Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Meet Laura!

A couple of you have asked me about Laura. "Who is this mysterious Laura?" you say. "I know Lisa from Rosie's and her previous books. But who is Laura?" So I bring you a special GKIYH interview with my co-author and friend, Laura Grutzeck.

CS: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

LG: This question always makes me panic on job interviews. I never know what they want to hear…is it okay if I skip it?

CS: Okay. (This is going well....) Well, if you won't answer one trite interview question, then I shall ask you another. When did you learn to knit?

LG: I learned to knit when I was around 10 years old. My mother taught me. Even though she doesn’t enjoy knitting, she felt it was her duty as a mother to teach me. My grandmother loved to knit, so I guess it skipped a generation.

CS: What are your favorite yarns to knit with?

LG: Thin ones, naturally! :) I do use heavier yarns sometimes, but I seem to do a heck of a lot of knitting on size 2-4 needles. I love yarns that have some color variation, so I am a big fan of hand dyed yarns, tweedy and heathered yarns.

CS: What are your favorite needles?

LG: I like plastic needles a lot, so I use Denise and Bryspun needles when I can. I think my favorite set of needles is a set of Bryspun double pointeds in size 2. I use them all the time - I actually bought another set because I was worried I would lose a needle from the first set and never be able to replace it.

CS: What are your top 5 favorite knitting books (other than Knit So Fine!)?

LG: Barbara Walker’s Treasuries of Knitting Patterns (we will count this as one, ok?); Vogue Knitting: The Ultimate Knitting Book – my mother taught me to knit and purl, everything else I learned from this book. Knitting From the Top by Barbara Walker – learn to knit anything from the top down. Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Knitting Workshop – learn to knit anything from the bottom up. A Stitch in Time: Knitting Patterns of the 20s, 30s,40s by Jane Waller – this book looks like a bunch of Xerox copies of old knitting patterns that have been bound together. There is no “reinterpretation,” just the actual patterns. It is awesome.

CS: What was your favorite part about working with me on this book?

LG: My favorite part about working with you? Hmm, that is hard to say, there are so many great things about working with you! I really enjoyed brainstorming with you and Lisa to come up with ideas for the book and the designs. It was really interesting to see the different ways we solved our “design challenges”. It was kind of like being on Project Runway, except none of us had to be eliminated, thank goodness. Also, when we were all frantically trying to finish two sweaters on size 3 needles in two weeks, it was great to be able to share the pain with you!

CS: Which of my designs from Knit So Fine are your favorites?

LG: I love the bohus sweater. I really want to knit that one.

CS: I can't decide which of your designs are my favorite. I love the lace stole, but I also love the asymmetric cardigan and the lattice cable sweater.

Who are your knitting heroes and why (present company excepted)?

LG: Aw, Carol, you know you will always be my knitting hero. I am inspired by knitters who come up with new ways of doing things, so I am in awe of Barbara Walker, Elizabeth Zimmerman, Norah Gaughan, and Debbie New.

CS: What is your favorite sock yarn?

LG: I don’t think I have a favorite, but I do seem to buy a lot of Trekking XXL and Black Bunny Fibers sock yarn.

CS: Other than GKIYH, what blogs do you enjoy reading?

LG: I usually read the blogs of people I know, so besidesGKIYH, I read the Rosie’s blog; Mindy’s ; Wendy’s; Veronik’s; and Courtney’s. I also like Kristin Nicholas’ blog a lot, because Ienvy her color skills and farm life, and you havev gotten me into Franklin .Oh, I also read Purl’s blog, the Purl Bee, because it is just so darned good-looking. If I were a blog, I would want to be the Purl Bee.

CS: Why don’t you have your own blog?

LG: I am pretty shy, and unfortunately this extends to blogging. I get anxious when I have to talk in front of a group of people, and blogging makes me feel the same way. Even answering these questions is making me kind of nervous! Also, most bloggers have all of these interesting things going on that they can photograph and write about; they raise goats, they bake, they travel, they talk to sheep, they have babies…I mainly just sit around and knit, so I don’t have much to blog about.

CS: If you could have any job in the knitting industry, what would it be and why?

LG: I think I would like to be the designer for a yarn company, although I also enjoy tech editing. I love designing, but I often do my best work when I have some limits or guidelines I have to follow, like yarn or color choices, type of garment, etc. When I am free to design whatever I want, I sometimes just doodle around and make endless swatches, or end up doing lots of theoretical knitting math. So working for a yarn company would make me more productive. Feel free to contact me, yarn companies! :)

CS: Thanks, Laura! And for my readers, in addition to KSF, Laura has designs featured in Stitch N Bitch Nation; Vogue's Ultimate Sock Book; and she has designed for Manos.


kat coyle said...

Nice to meet you Laura!

Bridget said...

Yay Laura!!

(Since you asked her the first question that seemed like a job interview question, shouldn't question #2 have been "Where do you see yourself in 5 years"???)


Anonymous said...

So nice to "hear" Laura- thank you for drawing her out, Carol.

turtlegirl76 said...

It was great reading about Laura! I just got the book today and was wondering that very thing. =)

And tell Laura, she's got plenty to blog about just sitting and knitting. That's all I do and look at me.

Unknown said...

I agree with Puff...having met Laura a few times, she is always great to be around. Like she says, she is shy, but when she says something, I seem to give it more importance because of its rarity.

It was nice getting to hear from her.