Friday, November 28, 2014

Interview with Julia Trice

Julia is one of my favorite designers, and not only because she creates lovely patterns. I can't count how many times I have been encouraged by her posts on Ravelry. She always has such a positive spirit, and it shines through!

Missowski Slouchy and The Great Missowski. I love chevrons, like crazy love, so I had to add these two. There's a matching cowl as well!
Brennan Cardi
Loden Slouchy
All pictures © Mind of Winter

Introduce Yourself!

Hi! I’m Julia Trice, also known as mind of winter, which is the name of my design line. I’ve been knitting since the age of six (so 37 years!) and crocheting since 2006. I design knitting patterns for the most part, but I have also dabbled in crochet design lately.

How would you describe your style?
Organic, classic, natural. I like to play with texture and proportion. Almost everything I design can be dressed up, but it is a pre-requisite that it can be worn with jeans.

What inspires you?
Yarn and stitch patterns are where I draw my design inspiration. I work predominantly with independent yarn producers who create beautiful, unique yarns in wonderful colors. My first goal is always to determine how to best showcase my materials. I also love stitch dictionaries and I swatch constantly. If the yarn I swatch with doesn’t make the stitch pattern shine, I file it away to try again later with another yarn.

What is your favorite item to design?
Sweaters.

What is your favorite aspect of designing?
Seeing it all come together. It generally occurs at midnight or later. I love the knitting, photography and layout the best when it comes to ranking specific tasks. Spreadsheets and schematics are lower on the list.

Is there a design of yours that you are particularly proud of?
Only one, huh? Well, I have a lot of favorites, but I think the thing I am most proud of this year is going out on a limb and publishing Etheria, a crochet infinity cowl. I made it for fun, literally auditioning stitches as I went. I had never published a crochet pattern before, and I had serious reservations about doing so. Charting for crochet is difficult and has a steep learning curve, and the market for crochet is more limited. Plus, my customers are knitters. But I loved how the pattern turned out so I took a chance and published it anyway. It has ended up being the most popular of my patterns this year.

What is your favorite part of the GAL?
The people. Hands down.

Were there any specific patterns that did really well in the GAL that you didn’t expect?
My Chalice Cowl sold very well last year, so I didn’t think it would sell as well this time around, but it definitely has.

Any new projects you would like to share with us?
I just released the Loden Slouchy, and will soon release coordinating mittens, which you can find on my project page.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Interview with Jenn Wisbeck

Bokeh
Ruffle Dress
All pictures © Jenn Wisbeck


Introduce Yourself! 
Hi! I'm Jenn from Midnightsky Fibers. My current obsession is knitting hats- several hundred hats later, and I am still not bored. 

How would you describe your style? 
Laidback pacific northwest. I like neutral colors with bright pops, and simple silhouettes.

What inspires you? 
Lately I have been having a lot of fun recycling yarn from cashmere sweaters. It's fun to unravel these sweaters and turn them into something new.

What is your favorite item to design? 
Hats! Can't stop knitting them, so I have been designing hat patterns lately. I like patterns that work well as travel patterns since I like to stick my knitting in my bag.

What is your favorite aspect of designing? 
Working out the numbers and the perfect stitch patterns for a particular yarn.

Is there a design of yours that you are particularly proud of? 
The Stonebridge Hat, mostly because I am currently in love with corrugated ribbing.

Describe your experience participating in the Gift-A-Long. 
It's been fun- so nice to see so many designers working together!

Were there any specific patterns that did really well in the GAL that you didn’t expect? 
The Elevation Hat is doing better than I expected, it's a great way to use up some special bulky yarn.

What is your favorite part of it? 
Getting to see all the fun patterns that I might otherwise miss seeing.

Any new projects you would like to share with us? 
I just released the Stonebridge Hat and Elevation Hat. Stonebridge is a colorwork hat, and Elevation is a quick bulky knit.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Interview with Emily Ringelman

I've seen Emily around Ravelry quite a bit, but a couple weeks ago, I discovered her blog. Her writing style is so funny and interesting to read. I knew I wanted to interview her as a part of the GAL!
Northern Lights Mittens
Over the Fence
Gather Ye Rosebuds Hat
All pictures © Emily Ringelman

Introduce Yourself! 
I’m Emily Ringelman, and I live in Baton Rouge, which is one of the more ridiculous places for a knitting designer to live, but there we are. My husband is a professor at LSU so we live the Tigers lifestyle, complete with tailgating and hating on the Crimson Tide. I’m mom to the fluffiest cat I’ve ever seen, and I make some seriously good cupcakes. Oh, and I’m a conservation geneticist. That too.

How would you describe your style? 
I think that I have more than a bit of whimsy in my style. See: knitted duck hat, knitted sword, baby unicorn hoodie. When I try to keep it sophisticated I almost always go with cables, so I guess I’ve got a whimsical cable-y thing going on.

What inspires you? 
I get a lot from stitch dictionaries, especially old 1970s ones with goofy sweater patterns.

What is your favorite item to design? 
I love, love, love top-down raglan sweaters. I would design those all day, every day if I could. They’re so fun to knit! Plus, there’s really nothing I hate more than joining sleeves to a body, so I get to skip that entirely. Let me design a top-down raglan with cables, and I’m happy as a clam.

What is your favorite aspect of designing? 
I think my favorite thing is seeing other people’s reactions to my designs. There’s nothing better than a bunch of knitters going bonkers over a new mitten design. I also love it when yarn for a new design shows up at my house because it usually comes in big boxes and it feels like Christmas.

Is there a design of yours that you are particularly proud of? 
I really love my new Niffler’s Delight Mittens. I struggled with how to keep the mittens snug around the wrist without compromising the cable pattern on the back for AGES, then one day, a light bulb went off, and people said I was clever. Doesn’t happen that often; I’ll take it.

Describe your experience participating in the Gift-A-Long. 
It’s been kind of like a non-stop flurry of activity. I suspect that this is because I’ve also been testing/have released 4 new patterns in the last week, so it’s just been Ravelry all the time for me.

What is your favorite part of it? 
I love how many new-to-me designers and patterns I’ve found! There are so many great things out there in the giftalong. I’ve already started making a pair of socks for hubs because I liked a pattern someone posted about on the KAL boards. I’m trying to limit my forum stalking so that I don’t end up with an out-of-control queue- I know, good luck with that. It’s gonna happen anyway.

Were there any specific patterns that did really well in the GAL that you didn’t expect? 
My baby viking hat pattern has taken off in the last couple of days, so that’s been fun. Vistoire, a top-down raglan (shocking! I know) has been pretty popular, too, even though I’m sure no one is making it for a gift. Well, I’m not sure, but I suspect.

Any new projects you would like to share with us? 
I actually just published a three-pattern ebook! It’s called Autumn in North Dakota and I really love it. The sweater pattern in that book is possibly my favorite sweater that I’ve ever designed. I wear it all the time, which is a weird thing for me to do because yesterday, it was 75 outside. In my head we live somewhere cold.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Interview With Natalie Servant

As part of the GAL, I'm going to post a series of interviews of designers over the next few weeks. First up is Natalie Servant, a Canadian knitwear designer whose patterns include...

...the lovely Morgaine...
..and fun Gingham Style. What can I say, I love plaid!
All pictures © Natalie Servant

Introduce Yourself!
I’m Natalie Servant and I design knit accessories. I love lace, colour (yes, I’m Canadian), and texture.

What inspires you?
I am frequently inspired by Art Deco design, particularly architecture. Other times I’m inspired by the colour of my yarn, a particular stitch pattern, or objects I see around me and wonder how I’d translate into knitting.

What is your favorite item to design?
My first love is lace shawls. While I do get ideas for many different types of fabric, I doubt I’ll ever stop designing lace. It’s so magical to block! I’m also quite fond of stranded colourwork.

What is your favorite aspect of designing?
I love that feeling that I get when I look at a finished piece of knitting and know that I’ve captured the bit of beauty that I had in mind.

Is there a design of yours that you are particularly proud of?
I’m still very proud of my Eiffel Tower Shawl. I sketched this design over a year before I finally figured out how to turn it into knitting. I’m so glad I stuck with this one.

Any new projects you would like to share with us?
My big project for 2015 is called Canadian Art Deco Knits. It’ll be a pattern-a-month subscription and includes 12 accessory/home decor patterns inspired by different Canadian Art Deco buildings. The patterns use different techniques: lace, colourwork, and texture. I’ve got lots of pictures and research (and 2 years of work) put into this project, and it’s very close to my heart. I can’t wait to share all of these designs!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Another GAL Project

I finished my second GAL project the other night:
Another gem designed by the lovely Alicia Plummer-though I added the stripes. :)
Besides that, I was interviewed by Jenn Wisbeck. The interview went live today. I did an interview with her as well, you'll be seeing it in the coming weeks...

Monday, November 17, 2014

More Indie GAL Fun

A fellow designer, Kimberly Golynskiy (80skeins on Ravelry), has compiled an awesome graphic full of GAL stats:

Too cool, isn't it?!?!?!

I've finished my first GAL project. Oaked by Alicia Plummer, whom I interviewed earlier this year. She is such a talented designer and so sweet as well! She has been a great encouragement to me in my designing.


Over the next few weeks, I'll be posting more progress of my GAL projects as well as interviews with participating designers. So stay tuned!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Indie Gift-A-Long 2014!!!!

I am very excited to announce that I am participating in this year's Indie Design Gift-A-Long!!!! The GAL begins on November 13 at 8pm and lasts until December 31 (EST). During that time you have the opportunity to catch up on your Christmas gifts, maybe knit a few things for yourself, and win some awesome prizes (including over 1800 patterns donated by designers!), all while supporting your favorite independent designers!

These patterns are 25% off with the coupon code giftalong2014 from Nov. 13 at 8pm to the end of the day on Nov. 21 (EST). You can now use coupons when you buy patterns directly from my blog! Click the 'add to cart' link under the pattern photo and a window will pop up that includes a space for coupon codes. While only this group of patterns goes on sale, all of my patterns are eligible for the KALs and winning prizes!

I'm really looking forward to participating in the KALs this year, I have a couple hats and a sweater for my little brother on the list. Come join me!