For our latest instalment of Meet the Maker we caught up with new mum Emma Kylmala. Based in London but originally from Finland, Emma has been a Gang member since last March and is loving it! We talk to Emma about chunky knits, woollen socks and how she manages to find knitting time in between naps.
When Emma first moved to UK ten years ago she didn’t expect stay long, but after falling in love and finding her dream job in costume design it only seemed right. Emma now lives in London with her partner and their seven week-old baby Matilda, who is Emma’s new favourite knit model. When we spoke about Finnish knitting Emma told us that “knitting in Finland isn’t particularly fashionable, but very common. People knit a lot of super thick jumpers, socks and mittens for the cold winters”. Emma’s own wardrobe is overflowing with chunky accessories to keep her warm, including our Big Foot Socks. We shared a pot of tea and a packet of biscuits, and got down to discussing why she loves all things wooly….
As a new mama, how are you finding the time to knit?
At the moment I squeeze in a lot of knitting during nap time, sometimes I even knit with Matilda having a snooze on my lap.
When did you first pick up your knit stix?
I had to learn knitting at school when I was about 12. Ironically I hated it and only half finished the project we had to make. My mum taught properly when I was a teenager, but I only took up knitting again two years ago and fell in love.
Which WATG project have you enjoyed the most?
For myself, I love a Snood Dogg. They’re so cosy to wear and lovely to knit.
What’s your favourite piece from the Baby Gang collection?
Matilda is getting a collection of Step In Time booties. She has two pairs already and a third pair on their way. Im planning to knit some Orlando Bloomers for her next – they will be great for the summer.
What’s your proudest knitting moment?
Having people buy things I’ve knitted is fantastic. It gives me a sense of achievement knowing people around the world are enjoying wearing things I’ve made.
Where is your happy place to knit?
I love my cosy nook on my sofa. I keep all my yarn and needles close by as well as a cup of tea and a slice of cake.
Who would you invite to your WATG Knit Party?
My grandma definitely. She died few years ago, but was an amazing knitter and I wish I’d been able to learn from her. She could knit a pair of socks in an hour and she only had one thumb!
What are your purls of wisdom?
Hmm…when it comes to yarn, I’m a bit of a snob. Invest in quality, not quantity.
Emma, how do you keep your hands and fingers from seizing up on you after so much knitting? I know you are young, but even 20 years ago my fingers, especially my thumb, got so stressed out that I had to quit knitting every three days or so. I’m so glad you are happily knitting away in the UK. Congratulations on your new baby [adorable]. Cheers
Hello!I suffered from really bad carpal tunnel syndrome during pregnancy. It made me stop knitting for few months. Apart from that I’ve been quite lucky and havent had any problems. I usually have quite a few projects on the go at the same time, all different so I swap between different sized needles and yarn alot. I also sew for a living so I think my hands are used to working hard
I would love to meet Emma as I leave in London. I have also started to knit when I became an aunt at 12yrs old and haven’t stopped since then. I became the knitter of the family with 3 children and 6 grandchildren since then.
I also do cross stitches in wool. My house in fool of cushions made by me.
I would be interested to join any of her groups as I enjoy so much knitting with all sort of yarns. It is so relaxing to knit watching television in the evening. It is my yoga…..
What are some of your other favorite yarn brands? I too believe in quality vs. quantity and I’m always on the hunt!
Hmm..I tend to buy various brands depending on what Im making, but I pretty much always stick to natural fibres. If Im making traditional Finnish garments, I bring yarn from home as there are great quality wool mix yarns in Scandinavia. I love searching for fairs for new yarns, which is how I originally found Wool and the gang. I cant resist a rummage in a wool shop and pick yarns by the colour or the way they feel.