I had to do two double-takes when I first spied DrFrankKnits creations. Are those knitted? Why yes – yes they are! These little 3D gizmo’s are phenomenal! I was both tickled and inspired when I happened upon the creative inventions found on her blog – From the Needles of DrFrankKnits. The Free Pattern Friday feature will keep me coming back for more!
I couldn’t resist contacting this inventive designer to get the scoop on her ingenuity:
DrFrankKnits – We’re so inspired by your playful sense of design! Where do you get your inspiration?
“The inspiration for my designs comes from everywhere – literally! I consider myself a sort of sculptor, and like a sculptor, my inspiration comes from the world around me. Grocery store, craft store, movies and TV, on a hike … you name it, I’ve found inspiration there. You will often see certain themes in my work, however. I’m a bit of a science and science fiction nut, so a lot of my designs focus on that. I’m also fascinated by vehicles, particularly classic vehicles – but really anything that evokes that sense of travel, motion and speed is an exciting item to knit. I like food, too – although food can be a dangerous thing to knit sometimes – my devotion to realism sometimes leaves me with some fierce cravings.”
My nephews would absolutely love some of these things. Do you knit for the children in your family?
“Surprisingly enough, there actually are no kids in my family. Sometimes I’ll make things for the children and grandchildren of friends, but generally I’m making things either for myself or for my friends. Maybe I just never really grew up! For me, it’s nice to walk into a house adorned with whimsical little things. No matter what age you are, I think all of us get a little excited to see rocket ships hanging from the ceiling and model cars perched on a shelf! In spite of not having children myself, everything I design is done with child safety in mind, but ultimately, I want my toys or the toys you knit from one of my patterns to be something every member of the family of any age can enjoy – and something that will be kept and handed down as a treasured heirloom.”
Well, I’m not sure if I want those rocket ships more for my nephews or myself, but either way, I’m putting Mom right to work on them.! 🙂 What kind of yarn do you recommend for your patterns?
“Personally, I like using a basic inexpensive acrylic worsted weight yarn for my toys. Around my house they tend to sit as display pieces, but they are intended to be fully functional toys, so it’s useful to have a fiber that will hold up to lots of play – and also be washable if the item gets dirty, like all good toys do. However, since toys don’t have strict gauge requirements like clothing and other wearables, the types of fibers and needle sizes used can be easily altered. Want to make a smaller toy? Just use a lighter weight yarn and smaller needles! I love toys for their awesome stash-busting powers as well! They typically use only a small amount of yarn and the colors can often be varied to use up some of those partial skeins and balls that just seem to keep hanging around forever. That way, we have an excuse to go out and buy more yarn to replace them! It’s a vicious cycle, isn’t it?!”
True – Mom is always talking about her stash – but I’m not much of a knitter. I saw your patterns for sale on Ravelry. Do you sell your finished objects also?
“Yes! I do sell patterns and finished objects on Etsy! You can find my designs in my etsy shop: “DrFrankKnits” which is a reference to the TV show Mystery Science Theater 3000. I have a friend who couldn’t keep the characters of Dr. Forrester and TV’s Frank straight, so she put them together and somehow “Dr. Frank” became my nickname! I’m Dr. Frank and I Knit – voila! Shop name!”
Have you always been an artist – making things and designing?:
“I’ve done a lot of things in life. I’ve worked as a teacher’s assistant and tutor. I worked for an Artificial Intelligence magazine as a sort of “Girl Friday” – I did a little of everything there from filing subscriptions to editing to writing to webmastering (is that a word?!) I went to college and got my degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology. I went to culinary school and worked as a baker at a 5-diamond resort. And now here I am designing toys! I just like learning new things, I guess. I’m part left-brain, part right-brain; part scientist, part artist. You’ll see a lot of that dichotomy in my work, I think. Overall, I just like to think that I’m a fun, caring person. Making people happy brings me a lot of joy in life.
I also want to encourage people to contact me or comment on blog posts if you have anything you’d like to say – seriously, anything! Knitters and other fiber artists are some of the nicest people in the world, and I’d love to create a community filled with the joy of toys. If you’re dying to see something knitted, let me know! For now I’m doing a free pattern feature on Fridays on my blog. I can’t guarantee that it will go on forever as an “every Friday” thing, but I do like to show my appreciation for my followers by providing you with some cool little freebies!
Since I have so many interests and almost anything can be the source of inspiration, you may never know really what to expect from me, but no matter what toys I make, I hope that they bring a smile to your face and a chuckle to your lips – and maybe a new found admiration for and knowledge about the item depicted!”