Friday, March 18, 2011

An Interview with...Elizabeth Fallone

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 Elizabeth here on Ravelry  and her patterns are also available on Patternfish.

Where do you find inspiration?
Inspiration is found everywhere but usually I picture myself or someone else and what would be worn in different situations.Usually it’s my students who inspire me they will want to use a specific yarn and we will design the pattern together specifically for them and then with their permission I will grade it to different sizes. 

Maria - this was designed for my mother in law.

Andrea Bear Hat - was a special request from my son’s girlfriend.

Venice top - I pictured myself wearing this on our trip to Italy.

What is your favourite knitting technique?
I seem to love them all. Right now I am on a lace kick, but that will change. I think the only technique I don’t enjoy is intarsia.

How did you determine your size range?
My daughter is very petite so I tend to start with her size and range up wards. But it depends on the style of the garment and how scalable it is.

Do you look at other designers’ work or are you afraid that you will be influenced by their designs?
I love looking at other designers work. I find it very inspiring. If I see an interesting stitch pattern I try to visualize it in a different garment, or sometimes it’s the shape of a garment and changing the stitches used or the gauge that will inspire me. I am constantly referring to Barbara Walkers books and Japanese stitch books.

How do you feel about the so called controversy of “dumbing down” patterns for knitters?
I have never really considered it.
How many sample/test knitters do you have working for you or do you do it all yourself?
The majority I do myself but have 4 different knitters that I use regularly. I find I will make the design first then send it out to test knitters; so if there is a problem with the pattern or the instructions are unclear they will make note of it and I can make revisions. I also have them knit it in a different size so I can check the grading at the same time.

Did you do a formal business plan?
No, but I really should.

Do you have a mentor?
Not really.

Do you have a business model that you have emulated?
No. I enjoy designing as I please and hope other knitters will want to knit my designs.

What impact has the Internet had on your business?
I find it great for my self-published designs. I sell them through Ravelry, and Patternfish. I also send display garments to stores at their request as I find more stores are referring their clients to the Internet to locate patterns. 

Do you use a Tech Editor?
Yes, and she is awesome at finding my grammatical mistakes she also test knits for me so if there is a problem with the pattern she is the one who finds it.

How do you maintain your life/work balance?
Still working on that. I try to keep the business / design part to regular office hours, so I can knit for enjoyment in the evenings.

How do you deal with criticism?
Criticism is a way of improving on what you do. I never take it personally, because it is usually about the way a pattern is written or the yarn choice, so I use it for growth.

How long did it take for you to be able to support yourself?
Still working on that one.

What advice would you give someone who wants to pursue a career in knitting?
Just go for it. Do what you love and love what you do. You will be far happier for it. It also helps to have a very supporting spouse/ family.

1 comment:

  1. This is a fantastic designer. I have enjoyed all of her original and amazing patterns. Knit them!