I'm so excited! Our interviewee is Justina of MeMeMae Designs. She is a wonderful friend of mine. If you remember from my interview, I mentioned a friend who got me back into knitting; that is Justina. I know her because we both sew and test bag patterns for the same designer. I had the pleasure of meeting her in real life last year and she is one of the kindest people I've ever known. She is also the person who introduced me to Cheryl! I owe much thanks and gratitude to her!
Q: Hi Justina! Why did you start knitting and how did you learn?
A: I learned to crochet as a young child but later in my teens, I just loved the look of knitting and wanted to learn. My parents bought me a "Teach Yourself to Knit" book for my 17th birthday and I learned the basics then. It wasn't until about four years ago that I discovered knitting PDF patterns that my knitting knowledge really took off.
Q: I've known you for about the same amount of time! Do you have a favorite type of project or design element?
A: I love a project that I can just pick up and knit whenever I find myself sitting. I love the rhythm of easy garter rows /rounds that create a backdrop to set off simple cables or a stockinette lace panel or geometrical pattern.
Q: Your designs are lovely and you taught me how to cable! Do you have a favorite yarn weight? What types of colorways are you drawn to?
A: I used to love chunky yarn, as I loved the quick results. I told myself I would never work with any yarn smaller than worsted weight. And then I discovered hand dyed yarn, which was mostly dyed on sock bases. I was hooked after that. Now I think my favorite weight might be DK as it produces a quicker project than fingering but is still fine enough for certain stitch patterns whose finer details can be lost in a more bulkier weight yarn. As for colorways, I love so many! My favorites to look at are speckles and tonals in all sorts of colors and I love beachy, nautical themes, and blues, pinks, greys, and purples. To wear, I often like more warm, fallish colors like golden yellows, burnt reds, or woodsy greens.
Q: You are beautiful in all the colors! Are you a yarn hoarder or do you only buy with specific patterns in mind?
A: I am a little of both. I try to be good and buy yarn with a specific project in mind, whether it be for a pattern I love or a design of my own I am testing. But let's just be honest, I often buy yarn for no other reason than it is SO PRETTY!!!
Q: SO VERY PRETTY! Do you have a favorite FO? What makes it so special?
A: This year I finished knitting my first cardigan, and it is to date my favorite FO because it is the first piece of clothing that is not an accessory like a hat, shawl, mitts, etc. that I have knit
Q: I'm sure you will get a lot of wear out of it along the Oregon coastline! What do you like most about knitting?
A: I love that it is portable and so hands on. I also sew but one thing that makes me drag my feet about sewing is having to hide out in my sewing room alone. I love that I can sit in my living room and knit, all the while catching up with my husband or my current favorite TV series.
Q: Yep! Exactly my sentiments too! What patterns are on your short list to make in 2018?
A: Wool & Honey, Harlow, Tuku Honey, (yes I am sort of obsessed with anything Andrea Mowry designs), and a sweater of my own design.
Q: I can't wait for your own sweater pattern! Do you go to an in person or online knitting group?
A: I am a member of Knit & Chat and Addicted to Knitting, two online knitting groups.
Q: Do you have a favorite LYS or two? Tell us about them.
A: I buy most of my yarn online but I have visited two yarn stores but they aren't really local. One is about 40 minutes away and the other around 5 hours (Fancywork Yarn Shop in Bend, OR; I was on vacation and it was a must see). The Fancywork Yarn Shop is awesome! So many pretties to touch and stare at for hours. The owner was so sweet! She caked the yarn I bought for me! Which yes, upon returning from my trip, I immediately ordered a yarn winder and swift.
Q: That is the store in your photo, correct? Do you have a favorite knitting resource, link, video or any a tip / trick you can share?
A: I recently bought Knit Mitts: Your Hand-y Guide to Knitting Mittens & Gloves by Kate Atherley. It is chalked full with so much information and inspiration; I am already plotting out some mitten designs for the fall/winter. I highly recommend it!
Q: I shall look it up! Do you crochet, weave, spin, or sew? What other crafts / hobbies to you enjoy when you’re not knitting?
A: I do crochet and sew. I have also played with hand stamping jewelry and some scrapbooking. My most favorite hobby, aside from knitting, is reading. And you can just imagine my delight when I finally (thanks to my dear friend Brianne) tried out audiobooks! Knitting and listening to the book I want to read equals my form of perfect, peaceful bliss.
Brianne: You are so very welcome, my friend :)
Quick Fire questions:
Q: Which Hogwarts house do you belong to?
A: I've never read Harry Potter *hiding my face
Q: Go-to sock pattern?
A: I am in the process of knitting my first pair and am using the Tuku Honey pattern by Andrea Mowry
Q: What color is your toothbrush?
Q: If you could be any animal what would it be?
Q: Who is your favorite super hero?
A: Captain America
Q: Do you knit in public?
Q: Favorite snack food?
A: Extra Cheddar Goldfish Crackers
Q: Are you a morning or a night person?
Q: Where would you go if you were invisible?
A: hmm to a yarn store so I could stare for hours and not be judged! ;)
Q: Do you block your socks?
A: We'll see when I finish! :)
Tell us a little about yourself:
I currently live in the pacific northwest in the same small town I was born in and I wouldn't trade it for anything (unless you ask me in February after months of rain). I have been married to my best friend for 7 years. He is a PE teacher during the school year and a contractor during the summer. I am a part-time substitute teacher, a volunteer editor, book reviewer, and knitwear designer. Let's just say I have too many interests! I don't have any fur babies of my own but I have a fur brother (miniature poodle) that loves to curl up next to me when I knit. If you are interested in following my knitting adventures, you can find me on IG as mememaedesigns or on Ravelry as MeMeMae.
Here are pictures of some of my favorite FOs knit in gorgeous Hypnotic Yarn colorways.
Pattern: Baubles by Andrea Mowry
Colorways: Dark & Stormy, Rainbow Sherbet, and Diva
Pattern: Sea Pearls Shawl by Me
Colorways: Thunder Snow and Peaches-N-Cream
Pattern: Charlotte Cap also by Me
To our Hyno-friends, check out Justina's patterns! I have knit most of her patterns and they are all beginner friendly because she explains how to do those tricky stitches. I'm not joking when I say I learned all my ways from her.
Thank you again, Justina! We enjoyed having you today and I look forward to our next meet up; hopefully that will be at a yarn festival!