Five mins with...Judy Furlong

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Knitwear designer Judy Furlong answers our quick fire questions


In the knitting world I'm best known for….

I've no idea! I know what I'd like to be known for, and that would be detail, and attention to detail too, I suppose.


My weapons of choice are…

I'm not much of a knitting gadget person - which is quite odd really, because generally I adore gadgets. I tend to keep it simple, like using waste yarn for markers, for instance. But if I had to pick something I'd have to go for bamboo knitting needles. I love the way they soak up so much of the percussion, which I find really helps avoid sore hands if you're hammering away at a project (which I know you really oughtn't to do!). They make pretty good plant supports too, once they're too bent and worn to knit with.


The project/design I am most proud of is…

I suppose I'm never 100% satisfied with anything - I hope that doesn't make me sound too 'precious' - but, it's really true. I'm awfully good at dreaming up ten different ways I could have made something just that bit better and always after the design's been finished and sent in! It's a bit like the way we all manage to come up with that brilliantly witty come-back line, hours after the chance to use it has gone by. 

That said, I think I'm most proud of any of my designs that someone tells me they enjoyed making, or better still they felt really good wearing. It's brilliant when that happens - I love it!


My biggest knitting disaster was…

Well, I could tell you - but then I'd have to kill you! No seriously, a good few years ago now, I was experimenting with preparing my own wool and I was given a fleece by a farmer friend. I was feeling pretty upbeat about my abilities, so there I was, promising to knit him a sweater as the culmination of the project. Mmmm - well let's just say, when I put my spinning wheel away, I didn't exactly have the huge stock of wool I had imagined. In fact I had produced just about enough useable yarn to make a pair of gloves, and fingerless ones at that! Talk about pride coming before a fall!

Anyway, I kept putting off and putting off giving them to him, until eventually - and distinctly sheepishly (if you'll forgive the dreadful pun) -  I 'fessed up. Turned out they were just the business and he wore them around the farm until they fell to bits. Talk about jammy, eh?


If you could only use one stitch for the rest of your life what would it be?

Stocking stitch! There is not much that can beat beautifully knitted st st in a gorgeous yarn.


The best knitting advice I've ever had was….

It's not the last piece of knitting you'll ever do, nor the only design you'll come up with. If something doesn't quite go according to plan, don't worry about it; just learn for next time.


What would you say to a non-knitter to try to convert them?

It's really, really good for the pectoral muscles - and much cheaper than implants! Seriously, give it a try with a friend who knits and who can help you sort out any little mistakes. That way, it's a sociable thing and once you get the hang of it, there's not much more satisfying than being able to say "Oh this? I made it myself."


When I'm not knitting I'm…

Gardening, walking my dog or playing music. 


Describe your crafty self in three words.

Mostly harmless obsessive!


Ball of wool and a cup of tea or skein of silk and a glass of wine?

Glass of wine, definitely the glass of wine - and the silk too of course!


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