You all know Romi – the designer of all of those beautiful pins and yarnball earrings that we keep ordering here at The Loopy Ewe. She’s also the designer of the “Ice Queen” pattern over on Knitty.com, which uses a skein of KidSilk Haze, this gorgeous “Waves of Grain” pattern which would be beautiful in any laceweight yarn, and the “Muir Stole” out of a silk/mohair laceweight. Today, you get to meet her in the Limelight!
Loopy: Hi Romi! We’re really glad you could talk to us today. Tell us, how long have you been a jewelry designer, and how did you learn to do this?
Romi: I have been a jewelry designer since about the age of 7. I began beading at an early age and I had my first commission at 9! When I was in college, I learned metal smithing and I was absolutely hooked. Jewelry is something that has fascinated me throughout my entire life.
Loopy: A very young entrepreneur! That’s really fun. How do you come up with your ideas?
Romi: I daydream and doodle a *lot*. I also joke that my bicycle is my other office, because so many ideas pop into my head when I am riding! I look at everything, absorb it, it all rattles around in my head, and then something will come to me.
Loopy: So you exercise for inspiration? That might be a good motivator, actually. And you also knit, right?
Romi: Yes! I knit, spin and crochet, too.
Loopy: How long have you been doing those things?
Romi: I was born into a crocheting family and my mother taught me crochet when I was 6. I begged and begged her to teach me how to knit. She finally relented when I was 9! I have knit on and off since that time. I learned to knit lace about 4 years ago, which is why I began making shawl pins. My shawls weren’t getting worn because they kept falling off my shoulders. I learned to spin about 5 months ago or so after resisting for a long time! My enabler, er, I mean teacher, says I was a spinster in another life.
Loopy: I’m sure she’s using “spinster” in the nicest sense of the word… Now, you also design patterns. Have you done a lot of that? And do you have a favorite pattern that you’ve done up so far?
Romi: Well, I haven’t really done *that* much designing. Yet. I have never been able to keep myself from changing patterns though, so I figured it was about time to start designing my own! I first began experimenting with knitted wire and jewelry and had two patterns published in Knitty: Venezia napkin rings and Bauble. I also have a book coming out from Interweave in late November of 2008 on Knit and Crocheted Jewelry. It’s called “Elements of Style: Knit + Crochet Jewelry with Wire, Fiber, Felt + Beads.” Meanwhile I’ve been pursuing my love of lace knitting and have had three patterns in Knitty (Muir stole, Ice Queen cowl and Waves of Grain scarf) and there’s a pattern just out on the Elann.com site: Liquid Silver. There’s another pattern coming out in the Winter issue of Twist Collective, and I also have more patterns kicking around my head! A few are off the needles and just need to be put in a format that others can use as well. I think my favorite pattern so far is a pair of wire and rose quartz earrings from my new book. I wear them all the time.
Loopy: Romi. Seriously. You call that “haven’t really done that much designing”?? We’d call that “pretty darned talented in the designing field”. Your book looks like it will be fun! What would be your favorite part of your job, and your not-so-favorite part?
Romi: My favorite part is definitely that I get to do all the things I love and I can call it work! It is too cool to go hang out with fellow fiber addicts, pet fibery and sparkly things and still not feel guilty. And I’ve met some really amazing people! My not so favorite? I think that would be that there are not enough hours in the day to do everything that I want to do!
Loopy: Wouldn’t it be nice if we could petition to have a 36 hour day on Saturdays and Sundays? What a nice weekend that would make. Do you have other hobbies, in addition to all of the fiber-things you like to do?
Romi: I like reading, cycling and hiking/walking.
Loopy: And how about your family – would you like to tell us about those near and dear to you?
Romi: I am married and have two young sons. It’s a seriously male-dominated household, but Diva, the house rabbit backs me up on the odd occasion when I need it.
Loopy: I’m sure there are days when you just need to get away from the guys, right? What would be your favorite way to spend a day off?
Romi: Day off? What’s that? Heh. My dream is to hike out into Muir Woods with my knitting and sit under a Bay Tree enjoying the smells and sights, relaxing, eating crackers and cheese with grapes, and doing a spot of knitting. No rushing.
Loopy: That sounds like a wonderful day. We think you ought to take a day just like that, very soon. Thanks for being in the Limelight!