Stop number 5 is Malaysia to visit knitwear and crochet designer Lily Go.
**Lily is participating in the Indie Design Gift-A-Long on Ravelry with 292 other designers from 21 countries. 10 of her beautiful patterns are 25% off through November 21 @11:59pm EST with code giftalong2014 – come join us!
Hi, Lily! Thank you so much for joining the tour. Let’s start with where you live, where you are from, and what you miss most about your hometown?
Currently I live in Penang, Malaysia. Originally, I came from Indonesia. I moved to Penang to follow my husband, who is Malaysian. We met in the United States when we studied at Oklahoma University. The one thing that I miss most is my parents.
What’s the best thing about where you live?
Penang is famous for the view, the culture (one of the cities of Penang, Georgetown, has been accorded a listing as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site), and of course the food. Mostly, Penang is famous as a food heaven. My parents always visit me once a year for a week visit, and by the end of the week, they always complain about their weight gain. My favorite local street food: the famous Penang Laksa.
That looks delicious! Do you have a favorite snack or drink for when you work?
I can not drink or eat while designing. However, I love to listen to audiobooks when doing the actual knitting. The more interesting the book, the faster I knit.
I love multitasking when I knit, I’ll have to try audiobooks. How did you get started crocheting and knitting and how did it turn into designing?
I learned how to crochet when I was only 4 or 5 years old. I learned it from watching my auntie crocheting. As for knitting, I only learned it from the internet in 2006, after seeing and reading knitting blogs. Then one day I stumbled upon a knitting blog where she offers her knitting patterns for sale. This idea fascinated me and motivated me to do the same. I told my husband about my idea and his response was “Who is crazy enough to pay for that?” His comment didn’t discourage me, and I managed to publish my first pattern, Sage Cardigan, in February 25, 2007.
I guess there are a lot of crazy people after all. After my husband saw that I managed to sell my patterns, he offered to help in some way. I tried to teach him to crochet and knit, but he lost interest as soon as he knew how to do the basic stitches. In the end, I told him to dye yarns for me, since he loves to cook. This is how our Rendezvous Yarn born.
The Sage Cardigan is really lovely and your yarns are absolutely gorgeous. Where is your favorite place to work?
I designed most of my patterns inside my room, in front of my laptop. However, there was one time that I had to follow my husband overseas for 7 months when I had to design inside the hotel rooms. During that time, I managed to design Poison Ivy, Cassandra, Narnia, Remember Me, Liliiflora, and Blue Lagoon. I was very productive then because there was nothing else to do beside design, sightsee, and relax.
What is your design process like?
I plan it all out (the design, the shape, calculate the yardage for all the sizes) before I pick up my needles to knit. Sometimes if the design doesn’t looks good knitted, then I need to make some adjustments, unravel the yarns and start all over again. This process continues until finally I am satisfied with the result. Only then I write the written direction and to do formatting.
Where do you find inspiration for your designs?
Since I live on a tropical island, we are always surrounded by trees and flowers all year long. So, it’s no wonder if there are always some flower or leaves involved in my designs such as When The Flowers Bloom (knit) and Gathering Leaves (crochet). I also love to read, that is why you can find a lot of my designs named for children’s books: Narnia, Laura (the main character of Little House on The Prairie), Princess and The Pea, Fox and The Grapes.
Thank you so much, Lily! I really enjoyed learning more about your home, designs, and inspirations.