... the rest of the Ravelry holiday gift-making palooza most definitely is still on! Until the end of December, everyone should definitely feel free to join in here for gifting camraderie and drive-by prizes like ... all the time. If you're interesting in finding some DIY gift ideas, do feel free to check out my 2014 curated Holiday gifts board on Pinterest. It's chock full of (mostly!) quick and stylish designs to whip up for everyone on your hand-made worthy list. Full disclosure: I don't do socks so they aren't included, but my designs are cause hey, I'm just a little partial. However, mine comprise only about 9% of the board so, you get the drift.
In keeping in the GAL spirit, I'm here with another wonderful designer interview - this time with Sara Peterson, a sort of anti-designer designer (and how's that for descriptive language?). She's based on the east coast, in upstate New York, so I do hope she's not anywhere near all that lake effect snow. If she is, well, then she's got plenty of great designs to keep her knitting and crocheting! In fact, one of her shawl designs made my Holiday gifts board. Without further delay, I give you (and all photos used with Sara's kind permission):
The Artfully Voie de Vie Questionnaire with
Knit and Crochet Designer Sara Peterson
Can you tell us a little bit about your background before you started to design knit garments and accessories?
After college, I needed a hobby to occupy my free time so I decided to take up knitting. I have been a crocheter since I was a teenager, but knitting was a fun new challenge. Eventually my skills grew enough that I tried to duplicate or make my own version of items that I saw in magazines. I think this sweater was my first successful “design”. Not too long after that I started writing patterns.
When was the moment you knew you wanted to become a knit designer?
I have to say that it’s never really been my dream to be a knit or crochet designer. I sometimes have fits of creativity and I enjoy puzzling out how to make the ideas in my head a reality. It’s gratifying to see others make my patterns into their own creations but being known as a “designer” isn’t really my priority.
Please describe your personal knit design philosophy?
I like simple things that incorporate something interesting, whether it’s colorwork, or texture, or lace. Knit and crochet are relaxing for me so I like designs that hold interest all the way through without being so complicated that they make your head spin.
What is your greatest knit (or design) memory?
Having a design published in Interweave Knits Accessories was pretty exciting (and nerve-wracking!)
If you could have dinner with any three designers, dead or alive, who would they be, and why?
I would thank Barbara Walker for her stitch dictionaries and Knitting from the Top and ask her how on earth she could be so prolific.
Ysolda Teague seems like she’d be a fun person to have dinner and drinks with.
I think that Doris Chan is a genius. I started knitting because at the time there were so few crochet designs that I’d actually want to wear. Her garments are modern and stylish. I’d love to pick her brain on what inspires her.
Throw or pick?
I’m a thrower, except when knitting stranded colorwork and then I use one strand in both hands.
It’s your last object to design (or make). What is it, and what fiber do you use?
It would have to be a cabled hat made out of warm soft cashmere.
What trait do you most admire in designers?
I love how designers can come up with so many ways to make simple things. There are thousands of hat designs in the Ravelry database and yet there are tons of unique designs. Everybody finds a way to put his or her own spin on it and I find it fascinating.
What trait do you most detest in designers?
Detest is a strong word, but sometimes I think designers can be a bit overly protective of their work. I allow purchasers of my patterns to make items for charity and I don’t have a problem with crafters selling their FOs from a home-based business. Nobody wants to get ripped off by big corporations but I don’t see the harm in letting individuals sell at craft fairs or on etsy.
You are recommending a design gift in response to a friend’s inquiry. Other than your own designs (which, as everyone knows, are quite beautiful!), what would you recommend?
Michele Wang’s Stonecutter is just about the perfect sweater and you can’t go wrong with Cookie A’s socks.
Thanks so much Sara! And for all of the crocheters, her Tilt Shift Shawl (the one featured in the photo directly above) is having a wee whirl right now - make one and post a photo on your Ravelry project page, finished (of course!) by December 21st, and receive a free pattern from Sara's Ravelry store. And since she's a participating Gift-a-long designer, and there are like, a bazillion people making shawls in the gift-a-long, c'mon people ... get your shawly gifting on ...