Knitters You Should Know: Chikka

Meet Chikka, the wayfaring knitter!  Mikka in real life, this knitter has an eye for color and a knack for utilizing texture to make beautiful yarns pop.  Her designs are beautiful, and look forward to seeing new ones pop up soon!  In fact, Mikka has just released a new pattern, Phaedra, a quick, fun knit!  Check it out! Make sure to look at Mikka’s Ravelry page, her blog, tumblr, and twitter!

How did you get into knitting? 
Seven years ago, I was wandering aimlessly around one of those massive RiteAid stores that sells everything, and ended up buying a cheap skein of yarn and a How To Knit pamphlet. I swear it took me an hour just to cast on, but I could immediately see that this was something I liked much more than I liked crochet (which I could already do, albeit really badly).

Do you have a ‘real world’ job other than knitting and knitwear design? If so, what do you do? 
I teach English as a foreign language, which I love. For the last three and a half years, I’ve been working abroad in Vietnam, China and most recently Japan, though I’m home in California for the summer, where I’m juggling a few part time jobs and – now that I suddenly have access to some awesome brick and mortar LYSs – knitting a lot.

Where are you from? Do you have one or two interesting insider tips or observations about your home or hometown? 
I’m from the East Bay area, near San Francisco, but I haven’t actually lived there since I was in high school, so I don’t know my hometown nearly as well well as I should! I would definitely recommend that visitors to San Francisco cross the Bay Bridge and visit Oakland and Berkeley though. Eat Ethiopian food on Telegraph Avenue, and drive up to Skyline Road in the mountains, where you can get a crazy panoramic view of the city (or else the fog, depending on the weather.)

Tell me about your favorite project. 
I think it might be the Favorite Cardigan by Wendy Bernard, which I knit in Madelinetosh’s tart colorway. I wear it all the time, it was fun to knit, the pattern is gorgeous, and I always get compliments on the color.

If you could have one splurge knitting purchase and project, what would it be? 
I would buy a bunch of Fyberspates Chunky yarn and knit Ysolda Teague’s Vivian sweater. Probably in red, even though I have way too many red sweaters :)

Who is your favorite knitwear designer and why? 
There are too many to list! If you look at my Ravelry project page, you can probably tell I love knitting patterns by Ysolda. Right now, I want to knit all of Cecily Glowik Macdonald’s sweaters. I also really like designers like Ariane Caron-Lacost and Jane Richmond, because they have these beautiful designs that look totally classic but also unique.

Do you have any hobbies other than knitting? 
I love photography, and got really into gardening last year when my apartment had a garden. Before I started living abroad, I was really into all sorts of crafty stuff – sewing, quilting, making jewelry – but I can’t bring all that with me as easily as I can a few balls of yarn, so knitting is my main crafty outlet these days.

What is in your knitting bag right now? 
I’m working on prototypes for a couple of designs I hope to release by this fall. They’re a bit more complicated than the designs I wrote in the past, and so I’m really excited about it, but I also spend a lot of time tinking and ripping out. I’m also, theoretically, making a Mr. Darcy sweater for my boyfriend’s birthday – but his birthday’s in two weeks and I’ve only knit 2 inches of the body, so maybe it’ll be for his birthday next year. I feel like he deserves something nice since he’s always tripping over balls of yarn.

Do you have any advice for new knitters trying to refine their craft, or trying to start designing? Any tips about self-publication? 
For new knitters, join Ravelry! I’m still amazed at how fast you can always get answers to all your questions, and it’s such a nice community. Also, don’t be afraid to branch out of your comfort zone, even if it means making mistakes. As for designers, I’m still so new to this that I’m not sure I’m qualified to give advice, though I will say for self-publishing, getting test knitters – there are a number of forums for this on Ravelry – is a great way to make sure your writing makes sense to others.

What role, if any, do you think knitting will have in your life in ten years?

I can’t imagine my life without knitting! There are so many more knitting related things I have yet to try, I can’t imagine ever getting bored with it.

3 Responses to “Knitters You Should Know: Chikka”
  1. mikka says:

    Thanks so much for featuring me!! :-)

  2. Julie says:

    a great profile!! I love her knits, she always has such beautiful (and beautifully photographed) FOs.

  3. Shelley says:

    Great interview. I am always interested in how other knitters think.

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