Interview with Kristin Omdahl — Knitwear Designer

 

I run across the coolest people via Facebook, Twitter, Blogging, and Instagram (one of which I swore I’d never get involved with). I’m sure there are more social networking sites, but for me, a knitter and designer, I’m on the look out for designers who have done an extraordinary design, one that is just getting started in the industry, or one that I stumbled upon.

That’s Kristin Omdahl.


She is about as sweet as anyone can be. She’s brilliant, talented, and delightful inside and out.

Meet Kristine. She has seven pages of designs on Ravelry. A fun website with resources and information. A facebook page. “Kristin Omdahl designs for both knit and crochet; she has published several books, developed her own workshop-style technique DVDs, and is a frequent guest on Knitting Daily TV.”

Let’s chat with her…

Hi Kristin! We all know you to be THE knit/crochet extraordinaire and knitwear designer. You have your own label, KRISTIN, you have been published numerous times by Interweave Press, and you appear on Knitting Daily TV. What else can you tell us about you and your success?

I taught myself how to knit and crochet when I was pregnant and living overseas. It was very calming and soothing to me to make baby items while being homesick. After my son was born, I didn’t want to stop, but he didn’t need baby stuff anymore. So, I started making shawls and sending them back to the USA to my mom. She sold them for me. My marriage was violent and crumbling and this gave me hope that if my son and I returned to the USA, I could possibly make a living while staying home with him. 9 1/2 years later, I’m still working from home (except when I travel to shows) and very grateful.

 
You know, Kristin, I commend you for taking that leap of faith. My hats off to you! 

A quote I once read,  but can’t remember who wrote it is, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” I can’t help but think of my knitting when I read this. Don’t you agree that knitting or crochet is that same way?

I do a lot of experimental design and come up with concepts that can only be proven by trial and error. Yes, I would say, that if I repeated the same mistakes over and over (knitting, crochet, or otherwise) not only would it be insanity, but I’d probably be out of work too! Because our business is so incredibly labor intensive, it is crucial to make mistakes and fix them as quickly as possible!

Agree! 

So, a question I’ve often been intrigued with the answer is, if you were stranded on a deserted island, what 5 things would you be glad you brought along? Or better yet, if you were planning to visit a deserted island, what 5 things would you bring along, and what 5 thing would you leave behind?

I like how you fine-tuned the question because what I’d take for a visit and what I’d take for survival are two very different lists! I don’t go anywhere without lip moisturizer, and I usually take my entire lipstick and lip gloss supply with me, too. I’m assuming the island is tropical and not arctic? Of Course. So, SPF lip moisturizer would be a must. I would definitely leave behind any form of electronics. I LOVE to be unplugged in nature; it is very peaceful to me. I’d like to pretend the island will have fruit trees and a freshwater waterfall for drinking. I would want to bring a knife so I could carve a fishing spear. And I’d want to bring a flint for starting a fire (I’m not good enough to start a fire rubbing two sticks together yet–I’m still trying with my son, though.)

I’ve not had an answer like that one. You totally Rock!

Stephanie Pearl-McPhee once said, “When people see me knitting, I tell them I’m a knitter. Not the sort of knitter they may have run into before, but a passionate, constant, deliberate knitter. I knit every day, all the time, everywhere I go.”

 We experienced Knit in Public Day. I’m a coffee shop knitter, a book store knitter, an everywhere knitter. Can you say the same? Where do you like to take your knitting or crochet? What are your favorite places?
One of my favorite places to bring my knitting and crochet is the beach! I get asked many silly questions but I find the whole thing entertaining. I love to be outside and the beach is my favorite place. The water is soothing to me so what better place to bring my work? The fact that my work is so portable is AWESOME! I also enjoy knitting and crocheting at outdoor cafes – most coffee shops here in SWFL have outdoor seating. I don’t enjoy knitting in cars or on planes, but love to knit in the airport while waiting for flights. 

It would be so much fun to knit on the beach. Here in Colorado, well…we are without one of those.

As an experienced knitter/crocheter, I’m sure you still make mistakes. In fact, I just read on Facebook, you had to restart the whole thing after realizing your math was wrong. What advice can you give to a novice knitter or crocheter making mistakes? 

The reason I share my mistakes publicly is to help beginners feel they are not alone! The most important thing to realize is that  EVERYONE makes mistakes and it’s OK! I like to step away from the project when I get frustrated, take some deep breaths, or even a cold shower, and come back to it when I’m feeling less pressure. Deep breaths and remember to have FUN! If you’re not having fun, it’s time for a break.

Great advice, Kristin!

Okay, I’ve made is very clear I love Wrapture. I mean REALLY love Wrapture. I use it for my knit pieces. How did that come about?

I’m so glad you love it too. It’s been a wonderful experience and I couldn’t be happier with Wrapture. I’ve been a customer of Eucalan (my favorite delicate wash) for years and we brainstormed about how to work together. I wanted a floral, romantic scent and they were open to adding it to their product line. The research and development was a great experience, working with the lab with a variety of essential oils and strengths. We travel to all kinds of shows to sell it: knitting/yarn shows, lingerie/swimwear shows. I’m working on entering a few other industries as well.



 I read on your website that you love to bake and read. Please give us an example of each of those? What do you love to bake? Do you have a favorite recipe? What is your favorite read?


We aren’t sweet eaters at my house, so I don’t bake sweets often – except for banana muffins when I have overripe bananas in the house. Or if there is a birthday coming up, then I like to bake sweets, too. Otherwise, it’s too dangerous to have them around the house! Baking anything cheesy with meat in it is definitely a winner at this house. So, meat pies are always a big hit!

I have been an avid, daily reader my whole life. I have a few books that are not only favorites, but I go back and re-read them every few years. It’s very comforting to me to re-read them, especially if I pick up a detail I forgot about.

~The Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon
~The Stand by Stephen King
~The Mayfair Witches by Anne Rice
~The New Earth by Eckhart Tolle
~The Alchemist by Paolo Coehlo

Many of which, I haven’t read! But Mayfair Witches has been on my recent radar…

What is your current WIP?

I’m finishing up that mistake wool afghan today (the one I had to make twice in the steamy Florida summer weather). It’s blocking in Wrapture as I write this, and will block and dry this afternoon. LOL I also have a scarf/hat/gloves set that needs to be photographed and shipped to my customer today. And I have yarn waiting to begin when I finish the above mentioned projects. As well as, several video tutorials lined up to record this week. All of my YouTube videos for knitting and crochet are at my YouTube channel, http://www.youtube.com/user/KristinOmdahl
 
Finally, Kristin, Dr. Seuss says, “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive that is Youer than You.”

I love that quote. How do You interpret that quote?

I love Dr. Seuss. What better message to teach kids that they are unique, special and cannot be replaced by anyone!


You know, we learn so much from those in the industry, don’t you agree? Kristin was fantastic. Thank you Kristin, for playing along and sharing your stories and fun answers.

Dearest Readers, I would be honored, and I’m sure Kristin would be too, if you’d check out her many fabulous designs on Ravelry, her fun Website, and maybe even friend her on Facebook to see what’s new and fabulous in her life. 

Please tune in again, where you’ll meet (yet) another fun industry leader.

So, as I always say,

Knit On!

Deb

 
 

 

 


 

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