Friday, December 18, 2015

An Interview with...Kelene Kinnersly

Suave Hat

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 Kelene here and here on Ravelry.

Where do you find inspiration?
I often let the yarn, especially its colour, inspire what I will do with it. Other times I find myself inspired by architecture, flowers.

What is your favourite knitting technique?
I tend to have “the technique of the moment.” Right now it’s two handed stranded colour work.

Do you look at other designers’ work or are you afraid that you will be influenced by their designs?
I do. I like to see how other people do things. I also want to make sure I haven’t accidentally done something that has already been done. I try hard to make sure I add a little something you won’t expect in a design. I call it my signature.

Misfits fingerless mitts

How do you feel about the so called controversy of “dumbing down” patterns for knitters?
I guess it all depends on who you’re making your patterns for. If it’s an intermediate pattern, dumbing it down would insult the intended knitter and make for a very lengthy pattern. On the other hand, it does mean I need to provide a little more support to help those who might have been better off with a simpler pattern.

How many sample/test knitters do you have working for you, or do you do it all yourself?
I don’t use sample knitters very often. I knit everything myself for the most part. I have a lovely group of test knitters that like to give my designs a go for me before I release them. I use them to make sure the pattern is understandable and to show other knitters what the design looks like in different colours.

Faintly Laced

Did you do a formal business plan?
Yes and no. At first I just wanted to see if it was something I could do. Each year I sit down, I plan out the upcoming year, and revise /adjust my plans for the future. In doing so, my goals and plans become more specific and business-orientated as time goes on.

Do you have a mentor?
In the beginning, I had this wonderful designer help me out. Oh wait, that was you, Robin. I was so grateful for all your support. Thank you. Recently, I have help from a professional group of designers online. I also have had business development coaching, for when I feel overwhelmed with the whole process. This really keeps me on task.

Do you use a tech editor? 

I always, always use a tech editor.

How do you maintain your life/work balance?
You mean there’s more to life then knitting??!! Knitting is my life!! I don’t always do well with this one. But every once in a while I need to take a little break. Although, I never feel like I’m working when I am simply knitting.

How do you deal with criticism?
I try to hear what the person is saying, then decide if it’s helpful. If it is, I try to learn from it. If not, I just try to understand that not everyone will like my work, and that’s okay.

Grand Valley Shawl

How long did it take for you to be able to support yourself?
I don’t support myself solely on my Design career at this point; I’m a semi-retired Shiatsu Therapist. Although I’m starting to make a consistent supplementary income and it’s taken me a good couple of years.

What advice would you give someone who wants to pursue a career in knitting?
Be prepared, it’s more than just knitting. There’s always ongoing professional development.

What’s next for you?
I’m working on putting together some collections, and hopefully I will find another designer that I can collaborate with for this purpose.

Once twice three times a cowl

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