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 Teresa here and here on Ravelry, you can find her on Facebook here.
Here are her other social media links: Twitter:canarysanctuary, Instagram: canaryknits
Where do you find inspiration?
Most often I look to the bold drama of runway fashion. It's a fun challenge to take my favourite elements from those pieces and incorporate them into knitwear design.
The styles that most appeal to me are generally pieces that in one way or another align with period fashion. That could be the theatrical, romantic Baroque of McQueen, or the ambitious ridiculousness of the 1970s.
What is your favourite knitting technique?
That changes! Bobs from one sort of thing to another. But most recently I've been designing a lot with pleats and short rows.
How did you determine your size range?
For my independently published work, I wanted to have a generous range because I think fashion shouldn't be restricted to a narrow size set or type. It's not my place to tell someone that something will or won't flatter them. That's up to the knitter! Wear whatever you feel happy in! So I try to include the smallest adult women sizes I can find in sizing standards to the largest. Depending on what the pattern is, that can be up to about 8 or 9 sizes.
|Beach House: http://www.ravelry.com/|
Do you look at other designers’ work or are you afraid that you will be influenced by their designs?
I absolutely look at other designers' work! I think I'd be fooling myself if I thought I could design in a vacuum. I feel that looking at what other people are doing both keeps me in touch with the knitting community and challenges my design. And anyway, I'm a knitter! I like looking at design, and will knit for myself from other people's work.
How do you feel about the so called controversy of “dumbing down” patterns for knitters?
I think everyone learns differently, and there is a vast array of pattern writing styles out there. I'm sure knitters will be able to find patterns and pattern writers who they're comfortable working with, no matter how they like to engage with their knitting. My own designs tend to skew to an intermediate knitting level, so I assume a certain amount of experience when I write patterns.
Do you have a mentor?
I have other designers who I admire, but no specific mentor.
Do you use a tech editor?
Yes! My tech editors are a necessary part of my design process. Any work should be edited, let alone something technical like a knitting pattern. I've found my copy of Kate Atherley's Pattern Writing for Knit Designers to be indispensable.
How do you maintain your life/work balance?
That's a challenge for sure! And I have no sage advice here. I just like to make lists, and that helps me to portion out work in attempts to keep on top of everything as well as have time for life.
How do you deal with criticism?
I saw a quote the other day that said something along the lines of "if you don't like my art, please go ahead and make your own". There's such a plethora of design sensibilities out there that you'll definitely have an audience, as well as a set of detractors.
It's helped me to keep that sort of thing in mind, because not everything is for everyone!
|Lady Bat: http://www.ravelry.com/|
What advice would you give someone who wants to pursue a career in knitting?
See above answer! There's going to be people who don't like what you do and unless you feel confidently about what you're doing, then you may easily be bullied into changing your style or dropping design entirely.
I think it's also very important to see what other people are doing and try your best to make and keep your work up to a high standard of professional quality. And many times that involves hiring people to do certain things for you. It may be tempting to believe you can/should do it ALL yourself, but it's valuable to recognize that sometimes you just can't.
What’s next for you?
I'm working on a big, super exciting project with a fellow designer. It's a collection inspired by the TV show Twin Peaks called Great Northern. You can read more about it here: http://greatnorthernknits.com
Milk Maiden: http://www.ravelry.com/