22 September 2011

A Conversation with Fran of Frangipani...

Fran of Frangipani loves to knit and it shows!  Beautiful booties, slippers, cardigans and .... knitted food(!)  items abound at her Felt shop.  Fran use natural materials such as wool, cotton and bamboo as they are both nicer to work with and she has a preference for natural fibres in childrens wear.  Read on to learn more about Fran's passion for knitting...

Who is Frangipani?

Fran Vakapuna

What’s your “handmade groove ?”

I love to knit! I pestered my Mum to teach me to knit when I was just 5 years old and my needles have barely rested since then. Over the years I have made a wide range of knitted garments, toys and accessories (many can viewed on my blog by searching ‘Past Projects’). More recently I have mainly been making babywear for use on my own children and also because they are fairly quick, don’t require a lot of yarn and seem to sell well. I only use natural materials-wool, cotton and bamboo as they are nicer to work with and I prefer children to wear natural fibres.

What’s on your bedside table right now? (hey, no tidying up or censoring)

Bedside lamp, a couple of coasters for my Sunday morning cuppa, TV remote, an empty photo frame (why don’t I just put something in there?!), a half-eaten wine biscuit courtesy of daughter Sofia, two books-“The Daring Female’s Guide to Ecstatic Living” by Natasha Kogan and “Parenting Your Defiant Child” by Dr Alan E. Kazdin and just a bit of dust.

Who are your creative role models? What music, books, images, poetry spark your creative fire?

I am inspired by friends and family. I love browsing Ravlery.com for ideas and patterns. Books borrowed from the library and also other creative bloggers are inspiring and great sources of ideas.

What could you talk late into the night about with like minded people?

Current craft projects, comedy and general gossip!

If you could go to three free workshops/creative events this year which ones would they be? What are they about?

I’m keen to improve my sewing skills so a basic sewing course would be great.

I’d also be interested to learn about making fabric covered buttons, brooches etc.

I love visiting any craft markets that are on to meet other crafters and find inspiration

How do you balance your creative life with your family, life commitments?

I am a full time Mum to two girls aged 2 and 3 years and my husband and I run our own bricklaying company so crafting time is squeezed in here and there during the day amongst Mum and Secretary duties and in the evening after the children have gone to bed. I have a wonderful, hard-working husband who helps with funds for buying my materials. Wool is not cheap and it’s not easy to recover costs and make some extra for yourself when selling small handmade items.

What is your favourite creative screw-up?

I’ve made a few stuff ups when machine sewing-I usually spend more time un-picking than actually sewing!

Kitchen table or studio?

Oh to have a studio! Most of my knitting happens on the living room couch. I also do the odd row outside on a sunny day.

Do you have a wish list? Can you tell us what’s on it?

More time for crafting each day. And aside from craft we are currently on the look-out for a small piece of land just out of town to build our dream home and provide a rural lifestyle for our children.

Frangipani's Felt shop is ... here
Blog (great recipes!) ... here
Facebook ... here


  1. Cool conversation Fran, love those knitted food creations, just great for a child to play with in their play house, cheers Marie

  2. I love, love, love your knitted goodies Fran. Joy

  3. That pea pod is totally fabulous!


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