Designer Interview, Pattern Discount and Book Giveaway

We are thrilled at Hazel Knits HQ that our DK Lively yarn was included in the recently published book, Knitting Architecture(Interweave/F+W Media; $24.95).  The book is a collection of 20 designs curated by Tanis Gray that celebrate architectural themes. The collection includes gorgeous patterns for sweaters, shawls, mittens and so many other things.  The book is available in paperback and ebook versions and if you read to the end of this post you can find out how you could win a paperback copy of your very own.

Photo by Joe Hancock

Naturally, our favourite pattern is the Persian Shawl by Kirsten Kapur of Through the Loops, which she knit in DK Lively in Wheatberry and Jay Blue. The pattern features the arches, columns and recesses abundant in Persian architecture. 

Photo by Joe Hancock

Photo by Joe Hancock

Today I have the pleasure of posting an interview I conducted recently with the lovely and talented Kirsten Kapur. 

Viki: Let's start with the basics. When did you learn to knit and who taught you?

Kirsten: I don't actually remember learning to knit, so I must have learned when I was very young. I was lucky enough to grow up in a family where being creative was a part of everyone's daily life. My mother was a skilled seamstress, quilter, knitter, flower arranger, and gardener. My father shared my mother's love of gardening and was a very active hybridizer specializing in Rhododendrons. He loved woodworking and built everything from furniture, to the gazebo in our back yard. My sisters and I each got married on that gazebo. He had a passion for photography that began when he was very young, at the age of ten he built his first dark room. In my family the message was if you have an idea, learn the skills necessary to create it. I am proud that this tradition of being creative has carried on to the next generation and that all three of my children are very creative.

Viki: Do you take your knitting with you everywhere you go or do you only knit in private?

Kirsten: I take my knitting EVERYWHERE - I often knit on the subway, have knit at soccer matches, school concerts (I worked on my Thorpe design while watching my son's orchestra perform the Messiah), at the now defunct but legendary CBGB's while I watched my kids' rock band perform, in the hospital as my son recovered from surgery on his badly broken leg (designed Curatio there), in line at the bank, while in traffic jams, and just about anywhere else I can get away with pulling my knitting out.

Viki: Do you do other crafts/hobbies?

Kirsten: I grew up sewing and made most of my own clothes through my teens and twenties. I still sew from time to time but not nearly as much, I crochet, spin, draw, occasionally paint, and through my blog have learned to love photography. When my kids were younger I was an avid gardener. Now that I live in NYC I don't have a garden, but hope to again someday.

Viki: You have a wide variety of patterns (I've knit Sikkim, Acer, four mystery socks and most recently Turtle Pond). Do you have a favourite thing to design? Socks? Shawls? Sweaters?

Sikkim in Artisan Sock in Violeta, Nekkid and a Limited Edition red

Kirsten: I like variety, so I tend to design a lot of different types of patterns. I'm very interested in texture and color. I love playing with how textures and patterns combine, as well as how combining colors, and pairing color with pattern impacts a design.

Viki: Do you focus on one design at a time or do you have many designs in the works?

Kirsten: It depends on deadlines, both self imposed for my independent design work, and those that I have for yarn companies and books. Typically though I have several things going at once in various stages of completion.

Viki: Besides your own designs do you have time to knit for pleasure? Do you knit other designers' designs?

Kirsten: As much as I'd like to, I seldom knit other designers patterns. I simply don't have the time to. When I do it's usually a very quick project like Laura Nelkin's Mudra Cuff or one of Anna Hrachovec's Mochimochis.

Viki: Your pattern, Persian Shawl, in the book Knitting Architecture, isn't your first pattern influenced by architecture. I knit your 2012 mystery sock, Kelmscott, which was influenced by Art Deco architecture. Do you find a lot of inspiration in architecture? What else inspires?

Kirsten: For Knitting Architecture designers were asked to look to Architecture for inspiration, so for that project it was very intentional. In my own independent work I find inspiration in many different places. I live in NYC and am surrounded by amazing buildings all the time so Architecture definitely influences me, but I also find inspiration at museums (I just went to the new exhibit "Interwoven Globe" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art which has stirred up a lot of new ideas), in the people I pass on the street, in movies, and in nature. Sometimes inspiration is as simple as a yarn that just cries out to me to be a certain type of pattern, or a combination of colors that lead to an idea. Other times I pour over stitch dictionaries to find inspiration. Perhaps it is my ADD nature, but I can't say I have any one source of inspiration.

Viki: I've knit nearly all of your mystery socks (2008, 2009, 2010, 2012). Do you enjoy watching as your pattern unfolds in so many colours and yarns at the same time? Are you surprised by the success of these mysteries? Will there be other mystery socks in the future?

2010 Mystery Sock in Artisan Sock in the club colour Sugar

Kirsten: I love doing mystery KAL's because of the way they allow me to watch so many interpretations of my designs evolve all at once. Some knitters follow the patterns exactly but use a yarn or color(s) that would never have occurred to me, other knitters modify the patterns to suit their own tastes, knitting preferences, abilities, or needs. It is exciting and very rewarding for me to see all of the projects evolve in this way. There will definitely be more mystery KAL's. For the past couple of years my schedule has been to do a Mystery Sock in January and a Mystery Shawl in June. I may add to that and do 4 mystery KAL's a year, but do not have specific plans for that yet.

Thanks so much to Kirsten for her wonderful and detailed answers. It was a real peek into her life and process. And it was so much fun for me to look back at my own Through the Loops finished objects. I can't wait for the next Mystery sock.

As a special treat, Kirsten has offered a discount of 30% off to our readers on her independent patterns. To receive the discount visit Kirsten's Ravelry Store, add an item to the cart, click on "apply coupon code", enter the code HZKTTL30 and click "apply". The coupon will be valid until September 30, 2013.

We can't thank Kirsten enough for her generosity.

You can find more of Kirsten's patterns on her Ravelry page or her own website and follow her designing adventures on her blog. And don't forget to join Kirsten's group on Ravelry, where she hosts her mystery KALs.

In addition, we also have one copy of the book Knitting Architecture available to giveaway. If you would like to be entered to win, please leave a comment on this post before midnight Pacific Time, Wednesday, September 25, 2013, and tell me what other crafts or hobbies compete with knitting for your time. One winner will be selected at random from all the entries to win a copy of Knitting Architecture.

Please be sure to include information so that I can contact you if you win - email address or ravname, please.  Comments are moderated and may take a while to appear. 


Anonymous Maryzona on Ravelry said...

Knitting seems to totally consume all my time! I used to read more books but one more row, one more project have been taking precedence lately.

If the casting on ever slows, I would like to try weaving.

September 19, 2013 at 10:23 AM  
Blogger scienceknitster said...

Knitting takes up the vast majority of my crafty time these days, but I also enjoy cross stitch, needlepoint, embroidery of all kinds, as well as quilting and beading.

I tried spinning once and due to neuropathy in the tips of my fingers, was not very successful. I would like to try again though! I'm also intrigued by weaving -- and actually got a little carried away buying weave-its on eBay a few years ago. I'd also like to try Brazilian embroidery. So many crafts, so little time...:-)

September 19, 2013 at 10:34 AM  
Blogger bellasocks said...

I adore spinning on my wheel. I've recently discovered the joy of drop spindling.

September 19, 2013 at 10:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Knitting is my main craft, but cross stitch had been known to intrude occasionally. I'd love to try sewing, but I just can't find the time to fit it in!

I'm vernalequinox on Ravelry.

September 19, 2013 at 10:44 AM  
Blogger Gail said...

Knitting has my priority lately, but I also sew, quilt, do stained glass, have done some woodworking projects, and have wanted to learn to weld for many years (that's still on my bucket list!) I also have a loom that's waiting to be inaugurated... let's just say, finding things to do in retirement (years from now) won't be a problem!!

September 19, 2013 at 10:49 AM  
Blogger Monika said...

I've loved Kirsten's patterns for a long time. In addition to knitting, I spin every day, do a bit of crochet. Have not much time for sewing any more, but do it occasionally.

September 19, 2013 at 10:52 AM  
Blogger lambdamuepsilon said...

Knitting takes up most of my hobby time but I do like to do needlepoint and latch hooking if can ever put down my knitting!

lambdamuepsilon on Ravelry

September 19, 2013 at 11:02 AM  
Anonymous Nancy (nbgriz on Ravelry) said...

Besides knitting, I garden and love cooking with the produce from our garden.

September 19, 2013 at 11:11 AM  
Blogger Taylor said...

While knitting is my main craft right now, I also enjoy beading, quilting, sewing, cross stitch, needlepoint, photography and woodworking. Just need more time.

September 19, 2013 at 12:18 PM  
Blogger beth said...

I also crochet, sew, bead, and cross stitch. But right now, most of my spare time is spent knitting.

September 19, 2013 at 12:55 PM  
Blogger CardiLover said...

Knitting actually consumes the majority of my hobby time just because it's so portable...and I'm a bit obsessed. Yoga, reading/listening to audiobooks, playing games, and, most importantly, loving on, playing with, and showing my dogs all fit into my schedule, as well.

September 19, 2013 at 1:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love Kristen's designs! Knitting is a huge part of my life.

AlyssaS on Ravelry

September 19, 2013 at 1:19 PM  
Anonymous mcknitgirl (on Ravelry) said...

Knitting takes up about 100% of my time now, but when I do have a few spare moments I like to read mystery novels :D

September 19, 2013 at 1:41 PM  
Anonymous Vern said...

After learning to knit, I do not read as much. Occasionally I will cook and bake. It s very easy to watch TV and Netflix while knitting. If SICK and can't pick up my needles, I spend more time on Ravelry.com on groups and plan my next project.
I would love to learn how to design and spin.

September 19, 2013 at 2:11 PM  
Anonymous Vasiliki Starborn said...

Other than knitting, I enjoying reading and cooking.

rav id: vstarborn

September 19, 2013 at 2:40 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

Ballroom dancing!

September 19, 2013 at 3:02 PM  
Blogger asteride said...

I crochet too. Especially during travel because is easier to bring along. I read a lot too. I do not watch any TV though.
asteride on Ravelry

September 19, 2013 at 3:17 PM  
Blogger Suzanne said...

I do have 2 spinning wheels that I want to get back to. I have a small loom that I set up but have never used. I'd just rather knit. I used to also sew but not so much anymore.

September 19, 2013 at 3:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My main hobbies are knitting, cross stitch, and reading. In a perfect world of unlimited time and sleep I'd add writing and designing, but the last two take more energy than I normally have at the end of a day.

Quilting is my nemesis.

September 19, 2013 at 4:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Loved the interview! Knitting has been a passion of mine for decades and is the one craft that I never seem to tire of. My other passions are pottery and spinning (drop spindle and supported spindle). And I am a Creative Director by trade.

I'm Tweedy on Ravelry

September 19, 2013 at 6:42 PM  
Blogger arlene-marie said...

I was an avid quilter before I took up knitting, but that has definitely taken a back seat for the last few years!
Rav name: arlenemarie

September 19, 2013 at 6:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I resent the amount of time gardening takes away from my knitting. Glad to be putting it to bed for the winter soon.

tktl on Ravelry

September 19, 2013 at 9:36 PM  
Blogger Roopali said...

Given that space is limited at home for other crafts, I am getting into photography and love to read while knitting.

Rav id: ibknitting

September 20, 2013 at 5:44 AM  
Blogger melsheljack said...

Knitting is my first love, but sewing is my second. I have started sewing and selling knitting bags and project bags so that is my competition for knitting time.
Mel J
Spokane Wa

September 20, 2013 at 6:57 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

Knitting is my only crafty hobby, but I also make some time for photography and reading each day.

jchant on Ravelry

September 20, 2013 at 7:09 AM  
Blogger Dawn Kilmer said...

I do love to spin my own yarns from natural colored wools. I then dye the yarn with goldenrod, marigolds, Japanese indigo or walnuts. These yarns usually end up in my knitting stash but I recently bought a knitter's loom and I have been playing around with weaving scarves. nibbleknitter on Ravelry.

September 20, 2013 at 8:56 AM  
Blogger Emily said...

None at the moment. I used to make jewelry and practice calligraphy, but now all my free moments are given over to knitting.

September 20, 2013 at 11:10 AM  
Anonymous SweetBeej said...

Quilting has always been one of my favorite hobbies and lately gardening has been taking up a lot of my 'extra' time. At least I don't have to worry about running out of sweaters, quilts and/or vegetables!

September 20, 2013 at 3:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I try to keep up with spinning, but knitting is my first love, no question,,,

Alhbooks on ravelry

September 20, 2013 at 6:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sewing is the main contender for my time, it is always a question, to knit or to sew, or to read, or garden.....I also have 4 children, all boys so they probably win most of the time! At least knitting is portable, unlike some of the other hobbies, except for reading!
My email is kkkkatie_53@hotmail.com
Thank you for this opportunity!

September 20, 2013 at 8:47 PM  
Blogger Robyn said...

I sew more than I knit, and I knit almost all the time! I love all Kirsten's designs but I especially love her sweaters..because a shawl is nice and handknit socks are luxurious, but a great sweater is a necessity! Thanks for the interview. Love HK Lively, it looks great at any gauge.

September 20, 2013 at 9:22 PM  
Blogger Maomama05 said...

Reading is my other beloved hobby. I probably spend more time knitting, looking at patterns and yarn, etc. than reading but not by much! Thank you for the giveaway.

Lisa (rav barrettlisa)

September 21, 2013 at 11:02 AM  
Blogger Meredith said...

I love Kirsten's designs and have knit several of them. This is a great interview, and I love her new shawl pattern. Thanks for a good post!

misformonkey on ravelry

September 22, 2013 at 11:38 AM  
Blogger Suzanne said...

Besides knitting, I also sew and quilt. The competition is fierce between those for my attention. Because of its portability, I like to have something on the needles at all times. I do go in spurts with the sewing and when I get back to it after a break, I always wish I could find a way to have at least 15 minutes of sewing time daily.

September 22, 2013 at 12:43 PM  
Blogger b said...

Rockclimbing! (ok so it isn't crafty but it does keep me sane..)

September 22, 2013 at 6:36 PM  
Anonymous huntannsbcglobal said...

I'm learning to spin on a wheel and on a drop spindle - the learning curve was so steep at the beginning (New Year's Day 2013) that I almost gave up. BTW, WHEN are you going to start dying unspun fiber??

Does cruising Ravelry count as another craft? I mentally make many more things than I make IRL.

September 22, 2013 at 8:55 PM  
Blogger Catherine said...

I love crochet also but find knitting is more suitable for garments. I save crochet for home dec or little stuffed things. Ravlery: eastbayknitter

September 23, 2013 at 7:48 AM  
Anonymous judyindiana on Ravelry said...

My other two interests are reading and golf. Now I can knit while reading, but golf? Yes, I have taken small projects on the course with me when I know it is busy and there will likely be wait time between shots.

September 23, 2013 at 12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Although knitting is my first love, writing, spinning, and sewing all compete. When I retire next year, I hope to put an end to competition and have time for everything (ha ha ha)!

September 23, 2013 at 2:37 PM  
Blogger Juliaknit said...

Spinning is the craft that seems to be pulling me away from knitting, but I have tried them all!

September 23, 2013 at 7:32 PM  
Anonymous sprite said...

Reading and writing are my other loves. I'm not a huge fan of audiobooks, and dictation doesn't work for me, so it really is a problem! I just need to sleep less!

-sprite (I'm on Ravelry)

September 24, 2013 at 7:11 AM  
Anonymous Jane/janalukas on Rav said...

Knitting takes up all of my craft time, but I do find if I get very into a book, my knitting will be sadly neglected for a few days. Luckily, I read quickly . . .

September 24, 2013 at 7:16 AM  
Blogger Gigiformilo said...

I find baking is something that competes readily with my knitting time. I strive to always have at least one breakfast pastry, one cookie, and one dessert available to share with my friends and family anytime they desire.
Gigiformilo on Ravelry

September 24, 2013 at 9:53 AM  
Blogger Lorelei said...

Love Hazel knits & TTL. Wish I could knit as fast as I stalk patterns & yarn.

September 24, 2013 at 12:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I knit and crochet year round but adore gardening when the weather's good. I'm waiting for my fall bulbs to arrive and plant Thalia narcissi every year because they are so beautiful.
XenaK on Ravelry

September 24, 2013 at 1:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Knitting is my hobby, when I have time with my 2 girls and working.
basilicali on Ravelry

September 24, 2013 at 3:45 PM  

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