Dec 23, 2018

Interview with a Designer: Knit Equals Joy Designs (CarolEHerman)

 Another interview with a participating GAL designer Knit Equals Joy Designs  (CarolEHerman).

I have to admit, I have been in love with this Autumn Spice Pumpkin for some time, so it was wonderful to learn more about the designer behind this particular pattern.

photo Knit Equals Joy Designs

1. What inspires you to design? 

In truth, I am always looking for design inspiration!  I love to see color, texture, and pattern everywhere.  In particular, though, several times a year I spend time alone at the Oregon Coast.  The beach and the ocean provide so many interesting, unusual, or beautiful textures and colors.  A seashell may supply the inspiration for a knit stitch.  The time alone also allows design ideas that have been percolating in my subconscious to surface and become more concrete designs. 

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

I absolutely love Kaffe Fassett’s designs.  I swoon over his use of color, pattern, and design in his Foolish Virgins Scarf, and that would be the one thing I would love to knit.

3. Describe your ideal day as a designer, what would you do and what would you prefer not to do? 

This ideal day is built in a theoretical life in which I would be a full-time designer…

I would start the day with a cup of coffee and browsing through IG and Facebook, looking at what folks are currently liking in the knit world.  As thoughts occurred related to my own design aesthetic and process, I would make notes and sketches for future designs.

I would next spend time knitting prototypes for designs currently in process and swatches for ideas next in line. 

Next would be writing time.  I envision a couple of hours set aside for sitting down to write pattern text, working on garment grading, and creating charts and schematics.  This time would also be spent submitting designs to various publications.

Finally, with the afternoon cup of coffee, I would update social media and interact with knitting friends.  This would be the time to answer any questions by test knitters or customers, as well.

I love working out the math and engineering aspects of design.  I’ve also always loved writing.  There’s nothing I would prefer not to do – but I do wish I were a faster knitter!

photo Knit Equals Joy Designs

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

Well, this is a tough one!  But I would say that most often, it’s the yarn itself that tells me what it wants to be.  My first design, the Hood River Cowl, came directly from some beautiful local natural wool/silk yarn I found at the Hood River Fiber Festival in 2013.  This year, the Bridgetown Cowl was designed directly in response to some gorgeous Zen Yarn Garden Artwalk Series yarn.  I wanted to use a stitch that would show off that beautiful variegated yarn to best advantage.

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

Often it’s a deadline that inspires me to get started on the project; for instance, I had a Christmas design idea and Christmas was just six weeks away (i.e., Whimsy Tree).

photo by Knit Equals Joy Designs

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

I really love almost everything about designing.  Not only do I love the design process, I love the people that I have met through design.  I have met amazingly creative knitters, designers, and even other media designers, whom I now consider friends.  I love seeing how knitters interpret my designs and make them their own.  At this time in my life, I dislike that I don’t have enough time to really implement all the ideas…but someday I will retire, and then there will be time!

photo Knit Equals Joy Designs

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

I have found that I don’t like to design anything that is not fun to knit.  This means I may have an idea that I think is great, but then I start swatching it and find I don’t enjoy knitting it, so that’s the end of that idea.  I really don’t like short rows, so that’s the only technique I can think of that I’ve consciously avoided.

8. What is on your needles now?

I’m currently working on a GAL project, the Adult Modular Cardigan by Loraine Birchall.  I also have an upcoming cabled poncho design for which I’m finishing up the pattern sample.

9. Do you work on multiple projects at the same time or single projects?

 I have multiple projects on the needles right now (three hats, the poncho, and the GAL sweater), but that’s because sometimes a current design in process gets interrupted by something that takes on more urgency and needs to be finished sooner.  The danger is that when I get back to the older projects (those three hats), I’ll forget exactly what I wanted to do next!

Where to find Knit Equals Joy Design:

Knit Equals Joy Designs on Ravelry

Knit Equals Joy Designs Ravelry Group

Knit Equals Joy Designs on Facebook

Knit Equals Joy Design on Instagram

Knit Equals Joy Designs on Pinterest

Knit Equals Joy Designs Blog

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