Friday, May 24, 2013

An Interview with...Tetiana Otruta

Once a week I post interviews with interesting people about their insights on their experience of working in the Knitting industry.  I’ve noticed that every one of these individuals makes their living in a slightly different manner bringing their own unique presence to the Knitting world.

You can find Tetiana here and here on Ravelry.

Where do you find inspiration?
Everywhere. I can find inspiration in nature, colors, art, architecture, dreams and  everyday life.
Every minute my brain works - how can I convert  the impressions around me into stitch patterns, color combinations, shapes and lines of finished design.
For example, my Seaside collection ( was inspired by seaside living and dreams about the sea. My impressions affect the colors and textures of the finished shawl collection: the depth of the sea and fishes, ripples and small waves in the sunshine, the ropes used on boats.

What is your favorite knitting technique?
Lace, cables, colorwork or other techniques which keep my interest for the knitting process.

You focus on accessory designs almost exclusively could you tell us a little about that ?
I like accessories.  For me the accessories are never too much. This small piece makes everyday clothes new, expresses creativity and creates a personal, unique look every time they are worn.

Do you look at other designers' work or are you afraid that you will be influenced by their designs?
Yes, I look at other designers' work!  I think it is impossible not to be interested in what other designers are doing. It pushes me to find new ideas. It can be nice to inspire each other and learn from each other.

How do you feel about the so called controversy of "dumbing down" patterns for knitters?
I've never heard about that. Most of my designs are intermediate or easy level, but it does not mean "too easy to be boring". My goal is combination of simplicity with interesting and original elements without over complication. This is the same approach I prefer for the pattern instructions.  I try to make the patterns easy to follow and to write them in a structured and logical manner.

How many sample/test knitters do you have working for you or do you do it all yourself?
Knitting is part of the design process. I make swatches and knit my designs by myself. I often modify a pattern while I am knitting it. The original idea and finished design may be totally different. Then my patterns are tested by several people who give me feedback about pattern accuracy, size and meterage / yardage.

Did you do a formal business plan?

Do you have a mentor?
I don't have a person who I call "mentor", but my friends (who love knitting) and my family give me advice, inspiration or provide help and support from time to time. I appreciate them all.

What impact has the Internet had on your business?
My business wouldn’t exist and develop without the Internet. It is great invention.

Do you use a tech editor?

How do you maintain your life/work balance?
No balance. I just live. Knitting is part of my life or knitting is my life because I love it.

How do you deal with criticism?
I try to learn from it. But I think it is impossible to please everyone. We are all so different, with different tastes and thoughts. I greatly appreciate everyone who gives positive and constructive criticism.

How long did it take for you to be able to support yourself?
I do not make enough income to support myself in this business yet. It's a small addition to the family budget. It is only to support my crafting obsession. I'm looking forward to the day when it happens.

What advice would you give someone who wants to pursue a career in knitting?
Knitting is my hobby. I'm on the way to develop a career in knitting. My slogan is: "Be creative and love what you do, work and learn every minute on the way to the best result."


  1. Thank you so much Robin!
    It's a honor to be here among other well known persons in knitting world.

    With the best wishes,

  2. Very interesting interview! Thank you, Robin

  3. How nice to see this interview while knitting Tetiana's Leaf Evolution Mystery Shawl, clue #3! (Actually I'm done with clue 3 and awaiting clue 4...hurry up Monday!). :D