idea that works out for you the first time you sit down to make it? What's the average number of times you have to rip out before you can complete a pattern?

Thanks!

Elly said...

Kate is such a wonderful designer. I've seen her baby garments designs and I'm so excited to see her new grown up line!
Thanks for this chance to win a pattern and some yarn!

Eliana
Chandler, AZ

Dawn said...

Kate - Love your work. Your hats are darling on the little ones.

Alexa said...

Kate- Do you have any plans on having anymore children? Also, if you were to have another child, would you want a boy or a girl?

Laura said...

Kate, with a new Nephew currently in the works, I have to say thanks for focusing on cute boy patterns!

Kristin said...

I'm almost done with my Dindy Beret Love her patterns.

kristinfitzgerald on Ravelry

Mercy said...

Kate- I love your designs. Can't wait to see more.


midwifemom@clearwire.net

YarnOnTheHouse said...

POSTING FOR THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. Thank you everyone for posting! -Ve

andrea said...

Kate,
I am a follower of your blog, so I headed right over here just like you suggested. I love your patterns. With the time limits in all of our lives how do you do it? Love the pattern, love the yarn...especially the color!

B said...

Love your patterns!!!!