Today we’re starting a new feature on the blog, where we’ll be profiling a different designer a couple of times a month. Not only that, but it comes with a special offer for you from that designer! I am starting today with Jenna from Retro Lemon Studio, because I saw this adorable Fox in Socks pattern on Pinterest and searched her down on Ravelry. Not only is the Fox pattern cute, but you’ll see the other fun things she has designed, sprinkled in photos throughout the post. (photos used with permission). Be sure to take advantage of the special offer for you at the bottom of today’s post, in case you’d like to make one of these cute toys for yourself or a friend.
Loopy: Hi Jenna! Thanks for being in our Designer Spotlight today. How long have you been a knitter, and who taught you to knit?
Jenna: I’ve been knitting for almost 5 years, and I’m self taught. I borrowed some learn to knit DVD’s from the library, and watched them over, and over, until I caught on. Luckily, YouTube videos helped every time I got stuck with anything beyond the basics.
Loopy: It’s nice to have help with a few clicks on your computer! What is your favorite type of item to knit?
Jenna: Toys are my all time favorite things to knit! I love that they don’t have to fit, and if they end up a little wonky it’s ok. But, a close second would be lace shawls.
Loopy: That’s true. No sizing issues, and everyone loves a cute toy, no matter how it turns out. What is the most challenging thing that you have knit to date?
Jenna: The Advent Calendar Scarf 2012 by Kristin Benecken. I actually was able to keep up and finish on time last year! There will be a new pattern for 2013, and I’m going to attempt to keep up again this year.
Loopy: I like the idea of an advent scarf, but I have too many gifts to finish in December to be able to do that, I think! That’s great that you were able to keep up last year, and plan to do the same this year. When did you start designing, and what spurred that interest?
Jenna: I started designing in 2010, but didn’t put out my first pattern until Fall 2011. I never thought I’d have the skill to be a sweater or sock knitter, and when I discovered knitted toys it was love at first cast on! I started making toys for my kids, and before I knew it I was trying to make the different things my kids would request. I eventually built up the confidence to put out my own pattern with the encouragement from a friend. This year I have branched out into accessories, which has been really exciting!
Loopy: Your toy patterns are adorable, and it’s fun to see you branching into accessories as well. Do you have a favorite pattern that you’ve designed so far?
Jenna: That’s almost like asking if I have a favorite child, lol! But, I have to admit George the Giant Squid has a special place in my heart. Giant Squids are my favorite animal, and it took me a long time to get the pattern just right.
Loopy: George is definitely cute. I think I’m partial to Frances the Sock Wearing Fox. Although Sam the Super Frog is pretty fun, too. They’re ALL fun! What is your favorite part of designing? And your not so favorite part?
Jenna: My favorite part of designing is seeing my ideas come to life! My least favorite part of designing is not being able to get something to turn out right, and having to rip it out and then having to knit it over and over.
Loopy: Do you do this business full-time, or on the side? And is that hard?
Jenna: My designing has become a full time job for me. It has ended up being harder than I expected, because you just never know what people are going to like. Also, sales fluctuate a lot, and you can’t always count on a set amount of money coming in.
Loopy: It’s awesome to be able to do something you love, full time. Tell us about your family, and does anyone else in your family knit?
Jenna: I have a super supportive husband, and am a mom to my 3 awesome kiddos. I have taught my daughter to knit, but she didn’t really take to it. My twin boys have expressed interest in learning, but I haven’t gotten the chance for them to sit still long enough to give it a real try. So at the moment I’m the lone knitter in my family, but I’m hoping to be able to pass it on to at least one of my kids sometime down the road.
Loopy: You never know – they may take it up in adulthood, if not before. Are there other hobbies you enjoy?
Jenna: I spin (on a spinning wheel), sew, scrapbook, read, and ocassionally bake. I love anything crafty, and love trying new things.
Loopy: What would be your favorite way to spend a day off?
Jenna: I love to shop my favorite thrift stores looking for treasures, and then relax with some knitting in the big comfy chair at my favorite coffee shop.
Loopy: Mmmm. Coffee shops. So tell me – Coffee or Tea? Coke or Pepsi? English or Continental? Solids or Muliti-colors?
Jenna: Tea. Water (I don’t drink soda). Continental. Multicolors!
Loopy: Thanks for being part of our Designer Spotlight today!
To celebrate being in the spotlight, Jenna would like to offer our blog readers 20% off of one toy pattern, valid between 11/22 and 11/29. Code: loopyewe You can find Jenna’s toy patterns on Ravelry, but good luck in picking just one. I have several on my favorites list already! Most all of Jenna’s toys are done in worsted weight. Cascade 220 and 220 Superwash are perfect for the solids, and Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Worsted would be great for the multi-colored ones. Most of them don’t take too much yarn and they look fairly quick to knit up. The other nice thing about toys? They’re perfect for all ages. Don’t you need a little Bot Byte at your desk? (Shown in this last photo.) That one’s free! Pop over and check them all out.