Tell us a little about yourself. What other things do you do apart from design?
I paint in watercolours and pastels. I enjoy cycling, walking, gardening and listening to football and cricket. I have also recently taken up patchwork.
What attracts you to knitting/crochet as distinct from any other craft(s)?
They are the most portable and the easiest to do in a comfy chair!
How do you get started on a design? Where does the inspiration come from?
Much of my inspiration comes from old patterns, pictures and from the photos I take when out and about on the bike. Buildings are especially good for ideas.
Do you ever start with a yarn and design something with it in mind?
Yes, sometimes the yarn shouts what it wants to be. A yarn that comes in lots of colours always suggests Fair Isle to me.
Who knits up the patterns?
I knit them myself but sometimes I will get a neighbour to do the rib or sleeves if they are fairly simple. I write the patterns as I go so it isn't really possible to give them to someone else.
When you look back at the items you’ve designed, how has your work evolved?
I think that my designs are becoming less complex. My early ones would often feature a mix of cables, plus lace or Fair Isle all in the one garment.
Which is your favourite of your designs?
I’m very fond of the Aran cardigan that I designed for Blacker Yarns.
If you could only design one type of garment/accessory, what would it be?
A cardigan, Either cabled, lace or Fair Isle. I just love cardis
Which yarn fibres do you most like to work in?
Wool, alpaca, cashmere
What design plans do you have for the next year?
I'm becoming increasingly involved with fishermens' ganseys. I've knitted one and have 2 more to do. I'm also giving talks about them.
I'm collaborating on a book about the Shoal of Ganseys display that we had at Sheringham Museum.
I'm involved with the Dutch Gansey exhibition at the Museum in 2018.
I'm writing a book about Aran knitting and continuing designing for Blacker Yarns and various magazines.
What does KCG mean to you?
I see it as the first place to go for help, knowledge, information on all aspects of knitting by hand, machine & crochet.
How might KCG use its Collection to gain new members?
By taking it on the road, displaying items in museums, stately homes perhaps libraries.
As KCG approaches its 40th anniversary in 2018, what would you like to see it achieve in the next 10 years?
A permanent easily accessible home for the collection.
You can follow Rita's work on her website