Friday, June 2, 2017

An Interview with...Zuri Scrivens

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 Zuri here and here on Ravelry.

All photo credits are: Tracey Ayton Photography (

Where do you find inspiration? 
Inspiration can pop up anywhere, and anytime (often when I'm watching a TV show or a movie), but when I'm actively seeking inspiration, it's usually while walking or browsing Ravelry and Instagram. 

What is your favourite knitting technique?
It changes quite frequently, but these days I love using mini cables for texture and variation in a pattern.

Do you look at other designers’ work or are you afraid that you will be influenced by their designs? 
Oh, I definitely look at other designer' work. I think it's extremely hard to avoid being influenced by other designers, especially at a time when we are all sharing so much of our lives and our work online. I also think it's important to stay on top of what is current at any given time, and you can really only do that by looking at other designs.

An upcoming design

How many sample/test knitters do you have working for you or do you do it all yourself? 
I don't have a set number of test knitters working for me. I usually submit a call for test knitters on Ravelry or Instagram, and try to have at least ten for each piece.

Did you do a formal business plan? 
No, unfortunately not. Putting together a business plan is an area I've always struggled with.

How do you maintain your life/work balance?
Life/work balance is an ongoing battle that I'm learning to re-frame in my head. Life is in constant flux and we never really know what's around the corner - I find it difficult to say that we can "balance" it. So, I do what I can to take care of myself - getting enough sleep, eating well, moving my body at least a few times a week, taking long baths here and there, etc. In the wake of two breast cancer diagnosis', I've learned to tune into my body. To know when I'm starting to feel stress in my body, to better read the signs that I'm feeling overworked; and when that happens, I take a step back, check in and shift my priorities to my family and myself. 

How do you deal with criticism? 
I take a deep breath and try to see it from the perspective of the person doing the criticizing. How I feel about the criticism changes completely when I shift my perspective.

What advice would you give someone who wants to pursue a career in knitting? 
Remember that knitting can be quite seasonal - don't put all your eggs in one basket by only selling what you make. Try to focus your attention on creating passive income that will help support you in the off-season (i.e. designing patterns, creating/selling supplies, etc.)

What’s next for you? 
I'm working on expanding my pattern collection and growing my Instagram/Facebook following, and I have two markets before the heavy season (a Mother's Day open studio sale in Vancouver, BC and The Fraser Valley Indie Market in Coquitlam, BC in August:

An upcoming design

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