is one of Defarge's returning designers. A favorite at all of our in-person meetings, Andi blogs and sells her indie patterns from her blog at KnitBrit
and is KnitBrit
as well. We thought you might enjoy a little Q&A with her to find out what inspired her to design her gorgeous cardi for this book.
Defarge: Andi, you have the amazing ability to actually "knit like the wind," how long have you been able to knit like this?
KnitBrit: Hello and thank you for giving me the opportunity to talk about my pattern in the newest installment of DeFarge.
I've been knitting for longer than I can remember. Firstly, with the bumbling panache that toddlers have, and then as a young child to be part of the family circle that comprised my mom, her sisters and my grandma. I really wanted to knit the beautiful things as they did, and strove to keep up, learn the techniques and try to make my needles fly just like my nan. Over the years, knitting became something that I just did. I don't think I necessarily thought of it, but the process was always the reward rather than the result. Once my second child came along, and we went through a three year period of him barely sleeping, I found that knitting, and especially fast knitting, was something of a savior for me. The motions kept me awake, and, at a time when life was pretty dire, gave me a sense of achievement. It's habit now, but I still get that sense of accomplishment as I watch the rows and rounds develop.
Defarge: Of course, the Madame is always happy to include knitters from across the channel as well as across the pond. For all the anglophiles out there, do you have a favorite brand of tea? How do you feel about beer in the US? And what the heck is treacle?
KnitBrit: I think you've hit on the trifecta of foodstuffs I'm passionate about. If you add in Marmite, we'll have the four major food groups! It's funny, as I get older, I find I'm more English about food, than I ever was for the twenty-odd years I lived there. I'm a Typhoo drinker for my every day tea, but love any good Oolong or Orange Pekoe. I despair of having a good pot of Yorkshire Gold outside of Yorkshire, but am always willing to try, and try again. I'm a Newkie Brown drinker, when it comes to beer, but am having a bit of a love affair with micro brews at the moment, and am always on the look out for new ones. I'm also a bit of a closet sherry drinker, but I'm not terribly serious about it. Treacle is a bit of a magical substance, and is a staple in my pantry. Black treacle is much like molasses, and has a nutty, complex flavor that is quite delicious, especially in toffee or tarts. I'm glad you didn't ask me about Marmite though. It's so hard to explain.
Defarge:The name of your cardi is… well it's curious. Without giving too much away, can you tell us what inspired you to come up with that name?
KnitBrit: Much like my knitting, I've had a life-long love affair with Agatha Christie, and especially Miss Marple. When I was invited to design for W(e)WMDfK?, I was immediately drawn to designing something that I imagine Miss Marple herself would have knitted. As an inveterate gossip, I just knew that Miss M would have a background story to the knitting, not just where she bought the yarn, but who it was for, who that person is related to, and the plethora of detail that makes her such a rich and interesting character. Thus, "The Jumble Sale Kimono for the Widow Mayhew's Daughter" was born.
Defarge: Are you planning to work on other books from the Madame as well?
KnitBrit: I'd love that opportunity, yes. There's such a wealth of inspiration out there, both classic and modern. I find myself pausing mid-sentence in books and wondering what I could design for this or that character. I think the main problem I face, is narrowing my choices down to one specific design.
Defarge: Thank you so much for speaking with us today. Bon courage! Vive la France! Toujours à tricoter!
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Excited? We sure are! If you like you can pre-order today to be sure you get the book as soon as it's released (and if you're subscribed to this email list you will still get all the free goodies we're planning to send out!)
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We can't wait to show everyone the amazing secret work that indie designers like Andi have been up to.