First things first, tell us a bit about your business and how you got started…
I started my business back in 2016 when I released my first pattern (lovely penguins), I have always loved designing characters and after I learned to knit I really wanted to make my own graphic sweaters. Since then I have expanded my range and now have my own thriving website instarsia.co.uk with over 300 charts that can all be used with my interchangeable patterns.
What’s your favourite product of yours and why?
I love my adults chunky sweater pattern, I loved all the little charts I was making on my children’s sweaters I wanted to make them for myself. This sweater is also fab as a gift because it’s chunky wool it takes no time to knit.
What yarn crafts are you into personally?
I don’t have as much time for crafting since I started Instarsia, but I knit and crochet so when I need some downtime from knitting pictures I am working on a king size ripple blanket
What’s your favourite project you’ve ever made?
Probably the first image I ever knitted, I wanted to knit a picture of my cat, I didn’t know what I was doing and had to figure out how to close the gaps where 2 colours meet. I did it without having to google it. I now use the finished knit as a little blanket for the cat.
What inspires your products?
I usually look for themes for my charts sometimes this is easy like Christmas or easter but some months there isn’t an obvious event which means i can go wild and make charts of whatever i like. (usually cats)
Who got you into yarn?
My first job was working as a graphic designer for Woolyknit, I had to look after the website and layout the patterns. The pattern designer showed me how to knit and it all started there.
What’s your favourite customer project?
I really like it when people leave me a request on my site, I don’t always have the time to make them straight away but when someone shares with me the finished project it’s very gratifying.
What’s the hardest part of what you do?
Managing to do everything by myself. I make the patterns, charts, samples, answer emails, manage the website and you have to be engaging on so many social media platforms and I so struggle setting myself regular working hours and trendy to be at it 24-7.
You’re travelling to a yarn show, what are you listening to on the way?
Audiobooks baby! Anything with time travel in it is a bonus.
What’s your favourite colour?
If you weren’t running a yarn business what would you be doing?
Graphic Design or CAD Id have loved to work in magazines but have always been put off because I’m dyslexic and didn’t want to be told off if i made a typo.
What’s your favourite part of yarn shows?
The first sale of the day makes it all worth it
What yarn craft do you wish you were good at?
Knitting in the round. I love colourful yokes but I’m so bad at stranding, my tension is all over the place.
Tell us 3 things we might not know about you
I trained to be a game designer. I love Tea, I look younger than i really am.
Do you tend to go for repeatable lines or one-off products? What’s your longest-running product, range or colourway?
All my products are repeatable. Everything I has ever made is available to download digitally on my website, I list colours as generic shades like you will need 1 ball of Red, Green, blue, black etc so that customers and use any yarn in their stash,
Can you give us any hints of things you’ve got coming up soon?
I’m so excited for October I have been saving a new pattern I think everyone is going to love. Let’s just say everyone is going to want one(or two) for their Christmas decks.
Do you have regular subscriptions or clubs? If so tell us about them
I release new charts at the start of every month. There’s usually a theme and sometimes I cant help myself and release WAY more than 3 charts.
And finally, just for fun, would you rather fight 100 chicken-sized zombies or 10 zombie-sized chickens?
I thought the zombies were the right answer but then I thought about the human-sized egg we’d get from the giant chickens. Also, I would want to ride one like a Chocobo.