Friday, June 29, 2012

An Interview with...Suvi Simola
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 Suvi here and here on Ravelry.

Where do you find inspiration?
I usually find inspiration in yarn and stitch patterns. I enjoy swatching. Some of my favorite designs are born when swatching. Baby Cables and Big Ones Too was one of them, I made a swatch in the round, combining cables and garter stitch and suddenly I realized it would make a perfect sleeve! 
After I made the Filtering Daylight-shawl, I looked at my gauge swatch that was plain stockinette, very light and airy and I got the idea for a sweater - my newest design 5200K.

What is your favourite knitting technique?
I love garter stitch, plain stockinette and I've just recently found the joy of knitting lace.  
I always try to include a minimum of 10 sizes, usually 2" apart. Some stitch patterns and design elements limit the size range though.

How do you feel about the so called controversy of “dumbing down” patterns for knitters?
I like to write my patterns so they are clear and detailed enough for a beginner but not overly long. I don't explain techniques that are widely known as stockinette stitch etc. When I use something that is not so common, I'll explain it. 

How many sample/test knitters do you have working for you or do you do it all yourself?
I always knit the sample myself but I do have test knitters to test the pattern, usually about 10 helpful knitters.

How have your photography skills impacted your design career?
Actually I think it has been the other way around. When I started to blog about my knitting, I wanted to learn to take better photos. I've been trying to improve my skills since then and now I can honestly say that I'm pretty confident. I love everything about photography and don't usually leave the house without my camera.
Did you do a formal business plan?
I've been trained to run a business and I know how to make one. For my own business however, I haven't made one. I love designing job because it gives me the flexibility to change strategies when needed even in a short period of time and I don't make any long time plans because of that. Designing business is constantly changing.

What impact has the Internet had on your business?
It's everything. I don't think I would be in this business without internet. It just makes everything work.

How do you maintain your life/work balance?
It's the hardest part. I'm constantly learning that I don't have to answer emails when it's already bedtime and I really should stop calculating a pattern on time not to get an headache. I do get carried away sometimes, especially with pattern writing since I enjoy this part of the job very much. 

What advice would you give someone who wants to pursue a career in knitting?
There are easier ways to earn a living but if you really love designing and don't mind irregular working hours then go for it.

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