Interview with Kerrie Allman of HipKnits and MagKnits

by kath_red on 08/08/2007

in People

Kerrie runs her many businesses from home, while multi tasking with three children – Find out how she does it…

Kerrie you are one busy woman, running a business from home with three children, as well as other numerous projects. How do you do it? You mentioned to me that you take your baby with you everywhere – how does she cope with that? And the older two – are they good at helping out -and are they interested in crafting?

I don’t do everything! There are a lot of things that I just don’t do that often at such as housework, ironing and other housewife type roles. I’m lucky to have a husband who is really supportive and great at helping out with the housework and cooking. Crafty and kid type things are number one priority here.

I am always busy, I can’t bear to be still or not doing anything so I just fit in what needs to be done at the best times. For instance, when it
comes to dyeing yarn I need to be on my own with no children around me – the best time to do that is at around 5am when the rest of the house are asleep.

Trinity comes into the shop with me every day while the older two are at school. This gives me about 5 or 6 hours a day with her to pack orders, label and prepare yarn and sort out samples. She is such a happy contented baby, we always have the radio on and people popping in to see us (and cuddle her). If she has a fussy day I just pop her in her sling and do the minimum. Its all about being flexible and fitting in work where I can.

Admin things I do in the evening while the kids are playing in the garden or doing their homework -my laptop just wanders around the house with me. Brooke helps out with stock takes as she loves counting and Cameron will do anything he can to help. Sometimes it would be more helpful if they didn’t help but I love the fact that they want to be part of it. Brooke is very interested in crafts, she is constantly painting and drawing, she loves sewing and has recently learned to crochet. Cameron not so much but then he is still only 2.

Kerrie you are amazing. I love your honesty and straightforward approach. And I am sure your kids are benefiting a great deal from such an interactive and engaging environment and having a satisfied and energetic role model for a mother. When did you start Hipknits and how on earth did you think you could fit it in among your numerous other projects?

I bought HipKnits as a young company from a friend of mine who had the original creative urge to start the company then couldn’t continue with it. At that time I didn’t have too many other projects on the go, just my full time proper job and MagKnits. I never imagined how successful HipKnits would become in just a short space of time.

You say that “In a world of mass produced conformity, Hip Knits celebrates individuality, craftsmanship, and creativity.” where do you source your yarns, do you dye and spin your own? And I see you do custom dye orders – how does this work?

Almost everything that we sell is hand painted or hand dyed by us. (I do spin but its just for my own personal use.) We try and source our yarns in the UK but have suppliers all around the world. We are always looking for new interesting and luxurious yarns and receive many samples from new suppliers each week. Some we try out and decide not to stock again, others are a hit and become part of our standard range.

Custom dye orders are so much fun! We have many requests to match colours, either from a description, from an online picture or from something sent to us in the post. We have had fabric and yarn swatches sent to us to match as well as a pair of shoes that someone wanted to make a matching shawl for and a picture that someone had painted and wanted yarn in the same colours. You never quite know what to expect from a custom colour and that is what makes it interesting. Some of the colours that we have been asked to dye as one off customs have made it into our standard colour range.

You are obviously trying hard to minimise your environmental impact by using energy saving methods and sourcing your yarns locally. How easy is this for you – did it involve a major change of habits and why is this important for your business?

I think it is important for everyone whether they are an individual or running a small business to be aware of our impact on the environment. I tried from the start with HipKnits to be as environmentally aware as I could and have gone from there. Our local council at home recently introduced a 3 bin recycling scheme which has helped shape how we work at HipKnits as well. Once you are open to looking for ways to be more environmentally friendly you see opportunities everywhere. I recently decided to take the plunge and I’m trialling sending packages wrapped in brown paper instead of using the plastic mailing sacks. It takes a little longer for each parcel but it is cheaper and much kinder to the environment so we’ll see how that goes.

HipKnits runs a project club, can you tell me more about how this works and what the benefits are in joining?

Many companies run yarn clubs where you pay in advance and receive a skein of yarn each month for a fixed period of time. I wanted to do something different. I knew from research that whatever club I came up with would have the option to pay in installments and also to allow people to choose their own colour yarn. And knitters love kits, its great to get a package in the mail that has the pattern and yarn and pretty much everything you need to just pick up needles and get started. The project club members receive 4 different kits a year in colours of their choice, and are designed to stretch people and encourage them to try new skills. We have lace, cable, fair isle and felting projects lined up for the first year. I decided to open a blog for the club members and I’m thrilled at how many have joined and are posting even before they receive their first club pack. Signups are now closed for the first round of the club but I have lots more similar ideas in the pipeline and there will be another round next year. Our newsletter subscribers and blog readers are always the first to hear about the new things we have planned.

You are also the force behind the popular free online knitting magazine Magknits. How long has this been running and is Yarn Forward a spin off of this? When designers are submitting their patterns for magknits and yarn forward, what are you looking for? what are the design requirements? What is the style or feel that you are going for with Magknits, and how is Yarn Forward different?

MagKnits has been running for around 3.5 years now, where did that time go to? Yarn Forward is totally different, I thought that the UK knitting and crochet market had room for an independent print magazine that covered slightly different projects than the existing UK knitting magazines which all have a very similar look and feel to them. Yarn Forward has more advanced and complicated ideas that challenge readers. MagKnits carries a good range of projects from simple to advanced, and should be wearable.


Thank you Kerrie for your time in answering these questions – just one last one – what is next for you? What plans do you have for all these
projects and businesses?

I have so many plans that I don’t know where to start! We are currently focusing on growing the wholesale side of the businesses at the moment, I’m always looking for new stockists for HipKnits and Yarn Forward magazine. I currently have a good base of stockists in the UK and a few in Europe and the US but would like to increase this. My first book is being published this autumn and I’m already working hard on number 2. Apart from that, I am not planning on starting anything new for a while although I do have some ideas floating around in my head that I’d love to be able to work on. There are just not enough hours in the day for me at the moment.


Kerrie is giving away some freebies …

If you would like to get your hands on one of these packs – all you need to do is leave a comment saying what you would do with the yarn – interesting stories welcome – and make sure you fill in the email address section when you leave your comment so that Kerrie can contact you. You have until Saturday Midday – UK time to leave a comment.


Skein of cashmere lace and pattern for shawl

Skein of cashmere fingering weight and pattern for socks

Skeins of aran / chunky cashmere and pattern for hat / scarf

Skeins of aran silk and pattern for sweater / cardigan

Skeins of lace silk and pattern for shawl

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{ 101 comments }

1 Melissa August 8, 2007 at 10:44 am

Those colours look good enough to eat! What would I do with the yarn – I think that I would make something special for myself – I spend all my time knitting for my little boy who is eight months old, planning ahead and making toddler clothes. It has been so long since I knitted just for me. Then again, it’s been a long time since I did anything just for me!

2 Molly August 8, 2007 at 10:46 am

Kerrie,
Your yarns look so delicious! It would would feel so wonderful to someone needing to feel wrapped in luxurious hug. I began knitting a prayer shawl for a man in our church who is dealing with an illness and want him to feel wrapped in love. I would use the shawl kits for a lady in our church who is battling with depression. It would be a gift I would enjoy knitting and I know she would enjoy receiving. Thank you!
Molly

3 jess August 8, 2007 at 10:51 am

I would love the cashmere fingering weight skein and socks! New Zealand is in the middle of winter and I have such cold toes……

4 sooz August 8, 2007 at 11:38 am

My family has recently been dealing with my mother’s rapid loss of sight. One of the most bitter sweet moments in this process has been, for me, taking home her collection of knitting needles. My mum taught me to knit and has long been an inspiration to me in all things thrifty and crafty. Seeing her give up the needles has been hard. But I have taken to spending my Sundays with her, talking and knitting which has been a really great part of this sad time. I do enjoy her company. I’d love to win a kit to give me a new project to knit and talk about with her, and then give to her when finished!

5 Michelle August 8, 2007 at 12:39 pm

I’m absolutely in love with lace patterns lately, and have never before knit with cashmere or lace…! But I’d probably knit some kind of softie, possibly a bunny or something, and then just have fun dressing her up. A flouncy skirt, maybe cabled tank, and a bolero? With a big fat bow to go in her hair, and ballet slippers, of course.

Just wanted to say that Kerrie is such a wonder, but I’m dying to know, did she give up on SewPretty, or is it just on the back burner for now? :0)

6 Michelle August 8, 2007 at 12:40 pm

Oops, I meant I’ve never knit with cashmere or *silk*…

7 Alicia August 8, 2007 at 1:03 pm

I would knit something warm for winter, perhaps a short bolero to have in the office. I live in Finland, so knits are a “year round thing” and a very important part of our lifestyle. Historically and socially.

8 Javede August 8, 2007 at 1:05 pm

I love the HipKnits yarn and this interview has been delightful to read!
What would I do with the yarn? First probably what I did with every yarn I got from HipKnits which is cuddling it ;-)
It took me more than a few weeks last time I got some to decide what to make out of it, it was just too good to be wasted on just any project, it had to be the perfect one!

9 claudine August 8, 2007 at 1:28 pm

I’ve never knit with cashmere or silk before either, but I’m dying to try! Cardigans are my favourite things to knit, and knitting a cardigan with silk yarn would be just DIVINE.

Thank you for this interview with Kerrie!

10 Astrid August 8, 2007 at 1:29 pm

Hi, I love to knit the socks! I have never used handdyed yarn before and am curious what it’s like. So far I have mostly knit for myself, as it takes me such a long time to finish anything and I simply can’t bear to let go at the end!! :-)

11 crazyestonian August 8, 2007 at 1:51 pm

I have knit with both cashmere and silk and both experiences were lovely. I would never ever knit another baby hat in silk though. I bought some lovely one ply 100% silk in bronze to make the first hat for my firstborn. Weeeell. Silk does not have memory. As in not a single bit of it. I know it now because after the first wearing the hat grew just a bit but after the second wearing it was twice the size of the head! This labor of love was only worn twice since no amount of stretching, blocking or washing could inprove the shape and size. If I got some silk yarn I would follow a pattern. Probably a shawl. No more misshapen luxury hats for my baby who prefers cotton or wool anyway. Next luxury yarn would be for me.

12 Jessicah August 8, 2007 at 1:53 pm

Wow it is really generous to be giving the yarn/patterns away. I would love to be the recipient of the silk/pattern or cashmere/pattern- I have been wanting to knit a shawl for a while but have had trouble finding any yarn that tickles my fancy in NZ- there’s some slim pickings over here!

13 Deborah August 8, 2007 at 2:19 pm

I’ve recently picked up knitting needles again after many years of not knitting at all – I suddenly had a desire to learn to knit socks. Now I’ve started, the possibilities with knitting (socks and beyond) are seemingly endless. What would I do with the yarn?… continue to explore the possibilites.

14 Estee August 8, 2007 at 2:55 pm

Thank you Kerrie for that lovely interview. Your an inspiration to us all.

I love knitting with all fibres – most fibres. I’d especially love to knit with chunky cashmere and make some flower corsages. I’ve made some in the past and they come out fantastic.

15 Nicola August 8, 2007 at 2:59 pm

I love Kerrie’s colours and am a big fan of her Aran Silk. I would like to try out her sock yarns though and cashmere socks sound so soft and cosy.

16 kaisakaisa August 8, 2007 at 3:00 pm

Firstly, thank you for the interview! It was especially nice to read about the environment conscious values at Hipknits:)

I learned to knit as a child, but this super active phase, me knitting almost daily, started two years ago. I had a really rough patch in my life and knitting’d zen qualities helped me to relax. At that time I knit mostly accessories, and other small items. Now my life is so much better and I’m happier. The urge to knit hasn’t gone anywhere though, and I’ve had the courage to take on bigger and more complicated projects.

It would be such luxury, and a nice challenge, to knit a silk cardigan or maybe an intricated silk lace project. As a student, my yarn money is limited and luxurious fibers appear only in my daydreams:)

17 Marika August 8, 2007 at 3:16 pm

I would love to knit a lace shawl or cardigan in silk. To indulge in pure luxury, just for me! And in Kerries colours, wow!
Knitting is my way of relaxing, which I badly need, as I suffer from burn-out syndrome. To knit something in silk to relax, could it possibly be better?

18 katrin August 8, 2007 at 3:24 pm

I bow to that woman – I don’t have a business or three kids, and I’m sometimes under stress just with my job and the housework… amazing manager skills she has!

Hmmm… I couldn’t decide which project I’d start… I love knitted sweaters but only made one myself, and it took me *forever* to finish it. Anyways, it was fun, and I might try my hands on another one… I recently saw a lovely pattern in the new vogue knitting which would be worth the efforts. :)
But socks and shawls also sound tempting, and those are so wonderful! Can one ever have enough of them?! I don’t think so!
Why do I feel a sudden urge to knit now???

19 Clair August 8, 2007 at 3:44 pm

Wow – what an inspiration. I am about to have my second child & I am also looking to get started with my own small business & was wondering how I would fit it all in. I think flexibility is the key & being prepared to work hard – which is not difficult when it’s something you love.

I do love knitting, but I am not so good at it, so I would probably make some lovely chasmere baby booties & mittens for a friend of mine who is having a little girl in December. She really appreciates hand-made gifts, so I know that she would love that, but saying that, I would also love to knit myself a silk shawl!

20 Ulricha August 8, 2007 at 4:26 pm

I would knit a pair of socks. Or a laceshawl. Or socks… Or… I don´t know. The yarn would tell me, if I held it.

21 ginchy August 8, 2007 at 4:29 pm

I’d love to try knitting lace with silk. I’m obsessed with all the photos of lovely lace shawls I see on the and would like to try this new skill. I think my mum or grandma would love a pretty lace shawl.

22 Anamaria August 8, 2007 at 5:36 pm

Love the colors, especially the cream and pink combination! It would fit very well the complexion of my niece, one month old! I already made her a dress but babies grow so fast – it is already a bit tight! I would make a cardigan, as she lives in Ireland and the weather requires a bit of covering in style!

23 Verena August 8, 2007 at 5:39 pm

These colours look great, I really love them. It would be a pleasure to knit with these wonderful yarns. I think I would knit a comfotable cardigan or socks for the evenening, when I’m knitting or reading books and listening to music. Just a little luxury for the end of the day. Sounds like heaven.

Unfortunatly it’s really hard for me to get anything else than Lana Grossa or Gedifra here in Austria. With the internet it’s easier to buy yarns from other brands, but I’d like to feel the yarn before I buy it. So I would be really excited to feel your yarn, it looks so soft.

24 Helene August 8, 2007 at 5:44 pm

Who doesn’t want free yarn ;-)

If I was picked out for a shawl kit, I’d like to knit a shawl for my aunt. She’s been staying with us for the past few days, and she’s such a lovely playmate for my 5 year old :)
Due to her religion she doesn’t accept christmas or birthday presents, but how about a “thanks for the visit”-shawl?

25 Jo Stoll August 8, 2007 at 5:44 pm

I would love to knit my daughter some cashmere socks! My mother-in-law knitted striped socks for my husband before she died in 1958, and what with washing and darning, these much loved items felted up to a smaller size that meant my 0j0 inherited them for her size 4 feet. Because of a road accident, she has severe scarring on her legs, and always wears trousers and socks, never tights. so I would like to give her a little bit of luxury.

26 Dawn August 8, 2007 at 6:04 pm

I would knit something fantastic with it and brag brag brag about where I got the yarn;)

27 Julie Gravelle August 8, 2007 at 6:26 pm

I would love to use the aran/chunky to knit a hat for myself, I haven’t been knitting for very long and have knit only for my kids so far so I would love something a little decadent for myself

28 Kelly August 8, 2007 at 6:32 pm

I love those colours. I am absolutely drooling here right now. I’ve never used silk yarn before either. I would love to make something for myself from silk as I rarely make things for myself.

29 ellen August 8, 2007 at 6:33 pm

If I got my hands on some of this lovely yarn I would save it until February next when my holiday and new grandchild knitting were finished and I had a bit of time to knit something lovely for myself. I’d take it with me when I go to Idaho to take care of the new mama so that not only would I have something lovely, but the memories of the time would be knit into it.

30 Nadine August 8, 2007 at 6:33 pm

All of the yarn looks lovely!! Kerrie’s shawls are always so beautiful, and I have never knit a lace shawl. I think that is what I would do with the yarn. However, that being said, I am also learning to knit socks (in process of turning my first heel!!), and the cashmere sock yarn sounds like heaven. I’d be happy with any scrap of HipKnits yarn to tell the truth.

31 Margaret Oomen August 8, 2007 at 6:34 pm

I would knit a hat and scarf for my 91 year old mother who has loved cashmere as long as I can remember. Her first job in Montreal was selling cashmere sweater sets for Jaguar.

32 anushka August 8, 2007 at 6:52 pm

What a lovely interview! As to the competition, right now I am up to my eyes in baby knitting – a new cousin who is now a month old, plus my mum is due to have another baby in 3 weeks, and I have a younger sister who is demanding some knitting, so I would probably take a break from the baby knitting and knit something wonderful like a shawl for my auntie who obviously is a nut for cashmere, and / or my mum, who is allergic to all animal fibres. I’ve always wanted to knit her a stunning cardigan or top in a 100% silk yarn/

33 Lien August 8, 2007 at 7:03 pm

I’ve never knit with cashmere, so a cashmere lace shawl would be a brilliant way to start. I’d probably manage to finish in time to have the softest, warmest, loveliest winter warmer.

34 Nancy August 8, 2007 at 7:27 pm

cashmere socks. oh, that sounds so lovely. i’ve knit for several years now and have recently wanted to make my first pair of socks. i would knit them this winter in the evenings hopefully in a new home *we are house hunting* in front of a fireplace while I will be await the birth of my second child.

35 prissy August 8, 2007 at 7:34 pm

The yarns are so pretty! I would love to knit a shawl for my mom :)

36 Miki August 8, 2007 at 7:38 pm

i zoomed to magknits, to kerrie’s blog, and all the way to here…gorgeous free yarn is something that makes any knitter drool.

i am so excited about the chance to knit some cashmere socks.

37 knitknat1021 August 8, 2007 at 7:48 pm

I am currently working on a project for out local Relay for Life. I am making small crochet bags and selling them to raise money and I would love the Aran silk because it would make the bags so much nicer and I would love to work with your fiber. Thanks in advance for your consideration.

38 mazhalai August 8, 2007 at 9:09 pm

I would like to knit baby blankies. Pink baby blankie for a friend’s baby

39 Melissa August 8, 2007 at 9:21 pm

Great interview; what an inspiration! We have one little one and I can’t imagine how you get so much done with three kids!

Anyway, I would love to try my hand at knitting socks…expecially with your cashmere! yum!

Thanks!

40 Kirsten August 8, 2007 at 9:26 pm

Gorgeous colors! I do all kinds of crafts, including crocheting, but (after several tries in the past) have literally just learned how to cast on and knit and purl. So I’m still figuring it all out, but I know I want to make myself some colorful socks at some point!

41 Anina August 8, 2007 at 9:34 pm

I have this great urge to knit a cardigan that is unique and different from things you find in stores. I love knitting, so I would probably try out any new pattern that came with the yarn too.

Anina (twiddletails@gmail.com)

42 Rachel August 8, 2007 at 9:58 pm

I would be interested in either of the shawl kits or sock kit. I like the shawl kit idea because I have been wanting to make a lace shawl for over a year now. I knit very little for myself (fit issues mostly) and wanted something that I could make ‘heirloom’ quality. I find that I am unwilling to spend money on yarn because I want things for my children and knitting for them takes most of my knitting time.

I like the sock kit idea because I have been tossing around knitting socks for MIL. She has had a rough couple years. She tries too hard sometime to be my friend but I do care about her and think something luxurious would show that.
-Rachel (pyro_98 AT hotmail DOT com)

43 Lori August 8, 2007 at 10:08 pm

I LOVE Magknits (not just saying that but… ;) ) (and whipup, but that goes without saying)…

I would love the lace silk. My mom is just about to start chemo for the 2nd time. She had breast cancer 13 years ago, went through a mastectomy, chemo and radiation at that time. We were so sure she had beaten it for good. This winter she started having a lot of trouble breathing. Long story short, the cancer cells from the breast cancer have completely overtaken her lungs and parts of her spine. At this point it is inoperable, but the doctors are hopeful for the chemo treatments. I would love to make her a wrap to keep her cozy while she’s sitting in the cancer clinic having chemo. She doesn’t wear wool, as she has always had a sensitivity to it, so a silk wrap would be perfect.

Thanks for all the hard work you put into Magknits, Kerrie.

44 Deneen August 8, 2007 at 10:09 pm

Wow-all the yarn sounds terrific-

What would I do with any of it? Maybe make myself something nice for a change-I seem to use any “good yarn” I buy for gifts-yup, maybe, for once, something for me.

45 Marnie August 8, 2007 at 10:12 pm

Hmmm, well, I think if I got the yarn, I try to come up with a submission for MagKnits! :)

46 Camilla August 8, 2007 at 10:22 pm

Thank you for yet an interesting post! I would really love either one of the two shawl kits. Although we’re experiencing the warmest days of summer here, I’m still freezing at the office due to heavy air conditioning. But sitting there, wrapped into a bit of warming luxurious lace – I might really enjoy work!

47 Viv August 8, 2007 at 10:29 pm

I am in awe of your energy, drive and talents. I would make a cashmere and/or silk shawl for an elderly relative of mine who recently organized a large family reunion. I just met her for this occasion and she is an amazing woman and an artist who paints watercolors out in her chilly studio behind her house.

48 Eileen August 8, 2007 at 10:37 pm

What beautiful colors! I am a beginning knitter, but am now ready for some more challenging projects. Cashmere and silk would both be new yarns for me, so far I have used mostly cotton or wool. I knit for myself, my daughter and sometimes for my mother so any of these would be perfect!

49 Helen August 8, 2007 at 10:39 pm

Kerrie,
My only son who is near and dear to me will be leaving for college very soon. I will be a difficult time for me..seeing him “leave the nest”. I have grand plans sending him “care packages” while he is gone to let him know I’m thinking about him. The packages will include knit socks (which he loves) and it would be great to use your cashmere fingering weight and pattern for socks for him!
Many thanks for a great web site!
Helen

50 Katherine August 8, 2007 at 10:41 pm

What a great interview, and great to read about thinking about the environmental impacts of a business. Over the past year I have increased in confidence with my knitting and have been tackling several lace scarf patterns, something I thought I’d never do. I’d love to make a cashmere lace shawl for a baby girl I know who has had a very rough start in life, I think she deserves something special and handmade to treasure.

51 Natalia August 8, 2007 at 10:47 pm

I kave been searching for weeks for the right sweater to start knitting, just as soon as this infernal heat wave breaks! I’ve had no luck finding the right pattern, so if I got the “aran silk and pattern for sweater/cardigan” I’d say fate helped the right pattern find me.

52 Fran August 8, 2007 at 10:50 pm

OOOHHH!! I would SO love to try knitting a cardigan in aran silk for myself….a little luxury for when I’m off duty (not often enough) from the prem baby unit where I work, and which is so hot that we wear hideous shapeless (but very lightweight) pyjamas, in an attempt not to overheat, and when we come out everywhere feels a bit chilly!!! I SO love Kerrie’s drive and enthusiasm, and the gorgeous colours of her yarns, thanks so much for the interview, competition and generous prizes.

53 tien August 8, 2007 at 10:58 pm

my husband has a very serious relapse of MS. So we had to cancel our vacatiion with our youngest son. All I can do next to taking care of my man and the household is knitting, spinning and a little sewing. I had to throw out a lot of stuff to make room for a nursing bed and other equipment for my husband’s taking care of.
So I’m looking forward to some lovely yarn to make a sweater for myself. It will be a lengtwise project to enjoy the yarn the most, sitting next to my man, between the times of caretaking.

54 Keirasaurus August 8, 2007 at 11:03 pm

I’d have to go for a cashmere hat- like loads of other people i’ve never knitted with cashmere and would love to have a go. i would knit a hat to wear when I go to New York next January. The trip will be my honeymoon and will be over my birthday and my fiance’s birthday. I imagine that whilst ice skating in central park I will need a hat from stylish but wonderfully soft yarn to fit in with the super cool New Yorkers!

55 Heather August 8, 2007 at 11:08 pm

My friend Helene has just undergone surgery for uterine cancer and has started her first round of chemo. She has lost so much weight and is very sensitive to cold. I would love to make her a cashmere shawl, soft and light and elegant just like my dear friend.

Thank you for the interview, very inspiring!

56 Kat August 8, 2007 at 11:08 pm

Inspirational stuff.

I think one of the charity-type knitters should win, but anyway, i’d like to modify that scarf/hat thing and knit a scarf with built-in handwarmers and hood. I’m always cold…

57 Trish August 8, 2007 at 11:20 pm

Hmmmmm, I actually don’t have a clue what I would do with such luscious yarn! I don’t think I’ve ever actually owned anything so luxurious. I’d have to pet it for a while and see what it says :)

58 Jodi August 8, 2007 at 11:38 pm

The yarn is beautiful! One of my knitting New Year’s resolutions this year was to knit gifts for every one in my family. It would be lovely to knit with your yarn.

Jodi

59 Lisa August 8, 2007 at 11:45 pm

I have a new SIL who moved from NC to New England (RI) when my brother became an army recruiter. She is ALWAYS cold. She is in need of some wooly goodness for me to knit her some sock, a scarf/hat combo or best yet a sweater to keep warm.

What a great interview.

60 Alexis August 8, 2007 at 11:57 pm

Those yarns are so gorgeous. I’ve never knit with anything as luxurious as cashmere or silk, I’m a knitter on a budget over here! I’d love to get my hands on any one of those packs; I’ve recently moved back in with my folks after sort of a rough patch (not much of an interesting story, sadly, just run-of-the-mill heartbreak) and I’ve been thinking of knitting some things for my mom and dad as a sort of “thank you.” It would be lovely to be able to make something really special.

61 Alissa August 8, 2007 at 11:58 pm

Oh man! I’d so love the pattern for socks and skeins… I need to start knitting again and I’m pretty darn sure this would be the project for me!

62 Kabira August 9, 2007 at 12:11 am

I had just gotten the notice about the new MagKnits so it was great to read such an interesting interview about the ‘woman behind the scenes.’ I knit multi-fiber/color hats, shawls and scarves for sale – each a creative, unique piece. Like the Shoemaker’s children, I don’t have a shawl or sweater for me that I’ve knit myself — I never seem to find the time to make something for myself (I even knit for charity but not for myself!) – so if I receive one of the gifts (thicker yarn, please, I’m not a lace knitter) I’ll make something wonderful for myself – I have enough design ideas rolling around inside I’m sure something will work with the yarn perfectly! Thanks!

63 chris August 9, 2007 at 12:48 am

it’s always interesting to read interviews of people running a yarn business. it’s nice to see the other side of things and to hear about what inspires them.

i would *love* the aran silk. my best friend is getting married this winter and i think a silk lace stole in a “heavier” yarn would make a fabulous gift for her (and keep her warm too)!

64 ambermoggie August 9, 2007 at 12:51 am

I make shawls for our local hospice so guess where the yarn would go:))
These colours are so luscious

65 Ellen August 9, 2007 at 1:18 am

Thanks for the interview – it’s nice to hear from a woman with young children who ‘works from home’ and makes the time successful. And thanks to your husband as well. I suppose if I was the recipient of your generous offer, I would lean towards trying out the lacey shawls. I’m a return to knitting knitter and have always been intrigued but intimidated by trying something ‘too difficult’. Perhaps this would be a good kick-in-the-butt. Thanks again.

66 connie August 9, 2007 at 1:24 am

I would love the Aran weight for a sweater. Cashmere sweaters, Mmmm. I’d also would like either the sock cashmere or the lace silk for the shawl.

Thanks for hosting the giveaway and congrats on all your successes, Kerrie!

67 Mary August 9, 2007 at 1:27 am

I am so inspired! I would love to use the aran weight silk to make Jellyfish (from July MagKnits). Or to use the chunky cashmere to make a hooded scarf, it would be so warm in a chicago winter! Oh or for my first pair of socks to be cashmere!

68 Shelley August 9, 2007 at 1:49 am

It’s my husband’s great-aunt’s 90th birthday in September and I’m planning on knitting her a lace shawl. We got her pashminas last year and she loved them, but now that I knit I think a hand-knit shawl would be so much better for her. Your silk or cashmere sounds much nicer than anything I possess, so that’s where it would go. The cashmere fingering weight could go that way too :)

69 Jennifer McKenzie August 9, 2007 at 2:36 am

Wow, your yarn is stunning, I would love to experiment with dyeing but for now I just covet and admire the effort and skill of others. Ever since I started knitting three years ago my favorite projects to work on have been socks for my grandmother. My Gran has shingles and very poor circulation in her feet and legs, she loves the custom socks I knit her because they are soft and warm and don’t cut off her circulation like store bought socks with elastic do. While I try to buy the best non-itchy yarn I can for her, I can’t afford to be buying skeins of cashmere yarn. I would love to have the cashmere yarn and sock pattern to make a really special pair of socks for my wonderful Grandma; no one would appreciate the gift more than her.

70 elaine August 9, 2007 at 2:38 am

i just found out my sister is pregnant after trying for sometime. she’s undergone successful IVF and since i found out, i’ve been looking for something to make just for her (baby stuff will come later). i think it would be a shawl or scarf, but i’m torn between the hanami stole from pink lemon twist or the bee shawl from knitspot…i think either of them would work with the hipknit lace weight!

71 elaine August 9, 2007 at 2:57 am

if i am lucky enough to win, I would like to make my mom and dad something warm for the winter, they are always moaning about being cold :)

72 cecilia August 9, 2007 at 3:43 am

Women are so amazing we are capable of juggling many balls in the air and do it so well. Your yarn is so beautiful and the patterns are doable. Thanks for sharing, cecilia

73 Cindy August 9, 2007 at 4:00 am

How lovely to have such a Beautiful family & a supporting husband. Congrats on the successful business.

74 susan August 9, 2007 at 4:17 am

adorable little family you have
let me just say the yarns are all gorgeous
i am allergic to cashmere, but would love a little bit of silk to make myself a luxurious shawl to wear around the house in winter, so i can feel special!
thanks for your consideration.
keep doing a fabulous job!

75 Bettina August 9, 2007 at 4:26 am

Wow…I have been away from “abroad blogland” since your middle child was a few months old I remember when you got pregnant with him because I also was pregnant at the time with a boy – and now you even got another beautiful child! :o)

What I would do with this fascinating yarn? I’d knit a shawl, a bolero or a cardigan for my mother, to warm her and comfort her during the time that will come soon. She is probably soon losing her mother, my grandmother, to cancer (breast cancer and brain tumor) and although the old, dear lady was sure she would not live to experience her 93rd birthday recently – she did. We are counting the days but knowing my grandmother it probably will be months. :o)

76 susanna eve August 9, 2007 at 4:31 am

I like magnits too. I have never knit with cashmere yarn, would love to get a chance to try. The colours are absolutely gorgeous. I do lots of knitting for others that don’t have warm stuff to wear in winter. I would use the yarn sparingly, some with other yarn some to give to a local shelter I make hats for and probably something for too, maybe a very skinny warm scarf:)

77 Rachel August 9, 2007 at 4:54 am

What a great interview! Thanks for posting that, it’s really great hearing how Kerrie’s fitting in her business with her family.

I have been subtly trying to convert my mom from being a Quilter (capital Q) to a knitter (lowercase is fine for the first stage). She’s just started going through chemo, and all of the doctors visits add up to a lot of time sitting around, so it’s good for her to have something to do with her hands. Right now she’s knitting huge rectangles, which we’re going to felt and then cut up into coasters for everyone who has been calling and helping out. The thing is, I don’t think she’s been hooked yet. We got a sensible yarn for felting (ie, inexpensive) which doesn’t feel that great to work with, and there have already been a few times where she’s ended up waiting at a doctor’s office with nothing to do because she forgot the yarn at home. My mom’s a very tactile person, and I think one of these gorgeous yarns just might do the trick.

78 Kristina August 9, 2007 at 5:43 am

Hello! Great interview!

I would knit something for myself for the first time. I have been knitting for over 5 years and the only things that I finish are things for other people. Sadly, I have never worn a pair of my own knit socks, have never felt the lightness of a lace shawl around my shoulders.

79 Missy August 9, 2007 at 8:00 am

I would love to win either of the yarns with the shawl pattern. It would give me a good opportunity to try a new yarn and I would love to make a prayer shawl with it for my Mom who is slowly losing her battle with breast cancer. Thanks for an awesome interview! : )

80 Vicki August 9, 2007 at 8:22 am

wow those colors are great!!!

I think I’d find a sweater pattern to use them in.. what a fun summer sweater thay’d make!!!

81 LynnC August 9, 2007 at 9:15 am

I learned to knit my first pair of socks this summer – they were huge! I have small feet. My second practice pair was much better and I would love to try some better yarn now that I have my confidence up!

82 Rachael August 9, 2007 at 11:19 am

Not sure if I’d prefer a sock kit – to be knit up in my first ever Sock Knitalong that I’ve just joined…..or if the aran silk for a sweater was in pinks and/or blues I’d be totally selfish and want that to knit for….no, not someone else….for me…..I’m in the middle of knitting vest/hat/mitten/socks for each of my eight children to wear when we travel to China (Dadda’s work)/Mongolia (why not? it’ll be winter and we don’t get real winter here in New Zealand!)/UK(nostalgia trip with Grandpa)/possibly Romania (orphanage volunteering) and Poland (more work)….so to knit something for me would be kinda nice.

83 Jenn August 9, 2007 at 1:41 pm

If I had the sock yarn I would knit my mother a really nice pair of warm comfortable socks and send them to her. She lives in Canada on a farm and it gets REALLY COLD over there in the winters from time to time. So a nice pair of warm cozy handknit socks would keep her feet warm while shes out taking care of her dogs and mini donkeys. :)

84 filambulle August 9, 2007 at 3:24 pm

Skein of cashmere lace and pattern for shawl
I would love to make a concert shawl for my sister. (One by Miriam Felton maybe?) She is a classical singer, with a beautiful pale translucent sky and big blue eyes, and she sings often in cold churches. She always say that wool is scratchy when she looks at my knitting, so I think that she would appreciate the softness of the cashemire.

Skein of cashmere fingering weight and pattern for socks
I don’t see as opften as I would wish my oldest and dearest friend Veronique. anyway she was with me yesterday. We where at my chalet near the lake, and she had terribly cold feets because of the rain and the strange cold summer. I was knitting some socks (for my father) and she admired both my wip and my own hand-knit stripped socks. I bet that she would be enchanted if I knit for her.

Skeins of aran / chunky cashmere and pattern for hat / scarf
If the colour was manly enough, I would make a hat for my sweatheart. He is cold 8 months per year, but refuses anything handknitted, except hats. I don’t dispear to learn him to enjoy socks and sweater, though. In a few years maybe…

Skeins of aran silk and pattern for sweater / cardigan
Something for me, me me. I love silk, and as I knit only since two years, I have not (yet) too many sweaters/cardigan. I am trying to wear as much hand-made things as possible. In winter especially, it is very satisfying to mentally count how many home-made items I am wearing and carrying. (I am an ecologist, does it show?)

Skeins of lace silk and pattern for shawl
Depending of the colour, I would make a beautiful shawl for my mother whose skin is very sensitive, or knit one for me (did I tell you I love silk?) that would probably been regularly stealed by my daughter. She has good tastes and love hand-made too! ;-)

So you see I would find a good use for any pack you could possibly send toward Switzerland!
Any way it was such a pleasure to read this interview. I am a big lurker of hipknits, and an admirer of magknits (or the contrary?). It is always nice to learn a bit more about those that are “behind” the place we love. Thanks and Bravo to WhipUp and Kerrie Allman.

85 Charlie Wilson August 9, 2007 at 5:39 pm

Hello, I want to start knitting with hand dyed/spun yarn as I think it is really important to support small producers and designers in today’s consumerist society. I will definitely be putting HipKnits on my yarn wish list. I have been knitting for the grand total of 61 days, but I’m quite ambitious and willing to give anything a go. I would love any of the yarn, as I want to knit my mum something special for her birthday and I think that hand made objects are so much nicer than bought. Thank you.

86 MommyknitsJen August 9, 2007 at 10:51 pm

I am 8.5 months pregnant with my fourth child and my midwife just told me that her husband who has never smoked has fatal lung cancer. I want to make her something to show her how much I have appreciated her all these years and that she is not alone in this world. I have been pouring over lace patterns for a week or so and I think that I would like to make her some kind of a shawl or stole. That way she could wrap herself in comfort when she needs it.

87 Andi August 10, 2007 at 1:00 am

I would make a funky sculptural hat with it, or a funky sculptural bag. :)

88 Grace August 10, 2007 at 2:11 am

Love the interview, especially the insights into how Kerrie fits it all in.
Back a while I was given a huge stash of yarn, mostly in acrylic. An inherent dislike of waste means I feel I have to use it before I buy more, but I caved in and bought some of Kerrie’s stuff and I was bowled over by how wonderful silk is. I would love to try knitting some socks – it’s the one garment I haven’t made. (Well, I haven’t made any underwear either!)

89 Ruth Fryman August 10, 2007 at 3:15 am

I love the look and feel of luxury yarns. I would knit the shawls either for my mum who has cancer, to wrap her in love and warmth. Or for myself. I have a painful condiition called Fibromyalgia. but i refuse to give upknitting despite the pain. A goft like this would boost my sprirts no end. Knitting helps me cope with the pain and disability.

90 Lucette August 10, 2007 at 3:58 am

Kerrie I have been a fan of your magazine Magknits for quite a while now. The interview is lovely and I am so impressed at your creative spirit with your family and in the knitting world. If only I had that much energy.

Your dyeing is fabulous. If I am lucky a silk cardigan would be my choice.

Lucette

91 Emily Lloyd August 10, 2007 at 10:59 am

LOCATION: Tiny town, “Snow Belt”, Upstate NY. Doctor’s Office.

ENTER Heavily pregnant WOMAN in insufficiently-sized hospital gown. SHE heaves herself onto examining table. ENTER dashing DOCTOR with (unlit) pipe.

DOCTOR: Well Ms. Lloyd, it seems that you are one of the few unfortunate women who continue to suffer from morning sickness in their third trimester. Additionally, your leg and foot swelling seem to be on the severe side. I’m also sorry to hear about your relentless heartburn.

WOMAN: Is there anything I can do Doctor?

DOCTOR: I’m afraid not. (Pause) Unless…

WOMAN: Yes, Doctor?

DOCTOR: (Cradling pipe in one hand) Well it’s a radical treatment and I don’t commonly recommend it, but perhaps in this case…

WOMAN: What is it Doctor?

DOCTOR: YARN THERAPY.

WOMAN: Did you say, YARN THERAPY, Doctor?

DOCTOR: That’s right. I think in your case it might be just the thing. (Going to his desk and setting down pipe)

I’m writing a prescription for beautiful silk yarn. Now, listen carefully: I want you to use it to knit a sweater, cardigan style is fine too. Once your hands are caressing the soft, lovely yarn as your needles click together you should begin to feel noticeable improvement. YARN THERAPY is strong stuff.

WOMAN: Thank you Doctor. I feel better already!

THE END

92 Spiralling August 10, 2007 at 11:02 am

I’d probably just fondle it for a little while, before making it up into precious, tiny clothes for my favourite little girl.

I’d love to try weaving with a cashmere weft. Decadent!

93 Emily August 10, 2007 at 12:56 pm

I am the librarian for teens at a branch in south-central Los Angeles. We have a twice-monthly crochet and knitting club. One of our younger teens tried for many weeks to learn to crochet, without much success. Then last month she tried knitting, and in one lesson she blossomed into a confident, capable knitter. The aran / chunky cashmere for a hat or scarf is something that would just amaze and delight her, because the only yarn she’s ever used is crunchy acrylic. She is already in love with knitting, but beautiful, soft yarn would be a wonderful reward for her perseverance.

94 Karen August 10, 2007 at 2:51 pm

I would really love to be lucky enough to win one of the lace giveaways – I havent really had a go at many lace projects, and the ones I have had a go at havent been very successful! So I think I need Kerrie’s yarn and pattern to put me on the road to being a lace addict!

95 Tiffany August 10, 2007 at 2:57 pm

I would roll around on the bed with it and scream with delight!

96 Natacha August 10, 2007 at 7:23 pm

Thank you, Kerry, for sharing your wonderful experience! I’m a recent knitter from Portugal and I always take a peek at HipKnits and MagKnits for news. It was amazing to know a little bit more about your business/life/projects.
About the challenge: until now I’ve only knitted things for myself because I think I’m not much experienced yet and I don’t want to make something not good enough to give as a present. However… these colours make me wanting to give it a try. They are soooo perfect! Maybe a hat and a scarf for my two nephews? A cardigan for my sister? They are my biggest fans and are always asking when will I knit something for them. This would definitely be an inspiration!
All the best for you!

97 Sue-Ellen Johnson August 10, 2007 at 9:17 pm

Hello Kerrie, I have just stumbled across this page tonight, how lucky can one person be. Your wool is a feast for the eyes, the most beautiful colours. I would have to include some into a tapestry, a knitted cusion to snuggle up to would also be on my list. Thank you for your generousity in sharing you talents and wool with us.
Sue-Ellen Johsnon xxooxx

98 Jennifer August 10, 2007 at 10:30 pm

I would love to knit my mom something lacy or some nice socks or a nice cardigan. It all sounds so nice :)

99 Janice August 10, 2007 at 10:59 pm

I have used Kerries yarn before (The silk) but have always wanted to do a shawl kit in cashmere. I have done some shawls but always seem to get the wrong colour for the pattern, usually not realising until I’m half way! Also I have never knitted anything for myself before but would if I won a kit. I dont know how Kerrie manages to do all the things she does with a large family, she realy is a superwoman!

100 Kristi August 11, 2007 at 5:18 am

If it were the shawl, it would be for my mother. The socks, for my girlfriend in Greece, who has sent me several pairs. Alternatively, I would knit something for myself. I’d happily ditch the acrylics I have, the only thing I can get locally. Above all, I’d have a blast (a therapeutic one) sitting, knitting, creating, listening — to what, I don’t know, now that I’ve finished Harry Potter! Whatever it was, I’d be LEARNING, how exciting that feels!

101 Bonney August 11, 2007 at 6:28 pm

I LOVE Magknits. Isn’t Kerrie’s family beautiful? I would love to win any of these packs. I’d like to knit something for my daughter in law’s mother. She is a great lady with whom I’d love to spend more time. She teaches nursing and a shawl would be great but socks would be wonderful too! Thanks!

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