Friday, June 26, 2015

An Interview with...Nancy Eiseman

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 Nancy here on Ravelry. 

Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration in many different ways. I’ve gotten ideas for knits from looking at beautiful pottery, architecture, furniture, textiles, and of course fashion. I love decorative arts and especially enjoy historic costume exhibits at museums. I also like to see what is new in fashion. I am always watching and observing trends in fashion, and in the design world in general. 

What is your favourite knitting technique? 
I like a lot of knitting techniques, so that is a difficult question to answer, but I adore garter stitch.

How did you determine your size range? 
I write all my patterns in 6 sizes from XS to XXXL.

Do you look at other designers’ work or are you afraid that you will be influenced by their designs? 
I love to look at other designers work. Really exciting design inspires me to be more creative myself - that is a good influence.

How many sample/test knitters do you have working for you or do you do it all yourself? 
I knit my own samples and also have test knitters who are all terrific and generously volunteer to test my patterns and give me feedback. I like to have 6 to 8 test knitters for a pattern. Ideally at least one test in each size.

Did you do a formal business plan? 
No – I started designing knits for myself and publishing patterns sort of grew organically.

Do you have a mentor? 
Not exactly, but I have met some very kind and encouraging women along the way.

Do you use a tech editor? 
Yes – I recently started working with a tech editor. She is wonderful! I have learned a lot from her and I think my pattern writing is getting better because of her help. I love how clean and concise she makes my patterns. I wish I had worked with a tech editor from the start, but going forward, all my pattern will be tech edited as well as test knit.

How do you maintain your life/work balance? 
I have a full time job outside of knitting design. Knitting is my weekend and evening work, so my life/work is probably not quite balanced. Even so, I enjoy my job as well as my knitting work.

How do you deal with criticism? 
If the criticism is intended to help me, I appreciate it. I am always learning and I want to know if I can do something better.

How long did it take for you to be able to support yourself? 
I have a job and career outside of knitting, so I have not tried to use knitting as a way to support myself. If I did not work full time, I would have more time for knitting design, and could pick up the pace at which I publish and perhaps earn more from knitting. Still, I am not sure if I could support myself as a knit designer.

What’s next for you? 
I will be introducing several fun new patterns this Fall and Winter. I also plan to have a website up and running this Fall.

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