When did you first start knitting / crocheting and where did you learn?
My Mother taught me to knit when I was three. It was a garter stitch square, it was pink and she knitted far more rows than I did. My Great-Aunt taught me to crochet a few years later.
Can you remember the first thing you made?
Apart from the pink square, I remember knitting scarves for dolls and little garter stitch teddy bears. I made endless crochet Granny blankets (with my Granny appropriately enough), using up oddments of yarn.
Who are your favourite pattern designers and celebrity knitters & crocheters?
Elizabeth Zimmermann is at the top of the list obviously. The way she plays with knitting and breaks all the rules is so inspiring. Also, her books are a great read. I use the Knitting Treasuries by Barbara Walker a lot and the old Mary Thomas knitting books too.
Among current designers, I love Pat Ashforth's mathematically inspired patterns and her husband Steve Plummer's illusion knitting designs are amazing works of art. Dedri Uys is my favourite crochet designer at the moment. For toys you can't beat the Jean Greenhowe patterns. Toy patterns are hard to design and to write well but she gives you such detailed instructions that you can't go wrong.
What are your favourite things to stitch and do you have a favorite item you've made?
Blankets, definitely blankets. And the more colourful the better. I suppose I would have to say my Ten Stitch Blanket is my favourite and not just because it's my most popular pattern. There's something about it that makes it very compulsive knitting; I very rarely knit my designs again but I keep going back to this one.
What music/podcasts/TV shows do you love to stitch along to?
I mostly listen to classical music on BBC Radio 3 although, in the summer, I switch to Test Match Special to follow the cricket.
I listen to audiobooks a lot too while doing my knitting or crochet but only when the actual designing is done and I've learnt the pattern so that I don't have to concentrate on what I'm doing.
Do you do any other crafts and what are your hobbies?
Oh yes, I don't think I've met a craft I don't like. As well as the knitting and crochet, I weave - pin looms and rigid heddle so far, although I hanker after an Inkle loom too - spin, quilt, embroider ... you name it, I do it. Recently I've discovered tatting and Tunisian Crochet, both of which are very exciting.
In between all that craft I read a lot and enjoy walking. I also play various instruments, piano, violin and recorder at the moment although I'm always open to offers from new instruments.
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
I'd like to mention the charity that I support through my designing. All my patterns (over 400 so far) are free but I ask that people consider donating to The Children's Liver Disease Foundation via my fundraising page www.justgiving.com/frankiesknittedstuff
I've been designing for ten years now and, in that time, knitters and crocheters all round the world have helped me raise over £18,000 for this very worthwhile cause. Let's make it £20,000 soon.