Friday, October 26, 2012

An Interview with...Elizabeth Fallone

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  Elizabeth here and here on Ravelry.

Where do you find inspiration?
There are too many places to mention. However I generally have my best ideas when out walking or even daydreaming, I pick a theme and let it take me. My first designs came from someone wanting boys sweaters ranging between 2-8 years of age. I didn’t know exactly what they wanted so I created a collection.
What is your favourite knitting technique?
My favourite techniques tend to change with whatever I am working on or designing. Currently Lace and and Fair Isle are my techniques of choice.

How did you determine your size range?
I try to do at least 4-5 sizes. Without distorting the flow of the pattern .

Do you look at other designers' work or are you afraid that you will be influenced by their designs?
I love looking at other designers work, it can help me get my creative process flowing or give me inspiration sometimes. I don’t think they influence my work as each designer has their own style, as I have mine.

How do you feel about the so called controversy of "dumbing down" patterns for knitters?
I don’t find that patterns are “dumbed down”, everyone learns at different rates and in different ways. It is our job as designers and teachers of a trade to make what we do understandable to those who have the will to learn it.

How many sample/test knitters do you have working for you or do you do it all yourself?
Every project is very different, as a preference Lace and Cable based patterns need 4 test knitters. To elaborate, I like two test knitters to check all the written words, and the other two to test the charts provided.

Did you do a formal business plan?
I never had a formal business plan as a designer, because I started out designing just for fun, and for myself.

 Do you have a mentor?
As a designer I have never really had a mentor, just the person I envisioned wearing my design. 

What impact has the Internet had on your business?
The Internet has really helped with my designing business as it has gotten my name recognized by a bigger audience. It’s amazing to see and use websites like Ravelry, and Patternfish, as they connect the crafting community so thoroughly

Do you use a tech editor?
Yes, I think is important to maintain consistency.

How do you maintain your life/work balance?

How do you deal with criticism?
Criticism is a something that should be considered as there is much to learn from the opinions of other, especially when it is others that you are catering to.

What advice would you give someone who wants to pursue a career in knitting?
My advice to those who are interested in this career is to; keep and open mind, be humble, and know your product, your audience, as well as a bit of math.

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