Jimmy's 2023 Blanket Club: Q&A with Designers!

 






We're already halfway through December and couldn't be more excited for the New Year and all the wonderful things that it brings with it: new resolutions, new surprises, new projects, and new Jimmy's Clubs! Behind every pattern and design we feature in our clubs there's a designer hard at work! They are all incredibly talented and created and we wanted to give you a chance to get to know them better!


We spoke with our Blanket Club designers this year, Katy Petersen of KT and the Squid and Jen Geigley and we have to say, we are so so excited to be working with both of these talented artists! Make sure to read the whole way to see answers from both designers!



First up is our Crochet Blanket Designer, Katy Petersen!


How long have you been crocheting for?

Maybe 20 years...I taught myself to knit and crochet in high school with a couple little stitch booklets you could pick up from the craft store. It's funny, at the time I thought knit and crochet were interchangeable so I picked a few booklets based off the few photos of swatches on the cover. Then I realized I couldn't use both together easily so I stuck with the crochet a bit more.


When and how did you become a designer?

In 2009 I opened an Etsy shop selling crochet hats. It really took off and naturally I started making up my own hat designs to make mine stand out. People started asking where they could get the patterns so I finally gave in a few years later and started publishing the patterns. In 2014 I realized I had fallen in love with designing so I stopped selling finished items and took on designing more seriously.

We'd love to know what inspired your crochet design for Jimmy's 2023 Blanket Club!

When Sam from Jimmy Beans Wool asked me to design the 2023 crochet blanket she sent over photos of all the colorways that would be included. A wrap design I did a few years back popped into my head. I had made it with 10 sock minis and a couple different ripple patterns. I thought how fun would it be if each month there was a new ripple pattern? Each month the pattern will be very similar but with a little twist to keep things interesting. I really enjoyed making it and I hope everyone who joins enjoys the process as well.


Are there any special techniques crocheters should know about before they start on this blanket?

I tried to keep the pattern simple enough an intermediate crocheter could easily make it. You should have basic knowledge of increasing and decreasing because that's what creates the ripple effect. You should know how to work in the back loops of stitches. You should know how to work front post stitches as well.

Can you share where the name KT and The Squid came from?!

KT is short for Katy because my sister said I could save time by going by KT instead of Katy. Like I mentioned above in 2009 I opened an Etsy shop selling crochet hats. At the time I was a brand new mom. My wonderful husband gave our daughter the nickname "Squid" because he had never seen a fresh newborn baby...you get the picture. When I was filling in the name for my Etsy shop "KT and the Squid" came to mind. I figured I could always change it later...13 years later I never got around to it. Ha!


What are some ways you unwind (pun intended!) after a long day?

I'm pretty boring. Most days I finish the day working on a WIP and watching a show or movie with my husband. I always have a mindless project going because I like to have my hands doing something during that unwind time but I don't like to think about it.



Next up is our Knit Blanket designer, Jen Geigley!


How long have you been knitting for?

I’ve been knitting since 2007. I was pregnant that winter and asked two of my friends (who were avid knitters) if they would teach me. They took me to my first yarn shop, and I ended up checking out most of the knitting books in the library and that’s how the obsession began!

When and how did you become a designer?

I accidentally fell into the knitwear design world in 2010 when I posted the pattern for the Gaptastic Cowl on Ravelry, and it quickly became one of the most knitted patterns on the site. I wasn’t aware this had happened until the owner of a local yarn shop told me that it was on the ‘hot right now’ on Ravelry. After that, I started researching pattern writing and began submitting patterns to knitting magazines. In 2015, I self-published my first of seven books, then began working with yarn companies and writing patterns on a regular basis.


We’d love to know what inspired your knit design for Jimmy’s 2023 Blanket Club!

The blanket for Jimmy’s 2023 Blanket Club is called Quilty, because it’s inspired by quilts! I really love freeform quilts with blocks that aren’t all the same size or design, so that was my starting point for the look of this blanket. I used Adobe Illustrator to sketch out different kinds of blocks … half-square triangles in different sizes, log cabin blocks, rectangles. Then I moved them around and put them together in different ways using the color palettes until I thought everything looked cool. It was a really fun, challenging process.


Are there any special techniques knitters should know about before they start on the blanket?

Log Cabin knitting is probably the most unique technique used in this blanket. It looks somewhat complicated but is super easy, and everything is knit in garter stitch so it’s very doable. In Log Cabin knitting, each rectangle builds on the next to make borders until you have a large multicolored square. If you can pick up stitches, you can do Log Cabin knitting!


Do you have any tips for beginner knitters who may want to try out this blanket?

Yes! When counting garter stitch rows, it's helpful to remember that one ridge equals two rows. Placing a removable stitch marker on the right side of your work will help you keep track of which row you're on. When joining a new color to a piece/block, make sure you are on the right side of your work. Use a smaller size needle if necessary to pick up stitches along edges. When picking up stitches along an edge of a log cabin block, pick up one stitch per garter ridge. And before seaming finished blocks, use removable stitch markers to hold the blanket pieces together.


What are some ways you unwind (pun intended!) after a long day?

I love watching movies with my family while knitting in the evening, or listening to Spotify playlists or podcasts. I’m definitely a night owl and do most of my knitting at night after my kids go to bed.


To sign up for Jimmy's 2023 Clubs click here!

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