Hope everyone Stateside enjoyed the long weekend; we went camping at my parents', which was the perfect blend of sleeping in a tent and washing dishes in a real sink. The weekend included lots of s'mores, fishing, exploring, meeting new neighbors and their friendly goats. The fishing was perfect because we helped friends stock their tiny lake, so fish from the big lake got caught and none had to be cleaned and/or eaten. Some small people among us like to fish but are generally vegetarians. Except when it comes to sausage.
We're gearing up for the Fall and Gift issue at Knitcircus HQ and I'm so excited, the Fall issue really promises to offer the most patterns ever and so many fun articles! Just a hint; we would love to see one more shawlette for the Gifts issue, so if you've got a pattern proposal, shoot me an email! (Jaala@knitcircus.com).
One of our designers featured in the Summer Issue has a pattern in our fall issue, too; just wait until you see the cuteness! She specializes in patterns for babies and children, and Knitcircus has been proud to feature a number of her designs.
Today's Designer Spotlight—Jenny Snedeker of Cutie Pie Designs!
Which design do you have in the current issue? Please tell us a little about this pattern and what makes it exciting for you as a designer.
The current Knit Circus includes my Flower Power sundress:
We live less than 20 miles from the original site of the 1969 Woodstock Music Festival, which was sort of my inspiration for the design, and this one was a lot of fun. The bright colors and the fun tiered skirt make it playful, and the I-cord flowers just add to the 60’s look.
I’ve had designs in a number of previous issues, beginning with the Spring Daisy Cardigan in Issue 6,
the Eyelet Lace Dress and Bolero in Issue 7,
and now the Flower Power dress in the current issue.
How’d you get started designing?
I began Cutie Pie Fashions shortly after my daughter was born as a way to bring in a little extra money, as I am a stay at home Mom. It started out as a sewing business, making children's clothing. I was forced to set it aside for a time so that I could home school my two children. When I revived the business it was by using knitting instead of sewing. I was frustrated that I couldn’t find patterns that I could use to make and sell finished garments. It then occurred to me that since I know how clothing goes together, I’m familiar with children’s sizing and fit, and I am a rather experienced knitter, I have the tools that I needed to design my own patterns.
What’s your favorite part of designing?
My absolute favorite part of designing is sitting with my sketchbook and pencil and dreaming up the designs. Second would be playing with different yarns to get the look I want for the design.
Least favorite? The least favorite part is the actual pattern writing! I really would ignore this part if it were possible! :o)
Which pattern have you made that surprised you; harder or easier to write than anticipated, more popular than you guessed? That is hard to say. Pattern writing doesn’t come easy to me and I am constantly working to improve my design and pattern writing skills. The Mossflower sweater could be one of the easiest patterns that I’ve written considering all the different stitches I used. I guess I’d say that one was the most surprising one to write.
Which kinds of patterns attract you as a knitter and as a designer? Are they different? As a knitter, I always enjoyed delicate designs, both in stitch work and in yarn choices. I always gravitated toward small needles and weights of yarn, usually working with size 5 and smaller. Most of what I knit was baby designs, and lots of preemie things. As a designer, I am interested in designing the same kinds of things. I believe that small people need pretty designs also, not just plain easy to knit garments. After all, when knitted with love, these garments will become heirlooms. What a better way to welcome a new life into the world than with a beautifully made sweater?
Favorite kind(s) of yarn? I love working with acrylic blends, mostly for their ease of handling afterwards. In knitting for children it is essential to have the fabric be easy care and long wearing, especially for every-day clothing.
Favorite needle sizes or kinds of needles? I find myself mostly using needles between sizes 5 and 7 and I love bamboo needles.
What’s your all-time favorite design you’ve created? I think that, so far, my all time favorite is the Daisy cardigan.
There are endless ways to customize this sweater, so that no two ever need be alike. I’m always finding new yarns and colors that would look wonderful with this sweater that I’ll never tire of making it!
Designer(s) who inspire(s) you and why? I gain a lot of inspiration from Debbie Bliss. As a matter of fact, years ago I bought one of her books on children’s knits that I just pull out and look at occasionally. I’ve never knit one thing from it, but I just like to look! Her designs are timeless, and that is what I try and achieve with mine; something that mothers will want to save and pass down to their grandchildren.
What’s next for your designs? I’m working on upsizing some of my designs to be able to offer them to a larger size range of children. I’ve even had requests for a few of them to be made in adult sizes, so that is a definite possibility in the future.
Thanks so much, Jenny! It's been a real pleasure working with you and your designs for Knitcircus and we look forward to seeing more of your work in the future.