What would a craft guide book with projects be without a pair of socks? They're the perfect portable project - nice and compact to keep with you but enough knitting to hopefully last you your whole journey. Fiona Hamilton-MacLaren's La Ville de l'Amour sock project is inspired by Paris, a city with which London enjoys a good relationship. The socks are knit toe-up, with a delicate lace stitch is evocative of the Eiffel Tower.
YITC: Tell us about the inspiration for your design.
FHM: The combination of hearts and the Eiffel tower lace stitch just seemed natural. Paris typically gets a lot of credit for being the City of Love so it all just clicked.
YITC: Do you travel for your craft? How do travel and craft fit together in your world?
FHM: Crafty travelling is typically to attend yarn shows, which is always a lot of fun as I love chatting with customers, getting to know all about their projects. I do hunt the internet for yarn shops if I am travelling anywhere too, just in case there is a good one within detour distance.
YITC: Do you buy souvenir yarn or fabric? What do you look for?
FHM: Unsurprisingly it is almost always a skein of sock yarn. In part because socks are my obsession, but also it is the perfect amount, not too expensive and small enough to tuck into your bag, but you know you can get a whole project from it.
YITC: Tell us about you and your personal design style. How does your project fit in?
FHM: By now you will have picked up on socks being my favourite thing to knit; which leads to a lot of sock designs. I love to keep them fun and try to have clear patterns that are easy to follow, with something for everyone, whether you are a toe-up or top-down fan.
YITC: What creative (or travel!) plans do you have for 2016?
FHM: I am branching out! For 2016 I am planning more sweaters. Possibly some more colourwork too. I have also booked onto a "Learn to shear a sheep" course, very excited about this. (YITC: No kidding! That's awesome! And Rachel is jealous.)
YITC: What's your favourite part of the designing/creative process?
FHM: I love the knitting, many of my designs start with needles and yarn. From there I see what happens. I am appallingly bad at making notes as I go, so sometimes have to reverse engineer my own work (maybe getting better at this should be in my 2016 plans?!).
YITC: Do you have a favourite designer who's work you follow?
FHM: Tin Can Knits has beautiful pieces. Lots of simple and elegant work in a fabulous range of sizes. The styling is wonderful too.
YITC: What are your designing essentials?
FHM: I make most of my pieces on a set of rather bent, very cheap, Pony double point needles. I have tried fancy double points lots of times but just keep going back to them.
When she's not designing Fiona also tech edits and does all kinds of fibre crafts. She also works on an alpaca farm teaching people about alpacas and running craft classes in addtion to helping with the animals. We love the cute photo she sent us of Jasper the alpaca below. Doesn't everyone need more alpaca pictures?