I’m super-excited to share today’s interview with you all. I had the opportunity to speak with Laura because she’s also participating in the gift-along! You can check out her designs on Ravelry, and her blog over at her website: Laura Chau.
Becky: Where did the name Cosmicpluto come from? (I’ve secretly always wondered this, now I get to ask!)
Laura: Oy, it’s not a very good story! It was the late 90s, and I needed to come up with a username for my first Hotmail account. Glittery makeup was super in fashion (at least among the Seventeen set) and Pluto was my favourite planet, so I portmanteau-ed it up and came up with cosmicpluto. (Sailor Pluto from Sailor Moon was also my favourite – she had super long, dark green hair!)
Becky: I don’t know, I think that’s at least as good a story as my old Ravelry name: Ladysaphira… You can still see remnants of all our younger selves all over the internet…)
Becky: Where do you find inspiration for your designs?
Laura: Is it cliche to say everywhere? I had a bit of a time when I was trying to emulate things I saw in fashion magazines, but knitting takes so long it just never really worked out to be on trend. Nowadays I’m really trying to work more on coming up with my own ideas for shapes and textures. I love yarn, so a lot of the time I buy the yarn and wait to see what it wants to become!
Becky: How did you first get started designing?
Laura: I started knitting seriously in university and got a job working in a yarn shop shortly after that, so I learned quickly! I was surrounded by awesome yarn and awesome knitters with loads of ideas. I knit quite a lot of things before I first decided to design a sweater for myself – we had gotten in a yarn that I LOVED, Artyarns Supermerino, and I wanted a sweater that I couldn’t find a pattern for. That one become Lucy in the Sky! At around the same time, Amy Singer of Knitty asked me to design a lacy cardigan for the magazine, which I was thrilled to – that one is Serrano.
Becky: Ah… 2006. That was when I first discovered online patterns. I think I printed Serrano out and saved it somewhere in hard copy. You know, back in the days before Ravelry when it was so hard to keep track of online patterns. I’m afraid all this reminiscing about the past is making me sound old!
Becky: What’s your favorite thing to knit? (either for designs, or on your own)
Laura: I enjoy knitting pretty much anything, but I love knitting sweaters so much it might actually be a problem.
Becky: What do you do in your down time? (besides knitting)
Laura: I spin, and am trying to get more into sewing both clothes and quilts. I also love to cook and bake. In the summer I try to grow veggies on my front porch.
Becky: Now about this GAL thing. When/how did you first hear about the gift-along?
Laura: I think I heard about it last year, but it was too late to join in the fun. I really wanted to be on top of it this year!
Becky: Pick one of your own designs that you think makes the perfect gift and tell us why you think that.
Laura: Orbital Ornaments! I especially love the rocket ship, and I had a great time flexing my creative knitting muscles to design them. They’re perfect for the tree, or a mobile, or just as decorations around the house for space lovers.
Becky: Name one thing you hope to finish during the gift-along. Or, if you’re not knitting gifts this year, what’s one other designer’s pattern you WISH you were knitting?
Laura: I’m knitting a laceweight version of my Bestellen shawl that I’m hoping to give as a gift, but I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself to finish.
I don’t have fun if I’m trying too hard to finish on a deadline! I wish I was knitting Wainwright by Bristol Ivy for myself, she is ever so smart.