I was nominated by Jess over at GingerTwist Studio, so four questions, then I get to nominate two other people!
What am I working on?
Currently I appear to be inundated with WIPs (no change there then). Of my own designs, there are two shawls on the needles (one is a circular version of Tesserae – using Ginger’s Handdyed of the aforementioned Jess at GTS, the other is a secret thing which will be revealed in October) and a pair of socks – the fate of which is currently undecided (I may finish them just for me, or the pattern will become available).
I also have a half-dozen or so ideas rattling around my head for other designs, which I need to start considering in more detail and work out if they are feasible or not!
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Hmm, tricky. A quick glance at all my currently released designs clearly shows my slight obsession with colourwork. I’d like to think that while I’m not designing ‘traditional’ (and I use that word reluctantly) colourwork, I am picking up on the heritage of the technique whilst bringing a modern (and sometimes quirky) twist on it.
I came to knitwear design through a slightly odd path, my roots lie in art and graphic design but I escaped when I went to University and ended up in archaeology and ancient history, which I done for the last ten-twelve years. Over the last couple of years, I’ve gone back to the creative stuff (whilst still doing some freelance archaeology bits and pieces) and have been working with a Edinburgh-based designer who works exclusively in Lego. Yup, for the last two years I’ve played with Lego. Seriously.
While I can safely say at this point that the Lego has not had an impact on my design aesthetic, I can also emphatically say that the archaeology has. My first design, the Kentigern blanket, is directly derived from not only my interests in history and historic buildings, but also from the art movements I particularly appreciate (Art Deco I’m looking at you).
Why do I create what I do?
Because I can? Honestly though, I create what I do because I enjoy it. And secondly, because I get the idea in my head and I have to push it through to its conclusion. It is hard work, and there are times when I will spend more time muttering at the knitting (or more likely the computer) but it is worth it.
How does my creative process work?
Most of it tends to happen in my head, rather than on paper. When I am out and about, I tend to keep an eye out for motifs or textures or even just views that I find interesting. I will take a picture, but these tend to stay tucked away until I need them. I don’t really sketch, or plan out ideas on paper until they’ve rattled around my head for a while. For instance, I was on holiday earlier this year, one of the museums I went to had a great number of pieces with motifs or ideas that could be adapted for knitting patterns. At present, nothing has been done with these pictures. However, I can remember two or three stand out images that I took which will be the ones I take further. So I’ll go back and have another look at the pictures, then consider them for a while. Next up will be charting, swatching and notes. Then I’ll either draft the pattern first and knit it, or knit it and write the pattern as I go.
Now I get to nominate people!
First up, Lauren Smith, over at Lauren Smith Knits – a Yorkshire based designer whose most recent pattern is out in the Knitty Deep Fall 2014 issue.
And secondly, C.C. Almon, at JavaPurl Designs – designer and podcaster!