Monday, October 19, 2015

Meet the Designers: Rachel Henry — One-Skein Wonders® for Babies

To celebrate the arrival of One-Skein Wonders® for Babies, edited by Judith Durant, we’re talking to some of the talented people who helped make this book a rich library of patterns for babies, new moms, and the knitters who love them. Today, meet designer Rachel Henry.
Lovey the Octopus, designed by Rachel Henry. Photo © Geneve Hoffman Photography, excerpted from One-Skein Wonders® for Babies. All rights reserved.
Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where do you live? How long have you been a knitter and designer?

I live in Tewksbury, Massachusetts, (just north of Boston) with my husband, three boys, and two dogs. I’ve been knitting forever. I published my first design on Ravelry in 2010, so I’m coming up on five years designing.

How did you learn to knit?

I learned the basics from my mom, but I’m essentially self-taught. I did a lot of thoughtful knitting (and unknitting) in solitude, because I didn’t know any other knitters growing up. I still like to puzzle things out on my own.

Tell us about the inspiration for your project in the book, and any special details that went into the design.

I started with the yarn (CEY Seedling) for this design. I knew it had to be a one-skein project, and I settled on making a toy because then sizing isn’t an issue. Most knit toys have a lot of seams and other finishing, and my goal was to make an interesting toy without all that work — something a knitter could whip up in a weekend as a baby shower gift.

Is there anything you especially love about knitting, or designing, for babies?

Baby gifts give us permission to indulge in a little whimsy — sometimes knitters are so serious! We should all make something charming for its own sake from time to time.
Rachel Henry, wearing her cowl design, “Hornburg”
Apart from knitting, what keeps you busy and fulfilled these days?

I compete regularly in dog agility — my older dog, Gromit, is fully qualified to go to USDAA Nationals in Tennessee this October, so I’m training with that in mind right now. Also, I just recently started playing hand bells. I auditioned for a semi-professional bell choir, and was given a seat at the table! We’ve had one rehearsal so far, and it is amazing to play with such a dedicated group. I’m looking forward to coming up to speed and learning all I can.

Do you have a favorite piece of knitting advice that you received, or one you’ve learned yourself that you’d like to pass on?

I’ve learned that it’s ok to give up on a project. Life is too short to knit something awful, or to knit with yarn you hate. You should love the process and the product … if you don’t, rip!

Find more from Rachel on her blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Ravelry!

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