AUSTRALIA’S been slow to pick up on the knitting revolution, says designer and knitter Juliet Moody, but she’s helping it along by sharing her know-how and sparking a new generation of Canberran knitters.
“It’s not easier or cheaper to knit a sweater than to go and buy one,” she says. “But when you knit, you make every single stitch yourself, with love.”
With her Etsy store taking off, and a book of knitting patterns in the pipeline, Juliet posts free patterns on her blog joolsywoolsy.com and also hosts Knit 1, Sip 1, a fortnightly, Sunday morning knitting group over a cuppa at Adore Tea in Gold Creek.
“Everyone’s welcome – we have uni students who’ve never knitted, people who vaguely remember learning from their nana years ago and a 70-year-old lady who shows people how to knit socks,” she says.
“I love that – it’s all about sharing skills. I think it’s amazing that such an old handicraft is still going strong.”
And not only going strong, but connecting people all over the world, according to Juliet.
“There’s a Facebook-style website for knitters – ravelry.com,” she says.
“Knitting has the power to connect people, through a common passion for it. There’s an amazing online community out there offering endless support and inspiration.”
Having discovered her passion for designing and knitting when she was nine and made an AFL jumper for one of her dolls, Juliet says she loves creating stylish garments with “a bit of a quirk”.
“I’m interested in the ‘What Not To Wear’ style of dressing, that we should all dress for our own particular shape,” she says. “Traditional knitting patterns can be boxy and don’t allow for curves.”
Off-the-shoulder summer knits, sweater vests in delicate pastels and cute cardis are all in Juliet’s repertoire, and she designs them to fit and flatter women of all shapes and sizes.
“I try to ‘knit brave’ – that’s what I call it anyway! I like to make trendy items, so I get ideas from clothes I like in shops, and make them in wool, trying new things like knitting in different directions to get a new look or texture,” she says.
“I also use lighter fibres, like yarn that contains cashmere, for warmth without the weight.”
As much as she loves knitting, Juliet says she would get frustrated making the same thing over and over.
“For me, designing patterns to sell is a great way to combine my passion for creating unique items while moving my ideas forward and keeping things fresh,” she says.
“Ultimately, I’d like to sell skeleton patterns that people can adapt, like by changing the neckline or adding a waist – whatever will work for them.
“I still get excited when I cast-on and I never quite know how something is going to end up.
“There is so much potential in a pair of sticks and a ball of wool.”
For more information on Knit 1, Sip 1, contact Juliet on firstname.lastname@example.org