Friday, September 22, 2017

An Interview with...Taiga Hilliard

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
Taiga here and here on Ravelry.

Where do you find inspiration? 

Whenever we go out of town it often gives me new ideas, from all the colors, textures, interesting people, and scenery, depending upon the location. Every time we travel I get a new batch of design ideas once we get home.

What is your favorite knitting technique?
I enjoy lace and cables, but also like simple garter stitch because it is so calming to knit. I do not shrink from a challenge but a little car knitting never hurt anyone (as long as you are not the one driving).

Do you look at other designers’ work or are you afraid that you will be influenced by their designs?
It is always good to look and see what is current, but you need to stick with what you personally enjoy, then hope that other knitters will also find joy in knitting what you create.

How many sample/test knitters do you have working for you or do you do it all yourself?
I have a wonderful group of knitters that do testing for me, they are an essential part of the process; checking the pattern and letting me know of there are any corrections that need to be made to create an accurate finished pattern.

Did you do a formal business plan?
Nope, I just like knitting, designing and putting it out there...

Do you have a mentor?
My sister started to teach me to knit, she is a wonderful knitter, but in the end I learning from YouTube videos along with many, many, failures until progress was made and finally success.

Do you use a tech editor?
I have a small group of super picky (a virtue in a knitter) test knitters that I depend on to catch all the tech mistakes, and they do an amazing job, without them it would be difficult to keep up the pace I have set for myself.

How do you deal with criticism?
It is just a part of the process, in the end you have to stand by your creations even if not everyone is going to like what you created, and that is perfectly okay. I say: “be proud of what you have made, fix the mistakes and move forward”.

How long did it take for you to be able to support yourself?
I would say about a year. My husband has been super supportive during the growing pains and now actually works along with me in a non-knitting/non-designing role.

What advice would you give someone who wants to pursue a career in knitting?
Design what you personally like and would wear; there will always be someone who loves it and wants to make it for themselves.

What’s next for you?
I plan on continuing to knit, design, and love every minute of it.

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