Nov 21, 2014

Interview with a designer Lisa Chemery (Frogginette)

photo by Frogginette
Lisa Chemery (Frogginette)
is a fellow designer participating in the Gift-a-long 2014.
I had the privilege to interview her and this is the interview.
I love her whimsical and adorable designs and if given the time and opportunity I would knit any of her designs.

What inspires you to design? 

Even though I design for grown-ups sometimes (I recently released the grown-up version (link: of my Entrechat (link: pattern), what inspires me is children -- mine in particular :) I look at them and imagine what I could make that would make them look even more lovely.

If you could knit/ crochet one thing - anything in the world what would that be? 

I'd rather knit all the things, rather than just one thing!! But if I have to choose… if I could find enough patience and spare hours, I'd knit something like the amazing Persian Dreams (link: blanket by Jenise Reid. It's just incredible! I don't do much color work but I am just in awe of intricate, hugely time-consuming projects like this one.

Describe your ideal day as a designer, what would you do and what would you prefer not to do? 
My ideal day as a designer would be casting on for a new design after I've already written out the pattern… No pattern writing, no grading, no making schematics… Just knitting and seeing my vision materialize.

How do you start a project, with yarn, pattern, idea or what? 

I almost always start a project with an idea, or a concept, but it's not necessarily fully-formed. Sometimes I have to try a few things before it feels "right."

What inspires you to pick up needles and start on the project? 

I have so many ideas (like most designers I think!), some of them are messy scribbles in my notebooks, some of them just a few notes describing a shape or a detail. What makes me pick out one and not another as my next design is a combination of factors: 

1) Does it look feasible, or does it need to be thought about more. I can't spend a lot of time on a wild goose chase for an idea that isn't fleshed out enough.

2) Is it a design that I think many people will respond strongly to? Sometimes I'll go ahead and knit up something just because I like it, but I won't release a pattern unless I'm pretty sure many others will love it as much as me.

4) Is it likely to be a fun knit for most knitters? If there are what I consider to be tedious aspects, is the payoff worth it for the average knitter?

3) Is the timing right? Season-wise, but also considering what's already in my catalog in terms of yarn weight, type of garment etc.. 

5) Something intangible, a "gut feeling" that it's time to go with that particular design.

What do you enjoy the most about the designing and what you dislike the most? 

I love seeing the projects that others make from my patterns. It's such a great feeling that never gets old. Also, lovely messages and feedback are so encouraging, and getting to know some of my customers in my Ravelry group, Club Frogginette (link: 

As far as what I dislike the most, the grading process isn't my favorite, but all the never-ending, time-consuming tasks I have to do for each pattern are the most tedious: writing pattern entries in website databases, promoting patterns upon release etc… And let's not even talk about accounting… 

Are there any particular techniques you find challenging or impossible to work with? 

I am still not as good as I'd like to be at colorwork, and I only like lace-knitting in small doses, but it's probably because I lack practice. I am not a fan of magic loop and I am probably not the only knitter who finds grafting to be a bit unpleasant. On the other hand, seaming doesn't really bother me (even though all my designs are seamless) and I don't mind picking up stitches, knitting ribbing etc...

What is on your needles now? 

I'm finishing up Lenny for my girl (link: by Heidi Atwood-Reeves (link: It's a super fast and cute knit. I finished it in 2 days! I love Heidi's style and taste in colors. 

Do you work on multiple projects at the same time or single project? 
I usually only have 1 or 2 projects going on at the same time. WIPs make me a bit anxious, ha!


Frogginette Knitting Patterns

Adorable knitting patterns with a French twist, fun to knit and easy to wear!


photo by Frogginette

Where to find Frogginette:


photo by Frogginette

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