If you knit for little ones and you haven't checked out Knittin Little yet, you should pop over there right away and take a look around.
I'll wait . . .
Knittin Little is a site dedicated to bringing the love of fiber arts to all our littles. Beginning in Fall 2015 it will offer quarterly pattern collections with designs for kids, and the blog offers lots of fun content about life--and fiber arts--with kids. There's even a kids' book club!
Knittin Little is the brain child of knitwear designer Andrea Sanchez, who creates beautiful patterns for kids and adults alike. She recently published Dandelion Meadow, which looks like the most comfortable, day-to-day cardigan I can imagine.
What inspired you to start Knittin Little? What do you hope knitters will take away from it?
I was feeling like there really isn’t too much out there for children’s knitting patterns. My initial goal was a quarterly pattern collection but then what would happen in the meantime? I am an early childhood educator and have taught toddlers through kindergartners so I figured why not write content during the in between months about children’s crafting, literacy, and other early childhood content.
How long did it take to go from concept to launch? Any hiccups along the way?
We launched June 1st and I really began putting plans in motion around the end of January. Things went relatively smoothly except for taking far longer than I had expected. I spent most of May getting the site put together and building content but we still launched on time.
How do you find time to do it all?
I honestly have no idea. Some days I feel like I’m super productive and some days I feel like I’m so far behind and nothing is getting accomplished. When I’m working during the school year I took one night a week to go straight from school to a coffee shop and I’d stay there until 9 or 10 just working. It helped me prioritize and get a lot done. I also worked like that one weekend morning or evening.
What are some of the challenges in knitting and designing for little ones?
One of the biggest questions I get is that someone’s finished garment doesn’t fit the recipient. Children grow at such drastically different rates that there’s no way one size 4 will fit all children aged 4. I provide schematics and measurements for all my designs but many people don't measure the children that will be receiving the sweater. I only say this because before I was a designer I gifted my fair share of too small sweaters. I would assume that the 1 year size would fit a friend’s 13 month old then, surprise! That 13 month old was actually in 99th percentile for height and weight and the little buttons wouldn’t stretch across his chest. My advice is measure the recipient!! It’s also hard to keep up with the growth of your little. I knit a more fitted size for my son who models my children’s sweaters but there have been a few times when they’ve only fit for a month or so, then the season may have passed and they are outgrown by the next season :(
What are your favorite knits for littles--either your own designs or someone else’s?
Abate by Alicia Plummer is probably my favorite children’s knit by another designer. I’ve knit it twice for my son and a bulky version for myself. My Little Fisher sweater was my first self-published design and one that I really am still in love with.
The book club is adorable! How do you pick the books?
I was lucky to have the first two books suggested to me and provided for review by a publisher. But for the next few books I’ll be on my own or on the suggestions of others. I really love books and am excited to have the opportunity to share new books with followers and to offer simple activities to extend the learning with each book.
My toddler loves to wind yarn! Is your little interested in knitting and yarn?
My son definitely has his eye on my yarn. He refers to our spare bedroom as my Yarn Room and likes to pick up my needles and pretend to knit. I try not to take him to yarn shops because as he approaches 3 he’s a bit more of a bull in a china shop than I’d like, but when he has gone in he picks up the yarn and hold it to his face and says, “Awww.” We’ve also taken him to Rhinebeck and the Maryland Sheep and Wool. He loves the sheep and the herding dogs.
What does the future hold for Knittin Little?
Our first pattern collection will release in less than 2 months! I’m very excited about it and am so honored to have some really amazing designers contribute. We will also be releasing our first call for submissions this week.
That call for submissions is up, so if you're a designer, check it out! Many thanks to Andrea for chatting with me, I think Knittin Little is such a great idea, and I can't wait to check out the Fall collection!