Saturday, 5 July 2008

My Interview with shazzasknits!

shazzasknits even though it's Summer (well... it's suppose to be ;) ) knitted clothing is in and shazzasknits is a great place to be to get all your knitted fashion accesories on Etsy!

Please you tell us about yourself and your back ground?

My name is Sharon (Shazza) and I live in Tasmania which is an island state of Australia and am married with three children ranging in ages from 11 - 15. I learnt to knit when I was about 5 years old but I wasn't that good at it really so it was something that I did along with many other crafts including sewing, tapestry and cross stitch. I suddenly found myself unemployed when I was 17 and being a person who has to be busy I was extremely bored and needed something to fill in the long days. My dear mother suggested I knit a jumper so I did and something clicked, I was hooked and have been ever since. I was fortunate enough to finally land a job after my brief period of unemployment and my old boss knew that the job was quiet and very hard to fill in eight hours of work so he allowed me to knit while not busy, bliss! This was during the 1980's when a lot of people had given up 'crafting' and were intrigued by this 20 year old girl knitting and actually enjoying it. This led to many requests for jumpers, hats, gloves etc. which I soon realised was a great way to supplement my income. Eventually I got married and left work to raise my family, however that period in my life flew by and before I knew it they were in full time school and once again I started knitting for people but now it was a whole new ball game, internet access meant that there was a whole new world out there.

Can you tell us abit about your work and how did you start your etsy shop?

I design everything I make but basically knitting is based on a few traditional shapes that the designer works with to give it their own unique style. I love fashion from the 1960's and 1970's and so a lot of that period shows through in my designs. I used to sell at an outdoor market but winters in Tasmania are extremely cold and while I did alright I just knew there had to be a better way, if not a warmer way, to sell my knitwear. One day in early 2006 I discovered Etsy through a knitting blog, I loved it! Eventually I signed up and started my very own shop.

What usually sparks off an idea?

It can come from a picture in a vintage book or magazine, I quite often find a hat pattern in an old crochet book and decide to make a knit version as my crochet skills are minimal and I really do prefer the look of knitting. Colour is also a big influence especially with my childrens items, and sometimes I will have a customer ask for something and between us a new idea is formed.
Please tell us about your latest products:

I am constantly working on new ideas, some come to fruition while many others are stored away for another time maybe. My very latest designs are the Carnaby Street Cap and Beret range, these were inspired by an old vintage crocheted hat from the 1960's and of course the London street that was synonymous with 1960's fashion. I use a wool and alpaca mix for these which makes a lovely soft hat that works really well with the stitch design.

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