Designer Spotlight: Noma

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Today I’m happy to have Noma in the spotlight. You’ll find her designs on Ravelry under Noma Ndlovu, and they are beautiful! So many cute sweaters, but also wonderful shawls and other accessories.

Lesedi ©Noma Ndlovu

Loopy: Hi Noma! Thanks for being in our Designer Spotlight today – we’re happy to have you. Tell us how long you’ve been a knitter and who taught you to knit?

Noma: Hi Loopy! I’ve been knitting for almost 30 years and I was taught by my mum, aunt, and grandmother.

Dambisa Socks © Noma Ndlovu
Dambisa Socks © Noma Ndlovu

Loopy: So you’re carrying on the tradition in your family. I did that, too! What is your favorite type of item to knit?

Noma: I love knitting sweaters, just watching it come together and becoming a wearable pice is amazing!!

Thandeka Pullover © Noma Ndlovu
Thandeka Pullover © Noma Ndlovu

Loopy: It really is when you think about it. Two sticks and string and suddenly (ok, not so suddenly) you can wear it. Very cool. What is the most challenging thing that you have knit to date?

Noma: I only knit gloves with fingers once … it wasn’t exactly challenging but it was very fiddly!!

Babalwa © Noma Ndlovu
Babalwa © Noma Ndlovu

Loopy: I am right there with you on that. I also did them only once. And actually, mine weren’t even full gloves. Just fingerless mitts, but with half of a finger knit as well. Never again. When did you start designing and what spurred that interest?

Noma: I started designing sometime in 2013. I was pregnant and sick (hyperemesis gravidum) and knitting was the only thing that kept me pre-occupied. After spending some time on Ravelry and other knitting platforms, I discovered that designing was so fascinating.

Lettie Capelet © Noma Ndlovu
Lettie Capelet © Noma Ndlovu

Loopy: Well, I’m sorry you were so sick, but glad that it turned you to designing! Do you have a favorite pattern that you’ve designed?

Noma: That’s a really tough one to decide, but if I really have to choose one, I’d go with the Fairy Leaves Wrap. It’s a large Aran weight wrap and it was an impromptu design which I knit in 5 days. I chose it as my favourite because it’s one of the few projects I knitted from start to finish without getting bored … not even for a second and it came out better than I expected.

Fairy Leaves Wrap © Noma Ndlovu
Fairy Leaves Wrap © Noma Ndlovu

Loopy: That pattern has such a beautiful design feature in the middle! I love that. Even better that it’s quick to knit. What are your favorite and not so favorite parts of designing?

Noma: I love that moment when I’ve just finished writing the draft of the pattern and I finally cast-on. Seeing the design take shape is the best feeling ever!! On the other hand, there comes a point where the knitting gets monotonous, for example, a large stockinette section – that’s my least favourite part.

Minty Tee © Noma Ndlovu
Minty Tee © Noma Ndlovu

Loopy: It must be wonderful to go from “in your head” to “in your hands” like that. Do you do this full time or part time, and is that hard?

Noma: Currently I design full-time. The knitwear designing business can be hard in the sense that you can never predict how a pattern will perform until you publish it. Your favourite design which you’re most excited about may get a lukewarm response and one that you may not be too excited about or unsure of may be well received. The most important thing though for me is to design what I love and would be happy to wear instead of following trends for sales. I believe that being authentic pays off in the long run.

Colour Block Shawl © Noma Ndlovu
Colour Block Shawl © Noma Ndlovu

Loopy: I totally agree. Design what you love and want to wear! Do you have other jobs outside of pattern designing?

Noma: In the past years yes, I did. When I’m not designing, I work on my Personal Finance blog in creating content and providing Financial Literacy training. However, since my second daughter was born (March 2020), I’m now focusing on the knitwear designing business only.

Simple Ridges Shawl © Noma Ndlovu
Simple Ridges Shawl © Noma Ndlovu

Loopy: Does anyone else in your family knit? And would you like to tell us about your family?

Noma: My sister knits and lately she’s been assisting me with my samples. I’ve been married for 8 years to my husband Colbert, and we have 2 daughters – Sandi (almost 7 years old) and Noni (20 weeks).

Loopy: How great that your sister can be one of your sample knitters! Do you have other hobbies you enjoy?

Noma: Baking. I’d love to master pastry making one of these days.

Warm and Toasty Poncho  © Noma Ndlovu
Warm and Toasty Poncho © Noma Ndlovu

Loopy: Oh, me too. It’s such an art. Think of the practice sessions. 🙂 What would be your favourite way to spend a day off?

Noma: Reading an exciting novel with loads of suspense.

Standing Firm Wrap © Noma Ndlovu
Standing Firm Wrap © Noma Ndlovu

Loopy: That is a perfect way to “get away”. Ok – last questions: Morning or night person? Coffee or tea? English or Continental? Solids or Multicolors?

Noma: Morning person, tea drinker, English knitting and solids. 🙂

Lerato Wrap © Noma Ndlovu
Lerato Wrap © Noma Ndlovu

Loopy: Thanks again for being with us today, Noma!

Noma is offering all of our Loopy blog readers 20% off on one of her patterns through her Ravelry shop. This offer is valid July 31 – August 7 with the code: loopyewe20 (I bought the Dambisa Socks for my own self. I’ve been wanting to try anklets, and these have such a pretty pattern.)

Happy weekend to all!

Sheri

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