love working with Naturally Caron yarns, both Spa and Country. I enjoy choosing from the broad range of beautiful colors, knowing that whatever I choose--the colors will work together. I like that the yarn is just a bit smaller than many worsted weight yarns--more stitches to the inch means my color work patterns are more striking and it’s easier to design in multiple sizes. I think the thing I like best is the softness and drape. For crocheted garments, I tend to prefer fingering or sport weight yarns, but with Spa and Country, I have choices in worsted weight for all seasons that not only show off any stitch work, but also drape beautifully.
When I’m really “in the mode”, everything around me is inspiring, from cloud formations to tire tracks. When I need a little boost, I spend time with nature or go through books on architecture and world textiles. I also enjoy fractals and tessellations. Graph paper, stitch dictionaries and a sharp pencil are invaluable.
Sometimes I work from inspiration, attempting to recreate something in nature or something seen in a dream. These are usually afghan or doily designs. With garments, I usually have a style and silhouette in mind. Maybe I’ve decided on a stitch pattern, or maybe not. It really comes down to swatching--trying different stitches, making up new ones, ripping out and trying more until the yarn whispers, “Yes, that’s what I want to be”.
I don’t use designing software. To me, that’s kind of like using a bread machine instead of getting my hands in the dough. If I need to create a stitching chart, I’ll sometimes use the Windows Paint program with the grids turned on. Otherwise, everything is pencil and paper and a $4 calculator. I enjoy crunching the numbers, especially when a stitch patterns fits perfectly into all the garment sizes. I stitch all my own models; it gives me the freedom--right up until the last stitch--to change my mind.
I have a room dedicated to my work--a closet full of yarn; a cupboard for my tools, buttons, beads and paper; my computer; a CD/cassette player for music and books on tape; a comfy chair; two book shelves crammed with stitch dictionaries and books on technique; and good lighting. I don’t always work there though. I organize periodically, but with time-my stuff migrates with me to the living room couch, the coffee table, the kitchen table, the front porch, and my car.
I live in Salt Lake City, which is great, because I love the mountains. There are lots of libraries, yarn shops, museums, and everything you need. Mostly I like living here because a short drive in any direction will put you “in the middle of nowhere”, and that’s where I most like to be. Follow Margret Willson on her blog: