Discovery is an important part of any hobby – it offers excitement and inspiration to keep us engaged and challenged, so that we can continue to grow in our craft. Sure learning a new skill is important (have you memorized the Kitchener Stitch yet?), but discovering new-to-us designers is just as defining.

We recently met Jessica Gore, aka The Sweater Collective, and have been awe-struck by her talent. Her design style, paired with her almost always muted, neutral colorway selections, evokes a sense of calm. But look a little closer and her designs are full of thoughtful stitch patterns that create exciting, modern texture.

From hats and mitts to shawls and socks, The Sweater Collective features patterns that are just as knittable as they are wearable. The collection of knitwear patterns, YouTube video tutorials, and fiber-focused blog inspires you to pick up a pair of needles and cast on!

This month we knit the Australian designer’s Twiddle Mittens and her Easy Feat Socks, which were featured in our November KnitStitch and SockStitch subscriptions. It was hard to put the needles down, but we did, just so we could ask her our 9 favorite questions. So, without further ado…

1. How long have you been knitting?

I’ve been knitting on and off for the good part of 19 years now! I learnt when I was young, and though life and study often got in the way and meant I stopped crafting for months, it’s always been something I come back to with renewed passion. At least for the last 3 years now I’ve been knitting non-stop!

2. Who taught you how to knit?

My grandmother taught me to knit, and that first project, with mint green acrylic yarn and plastic pink needles, still holds a special place in my heart. My tension was so tight that we eventually had to cut the knitting off the needles, but looking back I have so much to thank that experience for!

3. What is currently on your needles?

Too many things – I’m a serial cast on-er! Right now there are at least 3 shawl projects, 3 sock projects, a sweater, and plenty of swatches for new projects to come…

4. Where is the strangest place you have ever knitted?

I always take knitting with me when travelling, so there’s been a lot of busses and planes! And I remember our trip to New Zealand last year and knitting on a pair of socks while we waited for our tour of the Lord Of The Ring’s Hobbiton set!

5. Where is your favorite place to knit?

Tucked up on the couch, with a coffee and something to watch. If it’s cold enough to throw on a blanket, even better!

6. What is your favorite thing in your notions bag?

Right now it’s actually the notions bag itself! I feel so lucky to have been gifted a gorgeous one from Rose Marlow recently, sewn out of handwoven 100-year old fabric. It’s so beautiful and precious. But, if I have to choose from it’s contents, it’s probably my needle gauge. It’s just a plastic one bought from a chain craft store, but not only can it check needle sizes and has both inch and centimetre rulers, but also features a small safety blade for cutting yarn. I’d really like to invest in a wooden one though, like the beautiful ones available from Twig & Horn!

7. What do you do when you’re not knitting?

I used to read all the time and miss it now, so I try to pick up a book when I can. We’re also big trivia fans, and love a good pub quiz! But if I’m honest…I’m mostly knitting! 🙂

8. What is on your knitting bucket list?

Definitely more sweaters to build my handmade wardrobe! I’d really like to work on a colourwork one, and to add some chunky cardigans to the collection.

9. Who is your favorite knitting buddy? 

I feel really lucky to have several special knitting buddies! After years of unfortunately not knowing any local knitters, I now have an amazing group of knit night friends and we try to catch up at least once every 2 weeks. (Hi Cassie, Lauren, Sarah and Tanya!) But there’s also our lovely online knitting community, and all the people I’ve had the opportunity to meet through social media. Though we live on opposite sides of the globe, I know friends in Germany, Norway, the US, Canada, New Zealand… the internet is amazing for bringing us knitters together! Of course I also have to mention my wonderful partner, who doesn’t knit but is wonderfully supportive, and very patient about the yarn stash that keeps slowly filling more and more spaces in our home

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