Meet the Author
Hey there, can you introduce yourself?
My family and I live in a wooden cape-style farmhouse with a large center chimney built in 1751 in western Massachusetts. I grew up in a family of 5 sisters and have been sewing, stitching, knitting, and crocheting forever. Color is my thing and I love to decorate my home with textiles and objects I have made and collected. My husband Mark, our teenage daughter Julia, and I also raise 400 sheep and sell our lamb at local farmers markets. I was a Creative Director at Classic Elite Yarns for 16 years and am the author and illustrator of 12 books, mostly about knitting and embroidery. Crafting a Colorful Home is my first interior decorating book and I loved doing it.
Tell us a bit about the book?
Crafting a Colorful Home is a story about our home and how I used my love of color to decorate it. Many of my walls are decoratively painted and stamped. My methods for doing this are included - I even show how to paint a mural. In addition to 12 techniques, I also give instructions for 21 DIY projects including painting, crochet, knit, stitchery, sewing, and fabric printing.
What was the inspiration behind it?
The inspiration for the book was my home which was featured on an On-Line Interior Decorating and Architechtural website called Houzz.com - here is the link:
The article generated over 290 comments and readers went crazy over it. I told my literary agent about the article and we decided we should approach a publisher. Roost Books like the idea and that is how the book came about. I am an author of needlework, embroidery and stitching books but this one is a bit different for me.
Which is your favourite project?
I love the "Crazy Quilt Swatch Blanket" because it is made of my knitted swatches from 25 years of designing knitwear. It is really something. I look at it and I see all those past projects and events from my life.
What is your craft space like?
You can see my studio in the first chapter in the book but I do move around my house when working. In the winter, it is very cold here so I frequently work in the kitchen. I also like to knit in front of the woodstove in the library.
Have you always been creative?
Yes. I come from a family where my grandmother was an unbelievable needlewoman and quilter. My mom made all our clothes when we were small. I have always been around crafty women. I went to university for Textiles and Clothing too.
When did you first start crafting?
I really can't remember - it has been that long. I do remember the first thing I knit - it was a yellow and orange garter stitch purse with crocheted handles.
Who are your crafty heroes?
Wow - that is a hard question. I love soaking in anyone's handmade objects.
I look a lot to historic homes for my interior decorating inspiration. I visited Charleston House in the UK several years ago and brought home that vibe to our farmhouse. I visit a lot of historic homes here in the US and especially enjoy the ones owned by artists.
I have a collection of ethnic textiles which I began when I was in college and am astounded by the work done in faraway lands. I use a lot of their color combinations.
I read a lot of biographies about artists - Monet, Van Gogh, Picasso.
As for current artists, I suppose Kaffe Fassett would be the biggest inspiration for his sheer volume of work, love of color, and ability to adapt his style to all different mediums.
I am a big fan of the work of Jocasta Innes and am sad that she is no longer around. She was an amazingly prolific author.
I learned many of my embroidery techniques through the books of Erica Wilson.
Where do you find inspiration?
See para above. When I am decorating, I look to the space and determine what needs to be done. Light plays a big part in the use of color in the different rooms in my home.
What's next for you?
Right now, I am making pom poms with my odds and ends of yarn. There is a project in my book called a Toran and I am making some for friends.
I don't have any book plans at the moment. We will see where this one will go.
I am reviving my pottery making which I haven't done since my daughter was born 16 years ago.
Knit, stitch, and paint your way to a more colorful and happy home with color expert and crafter Kristin Nicholas.
Learn how to make your home sing through handmade crafts and a bold use of color. Kristin Nicholas, color expert and all-around master crafter, shares her secrets to selecting colors and patterns and explores the variety of crafts and decorating touches that have made her home so unique. Going room by room, Kristin uses her own 1751 farmhouse as a leaping-off point for craft projects perfect for every space. You'll find a range of step-by-step projects to make your home cozy and bright, including knit pillows, embroidered curtains, crocheted blankets, and painted lampshades. Along the way, Kristin also shares DIY techniques on refinishing furniture, faux finishing walls, mural painting, and recycling wool clothes. Full of inspiration, and with vibrant photographs throughout, this is a complete guide to creating a home that reflects your own handmade style.