Meet the creative and talented ladies who design our patterns. Our crochet and tunisian patterns are designed by the very creative Sonja van Wyk from DesignsbySofiya. Juanita Muir from JuaKnits is our very talented designer behind our knitting patterns.
Both ladies have Facebook and Ravelry pages and you are welcome to reach out to them on social media or email with regards to any questions or for help on the patterns they have designed.
Knotty Habit is very privileged and grateful to have these exceptionally creative ladies as part of the “Knotty” team.
Sonja van Wyk
My name is Sonja van Wyk. I am a Lecturer in Quantity Surveying at TUT. I am an absolute yarn addict! I have loads of yarn and my excuse to buy more is that when I’m on pension one day, I’ll use it. My granny taught me to crochet when I was three years old and to knit when I was four years old – in other words, I have been crocheting and knitting my whole life!
After an overseas trip to Dublin in 2017 where I met Aoibhe Ni, I started designing tunisian crochet patterns. Recently I have started designing normal crochet patterns as well, and even tried my hand at a knitting pattern.
Tunisian crocheting has always been very boring and monotonous for me, until I met Aoibhe. She has been a great inspiration and opened my eyes to the many possibilities with tunisian crochet that I have started exploring with my designs.
For as long as I can remember, I have loved anything that was hand knitted. Growing up, I was surrounded by grannies who knitted, and I can still remember my mom knitting the most beautiful lace baby jackets and how intrigued I was by the thin yarns she’d used to knit with and how fast her hands flew over the needles.
I have knitted on and off since I was young and usually followed easy patterns. In 2014 I saw an advert at my local yarn store for knitting classes and I fell passionately in love with knitting all over again. A whole new world full of interesting yarns, knitting techniques and all shapes and sizes of knitted fabrics opened up for me. I can credit Marita Steyn from Beyond Knitting, who encouraged me endlessly to draw on my creative yarnie side, for my growth as a knitter. I became a more confident knitter who likes to explore with different yarns and enjoys knitting with all the beautiful indie hand dyed South African yarns available to us.
In 2022 I designed my JuaKnits logo, and knitting every day has become my way of expressing my creativity and my love of natural hand-dyed fibres and knitting. I work full time and am a mom to three fabulous young men (all of whom support my knitting ventures and proudly wear the knitted beanies and socks I produce!). I started playing around with yarns and colours,and created some fun tea cosies. I have a whole shelf of very over-the-top decorated teapots and I sold a couple to fellow tea cosy lovers.
I discovered that I love knitting shawls and in 2017 I started designing them. To date, I have had several patterns published in online magazines, by various yarn stores, indie dyers and on Ravelry. I am amazed by the different shapes and sizes shawls come in and creating and knitting up my own designs has been a very satisfying journey. I particularly love garter stitch patterns, and it is by far my favourite stitch to knit and to incorporate into my designs. I recently mastered, and fell in love with brioche knitting, and definitely plan to explore this stitch further.
I am so thankful for all the knitters I have met over the years and who have generously shared their endless tips and tricks of the yarnie trade with me. I still have so much to learn, but am also so eager to share the knowledge and experience I have collected on my knitting journey that I started teaching knitting classes and presenting workshops at yarn stores in 2020.
I like to focus on teaching different techniques in my workshops and do extensive research and thorough preparation (watching YouTube videos and tutorials, listening to podcasts and attending workshops when I am able to) for each class before I teach it. I think it is important to encourage all my students to get creative and enjoy the knitting journey.
All my yarnie adventures can be followed at @JuaKnits on Instagram and Ravelry Project pages