Knitter Spotlight: Fiona (Fiona64 on Ravelry)
During the past four months, the Knitter Spotlight interviews have brought us to many places in the world. After our recent stopovers in Finland, then Canada and the United States, we are now heading back to the Old Continent and the verdant UK.
Always on-the-go, Fiona is a talented wildlife photographer who spends a lot of time travelling to faraway lands to catch the beauty of apes and monkeys. Which might be where her passion for blacks and greys come from: an everyday reminder of the gorgeousness of their dark and silky fur.
I learned to knit… Like many, I was taught to knit by my grandmother when I was aged 4. I was fascinated straight away although didn’t really produce anything that would be recognisable as a project until much later in my teenage years.
I usually knit… whenever I get the opportunity. My job takes me overseas so lots of plane and airport knitting, plus the usual downtime when things don’t go to plan. When I am at home it is in front of the TV or listening to the radio, the perfect way to unwind. When I can make it I also attend a knit group at my LYS (A Yarn Story in Bath, England) where I can catch up with friends and my social knitting projects.
My typical day… This is tough. I am a wildlife photographer specialising in photographing monkeys and apes in Africa and Asia. When I am away from home days are far from typical, often in quite remote and challenging conditions. Projects have to be portable and lightweight due to luggage allowances which makes Janina’s designs perfect! Both of my ‘Shine’ projects and ‘Antarktis’ were knitted on location. When I am in the UK I work from home and spend a lot of time in front of the computer. Knitting is my way of unwinding in the evening and my antidote for too much screen time.
My favorite things about the place I live… I love that I see countryside from my windows but still have access to a fabulous city like Bath. I can lose myself by simply staring out of my windows across the fields and hills. The view is constantly changing due to the seasons and whatever weather nature throws at us. I need to at least see nature to feel alive, even if it is in the very developed environment that is present day England.
My favorite time of the year is… It has to be spring, not just for the usual reasons of seeing new growth and better weather, but because it is the time of year when I end up travelling the most so I completely miss it back home. I leave in winter and seem to arrive back in summer. I miss all the changes that come with the new season, especially the fresh new leaves and spring flowers. So when I get to experience it first-hand I try to really appreciate it.
My favorite travel destination(s)… I’ve been lucky enough to travel to many different parts of the world. The reality now is that my favourite travel destination is ‘coming home’. Whilst I enjoy all the places I travel to and especially the animals I work with, it does make you appreciate what you have on your doorstep. I hope that doesn’t make me sound ungrateful. I am the first to admit how lucky I am to do what I do.
My favorite yarn is… I love my hand dyed yarns particularly those from The Uncommon Thread, Dye for Yarn, La Bien Aimée and Kettle Yarns, but I also have a weakness for the pure luxury of Shibui Yarns.
The first project I ever knitted… Apart from strange looking blankets for teddy bears my first true projects were sweaters knit whilst at school. I even wore them. My most worn project was a Lopi sweater in grey, black and cream, knit when I was 13. This was also my first project knit in the round.
My favorite colour is… This is easy, as a quick glance at my project page and stash on Ravelry will show. All things grey with a lot of black thrown in for good measure! I try to appreciate other colours but can’t seem to drag myself away from the greys, for now at least.
Right now I have on my needles… I always have a few different projects on the go at any one time, so hopefully I have a something suitable for different moods and situations. Right now this includes a sleeveless sweater, a shawl and a couple of summer pieces that need to be finished off.
Next project on my needles will be… I am getting ready to travel again so will be looking for suitable portable projects. I have a habit of repeating projects that I have particularly enjoyed so there are several versions of the same design in different colours (so long as it is grey!) and yarns. With this in mind I am planning to re-knit Ardent and Antarktis at some stage very soon. And then there’s Passeggiata, Melodia, Diamond Ice, the list goes on…
My other creative passions include… Of course there is my photography. I’m so lucky to have a creative ‘day job’. Plus for leisure I also do tapestry and try to make sense of my garden.
I’m very good at… Hmmmm…. I like to think that there is always room for improvement.
I’m slightly obsessed with... yarn, Ravelry, knitting!!!! You know how it is! Seriously though, I have quite a weakness for knitting shawls. I only started in 2016 and quickly found Janina’s designs. The rest is history.
I have never… stopped adding to my stash even though I probably need another lifetime to knit all the projects I have planned.
Something I’d still love to learn/do/experience in this lifetime is… I like to think I am forever learning and experiencing new things. I never want that feeling to leave me.
My favorite quote is…
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —
I took the one less traveled by,
and that has made all the difference.”
Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken
All photos ©Fiona Rogers/Fiona64