Friday, January 18, 2013

An Interview with...Erika Knight

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 Erika here and here on her blog.

Where do you find inspiration?

In everything and everywhere

What is your favourite knitting technique?

Fully fashion shaping

How did you determine your size range?

From many years in the fashion industry, attempting to give a good and flattering fit and shape

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

As a designer you develop your own style, but you must be aware of current tastes and trends to create something appropriate and desirable – its all part of the process

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

I am not really aware of a controversy. Personally, I like to keep patterns simple, but there is 30 years of design experience to get to this pared down style. My ethos is to make things accessible for knitters, whether novice or with a lot of know-how, to create something that works, they can complete and that gives them confidence to create something of their own.

How many sample / test knitters do you have working for you or do you do it all yourself?

It’s just me and Sally.

Could you tell us a little about the process of developing your own line of yarn?

It was a personal passion to keep a fully traceable and sustainable manufacturing process in Britain.

Did you do a formal business plan?

Yes, any success of the business is due to the planning.

Do you have a mentor?

I have had many inspirational people along the way.

Do you have a business model that you have emulated?

No, I have tried to be innovative and appropriate to the changing market, responding and evolving organically.

What impact has the Internet had on your business?

The Internet is an integral part of my business, for global reach of the crafting community who have been overwhelmingly supportive of me as a designer and of my new yarn collection.

Do you have a technical editor?

I use freelance editors depending on the project.

How do you maintain your life /work balance?

Badly, knitting is always on the brain - the by-product of a hobby turned profession. 

How do you deal with criticism?

It is a vital part of honing ones style and development.

How long did it take for you to be able to support yourself?

Following your passion is a life choice and it is does not suit everybody, because at certain times you have to take that leap of faith.

What advice would you give someone who wants to pursue a career in knitting?

I am a great believer in plan B. 

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