How did you get started in designing knitting patterns?
I started about a decade ago, when I friend of mine started a yarn company. She needed some “yarn support” and I was already designing my own lace, but not really documenting what I was knitting. I starting writing up my designs and just kept going!
What inspired you to write this book?
I got very interested in vintage doilies, began using them to inspire wearable pieces and realized I had a books worth of material.
Do you have a favorite stitch dictionary or where are your favorite places to find stitch patterns?
I own stitch dictionaries from all over the world, but right now I almost never use them. I chart most of my lace from my internal “stitch dictionary.”
Having written a knitting book, I know that it can be an all-consuming project. Can you tell me a little bit about your book writing process (timeline, pattern inspiration, etc?)
I tend to be a concept designer. Once I have that concept I just design until I feel done with it! In the case of New Vintage Lace, I had already designed more than half of the projects in the book before I even thought of it as a book proposal. So filling up the book with designs was easy for me. Actually writing up the technique sections, the swatching chapter and the final chapter took a little more work, to really get the information clearly stated. The team at Interweave, and my lovely editor Ann Budd, made sure I didn’t drift off.
There are a lot of patterns in this book. Did you get help with the knitting?
Knitting a full sample is actually a part of my process, so I knit each piece In the book at least once. And then each piece was test knit by at least 2 other knitters (and in some cases 4.) All the samples in the book except one were knit by me. I have some wonderful test knitters!
What are your plans for the future? Anything upcoming you can share with us? Any more books?
I am working on another book proposal right now. That means that I already the concept fully fleshed out and have more than half of the pieces knit (and a few more in the design process.) I might have more to share about that soon!
I find it so interesting to hear about other people's design process. Thanks Andrea! As for me, even though I rarely knit other people's lace patterns these days, there are a couple shawls in this book that may end up on the needles.
That is some seriously beautiful lace! You can see all the projects on the Ravelry page for the book (warning: you will want to make everything in the book if you click that link).
You can find New Vintage Lace in yarn stores and bookstores now, or can purchase one here.
Photos courtesy of Interweave/F+W.