Based in Rotorua, Joy is a keen knitter whose hobby led to the creation of RolledOats: “My background is in IT Support and I spent five years working in London. In 2007 I returned to New Zealand to take care of my Mum who has cancer. Spending more time at home meant I rediscovered knitting. I started with scarves and moved on to hats, cowls, shrugs and vests. I mostly made things to give away and then started RolledOats. I find knitting relaxing and creative and I love that you can take it anywhere. It’s a great conversation starter.”
What do you make? I knit hats, cowls and scarves
Your favourite materials, tools and processes?
I love the circular knitting needle, it’s fantastic. You can knit a hat without a seam so that there’s really no wrong side. I like bamboo needles or plastic; metal needles are a killer. Occasionally I knit with acrylic or wool blends but mostly I like 100% pure New Zealand wool.
When making an item I usually get my core colours and just start knitting. Most of the time I don’t plan exactly how it’s going to look and this seems to work. I like varying colours and surprising myself with the outcome.
What inspires you?
Interesting colour combinations, knitting to order (the challenge of turning a description into reality), my brother who is always full of good opinions (and models for me) and seeing someone wearing my work.
Is there a philosophy behind your work?
I very much like the idea of handmade, buying NZ made, and supporting local talent. I’m inspired by the old days when people made their own cushions and turned old clothes into quilts. Handmade items have a uniqueness, not only because they’re not mass produced but also because they’re made with love, care and consideration.
My personal philosophy is to do what I enjoy, and at the moment I’m loving what I do.
Describe your workspace:
I don’t consider this work, it’s fun! I can knit just about anywhere. Sometimes I do a bit of designing at my desk. It would be nice to keep things organised and tidy but in reality the wool often overruns my desk threatening to take over. Every now and then I have a total tidy-up and vow to keep it that way.
Your favourite movie? Stranger than Fiction
Your favourite childhood book? The Giant Jam Sandwich – it is such an ingenius idea..
What are you reading now? And Still We Rise – Miles Corwin
Your hero/heroine: My Mum, I always show her my latest project and she always loves it..
A favourite quote: “God is love.” 1 John 4:16
If you were a crayon, what colour would you be? A red one