Designer Interview ~ Christine Guest Designs

Today we come to the last interview in my Indie Design Gift A-long designer interview series – isn’t that a mouthful. 🙂 Our guest today is appropriately ~ Christine Guest. Like many of us, she knit (and crocheted) a long time for herself before venturing into designing professionally. Let’s meet her……..

Christine GuestTell us a bit about yourself:  I always hope there is a writing tool in my purse or pocket because if I don’t see something cool that I need to sketch in case it can be used in a design, one of my three kids says something cute that ought to be written down. Either that or I realize that I forgot to buy more cheese and dinner is doomed unless we all find our shoes right now and I’d better start a list as long as I’m at it. There usually is no pencil though.

How did you get started with selling your designs?  I spent a year reading Ravelry forums taking notes, then borrowed books from the library about setting up bookkeeping and how to organize a small business. The Knitgrrl Guide to Professional Knitwear Design came out about then, so I took a month to read that and take notes. I was afraid I’d horrify technical editors with my jumbled instruction writing, and so so spelling. I guess they are used to such things though because everyone I’ve worked with has been gracious. I really underestimated how long it takes to get a pdf just up on a website. I put them on my own, Ravelry, Patternfish and Craftsy, and just one pattern upload takes all morning. Some day I’ll have all the specifics ready to cut and paste in all the different styles.

Herringbone Parallelogram Scarf by Christine Guest

Herringbone Parallelogram Scarf

What do you see as your design style?  Umm, I don’t have one yet. I pulled out my notebook from 1988 to see if I could characterize myself, and I’ve been all over the map for a long time. I like colorwork, and ring cables, herringbone stitch (at least two types), designs that flow from one edging to a main motif, designs without too much purling, seaming, or repetition. But folk sweaters are cool, and so are modern clean lined things. Everything the new Ravelry pattern feature brings up that I will like is accurate, I wish I could throw my patterns and projects into it and get a reverse description.

What influences your designs?  The trees and shrubs I walk past taking my kids to the library, the details on the buildings around me, the pretty dresses the ladies wear to church, and Barbara G Walker’s stitch dictionaries.

What do you enjoy most about designing?  That moment when I see the finished design in my head and my heart beats faster. Of course, after I sketch it, it’s just as often garbage as grandeur, but it’s fun while it lasts.

Do you have any new projects that you can share or give us a sneak peek of?  Herringbone, lots of herringbone.

Library Window Watch Cap by Christine Guest

Library Window Watch Cap

Do you get to do much knitting or crocheting for yourself?  Not usually, but I have started putting priority on samples that will double as useful things to make first, and I made sure the yarn for my latest hat/cowl set went well with my winter coat.

What prompted you to participate in the Indie Design Gift A-long on Ravelry?  It looked cheerful and can do. My Herringbone parallelogram scarf sold so well, I thought all releases went like that. Nothing I’ve designed since then has taken off like that, even when my sister-in-law takes the photos. I was tired of thinking that this was a Quixotic venture that would never take off. It may actually be Quixotic, but the GAL has been a nice break from dreariness. I’d much rather we spend our time thinking of ways we can use our abundance to help one another than be scared that there are too many of us.

Has the GAL met your expectations?  I more than broke even on sales for the discount, and my user activity pages got one third longer, also more folks than ever are reading my blog. I’m delighted with that.

Would you like to see the GAL become an annual event?  Oh yes. I like to look forward to events.

Where can folks see your designs?  At ChristineGuestDesigns.com, and on my designer page on Ravelry ~ Christine Guest.

Thank you for visiting with us today and sharing your thoughts on designing and the 2013 Indie Design Gift A-long. I think all the participating designers are pleased with their experience this year and will be looking forward to how we can make it better for 2014.

Happy Knitting ~ Jean