Fiona Langtry ReVe Design Co Interview Gift A-long 2019

Fiona Langtry ReVe Design Co Interview Gift A-long 2019

Fiona Langtry Re-Ve Design Co, Indie Design Gift A-Long 2019 Interview

Today we’re chatting to a good friend of mine, Fiona Langtry of Re-Ve Design Co

Hi!  I’m Fiona (known as “Fi”).  I design crochet patterns for women, inspired by boho-chic styling.  I love styles that are colourful, comfortable and stylish, and you’ll often find that I use a hook that is larger than what is suggested for the yarn!

Shell B Mine Beanie by Fiona Langtry ReVe Design Co

Shell B Mine Beanie by Fiona Langtry ReVe Design Co

 

How did you get into knitting/crochet and who taught you? 

My 2 grandmothers were both wonderful knitters and crocheters, yet I don’t know exactly who taught me to knit.  I remember my paternal Grandmother, Ruth, trying to teach me to crochet when I was around 10, but it really didn’t “take”. Knitting was my preference, and it stayed that way until I was in my 40s!

I help run a craft group attached to my church each week, and one of our ladies arrived, asking for help to crochet flowers for brooches.  She showed us what to do and I took them home to continue making… and haven’t really stopped crocheting ever since!   

What made you want to start designing?

Not so much “want”, but I never really loved following a pattern exactly!  When I discovered that I had created a beanie that liked to wear, I figured other people might like the pattern, so I wrote it down, got it Tech Edited, and published.

Re-V Beanie by Fiona Langtry ReVe Design Co

Re-V Beanie by Fiona Langtry ReVe Design Co

What’s you favourite part of the design process?

The responses from people when they successfully complete a project using one of my patterns! 

If they’re also learning new stitches or techniques, they’ll often exclaim that they wish they’d learnt it 30 years ago (or something).

What inspires you?

The yarn.  It is always the driving force towards a pattern.  I will often start creating, without any real plan of the final result, but the YARN is the guide.  Sometimes, it’s the way the colors work; sometimes, it’s the texture or just what I’m in the mood for. 

Desert Dreams Poncho by Fiona Langtry

Desert Dreams Poncho by Fiona Langtry

Are you a full-time or part-time designer and how does that fit into your life?

I am a part-time worker, part-time mother & wife, and part-time designer.
Usually, if I’m crocheting (in the car, in my chair, in a waiting room, wherever), it’s a new design or a test make that’s on my hook… The beauty of crochet is that it’s so portable; but I’ll often have to start a NEW project for traveling with, if my main project has gotten too large.

Comfy Cuff Socks by Fiona Langtry ReVe Design Co

Comfy Cuff Socks by Fiona Langtry ReVe Design Co

Do you have a favourite thing to design and why?

I’d have to say gloves.  I went through a big poncho & cape stage in 2016, and 2019’s best-selling pattern is a poncho, BUT I still like sitting down and making gloves – fingerless, fingered, whichever; they’re something beautiful that I’ve enjoyed making for many years. 
Fine EasyFit FingerTip Gloves by Fiona Langtry  ReVe Design Co

Fine EasyFit FingerTip Gloves by Fiona Langtry ReVe Design Co

Do you have much time to make things for yourself or for gifting?

For me, not really… nor do I have much NEED for myself.  It doesn’t get that cold here (rarely snows), nor do I have many places to wear beautiful things.
For gifts, not really, either – most of my family have expressed a distaste for crocheted items.

If someone knitted or crocheted a gift item for you, what would you love the most?

The fact that they spent the TIME to make it for me – I know how long crafting takes!
Fanfare Delight Cowl by Fiona Langtry  Published in ReVe Design Co

Fanfare Delight Cowl by Fiona Langtry ReVe Design Co

Do you have a favourite yarn and why?

Hmmm, now that is really hard!  It really depends on what I’m making! 
I love using Malabrigo yarns, because they’re so smooth and never split.  But Bendigo Woollen Mills’ cottons are amazing for their drape, colors and softness. I also love working with Crafty Housewife Yarns, Blackwattle Alpaca yarns, and almost anything I can get that is hand spun and/or hand dyed.

What’s your favourite of your own designs and what do you love about it?

The “Valley Beanie” ties with my “EasyFit Mitts” for first place – I love making both these designs, and I also wear them both! 

Is there anything new you can tell us about or a recent design you’d like to chat about?

My most recent pattern release is Nessa’s Choice Mitts/Mittens. 

Using chunky yarn, these are a really quick make, and the textures within them make them an interesting item to create, too!   The pattern was named after a lady called Nessa, who chose a pair of these gloves from a stack of about 20 pairs that I took to a business meeting.

Nessa's Choice Mitts by Fiona Langtry ReVe Design Co

Nessa’s Choice Mitts by Fiona Langtry ReVe Design Co

What’s your favourite colour?

For years, I said Burgundy, but it’s been moving more towards Teal nowadays!

Have you been a participating designer in the Indie Gift Along before and what do you love most about it?

This is my 2nd GAL. I only heard about the Gift-a-long last year, and jumped right in!  I even earned an Opadoo making other peoples’ designs! 

I love that it’s an open opportunity for hundreds of designers to collectively engage with crafters, get to know what people really like making, and also get to know the crafters themselves!

Valley Beanie by Fiona Langtry ReVe Design Co

Valley Beanie by Fiona Langtry ReVe Design Co

Which Gift Along 2019 designers inspire you and why?

Every designer in the Gift A Long deserves praise!  I mean, to have twenty original designs is a major achievement!  I am inspired by almost every other design I see; I can’t choose just one.
This year, I’m making a creepy pillow by Darleen Hopkins, a shawl by Margo Bauman… probably more that I haven’t found / chosen yet.

Orchid Vest by Fiona Langtry ReVe Design Co

Orchid Vest by Fiona Langtry ReVe Design Co

How do people get in touch with you or see more of your work?

 

Christmas Tea Cozies 3 sizes, 4 characters, ebook

 

Aline Modular Cardigan ladies knitting pattern is released

Quick links to our shop

Austermann Yarns, Baby Yarns, Debbie Bliss Yarns, Lanas Stop Yarns, Araucania Yarns, Schoeller & Stahl Yarns, Felting Yarns, Noro Yarns, DK Yarns, 4ply Yarns, Aran Yarns, Fur Yarns, James C Brett Yarns, Lion Brand Yarns

Ranee Mueller of Arabian Knits Designs Interview Gift A-long 2019

Ranee Mueller of Arabian Knits Designs Interview Gift A-long 2019

Ranee Mueller Arabian Knits, Indie Design Gift A-Long 2019 Interview

Today we’re chatting to a good friend of mine, Ranée Mueller of Arabian Knits.

Hello there! If you don’t know me already, I am Ranée Mueller of Arabian Knits. I’ve been officially designing since 2004. However, I kind of fell into it. First I modified patterns I had, then I thought about how a certain stitch pattern might look on a certain item, and it went from there. My designs are largely aimed at busy people who like interesting texture and construction, who also want to make something beautiful in their spare time. My business name comes both from my Saudi heritage and my sense that designing tells a story and that the knitters who make my designs are adding their own story to the one I share in the pattern. I began knitting over 33 years ago, and love cables, texture and lace especially. My patterns are a kind of east meets west, with Middle Eastern aesthetic and design elements applied to western accessories and garments.

Logos Mittens by Ranée Mueller Arabian Knits

Logos Mittens by Ranée Mueller Arabian Knits

How did you get into knitting/crochet and who taught you? 

My mother taught me to knit while my teachers were on strike when I was in the 5th grade. In what was my first introduction to homeschooling (we homeschool our children, and have graduated two of our kids already), my mother, a graduate student at the time, taught me fractions, how to cast on, knit and purl, and then set me loose in the juvenile section of the graduate school library while she went to class. She didn’t remember how to bind off, but there was a fellow student who was a knitter who helped me with that. Everything else was trial and error, books from the library, and magazines later. I made a lot of messes and mistakes (Who knew you needed to change yarn position from knit to purl and back in the same row? I didn’t.), didn’t finish anything for about six or seven years, and somewhere is a long tube of ugliness that was a mishmash of people’s discarded and unwanted yarn. Having children is what spurred me to pick up my knitting again, and the internet boom in patterns and knitting technique helped me as well.

Beatitude by Ranee Mueller  Arabian Knits

Beatitude by Ranee Mueller Arabian Knits

What made you want to start designing?

Curiosity, really, and a desire to make things to fit, or to see how this change would affect the end result. Perhaps there was a simple shape or basic piece that I thought would be interesting with a new stitch pattern or different color progression.

What’s you favourite part of the design process?

Solving problems to make the final shape or concept work, both for the design and for the end user of the pattern. I see my role as finding ways to simplify the complicated parts so that they are easy to execute.

Haboob by Ranée Mueller Arabian Knits

Haboob by Ranée Mueller Arabian Knits

What inspires you?

Middle Eastern art, architecture and stories, nature, figures and events from my faith, but even things like the design on a shower curtain have spurred a design idea or process.

Are you a full-time or part-time designer and how does that fit into your life?

I am a full time wife and mother and part time designer. Knitting is easy to fit into time waiting or while listening to lessons or trying not to stress out while the kids are learning to drive. I keep my design notebook with me all the time and scribble or sketch an idea, write out what I think I want to do with it, and then come back to it as I can. Most of my serious work, the technical writing and editing, photography and editing, and so on, happens while the kids are otherwise occupied or at night.

Harmattan by Ranée Mueller  Arabian Knits

Harmattan by Ranée Arabian Knits

Do you have a favourite thing to design and why?

It’s hard to narrow down, but probably accessories. They are quick to make and fun. However, I have designed a couple garments, and I have plans for more in the near future. One of the areas I am interested in is men’s wear and garments. I try to design things for the boys and men in our family, as well as thinking of ways that pieces can work for men or women.

Do you have much time to make things for yourself or for gifting?

I used to do a lot of gift knitting, but now it is largely for my immediate family and my designs. Some samples become gifts for others. My husband and kids appreciate and use my knits the best, but babies, close friends and a few members of our extended family get gifts as well.

Mariam by Ranée Mueller  Arabian Knits

Mariam by Ranée Mueller Arabian Knits

If someone knitted or crocheted a gift item for you, what would you love the most?

Item or aspect? I think in terms of item, probably a shawl or a scarf. However, the best part of a knit or crocheted item is that I know how much thought and work goes into it.

Do you have a favourite yarn and why?

Whatever I am working with currently! I love sport to DK weight yarn the best, and natural fibers. Except for socks and such, I tend to use fingering weight for shawls, but for other items, especially garments, I like sport and DK because they are not too heavy, but also come together quickly. Cotton and linen are hard on my hands, so I tend to use those in blends.

Tutabaq by Ranée Mueller Arabian Knits

Tutabaq by Ranée Mueller Arabian Knits

What’s your favourite of your own designs and what do you love about it?

Hmmm. My favorite design is probably Amira because it is flattering to just about any body shape (sized from 28 inches to 54 inches).

Amira by Ranée Mueller Arabian Knits

Amira by Ranée Mueller Arabian Knits

Is there anything new you can tell us about or a recent design you’d like to chat about?

Khamseen is a large shawl, which I love, and was one of my designs inspired by the Trade Winds and named winds of the Middle East and North Africa. The word means 50 and the wind is named that for the number of days it blows. When designing it, I planned to use a border pattern that would repeat 50 times. However, as I was planning my year of patterns, I realized that it would be coming out around when my 50th pattern on Ravelry was, so I made sure to time it to be my 50th pattern. Unknowingly, though, the number of stripes needed to get to the right stitch count for the border was exactly 50. That delighted me.

What’s your favourite colour?

Red! But really vibrant and jewel colors of all kinds.

Rabi by Ranée Mueller Arabian Knits

Rabi by Ranée Mueller Arabian Knits

Have you been a participating designer in the Indie Gift Along before and what do you love most about it?

This is my fourth year as a participating designer, and the first thing I found was that I wasn’t doing my work alone. It gave me colleagues in what can often be a solitary and lonely effort. It gave me a sense of camaraderie among both my fellow designers and my customers. Practically speaking, it also gives me a chance to knit on projects that aren’t simply design samples or work. It is a fun time for me to work on other designers’ patterns each year.

Which Gift Along 2019 designers inspire you and why?

There are so many, and I feel like I am slighting people by leaving them off this list, but I will limit it to two.

Jenise Hope, who makes such lovely patterns and is such a smart designer and business woman, especially for her young age. She was homeschooled and went to fashion school and applies her fashion education to knitwear in creative ways, while being quite a business woman, balancing her family and work beautifully. Many of her designs apply fascinating construction as well as keeping in mind differing body shapes.

Linette Grayum, who designs both knit and crochet patterns while also homeschooling her son and traveling around the country with her son and husband in an RV. She essentially sets up and runs a home every place they stop. She is inspired by nature, and you really see it in her work. Her designs are interesting to make, not just beautiful.

How do people get in touch with you or see more of your work?

Blog: My blog has been neglected, but I have plans to resurrect it this year – http://arabianknits.blogspot.com/
Monthly Newsletter, 1,001 Knits: http://eepurl.com/cF0Vbj
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ArabianKnitsDesigns/
Ravelry pattern store: http://www.ravelry.com/designers/ranee-mueller
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/arabianknits/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/Arabianknits

Gifts of the Magi by Ranée Mueller Arabian Knits

Gifts of the Magi by Ranée Mueller Arabian Knits

 

Christmas Tea Cozies 3 sizes, 4 characters, ebook

 

Aline Modular Cardigan ladies knitting pattern is released

Quick links to our shop

Austermann Yarns, Baby Yarns, Debbie Bliss Yarns, Lanas Stop Yarns, Araucania Yarns, Schoeller & Stahl Yarns, Felting Yarns, Noro Yarns, DK Yarns, 4ply Yarns, Aran Yarns, Fur Yarns, James C Brett Yarns, Lion Brand Yarns

Cheryl Chow Interview Gift A-long 2019

Cheryl Chow Interview Gift A-long 2019

Cheryl Chow, Indie Design Gift A-Long 2019 Interview

Today we’re chatting with a good friend of mine, Cheryl Chow who is a knit and crochet designer taking part in the Indie Design Gift-A-Long.  

How did you get into knitting/crochet and who taught you? 

My mom taught me to crochet and then knit when I was a teenager. Knitting was a real struggle for me … plastic needles, acrylic yarn, and sweaty hands don’t play well together! For the first few years I mostly crocheted but in college I got the hang of knitting and knit for most of my adult life until recently when I started to crochet again.

Fosen Shawl Cheryl Chow

Fosen Shawl Cheryl Chow

What made you want to start designing?

I started off designing free patterns for charity. I was a stay at home mom whose kids were in school and I wanted to do something to give back. When Ravelry started to allow patterns to be sold on their site I created a few patterns for sale to help fund my yarn habit. Designing just took off from there.
What’s your favourite part of the design process?

What’s you favourite part of the design process?

The math is what excites me the most about pattern writing. I just can’t wait to start a new spreadsheet and start all the calculations. I love the challenge of making the numbers work. I also love the knitting/crocheting too. Being able to touch the yarn and work it into something practical makes my day.

Strolling Cardigan Cheryl Chow

Strolling Cardigan Cheryl Chow

What inspires you?

I love the outdoors and grew up hiking, camping, and backpacking with my family. Many of my designs are green/blue and have leaf motifs. My friends give me a hard time … “not another green project”! Another influence is the Japanese culture. Their eye for balance and color is probably the most beautiful of any culture I’ve experienced.

Do you have a favourite thing to design and why?

I don’t have a favourite thing to design. I like all the things and get bored easily with doing too much of the same.

Strand Up Hat Cheryl Chow

Strand Up Hat Cheryl Chow

Do you have much time to make things for yourself or for gifting?

Most of the patterns I design are things that I would use or wear. So yes, I do make things for myself but they are also samples for my shop.

If someone knitted or crocheted a gift item for you, what would you love the most?

Hmmm … that’s a hard one. I think I would love any type of amigurumi since I don’t tend to make these. And anything “sheep”!

Loeanneth Pullover Cheryl Chow

Loeanneth Pullover Cheryl Chow

Do you have a favourite yarn and why?

Wool! Anything wool I love, especially the more rustic types of wool and specialty wool from unique sheep. I have the book Pure Wool by Sue Blacker and was initially amazed at how many different types of wool yarns are available.

What’s your favourite of your own designs and what do you love about it?

Another tough question … probably my Waterfall Cardigan. I loved the challenge of working out the math for all the sizes and have the columns of cables line up with the lace at the hem. The fit is also really good for my body type and Beloved Yarn’s Magical Sport is gorgeous.

Waterfall Cardigan Cheryl Chow

Waterfall Cardigan Cheryl Chow

What’s your favourite colour?

Blue, green, teal are my favourites.

Have you been a participating designer in the Indie Gift Along before and what do you love most about it?

Yes! I love the Gift Along. This is my sixth year participating and I love seeing designers come together and support one another. Also, knitting/crocheting from other designers patterns is so relaxing. No need to work out the math or pay attention to the details, just follow the instructions and create a project.

Gilja Hat Cheryl Chow

Gilja Hat Cheryl Chow

Which Gift Along 2019 designers inspire you and why?

There are so many amazing designers that participate each year, it’s hard to choose just a couple. I love Natalia Kononova’s (Outstanding Crochet) sense of style and many of her designs have leaves/flowers which I am always drawn to. And who can resist Sarah Schira’s (Imagined Landscapes) gnomes. They are all so cute!

Outstanding Crochet: https://www.ravelry.com/designers/natalia-kononova
Imagined Landscapes: https://www.ravelry.com/designers/sarah-schira

How do people get in touch with you or see more of your work?

 

 

Christmas Tea Cozies 3 sizes, 4 characters, ebook

 

Aline Modular Cardigan ladies knitting pattern is released

Quick links to our shop

Austermann Yarns, Baby Yarns, Debbie Bliss Yarns, Lanas Stop Yarns, Araucania Yarns, Schoeller & Stahl Yarns, Felting Yarns, Noro Yarns, DK Yarns, 4ply Yarns, Aran Yarns, Fur Yarns, James C Brett Yarns, Lion Brand Yarns

Jenny Galusha-Luna of Kounting Sheep Interview Gift A-long 2019

Jenny Galusha-Luna of Kounting Sheep Interview Gift A-long 2019

Jenny Galusha-Luna of Kounting Sheep, Indie Design Gift A-Long 2019 Interview

Today we’re chatting with a good friend of mine, Jenny Galusha-Luna of Kountingsheep.

She’s a wife and mother of 3 who spends as much of her free time as she can find playing with yarn. She loves to share her passion for creativity and comfort through both the handmade items she makes and the knit and crochet patterns she designs.

Big Heart Baby Blanket by Kountingsheep

Big Heart Baby Blanket by Kountingsheep

How did you get into knitting/crochet and who taught you? 

My grandma was an avid crocheter and I wanted to carrying on her legacy, since it was something very meaningful to our family. I taught myself to crochet when I was 12, and then my sister helped me learn to knit a few years later. I also spin yarn, weave, and recently I’ve gotten back into Tunisian crochet.It sort of happened by accident. I used to post patterns on my first blog before I knew what “designing” really was. However, it wasn’t until I took the Initiate Knit Design Challenge by Aroha Knits in the spring of 2018 when I really started taking my designs more seriously.

Anna's Shawl by Kountingsheep

Anna’s Shawl by Kountingsheep

What made you want to start designing?

It sort of happened by accident. I used to post patterns on my first blog before I knew what “designing” really was. However, it wasn’t until I took the Initiate Knit Design Challenge by Aroha Knits in the spring of 2018 when I really started taking my designs more seriously.

What’s you favourite part of the design process?

Seeing other people make from my patterns. It never ceases to excite me.

Hoodlet by Jenny Galusha-Luna Kountingsheep

Hoodlet by Jenny Galusha-Luna Kountingsheep

What inspires you?

Making things for other people often inspires new designs. My children also inspire me; they love handmade things!

Are you a full-time or part-time designer and how does that fit into your life?

Not sure how to answer this since I’m always crafting and coming up with new design ideas. I’m a full time stay at home mom, so I fit designing into my life in between taking care of my family.

Green Gables Blanket by Jenny Galusha-Luna Kountingsheep

Green Gables Blanket by Jenny Galusha-Luna Kountingsheep

Do you have a favourite thing to design and why?

Blankets will always be my favorite to make and design. You can never have too many blankets! (Although my linen closet may disagree)

Do you have much time to make things for yourself or for gifting?

Not as much as I would like, but I try to make sure to set aside time for my own personal crafting on weekends and around holidays.

If someone knitted or crocheted a gift item for you, what would you love the most?

I rarely receive handmade gifts anymore, so honestly anything! Blankets and shawls would be at the top of the list.

Cuthbert Cowl by Kountingsheep Jenny Galusha-Luna

Cuthbert Cowl by Kountingsheep Jenny Galusha-Luna

Do you have a favourite yarn and why?

I’m really into self-striping, gradient, and speckled yarns lately. I love lots of color, so the more colorful the better!

What’s your favourite of your own designs and what do you love about it?

Big Heart Baby Blanket is one that I love to make over and over again as baby shower gifts. Avonlea Cowl is my favorite new design from 2019.

Miss Priss Hat by Kountingsheep Jenny Galusha-Luna

Miss Priss Hat by Kountingsheep Jenny Galusha-Luna

Is there anything new you can tell us about or a recent design you’d like to chat about?

I already have the first half of 2020 planned out for designs, and I’m especially excited to release Part 2 of my Green Gables Collection in the Spring. Lots more blanket patterns coming, as well as my first knit shawl design.

What’s your favourite colour?

Purple! But I like lots of color and design with all different shades of the color wheel.

Have you been a participating designer in the Indie Gift Along before and what do you love most about it?

Last year was my first time participating as a designer and crafter, and I really loved the camaraderie among the designers behind the scenes to support each other. It’s encouraging to see a group that seeks out ways to uplift Indie designers and not just shamelessly self-promote.

Avonlea Cowl Jenny Galusha-Luna Kounting Sheep

Avonlea Cowl Jenny Galusha-Luna Kounting Sheep

Which Gift Along 2019 designers inspire you and why?

Ruth Brasch and Rachy Newin have been inspiring me as fellow crochet designers.

How do people get in touch with you or see more of your work?

 

 

Christmas Tea Cozies 3 sizes, 4 characters, ebook

 

Aline Modular Cardigan ladies knitting pattern is released

Quick links to our shop

Austermann Yarns, Baby Yarns, Debbie Bliss Yarns, Lanas Stop Yarns, Araucania Yarns, Schoeller & Stahl Yarns, Felting Yarns, Noro Yarns, DK Yarns, 4ply Yarns, Aran Yarns, Fur Yarns, James C Brett Yarns, Lion Brand Yarns

Debra Gerhard Spruce Lane Designs Interview Gift A-long 2019

Debra Gerhard Spruce Lane Designs Interview Gift A-long 2019

Debra Gerhard Spruce Lane Designs, Indie Design Gift A-Long 2019 Interview

Today we’re chatting to a good friend of mine, Debra Gerhard aka Spruce Lane Designs. Deb, tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m an environmental engineer turned knitting addict. (I’m still trying to figure out how to knit in my sleep.) I love designing creative, colorful knits to fuel knitters’ imaginations. I fall asleep at night dreaming of different shawl constructions or warm, cozy sweaters with colorful motifs. On the rare occasion that I put down my needles, you may find me playing the piano, baking or cooking, tending my garden or escaping to the coast of Maine.

Vite Hat by Debra Gerhard

Vite Hat by Debra Gerhard

How did you get into knitting/crochet and who taught you? 

My Mom taught me how to knit when I was ten years old.  My Mom knits Continental style; which suited me fine as I am left handed.  My first knits were a garter stitch scarf and seamed hat which lead to more hats and a few mittens.  I didn’t knit much during junior high and high school, but in college I picked it up again and knitted the “boyfriend” sweater.  I started to seriously knit in my late twenties after getting married, and I haven’t stopped since that time.

What made you want to start designing?

I was never one to follow a pattern exactly as written.  I would usually use the pattern as a “guide” and then add my own shaping, motifs, edgings or other personal touches.  A number of years ago after I left engineering to be home with my son, I started sample knitting for a few yarn companies which subsequently lead to technical editing of patterns.  Around this same time, I took a few knitwear design classes at the Rhode Island School of Design.  I released my first design, Checks Mix Cowl which was based on a swatch I had done for one of my classes.  However, I didn’t release anything else for about two years after this initial design and instead spent my time doing more technical editing for a number of designers and yarn companies.  I finally made the leap to mostly designing around 2017 and now I find myself struggling at times to turn out all the ideas I have in my head.  I love the process, and I especially enjoy seeing knitters’ interpretations of my patterns and their use of color combinations and various yarn bases.

Checks Mix Cowl by Debra Gerhard

Checks Mix Cowl by Debra Gerhard

What’s you favourite part of the design process?

I have two favorite design phases:  Ironically, I love swatching and watching how an idea takes shape based on the yarn, stitch pattern(s) and color(s).  (Yet prior to designing, when I used to just knit a garment for myself, I shamefully admit that I didn’t always swatch.)  My second love is knitting up the actual garment or accessory once all the calculations and pattern writing have been completed. 

What inspires you?

I take my inspiration from a variety of sources: an architectural detail; a colorful sunset; a spider web I may spy when out for a hike; bark on a tree; nature; found objects; textile books, and many other sources.  I have been known to tell my hubby to “pull over” while driving so that I can take a picture of something that inspires me.  I am drawn to color and patterns.  I like to create colorful knits that fuel the imagination of each knitter and hopefully inspires them make my pattern their own.

Bye Bye Birdies by Debra Gerhard

Bye Bye Birdies by Debra Gerhard

Are you a full-time or part-time designer and how does that fit into your life?

I am currently giving full-time designing a try.  I like the flexibility it offers, but I do sometimes find it challenging to find a work/life balance.

Do you have a favourite thing to design and why?

I tend to waiver between mostly sweaters and shawls.  I like shawls because there are usually only one or two sizes at most that need to be developed, and I feel like shawls can be a “snap shot” of a design in my mind.  It is sometimes easier to express a whimsical design or insert a small portion of a challenging design into a shawl than into a sweater.  However, conversely, I also love sweaters as I feel they offer a larger “canvas” for incorporating stitch designs, tailored shaping and whimsical details. 

Gradient Geometry by Debra Gerhard

Gradient Geometry by Debra Gerhard

 

Do you have much time to make things for yourself or for gifting?

I do tend to wear the patterns I have designed – does that count as knitting for me?  As far as gifting, I will usually try to sneak in a sweater or accessory for family members, but I do find that most of my knitting time is spent as a work-related process.

If someone knitted or crocheted a gift item for you, what would you love the most?

I think that it wouldn’t really matter what genre of item was gifted to me.  I feel that the time and love that is put into each stitch during the making process is what I would cherish and love most. 

Gradients A Deux by Debra Gerhard

Gradients A Deux by Debra Gerhard

Do you have a favourite yarn and why?

Hmm…that’s a tough question….Although I have mostly designed in superwash yarn, I also love the feel, texture and organic components of non-superwash.  So I guess I don’t truly have a favorite. 

What’s your favourite of your own designs and what do you love about it?

I liken this question to asking who my favorite child is (although in my case, I only have one).  I think a few that I have enjoyed the design process on are Gradient Geometry and Gradients A Deux.  I like these patterns since I feel they are a bit out-of-the-box.  I enjoy trying different constructions or details that look complicated, but are actually fairly basic when followed step-by-step. 

I’m also a bit partial to Ephemeris as it was my first published design.

Ephemeris by Debra Gerhard © Laura Morsman

Ephemeris by Debra Gerhard © Laura Morsman

Is there anything new you can tell us about or a recent design you’d like to chat about?

It’s not a very recent design, but I’d love to chat a little about my Once Again sweater pattern.  This has been one of my most successful designs to-date, which is somewhat ironic as the design process was a series of “starts and re-starts” for me.  I initially knit up a swatch in a stitch pattern that I had in my head, and I found that the pattern was not amenable to DK weight yarn.  I then ripped out and swatched for a shawl, thinking that a nice, comfy shawl would be great for the winter months.  I got about one-third of the way through knitting the shawl and realized that between the stitch pattern I chose and the DK weight yarn, I was heading toward a “shlanket” design (a shawl that is so heavy, it feels like a blanket, hence shlanket).  So, once again (cue in the pattern name), I found myself frogging and starting over.  The third time was a charm, and I was finally pleased with the result.  I think it is also a testament to Marianated Yarns’ Playtime DK base that it was knit up and frogged three times, and it still looked like new. 

Once Again by Debra Gerhard

Once Again by Debra Gerhard

What’s your favourite colour?

My favorite color is purple, but I tend not to do too many designs in it as I find that it is a temperamental shade to photograph, at times.  I also love deep reds, moody teals and other rich, saturated gem-tone colors. 

Have you been a participating designer in the Indie Gift Along before and what do you love most about it?

This is only my second year as a participating designer.  I love the camaraderie and community associated with the GAL.  I also like that it is a chance for me to see designs by fellow designers.  This year has been extremely busy for me, but I am hoping to finish up a hat and slippers, at least by the end of the year.

Sinistram by Debra Gerhard

Sinistram by Debra Gerhard

Which Gift Along 2019 designers inspire you and why?

I am truly inspired and humbled by all of the Indie GAL designers.  I feel that when you publish a design you are putting a piece of yourself out there, and I think it takes a smidge of bravery each time you hit that “publish” button.  That being said, here are a few patterns that have caught my eye:

Until We Meet Again by Heather Anderson

Crisp Apple Strudel by Katinka Designs

4-Ever in Blue Jeans by Monster Knits

Dissent by Andrea Rangel

Mine by Ukee Knits

Las-Mananitas-de-Blanca by Cecelia Losada

How do people get in touch with you or see more of your work?

Facebook:  Spruce Lane Designs  Find me here on Facebook.
Ravelry pattern store: https://www.ravelry.com/designers/debra-gerhard
Instagram: Sprucelanedesigns  Find me here on Instagram.
Pinterest: Spruce Lane Designs  Find me here on Pinterest.

 

 

Christmas Tea Cozies 3 sizes, 4 characters, ebook

 

Aline Modular Cardigan ladies knitting pattern is released

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