Posted on June 5, 2014 There have been 0 comments
Mid-week Chat with Nicki Trench
This week we’ve got a great interview with Nicki Trench to beat away those Thursday blues. Nicki is author of several fantastic craft books including the colourful new book, Fair Isle and Nordic Knits, and the bestseller, Cute & Easy Crochet. She also has a new book coming soon called Crochet Basics so we've got one to look forward to! This interview appeared first on Deramores in An Interview With on May 29 2014, and you can view the original post here.
We have absolutely fallen in love with this book (Fair Isle & Nordic Knits), where did you find the inspiration for it?
I’ve always loved Fair Isle Knitting, it’s one of my earliest memories. My grandmother taught me how to Fair Isle almost as soon as I could knit. I’ve always loved working with colour and love all the Fair Isle and Nordic designs, which are having a come back. The Nordic colours are gorgeous - all those reds and blues are delicious.
Who or what influenced you to get into pattern design and writing?
I started by making up my own hand knitted jumper designs many years ago and I also worked as a journalist in London for many years, so the two seemed to go naturally together. I have got into crochet more in recent years and my experiences of teaching really help when designing patterns, I made it my mission some years ago to try and take the jargon out of patterns and make them as easy as possible to read.
Have you got a favourite knitting/crochet book by another author?
I use stitch reference books a lot when I’m designing and I use Barbara Walker as a reference for knitting and the Harmony Guides stitch references for crochet. I really like the Japanese styles at the moment in knitting, crochet and sewing and although I don’t read Japanese, I admire the use of colours and eye for detail.
How do you plan your designs?
I start with a project list. Then I decide what style I’d like for a particular project, choose the colour, then try out different stitch combinations to see what works best with that project. I often throw out about six ideas before I come up with the one I like!
Which do you prefer, knitting or crochet?
That’s difficult to say! I prefer knitted garments, but crochet is so much more portable and easier to undo, so it’s much better when designing because I like to undo a lot!
Do you have any top knitting / crochet tips?
Follow the pattern exactly how it says! Don’t panic when you see the pattern, just follow it stitch by stitch and row by row. People often go wrong by misinterpreting the pattern.
Take your time and don’t rush.
Don’t be afraid of colours - choose what you like and go from there.
Pin and block your work before you sew it up.
Don’t sew up late at night - I have sewn many garments with sleeves the wrong way round when trying to get it finished before I go to bed! Best to leave it till the morning.
Do you have any advice for budding designers?
Learn your craft well. Take time to look around and see what is current and what people like at the moment. Design what you like and if people like your style, they will follow it.
What’s the hardest part of putting a book together?
The designing is not the hardest part. For me the hardest part is checking everything. My publisher, Cico, has an editor, a pattern checker and a proof reader, but mistakes can still seep through. The problem for me is that I get so close to the project from choosing the colour, stitches, design and then technical writing, by the time it gets to checking, I’m far too close and I can’t see if there are mistakes. I worry about small errors getting through.
How do you relax?
I have to take a break from knitting and crochet, just for the sake of resting my hands! I’m learning Argentine Tango, which I love. I have a lesson once a week and then I try to go to dances at the weekends. I’m also learning the violin. Both take my mind completely off work so I can take a fresh perspective when I come back to it.
I’m very excited about Nicki’s Crochet Club that I’ve started recently and I’m also planning on a new Nicki’s Knitting Club later in the year.
I’m also working on a crochet book at the moment, which takes you through a series of workshops and teaches you all the skills you need. It’s a really brilliant crochet bible and I think the most comprehensive ‘how to’ crochet book yet. There are lots of illustrations and step by step guides and I’ve also designed 20 new projects to go with the Workshops.
With thanks to Nicki Trench for the interview and Deramores for the blog post.
Have a lovely day everyone and see you again soon for another mid-week chat!
Here are some other crochet books possibly of interest by us :-
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