Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Never Not Knitting's Alana Dakos on "Coastal Knits" and the Giveaway winner!

 Happy Wednesday everyone!  I hope you are all having a fabulous week filled with wondrous knitting and crocheting adventures!  As promised, I have the other half of our “Coastal Knits” interviews and also the winner of our giveaway!  But first, I introduce to you Alana Dakos of Never Not Knitting, as well as co-author of “Coastal Knits” with Hannah Fettig of Knitbot, whom we interviewed last week.  Here is what Alana had to say about the book:
JBW- Last week we heard Hannah’s perspective on “Coastal Knits,” what does Coastal Knits represent for you?
    AD- Coastal Knits is an inspiration-based compilation of patterns. I feel that it is a very personal collection because each design reflects our personal design style and is based on our specific coastal regions. It isn't just a pattern book, it's the story of us.. where we come from and how our surroundings inspire us. 
    Rustling Leaves Beret
    JBW-  I love that I can see that in the different designs from each of you.  It’s like you can see the difference in the coasts through the knitted pieces, yet they all go together so well and tell your stories cohesively.  We are so excited to get the Coastal Knits Trunk show in the shop at JBW in December so we can see them all in person!  So, tell us a bit about Never Not Knitting, how did you get started on the designing path?

    AD- I blog and host a podcast under the name of Never Not Knitting. There is even a "Never Not Knitting" theme song! Link: http://nevernotknitting.blogspot.com/2008/06/never-not-knitting-theme-song.html. It all started as a household joke a few years back when my husband would always complain about how much time I spent knitting. I started the blog and podcast under that name over 3 years ago just for fun. I didn't realize that it would also someday be the name of my business!

    After working for several years as a knitting instructor, I decided to branch out and try my hand at knitwear design as a nice change of pace. I started out small, publishing pattern pdfs on my blog. I initially focused on children's patterns. My daughter was then 3 years old and I was really having a blast designing her little outfits. I wasn't sure if this venture would go anywhere, but I sure am glad that it did! Now a few years later, we are running a full time pattern business out of our home. I am so happy to be working doing something that I enjoy. Being a knitwear designer full time is challenging, but definitely fun.. and my husband no longer complains about how much time I spend knitting! :)
    Cambrian Cowl
    JBW- Now that Coastal Knits is completed what's next?
      AD- I have many ideas for future design projects, but honestly, the next big project that I will be taking on is the arrival of our baby boy in November! After working so hard on the book, I look forward to taking some time off to spend with the family and getting to know this new little one. 
      JBW-  Congrats!  That is so exciting!  What a good plan.  Perhaps we’ll be seeing some new designs for little ones in the future with new inspiration ahead. :)  While we are still on the topic of designing, as an independent designer, do you have any advice for those folks out there who are just starting to design as well? 
        AD- My motto has always been.. "You can achieve anything with hard work and perseverance." I think that a new designer shouldn't be afraid to put themselves out there and just try. And things don't happen over night. It takes patience, but eventually you will be rewarded for your hard work.
        JBW-  Is there anything else you want to tell us about your current projects?
          Gnarled Oak
          Cardigan
          Wildflower Cardigan
          AD-  I am very excited about the patterns included in Coastal Knits. I am usually inspired by nature, and I love to incorporate botanical elements into my design work.  For instance, one of my favorite designs for the book is my Gnarled Oak cardigan. The sweater itself is based on an ancient oak forest near where I live. I enjoyed trying to capture the essence of these old, twisted up trees into the design and I love the way it ended up turning out.  The Gnarled Oak and Wildflower Cardigans for Coastal Knits were my first attempts at adult sweater design. It was a fun challenge for me! 
          JBW-  Ok, so now for some fun and somewhat silly questions!  Inquiring minds want to know:
          Where did you grow up?
            AD-  I grew up right here on the Central Coast of California. It's really a gorgeous place to live. My parents moved our family here from the Los Angeles, CA area when I was very small and I am really glad they did. My husband also grew up here and we met when I was 5 and he was 7. Our families still live in the same houses we grew up in and now our daughter is attending the same elementary school that my husband did. :) I love this area, and I love our community. I would never want to move. 
            JBW-  What time do you start work each day?
              AD-  As soon as I wake up. My computer desk is right next to my bed, so first thing every morning I roll out of bed and check my email. :)  I work on and off during the day and into the night. It's difficult to have set working hours when you are carrying for a house and children.
              JBW-  Coffee or tea? 
                AD-  Tea! I hate coffee. I don't know why!  
                Sand and Sea
                Shawlette
                JBW-  Favorite food:
                AD-  Anything that falls under the category of dessert.  

                JBW-  New Hobby:
                AD-  With knitting being such a primary focus, it’s hard to think in terms of other hobbies. There isn't much time left in the day! I have always enjoyed cooking, baking and gardening though as well. I love working with my hands. 
                Well, there you have it folks!  The inside scoop of Alana Dakos of Never Not Knitting and “Coastal Knits.”  To learn more about Alana and her designs, check out her blog at: nevernotknitting.com. You can also see her on Ravelry at http://www.ravelry.com/people/nevernotknitting, and of course the Coastal Knits website (when its up and running) coastalknits.com.  
                Also, Coastal Knits will be available for pre-order very soon! Be sure to check Alana's (nevernotknitting.com) and Hannah's (knitbot.com) blogs for updates!
                And now for the winner of a copy of Coastal Knits (when it is released in October of course)!  Our randomly selected winner using random.org is:  Skip8 who said:  "I LOVE Hanna's patterns. I've made two featherweight cardigans and most recently made the breezy cardi, which I LOVE. She's so right about how these patterns are great for luxury yarns (my breezy cardi is out of jade sapphire silk/cashmere laceweight) - but even more affordable yarns really shine in her work."
                Congrats Skip8!  If you could please send us an e-mail with your full name, mailing address and phone number to info@jimmybeanswool.com, we’ll get you set up to receive the book as soon as its ready!
                Thanks again everyone for reading and I hope you all stay tuned for Coastal Knits when it arrives in the store!  We are all so excited to get our hands on a copy! 
                Happy knitting and crocheting!
                Kristen

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                1 comment:

                1. Great interview and congratulations on the new book!!!

                  ReplyDelete