MN WEBCHAT GUIDELINES 1. One question per member plus a follow-up question if appropriate, ie once you've had a response. 2. Keep your question brief 3. Don't be disappointed if your specific question doesn't get answered and do try not to keep posting "What about me?". 4. Do be civil/polite. See guidelines in full here.

Webchat with hand-knit designer, yarn developer and author Debbie Bliss: Wednesday 4 December, 1-2pm

(98 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 03-Dec-13 15:38:16

Knit designer-extraordinaire and Mumsnetters' favourite DEBBIE BLISS is joining us tomorrow for a webchat between 1-2pm today (Wednesday 4 December).

Debbie is the best selling author of over 35 books on knitting design. After starting her career making and selling knitted plants to stores such as Liberty's she went on to become a freelance knitwear designer, and after collaborating on a number of books including Wild Knitting , which has recently attracted a cult following with young knitters, she produced her first solo publication with BABY KNITS which was an instant bestseller. As well as producing books, Debbie also has a magazine which was launched in 2008. Published twice a year The Debbie Bliss magazine includes fantastic fashion knits garments for babies and children and also pieces for the home.

Twelve years ago Debbie launched her own brand of yarns and she's now involved not only in designing but in the research and development of new yarns. They are highly recommended by the Woolly Huggers and Debbie has been very supportive of their cause.

Join Debbie for a chat at lunchtime today and post pics up of your own knitting and crocheting creations before Friday 6 December, 10am. Debbie will help us to pick our favourite 3 pictures and the winners will each get a copy of Debbie's book Knits for you and your home.

PS - this is the only thread I can see for this webchat - have I missed the proper one somewhere?? <<frets>>

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 04-Dec-13 12:59:15

Debbie is here and ready to start the webchat. Welcome to Mumsnet Debbie

DebbieBliss Wed 04-Dec-13 13:01:40

Hi. I'm delighted to be here. Just met the wonderful Pistey from Wooly Hugs and handed over the baby blankets.

werenotreallyhere Wed 04-Dec-13 13:02:47

Hi Debbie, I don't have a question, I just wanted to say I love your patterns and yarns!

DebbieBliss Wed 04-Dec-13 13:04:40

PurplePidjin

Hurrah! Just annoying we didn't manage to do a video tutorial one fsad

Debbie, what first brought Woolly Hugs to your attention?

And thank you very very much for the competition blankets thanks

Gentle Otter introduced herself to me at a shop visit in Scotland a couple of years ago and told me about the wonderful work that Wooly Hugs was doing. I then decided to nominate it as my charity last year to donate the winning baby blankets in a competition held in my magazine.

3littlewomen Wed 04-Dec-13 13:05:00

Hi Debbie, glad you could make it... hope MN has made you a nice cuppa

And dug out the good biscuits too, 3littlewomen! Not the plain, worthy ones they save for when politicians do webchats! fgrin

DebbieBliss Wed 04-Dec-13 13:06:25

Most hand knit companies are delighted to be approached by good hand knitters. The standard has to be very high because the patterns are being checked for correct yarn amounts and measurements. You could try and contact my distributor Designer Yarns, who are always on the look out for check knitters.

RachelMumsnet

3littlewomen

Oh wow, my absolute most favouritest knit designer! In fact I blame Debbie for my rather large family of 5 DC as I had to keep having children so I could knit more gorgeous blankets/booties/outfits/toys from her gorgeous books.

So my question.....

How do you go about becoming a knit pattern tester? It's a job I have always coveted and would love to be able to excuse my knitting obsession as being "in the office"... grin

How do we upload pictures?? (scuttles off to deceide which project to photograph).

fblush We have started a new thread on Arts and Crafts Pictures as we realised that you can't post up pics here fconfused. (It's been a busy week thanks for your patience). We thought this thread would be also useful if you want to show Debbie anything during the chat - perhaps you want her help and it's easier if you can show her your project or if you just want her thoughts or advice on something. We will keep this thread open throughout the webchat and Debbie will be following it.

We'll keep the comp open until Friday morning - so post your pics before 10am on Friday and we'll announce the winners shortly after.

3littlewomen Wed 04-Dec-13 13:07:16

Oh no.... no recession busting biscuits for Debbie I hope grin

GobbySadcase Wed 04-Dec-13 13:07:51

What do you find the trickiest part of the design process?

VworpVworp Wed 04-Dec-13 13:08:54

Sorry Debbie, can't really stay (at work!) But I want to say thank you for producing such lovely patterns (including those achievable by beginners!) And such gorgeous yarn smile
Keep up the good work!

hannonle Wed 04-Dec-13 13:09:06

The softest yarn I've ever used is the DB Cashmerino.

Can I ask Debbie something she's probably answered a million times over - what is your favourite yarn and why?

DebbieBliss Wed 04-Dec-13 13:10:11

RemoteControlGeekToyOfTheYear

I'm almost too overawed to post my question! Thank you MN for arranging such a fab webchat guest, and thank you Debbie for - well everything!

My question is how did you make the transition from small cottage industry to full scale production/employer and did you need to rethink any of your principles in order to make the change?

No idea how to post pics, sadly. Do we just upload them to our profiles?

I still see myself as being a small cottage industry. I'm licensed to Designer Yarns limited which means that they deal with all the buying and selling of the yarn, warehousing, export etc, which leaves me free to concentrate on what I love - designing, choosing yarns, and the whole journey from first finding a yarn to the final stages of photography.

I work in a studio at home with Theresa, my assistant, and my daughter Nel has now joined me to work on a new product side of the business. This means that work life is firmly entwined with home life, which means the day being interrupted by two manic dogs and our 'office baby' who comes in with mother Charlotte, who is also working on a product line. I also have a freelance pattern checker and pattern complier who work from their homes. I love to work like this. There's nothing corporate or heirarcichal about it. We occasionally dance if something comes up...

3littlewomen Wed 04-Dec-13 13:10:56

Many thanks for that Debbie.... I will contact them with some pictures of my work.

DebbieBliss Wed 04-Dec-13 13:12:14

GleamingHeels

Oooo Debbie Bliss - fab!

My question - do you still have loads of woolly project of your own on the go or has it all become just work?

At the moment I'm knitting a beanie hat for the Nat DiMaggio, who with his colleague Gary, set up a fantastic charity called Eat or Heat where I live in Walthamstow. On Saturday night, in a church watching a piano recital for the charity, he complained the wind was whistling around his bald head and insisted I knitted him a wooly hat - I'm just following orders!

kellestar Wed 04-Dec-13 13:13:14

Hello Debbie! Baby Knits was the first book I picked out when I wanted to learn some 'modern' knitting patterns, fed up of the vintage patterns my gran kept offering to teach me. It's now covered in pencil marks and post it's with annotations.

I've now ventured into more of your patterns for my daughter as she has got older, she's now three and I am now knitting for my 7 month old son.

Getting along to my question... What do you listen to/watch whilst you knit?

DebbieBliss Wed 04-Dec-13 13:15:57

RatherBeOnThePiste

My question is about putting colours together, I have seen a colour wheel chart, but some folk are truly and successfully adventurous when putting colour together. I see it aplenty with all the lovely blankets made for Woolly Hugs. Sadly I'm not one of these, I just can't think like that and I wonder, do you have any suggestions on how I can improve?

And another huge thank you here for donating the blankets to us, we can't really say how much we appreciate your generosity and support. Bless you.

thanks

Don't feel too downhearted! I still find putting colorus together difficult even after 35 years of attempting it. What I have found, since the advent of the iPhone or any phone with a camera, I'm constantly taking pictures of anything that inspires me and this can often be colourways that I've seen that I like. It could be in a shop window, it could be flowers in a garden, it could be a piece of fabric on a market stall. If you see combinations of colour you like make a note of them. I wouldn't bother with colour wheels, they've always confused me.

DebbieBliss Wed 04-Dec-13 13:17:47

DebbieBliss

RatherBeOnThePiste

My question is about putting colours together, I have seen a colour wheel chart, but some folk are truly and successfully adventurous when putting colour together. I see it aplenty with all the lovely blankets made for Woolly Hugs. Sadly I'm not one of these, I just can't think like that and I wonder, do you have any suggestions on how I can improve?

And another huge thank you here for donating the blankets to us, we can't really say how much we appreciate your generosity and support. Bless you.

thanks

Don't feel too downhearted! I still find putting colorus together difficult even after 35 years of attempting it. What I have found, since the advent of the iPhone or any phone with a camera, I'm constantly taking pictures of anything that inspires me and this can often be colourways that I've seen that I like. It could be in a shop window, it could be flowers in a garden, it could be a piece of fabric on a market stall. If you see combinations of colour you like make a note of them. I wouldn't bother with colour wheels, they've always confused me.

I also have an app for my iPad called Josef Alber's Interaction of Colour, which is a lovely thing to look at.

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 04-Dec-13 13:21:02

Just looking at the Debbie Bliss competition thread and noticed there are a few questions coming in. We'll post these Qs up on here so Debbie can answer them here..
TheNinjaGooseIsOnAMission posted a picture up of a red cardy and some squares she's made for woolly hugs. She asks:

Recently I sorted out my stash and found a part made school jumper I started when my now 23 year old started infant school fshock do you have any unfinished projects hidden away?

DebbieBliss Wed 04-Dec-13 13:21:59

Woolfey

Another one here who wants to say it's lovely that you're donating the blankets to Woolly Hugs thanks.

My question is rather nosy grin - Do you still have your own yarn stash even though you have access to unlimited amounts of yarn? Is it all your own brands or do you try lots of others too? Is it in a gorgeously calm organised craft room (that's how imagine it in my head) or is it stashed all around the house (like mine is)?

Sorry, rather more than one question there!

I go to a trade show in Florence twice a year to look at new yarns for the following year. I'll pick ones I'm interested in, and then they'll be sent to me to sample with. So I often have yarn that's not specifically my brand but might be in the future.

I work in chaos - sometimes it's like a dam bursting when yarn just seems to come at me from boxes and shelves. We found a jack russell in one of the boxes once, and used a box of yarn as a crib!

Meow75 Wed 04-Dec-13 13:23:28

Hello Debbie, Novice knitter here (3years - wonder WHEN I'll stop thinking I'm a novice.)

My question is - my tension is all over the shop. Any tips?

DebbieBliss Wed 04-Dec-13 13:24:01

NomDeClavier

I have a question about sewing up! I love knitting but making up is a nightmare and I can never set sleeves properly. My seams are lumpy or wonky even when I line the pieces up perfectly sad

Do you have any top tips?!

I can still get worryingly excited about sewing up using the invisible seam or mattress stitch. It's a perfect seam for sewing up almost any piece in knitting. Most pattern books that have any diagrams in, should have sewing up techniques but search for it on YouTube - it will change your life!

werenotreallyhere Wed 04-Dec-13 13:25:17

Oh I do have a question after all. My gran taught me to knit as a girl, but I always threw the yarn. No matter how I try I can't kick this habit, any tips? Or does it not really matter that much? Thanks in advance!

GentleOtter Wed 04-Dec-13 13:25:35

Welcome to Mumsnet, Debbie!

What a great night when you visited us in Dull/Kenmore.

I just wanted to thank you for all the support you have given the WoollyHuggers and also the support to the British Wool Growers at a time when demand seemed low.

DebbieBliss Wed 04-Dec-13 13:26:03

TheNinjaGooseIsOnAMission

I wasn't sure which thread to post questions on <easily confused> so will post the same on this one too, hope that's ok!

Recently I sorted out my stash and found a part made school jumper I started when my now 23 year old started infant school fshock do you have any unfinished projects hidden away?

My mother used to get out the same blue cardigan to knit for me for the new September term for about ten years. At the moment my unfinished project is a child's beret that has been begging me to attach a pom-pom for the past two weeks.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now