Monday, 27 July 2009

The View From the Shoe: Nifty Knits

This week The View From the Shoe comes from one of the most delightful talents you will ever find. Nifty Knits produces knitted wonders like the Trekkie Meerkats see here (image courtesy of Nifty Knits). I caught up with Heather, the genius behind nifty Knits.

Thank you so much for your time. So, Louboutin or Converse?
Converse, definitely – especially if they’re being worn by David Tennant ;-) What will I do without him as Dr Who?

What do you do?
I knit. I knit pretty much all the time I’m not at the day job, unless I’m out walking that is. Even I can’t multi-task to that extent! I can knit and talk, I can knit and eat, I can knit and watch TV, I can knit at the pub. I try not to knit too long at the pub, that usually results in unpicking the next day. Can’t think why.

Why is there no one in the world who does it quite like you?
I knit to my own designs and make up the patterns as I go along. I’ve made the odd scruffy note on scraps of paper, but I defy anyone else to follow my patterns! I’ve been asked to sell them in the past, but if you take a glimpse at what my notes look like here, you’ll see why that isn’t going to happen any time soon. I know nobody does it like me – I can tell from people’s voices when they ask “Why do you knit meerkats? And why oh why do they wear star trek jumpers?” Why not? I knit…therefore I am. Live long and prosper.

What do you really, really love about it?
I always enjoy seeing how my creations turn out, but most of all I love seeing the smiles on people’s faces when they wander up to my stall at craft fairs. They don’t always buy, but they ALWAYS smile. My last fair was a bit quiet, so I was sitting knitting. A family stopped and stared. After a while a girl spoke (in an incredulous voice) “Mum…that lady’s * doing * that knitting”

A bit more time in the day, or a bit more money in the bank?
Time, definitely. There is so much yarn out there, and I have a “to knit” list that is way too long. There are still more Trekkie meerkats to add to the range (Jean Luc Picard as Locutus of Borg has been crying out to be knitted for weeks) and and and…

Imagine you “make it”. You wake up, and imagine the day ahead. Tell us about breakfast.
I have had the same breakfast for years, it suits me and I can’t imagine it changing. I start with a cup of tea and half a grapefruit in bed, then porridge and more tea after my early fix of emails and twitter and checking my online shops. Now I’m rich, I’d be eating my porridge on the balcony overlooking the sea, and I’d have a full English to follow. I wouldn’t need to worry about the calories because my personal trainer would take care of that. (He’d do the exercises for me, right? I wouldn’t actually have to do anything myself?) Then back to the knitting. I’d have a personal assistant who would hover unobtrusively, writing up the patterns admiringly and taking flattering photos as I knitted.

What’s your Jimmy Choo? And what’s just cobblers?
I’ve never been a fan of fancy designer labels. My favourite footwear is my deeply untrendy walking boots. I get a lot of inspiration walking in the countryside and it wouldn’t be sensible to wear heels when negotiating cowpats!

Tell us about the last time a fan made you feel 100 feet tall.
A little girl spent ages choosing, and bought my newest design, a little knitted seagull. Her mum emailed me the next day to say that she’d looked in on her after she’d gone to bed. She was fast asleep with the two dachshunds I’d knitted her by her side – and the seagull was standing on her cheek!

Independent and poor, or under contract and rich?
I’m way too bolshie, I need to do my own thing.

Do you remember that bit on Play Away where Brian Cant stood behind people and did the actions whilst they spoke? If you could choose anyone to stand behind you and do the actions to your sales pitch, who would it be and why?
I loved Playaway! P…L..A..Y…playawayway playawayaway playplayaway! I’d like Ryan Stiles from “Whose line…”, though I suspect he’d take liberties. On second thoughts, maybe that’s why.

Frocks or socks?
One of the great puzzles during my years as a primary teacher was wondering why my pupils always drew me in a dress, considering they’d never ever seen me wearing anything but trousers.