I got to meet some amazing people at KAN including the lovely Sarah Ronchetti (coolest last name ever) aka Sezza Knits. She designs lots of kiddies' and sock patterns and she took some time to chat with me about her work.
How did you become a knitwear designer and what do you primarily design?
I sort of fell into it really, I had been test knitting for other designers for a while and had started to think that I could possibly give it a go. When I couldn't find a pattern for a zipped vest for my son, I decided to write one, and now I can't stop.
I have mostly designed children's garments, although socks are catching up!
What do you think makes a good pattern design?
My favourite patterns are things that can be worn everyday. While they can be knit in special yarn, they can be worn for any ocassion, and so they are actually worn, not stored in a drawer or cupboard, waiting for a good time to wear them. And I like to design things that are fun to knit - for me that means not totally boring, but not so tricky you can only knit them when there is silence.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?Everywhere! Some of my designs have been particular requests from my children, others were inspired by places, yarn, people....
How long does it take you to go from a pattern concept to finished design?
Usually 2-3 months if I'm not overly distracted by other things. There is quite a process, so I am often working on a new design while the previous one is being tested and edited.
I love my Chiaogoo needles. I use fixed ones for sock knitting, and interchangeables for nearly everything else.
What's the one thing you always have in your knitting bag?
Stitch markers. I have gathered quite a collection. And I love having a selection of pretty project bags too!
Any advice for knitters who might want to design their own patterns?
Give it a go! Start off designing something you would like to knit or wear and see how you go - you never know when you might create a winner!
Do you have a special space / studio you like to work in?
I work in a corner of my lounge. I have a lazy boy chair and a shelf with everything I need right beside me. With young kids, it means I'm always right where they need me. I do take my laptop into the dining room for peace and quiet and pattern grading/editing though.
What are your plans for the next year or so?
To design more patterns! I have a few things coming out in early 2014 that are a collaboration with other people, and I have notebooks full of sketches, so there will be more.
Find out more about Sarah's designs over on her blog!