Katie Jones is the designer behind the patterns in the Hobbii #NoShadesOfGreyMAL. We asked Katie about her passion for crochet and knitting, how she works with her designs and what her favorite color is.

Do you also enjoy knitting and crocheting with all the colors of the rainbow? And preferably all of them in the same project? Then it is about time you get to know the British pattern designer Katie Jones!

Katie has a long and thrilling resume that includes 7 years at university, a stand at London Fashion Week, her own brand (which she runs alongside her mom, Annie) and a brand new book Hip to Be Square which tributes the Granny Square.

Katie has a strong love for colors which is very explicit in her unique and exuberant yarn universe. Therefore, the #NoShadesOfGreyMAL is truly a match made in heaven! Hobbii + Katie Jones = ❤️🌈🧶

We spoke to Katie about it all - and a little extra! 👇

Psst! Read on to get Katie’s top 3 tips for knitting and crocheting.

👆 ”It's been a wild, wooly crafting journey, and I’m really excited for this Hobbii Make-Along to be the next adventure!”

1. When did you become interested in knitting and crochet?

“I was a crafty kid, and both of my Grandma’s knitted or crocheted. Even my Grandad was a pretty good knitter.

I started out as a knitter myself. I loved that you could control every aspect of the design. I’m just a big control freak really, haha! I ended up going to university to study Fashion Design Knitwear and was there for 7 years!

At university, I mainly knitted and it wasn't until my 3rd year that I fell in love with crochet. I was working for a London based designer and I spent hours on the knit machine. When working I didn’t want to sit in the same position all the time so I started crocheting more and once I started I couldn't stop!”

2. What is your professional background?

“Crochet then became my specialism and I worked as a showpiece designer and maker, which basically means I made bespoke crochet pieces for different fashion brands.

After I graduated, I was missing the creative process so I started working into upcycling existing jumpers. I was invited to have a stand at a sustainable area during London Fashion week. Lots of people ended up seeing the collection which I think comes down to the fact that my stand was near the free coffee, haha! From there it snowballed and my small idea to  sell a few jumpers became a fashion brand!

Sustainable fashion was just starting to become more popular. My brand was using surplus waste materials and I loved the idea of making something beautiful from nothing.

My small business was growing but it meant that I was able to do less making and had a more administrative role. I was missing the creative community.

I started doing workshops and found my love for the craft again. In 2018, I changed my brand to MIY, Make It Yourself.”

👆 Katie runs her brand along with her mom, Annie.

3. How did you want to inspire others?

“I wanted to show people how to make pieces themselves, rather than buy it ready-made. So I chose to make my designs more open - and not just restricted to luxury ready-made pieces - and it meant that so many more people could connect to them.

They could make the designs themselves, exactly like they wanted them, pick the right size, the perfect color palette and their favorite fiber!

As a designer, this was so freeing. I could enjoy the process and be part of an amazing online crafting community! Platforms like Instagram have let me showcase my work to a much broader audience and connect with so many makers.

It's been a wild, wooly crafting journey, and I’m really excited for this Hobbii Make-Along to be the next adventure!”

4. What does your design process look like from idea to finished project?

“I always start with research and mood boarding. If I have a loose idea, I want to dive into that world. I never start out with a fixed idea.

I am drawn to colors and patterns and I like gathering images from artists' books, exhibitions and Pinterest. I try to avoid looking at crochet designs so I can create something fresh.

When I have a loose idea I tend to play around with the yarns and see what I come up with. After a few samples, I then start playing around with designs. I like working this way as the design evolves and changes.”

👆 Katie’s home studio is colorful and filled with yarn, needles, hooks and images for inspiration. In this photo you might be able to spot some Hobbii yarns! 👀

5. What were you inspired by for #NoShadesOfGreyMAL?

“The designs for the Hobbii Make-Along have been particularly interesting to work with since I had to come up with a knit pattern and a crochet pattern with a similar looking design. I liked the challenge of designing one piece and working out how it could work both in knit and crochet.

For this particular project, I went to the Kaffe Fassett Quilt exhibition at the Fashion and Textile Museum in London and that really sparked my ideas! I have also been loving the repurposed quilt coats that have been trending and I wanted to explore this as an idea.”

Wanna join the Make-Along? Read more here.

6. What characterizes your crochet and knitting universe?


Colors and patterns are my big loves and I think this is prominent in all my work. I just want my wooly world to bring joy!

I also love how a lot of small elements can come together in one piece. I have always been drawn to Granny Squares and last year I published a book called Hip to Be Square.”

7. How do you choose and put together colors in your projects? 

“I look for color palettes in art. It is a great place to see how the colors work together. Then I transform it into fabric.

A tutor once told me that a good color palette consists of three colors you like and one color you would normally never pick to go with the others. This is a rule I use quite often to get interesting mixes.”

8. Do you have a favorite color?

“My problem is I love all the colors and I find it hard to limit! I loved this project as I got to use so many.

With that said, I am a pink person. At university, I used to prefer pink so much that my tutor banned me from using it!”

👆 “My problem is I love all the colors and I find it hard to limit!”

9. Do you prefer to knit or crochet? If you can decide!

“To go against my Instagram handle and website name katiejonesknit, I’m usually much more of a crocheter now.

I’m quite slapdash and I think crochet can be more forgiving than knitting. I am also just a lot quicker at crochet and I’m an inpatient maker.

I tend to wind down with knitting though, since it forces me to slow down. I have really been enjoying getting back into knitting!”

10. What are your top three tips or hacks for knitters and crocheters?

Tip number 1: I love changing between colors, but I hate doing ends! When crocheting try to hide the ends as you go by trapping as many as you can in your stitches. When knitting be sure to do the ends as you go or use the ends to stitch up the piece. My trick is to use a latch hook which is basically a knit machine needle that you can use to weave your ends in. You can also - if you hate doing ends like me - just leave all the ends on the inside of the piece if they are not visible anyway.

Tip number 2: Don't be scared of a design or pattern! If you want to make that piece, just try! Sometimes a piece looks complicated, but just break the pattern down, watch a how to video and give it a go, and you will surprise yourself!

Tip number 3: Tension squares, tension squares, tension squares! When making a piece, especially a garment, do not skip this part. It's a lot easier to change your hook or needles than your tension. So if your swatch is off, switch your sizes of needles or hook rather than trying to knit or crochet looser or tighter. Also, it’s good to keep checking your tension and project while you work.”

Want to join the #NoShadesOfGrey Mystery Make-Along?

Are you also really excited to knit or crochet a colorful mystery project along with Katie Jones? We know we are! Join us for the Mystery Make-Along #NoShadesOfGreyMAL.

Psst! The project is a cardigan (and that’s all we’re going to say!) 😉

Katie has created not just one, but two (surprisingly similar!) designs - one for knitters and one for crocheters. From February 9, you can buy the kit. Get your kit here >>

Sign up for the Make-Along here:

US - Click here >>
UK - Click here >>
EU - Click here >>

Do you want to know more before you decide? Read more about the Make-Along here.