Get to know Rachel Henry, one of 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 Rachel Henry.
Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where do you live? How long have you been a knitter and designer?
I live in Tewksbury, Massachusetts, (just north of Boston) with my husband, three boys, and two dogs. I’ve been knitting forever. I published my first design on Ravelry in 2010, so I’m coming up on five years designing.
How did you learn to knit?
I learned the basics from my mom, but I’m essentially self-taught. I did a lot of thoughtful knitting (and unknitting) in solitude, because I didn’t know any other knitters growing up. I still like to puzzle things out on my own.
Tell us about the inspiration for your project in the book, and any special details that went into the design.
I started with the yarn (CEY Seedling) for this design. I knew it had to be a one-skein project, and I settled on making a toy because then sizing isn’t an issue. Most knit toys have a lot of seams and other finishing, and my goal was to make an interesting toy without all that work — something a knitter could whip up in a weekend as a baby shower gift.
Is there anything you especially love about knitting, or designing, for babies?
Baby gifts give us permission to indulge in a little whimsy — sometimes knitters are so serious! We should all make something charming for its own sake from time to time.
Apart from knitting, what keeps you busy and fulfilled these days?
I compete regularly in dog agility — my older dog, Gromit, is fully qualified to go to USDAA Nationals in Tennessee this October, so I’m training with that in mind right now. Also, I just recently started playing hand bells. I auditioned for a semi-professional bell choir, and was given a seat at the table! We’ve had one rehearsal so far, and it is amazing to play with such a dedicated group. I’m looking forward to coming up to speed and learning all I can.
Do you have a favorite piece of knitting advice that you received, or one you’ve learned yourself that you’d like to pass on?
I’ve learned that it’s ok to give up on a project. Life is too short to knit something awful, or to knit with yarn you hate. You should love the process and the product … if you don’t, rip!