Friday, April 8, 2016

An Interview with...Kessa Tay Anlin


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 Kessa  here and here on Ravelry.

A Giving Heart Fingerless Mitts

Where do you find inspiration?
Sometimes a design element on a stranger’s clothes on the street caught my eye, sometimes one just pops up in my mind. The design element can be a motif, a shape or a feature like a particular cable or keyhole.

What is your favourite knitting technique?
I enjoy seamless knits and stockinette stitch. Although seams are useful in some cases, I consider it a major advantage of knitting to be able to seamlessly shape garments to fit.

How did you determine your size range?
As I’m quite petite by standard sizing (one of the main reasons I started to learn to make my own clothes), I make that the starting size. And then I add a few sizes, usually in 2” (bust circumference) increments. I would like to include even more bigger sizes but I find that the seamless knits/style I usually design do not seem to work out as well on bigger sizes.



Do you look at other designers’ work or are you afraid that you will be influenced by their designs?
I enjoy checking them out when they come within my radar, because it is a fun way to try something new. I also enjoy a break from designing and being able to knit mindlessly once in a while.


How do you feel about the so called controversy of “dumbing down” patterns for knitters?
I do not think it is a bad thing at all. In my opinion, a good pattern should have sufficient information for a knitter to complete his/her project without needing a knitting encyclopedia, especially when a specific technique is included. For example, there is a whole range of ways to make increases so it will be nice, as a knitter looking to unwind with some knitting, not to have to figure it out by scrutinizing the model or spend an hour researching. Also, the knitting scene is so international these days, I think having a comprehensive and well explained pattern is extremely helpful to those whose native language is different from the one used in the pattern.

How many sample/test knitters do you have working for you or do you do it all yourself?
I have a list of contacts who have expressed interest in testing my designs. I try to take 1 or 2 testers for each size.

Celtic Hill

Do you have a mentor?
I am a self-taught knitter and designer.

Do you use a tech editor?

How do you maintain your life/work balance?
It is a little tricky with a baby in the household, so I have taken a break from designing in the last couple of years.


How do you deal with criticism?
I try to think about it from different perspectives. If I agree with the criticism, I try to improve on it.

What’s next for you?
I hope to return to designing in the near future.


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