Friday, December 9, 2016

An Interview with...Cristina Ghirlanda

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 Cristina here and here  on Ravelry.

Where do you find inspiration?
Most of the time inspiration comes when I am not working. That is why it is important for me to have idle time.

What is your favourite knitting technique?
It is hard to choose a favourite. I love every aspect of knitting and I love trying out new techniques. Simply handling the yarn makes me happy.

Do you look at other designers’ work or are you afraid that you will be influenced by their designs?
I love looking at other's work and often I am astonished by the harmony of their designs. It helps to train my eyes to recognize a good design.

How do you feel about the so called controversy of “dumbing down” patterns for knitters?
I think that the reason many knitters buy patterns is because they want to have everything figured out to make the knitting process as mindless as possible.

How many sample/test knitters do you have working for you or do you do it all yourself?
I use sample knitters only occasionally. I like knitting and I enjoy knitting my samples. Besides aesthetic, I want to verify whether a pattern is interesting or boring to knit (I always write the whole pattern before casting on). I run test knits mostly as a preview of the pattern and I have met many wonderful testers during the process.

Do you have a mentor?
No, I don't have any mentor but I have to thank my first tech editor Charlotte Quiggle. It was her encouragement that got me started in this career. I have learned a lot on pattern writing from her.

Do you use a tech editor?
Absolutely. I cannot imagine publishing a pattern without a reliable tech editor.

How do you maintain your life/work balance?
As a mother of a small child, it is impossible to work too much. Kids are very good at keeping our lives balanced. They give you plenty of playing time and outdoor time.

How do you deal with criticism?
I don't take opinions too personally. It is impossible to please everyone.

How long did it take for you to be able to support yourself?
It took me almost three years of part time work to be able support myself.

What advice would you give someone who wants to pursue a career in knitting?
Don't listen too much to the advice otherwise you will not even get started. It is possible to have a career in knitting and many people have done that. You can be the next one.

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