Selina’s store includes patterns for some of the more adorable softies I’ve ever seen! Making them even more adorable are her cute models – – I don’t know who I want to squish more, the softies or the ferrets!
Jennifer: Selina, thank you so much for your time! First of all, what is your favorite thing to knit?
Selina: My little slug is my comfort knitting. I know the pattern by heart and it is easy enough for me to knit even during a meeting. I like to make a slug from left over project yarn and have a little collection stuck to my dryer. Some day, I’d like my house to be overrun with them :).
Jennifer: The little slugs are so adorable and I love how you’ve done the eyes – – they have so much personality! And I’m always looking for ways to use up my leftover bits of yarn. So, how did you first get started designing?
Selina: I suspect it is like most designers, looking and not finding the perfect pattern and deciding to have a go at making it up. It didn’t occur to me to write these efforts down until a local dyer asked my knitting group for designs, and I had just finished a hat I thought would look good in a variegated yarn.
Jennifer: Your designs really are ADORABLE! What is your inspiration?
Selina: Thank you! A lot of it is actually problem solving for me, like Platypus, where I was inspired after weaving in 20 ends from a pair of gloves I knitted with sock yarn held double. For my little blowfish, the story is a bit longer. My brother didn’t want me to buy stuff for my niece when she was born, so I knitted her some toys, and started a collection of little octopuses (variation of my little slug) for her. I thought it would be fun if she had hundreds (well, maybe tens!) of the same stuffy in different colours. Then niece #2 was born and I quickly realized asking a child to share toys with their sibling isn’t going to work. So I set about trying to come up with a similar size and shape toy that I can knit with minimal finishing. The round shape was very important as my younger brother had been juggling the octopus for my nieces. Niece 1 (~5yr) has 17 octopus and Niece 2 (~2yr) has 7 blowfish, with more on the way. I tell people I’ll keep making these till they are 18, and I’ll either be the best or worse aunt ever ;).
Jennifer: I can imagine that having a family of little slugs and blowfish would be so much fun for a child. They could be piled up, lined up, and thrown about. Okay, so pick one of your own designs that you think makes the perfect gift and tell us why.
Selina: I’d have to go with my little slug. Who doesn’t love a silly little alien creature? You don’t have to worry about fit. Mistakes aren’t as big a deal and they’ll be hidden if you felt your slug. It doesn’t take long and you get a lot of smiles out of it.
Jennifer: I completely agree! From your profile, I see that you love ferrets… Do these cute animals influence your designs at all?
Selina: They don’t really influence me in my designs, but I’m always trying to think of a way to fit them into my pattern photos! My favourite ones are definitely those of my partner playing a trumpet harmonica to one of my girls.
Jennifer: Oh my goodness, that is so cute! So, what is your favorite and/or least favorite thing about designing?
Selina: I love seeing other people make my patterns and add modifications that made them even cooler! One customer made a 2 colour version of my Platypus mitts and I just had to try that modification myself! My least favourite part would probably be writing the pattern down.
Jennifer: Ooh, I love it! I also feel so happy when I see people modifying my patterns and making them uniquely their own. As a programmer, do you notice any parallels between this work and designing?
Selina: I love problem solving with programming, and I approached some of my designs the same way. So far, I have a small obsession with regards to how to make a complex object with no more than 2 ends. In one case, for my sweater rand(), I actually wrote a python program to generate all the random sequences needed based on gauge and sweater size. I really should comment that program and put it alongside the pattern pdf…
Jennifer: Wow, that is so cool! Besides knitting, what do you enjoy doing?
Selina: I love cooking, reading and gardening. My partner and I also brew homemade soda and kombucha, and we started keeping bees about a year ago. I tried growing mushrooms for a while and would like to get back into it. So many fun things to do and so little time!
Jennifer: Oh, geez, I am completely obsessed with gardening, reading, and cooking! And I have been THIS CLOSE to starting a mushroom garden and have entertained the idea of keeping bees. I agree, there are so so so many fun things to do and not nearly enough time! Well, it’s been wonderful interviewing you – – thank you so much for your time!!!