Once a week I post interviews with interesting designers about their insights on their experience of working in the Knitting industry. I’ve noticed that every designer makes their living in a slightly different manner bringing their own unique presence to the Knitting world.
You can find Shannon at
Where do you find inspiration?
What is your favorite knitting technique?
How did you determine your size range?
I try to offer the broadest possible size range I can or, barring that, I write my patterns in such a way that they encourage the knitter to think and to do his or her own customizations for a perfect fit. When I was editing [UK-based monthly print knitting magazine] Yarn Forward, our size range was 30-50" on EVERYTHING, and we were making moves towards expanding the range even higher as I left. I'm not a small person, I am firmly on the plus side of the scale right now, so I really do sympathize with the majority of knitters who are in the same boat. I think it's important to offer a broad range of sizes so long as it doesn't have a material impact on the design itself.
Do you look at other designers’ work or are you afraid that you will be influenced by their designs?
How do you feel about the so called controversy of “dumbing down” patterns for knitters?
How many sample/test knitters do you have working for you or do you do it all yourself?
Did you do a formal business plan?
Do you have a mentor?
Yes and no. I've had mentors for specific aspects of my business and life as a designer -- for example, I call Jillian Moreno my 'fairy knitmother,' because she really helped me out when I was signing my first book deal contracts. I do, however, have a small private mailing list of other designers to call on when I have questions or problems, and that's been invaluable -- we can help each other out on tough problems, or even just serve as a cheering section for one another as needed. I also find that some of the other designer-focused mailing lists I'm on serve a mentor-like purpose, too, but only the private ones...no one will really open up on a public forum when the subject is touchy.
Do you have a business model that you have emulated?
What impact has the Internet had on your business?
How do you maintain your life/work balance?
How do you deal with criticism?
What advice would you give someone who wants to pursue a career in knitting?