Friday, August 3, 2012

An Interview with...Irina Poludnenko

Barcelona 2012

Once a week I post interviews with interesting designers about their insights on their experience of working in the knitting industry. I’ve noticed that every designer makes their living in a slightly different manner bringing their own unique presence to the knitting world.  

You can find Irina here and here on Ravelry.

Where do you find inspiration?
Generally, I am most inspired by traveling, architecture, the beauty of yarn, music and beautiful colors.

What is your favourite knitting technique?

I love the Fair Isle technique, the modular technique, the slip stitch technique, the cables technique, short rows, and I love to invent my own design techniques and incorporate them in my knitting.

Do you look at other designers’ work or are you afraid that you will be influenced by their designs?

I always look at other designers work to ensure that I don't end up with the same design and try to do something totally different.

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

I feel that just as long as it's easy and understandable for the knitter, it doesn't really matter to me.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
Paris 2009

How many sample/test knitters do you have working for you or do you do it all yourself?
I have two great knitters and if it is something more difficult, then I do it myself.

Did you do a formal business plan?

No. I submit designs for magazines and yarn companies and if I get a break, I make designs for my website.       

Lake District, England 2011

Do you have a mentor?


Do you have a business model that you have emulated?

No, I am trying out my own business model.

Do you use a tech editor?
The magazines and companies that I work for use a tech editor but I do not use one for my website.

How do you maintain your life/work balance?

It's always difficult but I try to spend as much time with my family as possible and I can knit anywhere, even when I'm with them.

How do you deal with criticism?

I'm open to it and it helps me improve the quality of my work. 

How long did it take for you to be able to support yourself?
I was a knitter my whole life, but it became my main financial income when I immigrated to America in 1993. 

What advice would you give someone who wants to pursue a career in knitting?
To pursue a career in knitting, you have to really love knitting and keep educating yourself every day.


  1. Total IP fan here--Every time I click on a Ravelry pattern to investigate it, it turns out to be one of her patterns. Wonderful.

  2. sophisticated, drop-dead chic (no higher complement exists.