We were keen to have Kate contribute a design in support of our newest &Make yarns and we are thrilled to be welcoming her back!
Designer, knitting teacher, editor, and author Kate Atherley is living the knit-tastic life and we are so pleased to be working with her again. You may know Kate’s work from the original online knitting magazine knitty.com, her regular educational columns Modern Daily Knitting, or as the designer of our ultimate sock pattern; One Sock. We were keen to have her contribute a design in support of our newest yarns and we are thrilled to be welcoming her back in November to teach a free 4-part hat knitting class for beginner knitters. We asked Kate to tell us a bit more about her inspiration and work.
Could you tell us a bit about yourself: how did you get into knitting and designing knitwear?
“My grannie Hilda taught me to knit when I was a young girl, and I’ve been knitting seriously for more than 25 years, since I finished university and suddenly had some spare on my hands! I started teaching classes and designing about 20 years ago, when a friend opened a yarn store. Since then, I’ve built myself a career, and was happily able to quit my day job in software design, to become a full-time knitting teacher, designer, editor and author. I have a degree in mathematics and honestly, I use it more for knitting than I ever did in my previous work.“
What inspires and influences your designs?
“I do a lot of teaching, and have spent a lot of time working (and just spending time) in yarn shops. I love talking to those who are just starting out on their knitting journey. I always ask knitters what their ambitions are, what they want to learn next, and I enjoy creating designs that help knitters tackle those challenges, conquer their fears and expand their skills. A lot of my designs are about demystifying a technique, making it accessible and getting knitters confident and excited to take on the next project.“
This is all about making hat knitting accessible, to even the newest knitters. A hat is a perfect project for a newer knitter: they’re quick and satisfying to knit, and the skills are easily mastered. And once you’ve got the hang of a hat, you’re ready for all sorts of great projects: mittens, socks, and even garments.
We’ve included a broad range of sizes to fit all the people you might want to knit for, and the pattern covers three different weights of yarn in the new &Make range, which are perfect for hats: they each provide wonderful warmth, and are soft and delicious, never scratchy.
&Make Super Bulky is brilliant for the fastest ever project! Attending a birthday party this coming weekend? There’s more than enough time to make a hat! In &Make Aran, you’ve got a deliciously warm everyday design. And in &Make DK, you can make a tidy hat that tucks neatly under the hood of your coat for the coldest of days, or you can keep in your backpack when out for a stroll on a blustery day, just in case! I wanted to create a classic hat that would work with any hairstyle, and suit any sort of coat or winter fashion. It’s the hat that you will wear every day, and make many times.
What is your favourite type of knitting project?
“Although they might not seem exciting, I really do love making practical things: socks, hats and mittens in particular. I get so much satisfaction from making the everyday items that we rely on for warmth, for comfort and protection. And there’s so much joy to be found in customizing them to suit those who wear them: with colour, in fit, and with design flair to suit their personal style. I’m most happy when I make something that I see being worn and loved and used every day.“
What is your desert island knitting project—what could you knit again and again and still enjoy?
“Absolutely socks. I could never grow tired of knitting socks – the yarns are delicious, and so pretty to look at, and they are infinitely customizable. Plus, because I’ve got bad circulation, even on a desert island, my feet are likely to get cold!“
What’s your first knitting memory?
“I spent a lot of time with my grandmother when I was very young, and she always had a project on the go – mostly knitting, but she wasn’t a bad crocheter, either. There was always yarn and needles around… and that’s still true now, of course! I remember her teaching me how to make a crochet chain from leftovers of some purple wool that she’d used to make a sweater for me. She made me a couple of the prettiest pink ballet sweaters, too, and I loved it when she let me choose colours, and provide input into the design. I distinctly remember the discussions we’d have in the kitchen, me going through Grannie’s knitting bag, looking for colours for a stripey sweater, and my older brothers pointing out the football teams that I’d be supporting with each combination.“
A Series of Free Knitting Classes with Designer Kate Atherley!
Looking for the perfect introduction to hat knitting? We’re thrilled to share a series of fantastic online classes with Kate Atherley, absolutely free!
The classes will help you knit the Warm and Easy Hat in our &Make Super Bulky yarn. Although aimed at beginners knitting their first hat, experienced knitters will also find a great deal of pleasure in knitting along and witnessing the great Kate Atherley guide you through the online classes, answering any questions you may have throughout each session.
All three classes were recorded and are available for you to enjoy below!
Knitting the Warm and Easy Hat?
Be sure to visit our &Make Warm and Easy Hat page for all the details about patterns, and kits for each of the Warm and Easy Hats.
If you are knitting the &Make Warm and Easy Hat, please do share it with us! We would love to see it. If you are sharing on social media, please use any of the following hashtags:
#TheFibreCoAndMake, #AndMake, #AndMakeMakes and please tag us @thefibrecompany!