The winner of the New Blog Home Giveaway, determined by a RNG, is Sarah of Ramblings of Sadie Kate! Congratulations to Sarah! I’ve already given her the pattern and will ship out the skein soon. 🙂
I loved all the questions you guys had for me and want to answer them all! As there were a lot of questions about photographing yarn/projects, I will leave all of those for my next post. I’m hoping to do a sort of photo tutorial for yarn and projects, so I want to be sure I’ll be able to have all the material prepared to answer you guys! So, for today, here are the non-photography questions posed by you:
Q: I was surprised when I saw your name on Rav, and didn’t think I knew it… then realised you go by a nickname/abbreviated version. So, how long have you had the nickname, and do you ever get called your full name?
A: I actually have been waiting a long time for this question! Carolina is my real name and no one I actually met in real life has ever called me anything else. Lina came up when I started going online more and more (years and years ago) and if I wrote Carolina *everyone* would write Caroline back. Ugh! As I abhor getting called Caroline (nothing wrong with the name, it’s just not mine!), I started calling myself Lina online. Then came the awkwardness when I would actually meet online friends and they would call me Lina and I would get all surprised and/or not realize they were talking to me (not being used to being called Lina ever, LOL!). But that didn’t last long. Now I don’t mind being called Lina at all, but a lot of my online friends will change to calling me Carolina once they meet me as everyone around me calls me that! A few do still call me Lina, and that’s totally okay too. In other words, I don’t much care which you call me, I answer to both! 🙂
Q: Where are your favourite places to buy yarn in NYC?
A: This might be totally strange to you all, but I rarely buy yarn in NYC, even though there are at least 5 yarn shops within a 2 mile radius of me! The reason for it being several. 1. When I’m buying yarn and want a specific color it’s much easier to get it online than scour stores for it. 2. Quite a few LYS’s (LYS=Local Yarn Shop for those who don’t know) are just rude and/or difficult to navigate so it discourages me from going into them (and this isn’t just in NYC – I find this to be true anywhere). 3. Jacked up prices because this is NYC. All of that being said, I *do* shop in LYS’s… just not as often as I could be doing it. When I do want to buy yarn around me, though, I can usually be found at Brooklyn General (lovely shop, lovely people, wonderful atmosphere), Habu Textiles (awesome and interesting yarns), and School Products (the owners of Karabella – really wonderful/decadent yarn by the cone for cheaper than you find anywhere else). I also really like Annie & Co. but that was back when I lived in the Upper East Side and I’m rarely there anymore as it’s too far from Brooklyn for a quick trip. There are lots of other lovely yarn shops in NYC (seriously, over 30 for sure) but I haven’t been to them all, so I’m certain there are other great ones around!
Q: Is there still snow in NYC?
A: Yup… though I wouldn’t call it snow anymore. It’s all just ice – icky and covered in black soot ice. Spring is finally feeling like it’s about to arrive. YAY! 🙂
Q: What is your favorite Madelinetosh colorway?
A: Wow, that’s a REALLY tough one! I’m not sure I can pick just one so I will say that for variegateds, definitely Quilt (or maybe Ophelia?) and for semi-solids probably Betty Draper’s Blue. Such a wonderful blue! Of course, I’m probably just picking the last two I’ve knit with because pretty much every time I knit with a new MadTosh color it becomes my newest favorite! 😉
Q: I was looking at your (awesome!) stash on Ravelry a couple weeks ago and was wondering, how long has it taken to grow it?
A: Well, let’s see. The majority of my old old stash is not pictured on Ravelry (I really should do that sometime!) and that stuff I started buying back in early 2007. So for the stuff that’s actually on Rav, I would say since late 2007. So a little over 3 years? The majority of the stash I bought around 2009!
Q: Are you planning on going to any big shows this year?
A: I’m guessing you mean yarn shows? I’m pretty sure no one wants to hear my long list of concerts, operas and plays I will be attending? LOL! I am planning on attending Rhinebeck, as usual, and Spring Fling again (woohoo!). No plans for anything else, though. I would love to go to Sock Summit but don’t think it’s in the cards for this year. So two yarn-related things. Not too shabby!
Q: How did you finally make the switch to your own domain?
A: It was a total spur-of-the-moment decision! I mean, okay, I’ve been meaning to do it for YEARS now, but the actual switching over? Took just a night! When I get something into my head, I don’t stop until I do it. It’s sort of a bad trait of mine… I’m the same way with designing… things just have to be done or I won’t get any rest until they are. Which is why I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to design a large project (though I want to)… I can’t imagine taking over a week to finish a prototype! Writing the pattern, etc. is one thing, but getting the prototype knit out is quite another! Anyway, I was talking about the website: I’m the same way with websites. Once I get the idea to make one I don’t stop until it’s done!
Q: What’s your favorite knitting book?…Favorite stitch pattern book? Favorite book for eye candy?
A: Favorite knitting book is definitely Custom Knits (awesome book to learn how to customize sweaters). For stitch patterns, probably Haapsalu Shawls (such gorgeous stitch patterns in there!) but to be honest I use Barbara Walker’s Knitting Treasuries way more. Eye candy is a tough one… but probably The Knitter’s Book of Wool. It’s one of my favorite ones to sit and just look at! 🙂
Q: What was your first knitting project and how long ago did you start knitting?
A: Let’s see… my first knitting project was back when I was maybe 9 or 10 years old and had just learned how to knit from my mom and grandma. I’m pretty sure it was a blanket for my Barbie doll, but it might have been a strapless dress – also for the Barbie doll. I didn’t know how to knit in the round, my grandma used to sew it for me after I just knit the rectangle. I honestly can’t remember which one came first, but I do remember making both. That was when I first started knitting, but it’s not when I caught the knitting bug. In fact, after knitting a little here and there until I was 13 or so I didn’t pick up knitting needles again until I was 23 and moved to Maryland and found that scarves really are a necessity in the East Coast. I made the few obligatory scarves for some years but once I switched to hats no one could stop me and I became totally knitting obsessed! 😉
Q: How big is your stash? Do you have a stash philosophy?
A: My stash is very large! I have 361 items on the Ravelry stash and not all of my stash is featured there. And 361 items is not counting individual skeins… so number of skeins goes up exponentially from that! But I don’t look at numbers so much as I do amount of space it takes up. At the moment the stash overfloweth. And at the moment I’m trying to curtail spending and just knit with it and try to bring it down to a more manageable amount. So if I have any stash philosophy right now it’s to make sure all the yarn fits into the containers it’s supposed to and not to have any overflow at all. I’m on it!
Q: What’s next for you, knitting wise? You’ve got two gorgeous patterns out in the world – do you have big plans for more?
A: I do have plans for more patterns! I have a sweater pattern and a shawl clunking around in my brain dying to get out, but I’m a little afraid of the sweater… I mean I have to worry about sizes and a lot of math and a lot more issues than shawls, hats, scarves, mitts, etc. So not so sure when that one will be written. Plus, it’s a laceweight sweater pattern to boot so that’s scary! But until then I have plans for another shawl too. Hopefully in a few months! 🙂
Q: What is your favorite yarn to work with?
A: I don’t really have ONE favorite. But my top three would be: Wollmeise 100%, Fiberphile MCN and MadTosh Tosh Sport (or DK, or Pashmina, or…).
Q: Are you planning to make the trek south to NC for the Havanese Nationals this year?
A: At the moment yes! I haven’t solidified my plans but am hoping to be there. 🙂
Q: How are the puppies taking to all the snow? Are they still visiting the balcony?
A: The puppies love the snow! And although it’s been very cold and windy, they do still go potty out on the balcony. During bad snowstorms they don’t, though!
Q: What do you think is going to happen in Egypt? Will they really have fair and open elections come the fall?
A: I actually happen to think that they will. Call me an optimist, but I really think it’s possible now!
Q: Are you sick of snow?
A: If you had asked me this two weeks ago the answer would have been a resounding yes! But now that we haven’t had any snow in a couple of weeks, I don’t mind it as much. It’s hard to hate something when it’s not around all the time.
Q: Is there anything prettier than those MadTosh Blues?
A: Not much my friend… not much! 😉
Q: Where do you find such gorgeous yarns?
A: Online, mostly! My favorites are listed above, but finding gorgeous yarns is not the hard part… keeping from buying them all is!
Q: Do you buy your yarn only when you have a project lined up, or are you like me and keep buying more and more?
A: Most definitely like you, LOL! I have too much yarn to have it all lined up with projects!
Q: So now that you have two designs out, I was wondering if you’re considering desining as a “full time” job, like Ysolda, maybe? I know you probably won’t give up photography, which is a good thing, your work is great, but you’ve done great designing as well…
A: Definitely no plans on designing as a full time job! Even if I were as good as Ysolda (I wish!), I’m not sure designing full time is for me. Although I love designing, I also love knitting up other people’s patterns and not having to think too much about a garment. Just going with it! If I were designing full time I think I would feel guilty not working on a new pattern and just knitting to knit. To make something that someone else thought up. I’m not sure that’s how every full-time designer feels, I just have a feeling that’s how I would view it. Plus, I love my career right now, so no need to switch! You can probably expect a new pattern from me every 3-6 months, but that’s probably the most designing I’ll end up doing. 🙂
Q: What is the one crafty hobby you wouldn’t even consider ever trying?
A: Spinning! I love handspun yarns, and love seeing what other people are doing with spinning, but I have zero interest in trying it. Why? I have way too much yarn as is and don’t have any more time to devote to another craft… especially one that will just add more and more to the stash, LOL!
Q: Do you ever knit anything for your dogs?
A: I did knit Kubrick a Halloween sweater when he was a little puppy (no way would it fit him now!) but I haven’t knit them anything else since then. I just can’t bear wasting precious yarn on them when they will just get it dirty and/or rip it! So no knit anything for them… and I’m pretty sure they don’t really care, spoiled dogs that they are!
Q: How do you decide on a sweater to knit? Recommended to you? Read reviews? What makes a sweater a must knit?
A: If I think it will look good on me, I will knit it! I don’t knit sweaters based on popularity because my body type is not everyone else’s body type and something that will look good on you might not look good on me! So I only knit a sweater if I think it will be flattering on me.
Q: What’s your favorite knit garment/item?
A: Not sure I have one, to be honest! I do have some that I wear more than others, but that’s based on the season and how I’m dressing. So I don’t think I can answer this question without listing way too many items!
Q: If you could go anywhere in the world to purchase yarn in person – where would it be?
A: I’d love to go to Estonia or a Scandinavian country to buy yarn. Though not really for the yarn, to be honest, but also to see the knitting that they do in those places. 🙂 I will be going to Peru very soon and am excited to see what yarn I can get there!
Q: Where do you get inspired for your lovely knit designs?
A: I get inspired from people on the street, architectural designs or even my own imagination! I don’t think any one thing inspires me, so it’s hard to pinpoint. I do love thinking about something looking a specific way and then being able to make it! It’s my favorite aspect of designing knitwear.