Knit & Crochet Superstar

Sleepy Eyes Knits

Stitch along with Gina from Sleepy Eyes Knits

Gina House
Londonderry, New Hampshire
Knitwear designer, archery, hoopdance & yoga instructor

When did you first start knitting / crocheting and where did you learn?

My great aunt taught me how to crochet when I was about 11 years old. I remember making a VERY long crochet chain and wondering what I was supposed to do next! lol!

She also introduced me to all sorts of crafts - sewing, painting, cross stitch, doll making, etc. She was a very feisty and talented lady!

My mom tried to teach me to knit when I was in my late teens, but I don't know if I was really "getting it" then. I don't think I was motivated at the time, but I appreciated her help. I kept thinking how hard it was to handle the "two metal sticks" in my hands :P

When I became pregnant with my second son, I decided to learn how to knit. I took a class at a local Ben Franklin craft store and the teacher, Darla Cote, was amazing. She taught us how to fix our own mistakes and how not to be scared to try something new.

These incredible women made a huge impact on my life and I will always remember how patient and helpful they were (and are!) to me.

Can you remember the first thing you made?

The very first thing that I crocheted was a hat. I think I used purple was very wonky. But, cute. I wore it and got many compliments on it. I wish I still had it!

The very first item that I knit was a scarf. (This was before I took the knitting class.) I used a yarn that I chose for color and texture (though, now, I would laugh if I saw my yarn choice!) and it's inexpensive price. The only other thing I can remember about it was that I couldn't figure out how to bind off the scarf. It was SO long (and very uneven)...until I asked someone and they showed me what to do. lol! It was a scary, but satisfying experience.

Who are your favourite pattern designers and celebrity knitters & crocheters?

My absolute favorite pattern designers are:

1. Ysolda Teague, whose designs are so adorable, flattering and the patterns are incredibly well written.

2. Joanna Johnson, whose style is very similar to mine. I want to knit everything she's designed. She's also a lovely and interesting person, too.

3. Purlsoho/Purlbee is also one of my favorites. Their website is amazing and I look forward to their new designs/projects every month. Very inspiring!

What are your favourite things to stitch and do you have a favorite item you've made?

My favorite things to knit are shawls. I love how something so complicated, and which can appear to be just a big piece of raggy looking fabric, can be transformed into a gorgeous piece of lace after blocking. This magic is addictive! :D

This may sound boastful (I hope not!), but my favorite items that I've made are two of my own designs: The Amanda Hat and a new shawl design, which hasn't been published yet. I've knit my Amanda Hat about 17 times (just the adult version!) and the new shawl design I've knit 3 times...and not because I *had* to...because I wanted to :D

What music/podcasts/TV shows do you love to stitch along to?

I love to watch British TV shows while I knit. Especially, "Call the Midwife", "Downton Abbey", "Keeping Up Appearances", "The IT Crowd", "The Paradise", "Vicar of Dibley", "Doc Martin", "Bletchely Circle" and "Miranda". I have re-watched them SO many times. But, they are excellent accompaniments to my knitting.

Do you do any other crafts and what are your hobbies?

Other crafts that I love are sewing, book binding, cross stitch, crochet, scrapbooking and painting.

Some of my favorite hobbies include: archery, hula hooping, reading, journaling, crystals, tarot cards and making natural beauty products.

My husband always thinks I have TOO many!

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

I am incredibly grateful for this opportunity to share my love of knitting and designing with this website. Thanks so much!!! xoxox

Gina House
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What's your favorite...

TV Show
A Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks
Yarn Brand
Plucky Knitter
Places To Knit/Crochet
With my knitting group - The Manchvegas Knitters at Barnes & Noble bookstore :)