Friday, May 26, 2017

An Interview with...Patricia Hart

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 Patricia here on Ravelry, on Instagram here and on Facebook here.

Where do you find inspiration? 
I’m open to finding inspiration almost anywhere! Something just catches my eye and sparks an idea I'll build on. Or sometimes there’s a certain yarn that inspires me and I'll suddenly see the finished piece made from it in my mind. But often it’s just my own real desire for something specific that will inspire me to design exactly what I want, which seems faster and easier than trying to find a pattern for it. (That probably stems from being a knitter long before there was the ease of searching for patterns on Ravelry!)

What is your favourite knitting technique? 
Even after knitting for most of my life, I still feel like ANY knitting (even garter stitch) has a wondrous quality about it — that yarn can be turned into something beautiful using knitting needles — it just amazes me! But of all the techniques that I teach, my favourite is mattress stitch seaming. Whenever I demonstrate it, the class reacts with gasps and sometimes even applause, as if they’ve just seen a magic trick! For any garment requiring seaming, this technique takes it to a whole other level.

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! I find it exciting and motivating to see all that creativity! It can be distracting though too; so many incredible designs tempting me away from what I should be focusing on.

How many sample/test knitters do you have working for you or do you do it all yourself?  
During the design process, I knit everything from start to finish myself, making adjustments as I go. It’s not until I consider the pattern completed that it goes to the testers. I also knit most of my samples myself; it gives me another opportunity to check the final pattern again.

Did you do a formal business plan? 
My knitwear patterns evolved out of designing things for myself which were getting a great response and requests for the patterns, so I just began doing them. I haven’t done any formal plan in terms of my business, but I'd say the plan for my patterns and classes is that they inspire creativity, and make it fun for knitters to create beautiful things which make them happy.

Do you have a mentor? 
No, but I could see how invaluable that would be and I wish I did!

Do you use a tech editor? 
I haven’t used a tech editor yet. My years as a graphic designer have made me very detail oriented and meticulous, and the feedback has been that my instructions are clear and easy to follow, which is what I aim for.  My patterns so far haven’t been too complex, but I would definitely consider working with a tech editor for a more complicated design. 

How do you maintain your life/work balance? 
Being self employed, I don’t feel a real separation between work and life. I seem to be working on or thinking about knitting all the time anyway!  But I’m happy with the balance I have between the relative freedom of working at home, and the structure of scheduled knitting classes I teach regularly on evenings/weekends. And the solitude of working alone is balanced nicely by being among my group of student knitters in the classroom.

How do you deal with criticism? 
Almost all feedback I’ve had has been positive, but if someone doesn’t understand my instructions, I’m easily contacted and happy to address concerns personally. It’s actually helpful for me to find out if a pattern needs changing to clarify something, and then I can improve it.

What’s next for you? 
I’m really excited about some new design ideas I’m working on. I’ll also continue to offer my classes and workshops; after almost 15 years of teaching, I still love helping people learn how to knit!

No comments:

Post a Comment