This is the first in a series of bimonthly interviews with creative people! I wanted to start off with a bang, so with a big mug of tea by my side, I interviewed my favorite designer to follow on Twitter, Alex Tinsley. Alex specializes in hats and accessories, and she always has a witty remark up her sleeve.
What’s your favorite drink to have by your side while you’re crafting?
Ooh, if I had my choice, a good salted caramel hot chocolate. I JUST learned that that was a thing (seems obvious, really, but there you have it) and they’re so good. But realistically, what I *actually* have by my side everyday is regular ole water. I may be boring but I’m hydrated.
Do you have a favorite good movie to watch while crafting?
I almost never watch movies twice, but for knit-watching I gravitate towards slow-moving dramas or comedies that don’t have subtitles. I also gravitate towards indulgent tv shows, which I play end to end for hours and hours. Let me tell you, the Dawson’s Creek theme song (not the Sarah McLaughlin one, the “hearts & arrows” one) is really, really hard to get out of your head. But anyway! A recommendation for a good movie for knitting… Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
What about a favorite bad one?
What is an average day in your life like?
I usually wake up around 8 or 9 and sit in bed reading email and checking all my daily webcomics while my husband makes breakfast (being married to a chef has major benefits.) He works afternoons/evenings so if there’s anything we want to get done, like grocery shopping or going out to lunch, we do that during the first part of the day, otherwise I plop myself in front of the computer and start answering emails, catching up on social media, or whatever other computer tasks need doing. At some point I take a shower. The rest of the day can vary- I’ll run errands if I need to, or keep doing computer work, or actually KNIT. I try to take a break to go outside with the dogs, diddle around on the ukulele, or some other non-work activity. I pretty much keep that going til my husband gets home at 11-ish, then have a late snack and go to bed.
Of all of your designs, do you have a particular favorite? What makesit special?
It’s tragic, but the hat I actually wear the most isn’t one of my designs (yet)- I failed to write it down at the time and haven’t been able to get the yarn to make it again (I should probably just order it online but I keep thinking maybe I’ll come across it in a shop.) It has to be that yarn, in that color. Nothing else would be as good, as far as I’m concerned.
But as far as things I’ve actually published, I really love Fooler A Faker and Wabi– both are pretty simple, soft, and have pompoms, and therefore right up my alley. Lutine also makes me really happy, it’s just such a silly cheery hat.
What is your go-to source for inspiration?
I’m pretty diligent about saving photos that inspire me and scribbling down any ideas I have, either in one of many, many notebooks or on my iPhone. My “inspiration” folder on my laptop currently clocks in at 776 MB and about 3000 photos… and that doesn’t count things I’ve saved on Pinterest, on my old computer, on my phone or iPad, or in actual physical folders. So when I need to come up with a new project, I can dive into my stash of half-baked idea-nubbins. I always find a ton of intriguing things on Pinterest and Tumblr- once you find a few people with brilliant aesthetics to follow it becomes a never ending stream of awesome.
If you had the time and resources to pick up a new craft, what would you try?
I have a really great sewing machine, a serger, and two bins full of fabric just languishing in my studio. It’s absolutely tragic. I know how to use them (not super well, but well enough to get started) but I just have no time.
What have you been working on lately?
I am waist-deep into a book project that I’m doing with Cooperative Press called Doomsday Knits. It’s a multi-designer collection of post-apocalyptic-inspired knitwear, and I think it’s going to be really fabulous. We’re at the tech-editing-and-photo-editing point right now but I hope to have a very rudimentary mock-up in time for June TNNA.