Friday, January 9, 2015

An Interview with...Grace Mcewen

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 Grace here and here on Ravelry.  

Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration in all kinds of places from magazines to family trips.  It could be a color or architectural design.  I love to knit so sometimes I sit and think about different items I want to add to my collection.  I look at the yarn I have on hand or decide to buy some if I want.  Then after looking at the yarn I try to determine what will work well with the specific yarn.

What is your favourite knitting technique?  

I love to knit lace items but cables would be a close second.

How did you determine your size range? 

I use what is recommended via knitting magazines and assignments I receive.  

Do you look at other designers’ work or are you afraid that you will be influenced by their designs?  
I love to look at other designs and knitting projects.  My style is unique to me so other items don't really influence me.  But I do like to knit other designs as well and some are simply great projects to knit!

How do you feel about the so called controversy of “dumbing down” patterns for knitters?  

I don't think I have ever heard of this.  I do know there are multiple levels of patterns because there are many different types of knitters.  Sometimes a knitter may want to knit something quick and sometimes they like to knit something more technically difficult.  I try to write patterns that all types of knitters like to knit.  I do try to write the pattern in a way that many types of knitters will understand which is really difficult to accomplish at times.  Today's knitting patterns are sold worldwide and are often translated which can cause misunderstandings.  I try to take this into account when writing the pattern!

How many sample/test knitters do you have working for you or do you do it all yourself?  

I have a few test knitters.

Did you do a formal business plan?   


Do you have a mentor?  


Do you have a business model that you have emulated?  No - I just like to knit and create and find it fun!

Do you use a tech editor? 

Sometimes but not always.

How do you maintain your life/work balance?  

It can be very difficult because I have a full time job and two kids. I find it difficult at times. Last year I finished my degree as well so it was doubly difficult but I love to do it. 

How do you deal with criticism?  

Criticism can be hard sometimes to handle.  I try to look at what is being criticized and determine if there is anything I can do to fix it or adjust.  If the criticism is something that I can work on without changing who I am then I try.

What advice would you give someone who wants to pursue a career in knitting?  
Keep trying and don't give up.  

What’s next for you?  

I am continuing to work and design and who knows where it will go.  I don't see myself giving up anytime soon.

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