Once a week I post interviews with interesting people about their insights on their experience of working in the Knitting industry. I’ve noticed that every one of these individuals makes their living in a slightly different manner bringing their own unique presence to the Knitting world.
You can find Luise here and here on Ravelry.
Where do you find inspiration?
Literally everywhere – from trees to buildings to flowers to china plates to Celtic ruins to music to stitch patterns – the colours, shapes and sounds get me sketching and then it's off to my stitch dictionaries (my absolute favourites are the ones by Annie Maloney) and the designs flow from there.
My first pattern accepted by Twist Collective – my Kinsol Trestle vest – grew from a picture of the Kinsol Trestle, a wooden railway trestle built in the early 1900s in the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island, BC, Canada. An amazing structure! The longest trestle in the British Commonwealth and one of the highest in the world, when I read its story and about the preservation efforts that were underway to help save this awe-inspiring bridge for hikers and cyclists, design ideas began to flow!
|The view of the Kinsol trestle bridge|
On the other hand, my Ashokan shawl began with a piece of music – Ashokan Farewell. The first time I heard this hauntingly beautiful piece of music, I knew it had to become a shawl – something that provides comfort. Jay Unger composed this tune in 1982 as friends once again parted and followed their life’s path at the closing of his Ashokan Fiddle & Dance Camp; he embodied his feeling of loss in this lament. And so the Ashokan shawl design became an interplay of leaf motifs for the Catskill forests and intertwining cables to denote friendships and the entwining yet diverse paths our lives take.
What is your favourite knitting technique?
Do you look at other designers' work or are you afraid that you will be influenced by their designs?
Photo credit Marten Ivert
How do you feel about the so called controversy of "dumbing down" patterns for knitters?This is an interesting topic yet a bit puzzling to me. I really don't like the term "dumbing down" (may be the educator in me) because it implies that a) knitters who do not have an arbitrary skill set (determined by whom?) should not seek skills and techniques within individual patterns as they are endeavouring to learn and b) they should gain these arbitrary skills 'somewhere else'. I can totally understand designers writing patterns for different skill levels (and see the attraction of writing or charting a pattern in one size and leaving it to the knitter to personalize it) but referring to detailed patterns as being "dumbed down" seems dismissive and unkind to me.
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?
What impact has the Internet had on your business?
A secondary impact, though, is the increased time and knowledge that is required to function in the medium – design and upkeep of a web site, blogging, Twitter, Facebook, participating in social online groups, etc. Some days I'd rather be knitting than trying to figure out why that table border isn't showing up on my webpage – lol.
How do you maintain your life/work balance?
How do you deal with criticism?
How long did it take for you to be able to support yourself?