Eclectic Closet Litblog, Book Reviews & Knitting Designs

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Interview: Rachel Evans of Flame Lily Designs


Today’s Gift-A-Long interview is with Rachel Evans of Flame Lily Designs. Rachel lives in Auckland, New Zealand and designs for children.

Rachel Evans, Flame Lily Designs

Rachel Evans, Flame Lily Designs

How did you get started designing?
I knit a wee top for my daughter and people encouraged me to write it up into a pattern. Initially it was free on my blog and only covered a few sizes. Later I plucked up the courage to extend the sizing and to make it a paid pattern.

What inspires your designs?
It varies. Often it’s my children and knowing what they like to wear. Sometimes it’s the yarn. I had a lot of gorgeous variegated yarn and I wanted to design patterns that showed them off. Also sometimes it’s just because my kids need a particular item of clothing and I can’t find exactly the right pattern. My Kowhai skirt pattern is inspired by the kowhai flower. Also sometimes one design inspires the next.

Pirouette Twirls

Pirouette Twirls

Which comes first – the yarn or the inspiration?
Usually the inspiration, then there is a mad scurry through my stash to find the perfect yarn.

What characteristics do you try to incorporate in your designs?
All my patterns are seamless and knit from the top down. I like them to be simple so any beginner knitter could pick it up and start knitting. I try to make instructions clear and unambiguous and hopefully people enjoy knitting them.

What is your favourite type of item to design?
Girls clothing, mostly dresses or tops. All helped by the fact that my daughter still loves to wear her knits.

Nate Hoodie

Nate Hoodie

Your desert island yarn? (if you could only knit with one yarn from now on which would it be?)
This is another hard question! I recently knit with Madelinetosh tosh vintage and it was a dream to knit with. I also love Colour Adventures Dia Twist, and I adore the incredible colours of Mosaic Moon. Sorry I can’t pick just one.

What’s your “comfort knitting?”
Anything that I can knit while doing something else, watching tv, reading, watching the children play.

Which is your most under-appreciated design?
Probably Little Miss Jorja. It is one of my favourite winter knits for my daughter when she wears it with tights and boots.

Little Miss Jorja

Little Miss Jorja

Which three GAL designs are top of your list to cast on?
Oh that is so difficult! I have some baby gifts to knit and have just cast on a teeny Rainbow dress (by Georgie Hallam) I’m also thinking of knitting a Baby Vertebrae (by Kelly Brooker) I also would love to cast something on for myself. I’ve been meaning to knit a Winifred (by Sarah Ronchetti) for a long time.

Continental or English?
English. I would love to become proficient at continental but at the moment I’m definitely faster knitting English.



What’s the best thing about knitting?
I love that it is so portable and that it creates something functional and beautiful. I’m also always learning new techniques or a new stitch. I also love yarn!

What’s the one piece of advice you’d like to share with other knitters?
Don’t be afraid to give something a try. I remember knitting my very first cable (on a Milo vest) and feeling very proud of myself 😀 There is such a fantastic knitting community out there that you’ll always be able to find the help you need if you’re stuck on something. Also you can never have too big a stash 😀



Any knitting/designing New Year’s resolutions?
I don’t have any design resolutions, other than to keep designing. Every year my knitting resolution is to knit some socks. I am yet to do it. Maybe 2015 will be the year of the sock 😀 I also want to knit more garments for myself. My husband’s resolution for me would be to knit him a pair of slippers, haha.

View all of Rachel’s patterns here. All photos are copyright Rachel Evans, Flame Lily Designs. All images used by permission.

What is the Gift-A-Long? The GAL is a big knitting and crochet designer promotion with prizes and more than 5,000 people participating in a giant KAL/CAL. Come join the GAL group on Ravelry!

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Audrey II

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Don't Ask Y

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