Get to know the knitters behind the designs in One-Skein Wonders® for Babies.
To celebrate the arrival of One-Skein Wonders® for Babies, edited by Judith Durant, we’re talking to some of the talented people who helped make this book a rich library of patterns for babies, new moms, and the knitters who love them. Today, meet designer Mone Dräger.
Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where do you live? How long have you been a knitter and designer?
I live with my husband and a somewhat crazy cat in an old farmhouse in a village in northern Germany. I learned all kinds of crafts when I was a kid, and though my love for some of them has come and gone — there was a time when I loved to do cross stitch and there was even a time when I crocheted doilies — I have always been addicted to knitting. I’ve always adapted patterns to my needs (for example, when I knit a shawl and want a pair of matching mitts) or made up my own patterns, when I can’t find the right one for my yarn. A while ago, I started to write them up and make them available to other knitters.
How did you learn to knit?
Both my mum and my grandma used to knit. When I was a kid it was a common way to save money for clothing. My grandma especially was a very accomplished knitter and she taught me when I was about 5 years old.
Tell us about the inspiration for your project in the book, and any special details that went into the design.
For me, the birth of a friend’s baby seems to happen always unexpectedly (just like the way Christmas always comes along all of a sudden), so my idea for the Little Sweetheart Sleeping Sack was to create a quick gender-neutral gift for newborns that can be knit up in only a couple of hours. Babies enjoy the snuggliness of sleep sacks and it is a great way for parents to carry their baby around without having to struggle with a warming blanket. I went for a heart motif as the main feature — aren’t all babies little sweethearts?
Is there anything you especially love about knitting, or designing, for babies?
In general, I love to knit smaller projects that can be finished in a couple of hours because I enjoy the quick reward, the feeling you accomplished something, which is the case with most baby knits. Apart from that, knitted items are such great gifts for the parents of newborns.
Apart from knitting, what keeps you busy and fulfilled these days?
We’ve got a rather big, old house, so there’s always something to do around the house or in the garden. A while back, I rediscovered the fun of sewing and I enjoy sewing bags or other small items. I love to read and I carry my small point-and-shoot camera with me almost all the time and take lots of pictures that I use for greeting cards or as inspiration for patterns.
There are so many gorgeous fibers available to knitters. What are your favorite yarns in your stash?
My favorite yarns vary with the kind of project I knit. I love pure merino or blends with cashmere or silk for anything worn next to my skin, but I always go for yarns with added nylon for socks. I enjoy trying new yarns and I’m blessed to have many knitting friends abroad who’ve introduced me to lots of yarns I’ve never seen in Germany. Some of the most precious skeins in my stash are gifts from friends.