Friday, August 26, 2011

An Interview with...Veronik Avery

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 Veronik here.

Where do you find inspiration?
It usually begins with a general idea of what the project ought to be and a sketch follows; swatching - sometimes quite a lot of it - follows.

What is your favourite knitting technique?
Depends on which day you ask! If I had to choose, it would probably come down to stranded colour and lace.

How did you determine your size range?
The initial sample is sized to fit a 34" bust, generally. The various measurements are extrapolated according to a set of spreadsheet formulas I've devised to follow sizing in ready to wear. Generally, a pattern should fit bust circumferences ranging from 32" to 48".

Do you look at other designers’ work or are you afraid that you will be influenced by their designs?
Since I publish a magazine containing others' designs in addition to my own, looking at other designers' work is a necessity. Their work probably influences mine indirectly.

How many sample/test knitters do you have working for you or do you do it all yourself?
I used to use sample knitters, but the knitting process inspires solutions and knitting details that I feel can only be achieved by knitting the samples myself.

Did you do a formal business plan?
I did, but only once I decided to launch a yarn line.

Do you have a mentor?
Yes - Pam Allen.

Do you use a Tech Editor?

How do you maintain your life/work balance?
With great difficulty? Thankfully, I can at least work on my samples while spending time with friends and family but this job doesn't actually allow to me to take too many days off.

How do you deal with criticism?
Depends on where it's coming from. I generally ask for it so consider it helpful input.

How long did it take for you to be able to support yourself?
I never did as a knitwear designer - the output required in order to do so would have to be quite large. The yarn line should be considered a new venture and I expect that it will turn in a profit by the time it is between 3 and 5 years old, which is average for any type of business.

What advice would you give someone who wants to pursue a career in knitting?
Think outside the box - designing is just one of the many options available in the industry. Learn about the different positions available and determine what best suits your talents and abilities.


  1. I find your interviews very interesting. I would like to offer two small suggestions, though. It would be helpful to have an introductory paragraph so that readers become more familiar with your interview subject before you dive in. Providing a link to their website helps drive traffic there, but it doesn't provide a context for what people are about to read. Also, it would be great if you could provide links to the patterns you show. Having to hunt them down on the designers website or Ravelry is a pain.

  2. It's nice to see her interviewed. She designs such beautyful things.