Throughout 2017 we will be hosting the FGYCo Design Challenge where we introduce a “design challenge” project using one of our SilverSpun® yarns. Designers will have approximately 2 1/2 months to complete the project. Entries will be voted on by the general public and the design with the most votes wins.
Our April challenge was to design a wrap or shawl using a maximum of 1 skein of SilverSpun® Silk. We had 3 beautiful designs submitted and after a popular vote, Nadene Carter won with her design, Feathers & Fronds Wrap.
In addition to a $100 FGYCo gift certificate and having her winning design published on our website, Nadene also won a guest interview on our blog.
And with that, I give you Nadene ….
Can you give us a little background intel on yourself? Where were you born? Do you still live there? How long have you been knitting? Who taught you to knit?
I was born and raised in the little town of Liberty in Bear Lake County, Idaho. I moved away soon after graduating from High School. I married and raised six children, spending several years in southeastern Washington State before moving to northern Utah where I now live. My mother tried to teach me to knit. She knit Continental style. I couldn’t get the tension right when purling and soon became discouraged. Later, in my mid-twenties I found a fiber arts teacher who taught knitting—English style—and that clicked with me. I’ve been knitting ever since.
Where do you do your designing? Do you have a special room in your house, a studio, a favorite chair?
I do most of my designing and number crunching on our large dining room table, where I also have a bookcase with all my knitting and design books and several bins of yarn. When knitting I sit in an overstuffed swivel chair, and for lighting I have one of those goose-neck floor lamps. BTW, love it!
Where do your design inspirations come from? Nature, architecture, fine art, what?
Early on, I mostly designed afghans and blankets and relied heavily on nature and architecture at that time. In 2015 I started studying knitwear design and have several sweaters in varying stages of completion. I design for the young-at-heart and develop designs that are both feminine and functional with a classic flair. One cardigan design, which is still a work in progress, was sparked by something a close friend said. She wished she could find a sweater pattern that made her look slimmer. The vertical eyelet rows and longer ribbing at the hip pulls the eye vertically, enhancing the slimming effect of this design. I have also designed my granddaughter’s wedding gown, which has slowed my design progress in other areas. The knitting on that project is nearly complete. I find myself wishing for 48-hour days. So many fun things to knit; so little time!
Who are your favorite designers (and it doesn’t have to be knitwear designers)?
I truly admire Dee O’keefe and her lace design work. And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Shirley Paden. I’ve learned so much from her Knitwear Design Workshop. I’m now taking an online class from Jill Wolcott: A System of Grading, and I’m thoroughly enjoying it.
What is it about designing that gets you to jump out of bed every morning and grab the needles?
I’ve always found it fascinating that one can take “two sticks” and “some string” and make something beautiful and unique. That is what I named my blog—Two Sticks and Some String. Since I started working on the wedding gown I’ve let my blog slip badly but hope to get back to that project soon. Also, there is something about knitting that smooths out all the kinks. It’s my reward after the many tasks that must be done in a day.
What do you have on your needles right now?
I always have an afghan on the needles—something I can grab and take with me to fill in waiting time. Besides finishing the wedding dress, I’ve put other work aside to focus on Jill Wolcott’s grading class.
While designing your piece for FGYCo, what qualities of SilverSpun® did you find most appealing?
I expected this cotton-based yarn to be somewhat limp and wondered about the stitch definition of the finished project. I needn’t have worried. The mixture of fibers used has created a unique yarn that is easy to work with and finishes up nicely. Also, the information about SilverSpun® says it may have therapeutic value. About three months ago I had an operation on my middle trigger finger. It left the knuckle-joint sore and painful. After working with this yarn I have no more pain. Coincidence? Maybe, but my brother-in-law had the same operation a year ago. It took 6 months for his pain to go away.
Do you have any other passions besides knitting?
My knitting teacher (mentioned earlier) held a wealth of knowledge about all things “fiberey”: spinning, weaving, dying, felting. I embraced it all, but as I’ve grown older I’ve come to realize I can’t do it all, so I’ve focused mainly on knitting. I still have my spinning wheel and my Harrisville loom. I’ll eventually have to part with them … but not today.
◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊Find Nadene's award winning design here.