Jun 11, 2012

a most bespeckled hat // week one

Oh, how I am loving working on these Bespeckeld Hats! I cast on for the first hat while on the road between Omaha and Chicago. Yes, I was a few days early, but I knew I had to get one on the needles fast, so I'd have something to work with in between family functions. There wasn't as much time to knit as I thought there was, and so I've only gotten these two hats done so far. I love knitting this hat however, and I can't wait to whip up a few more in the next week! In addition to sharing these hats I've made in the last week or so, I also have the pleasure of sharing an interview I did with Alex, the designer of A Most Bespeckled Hat!  

You've been a knitwear designer since 2006. At what point did you realize this could be a full-time gig?

Hmm... that's a good question. I started off selling finished hats and scarves on etsy, and it rapidly became apparently that the profit margin on that kind of thing is pretty...sad. So I started selling the patterns as well. I don't think it was until Ravelry came along that I realized there could actually be a big enough market to make it a career- Ravelry really changed the game for indie designers. But it's always been iffy whether or not it could truly be a full-time gig- even now, I'm not sure it's sustainable. I keep my cost of living really low at the moment, but at some point I'm going to need things like "my own health insurance" or "a new car because the old one died", haha.  

What's your favorite type of pattern to design? Favorite type of yarn to use?

It's probably obvious, but I gravitate towards hats. They're generally one size and take one or two skeins (which is fortunate, since most of my impulse buys are just a skein or two.) There's no "second sock syndrome" like with socks or mittens, and I can use heavier weight yarns than I would with most shawls. Cowls are fun too, but I wear hats more often. Favorite type of yarn... I like squooshy, soft, worsted weight wools, preferably with some good, subtle color depth. I use a lot of Malabrigo, obviously, and I love Madelinetosh's colors as well.

 If you weren't designing knitwear, what would you love to be doing?

That's something I've been thinking over a lot, actually. I don't think I'll ever stop knitting, but I think I'll probably follow up on another passion or two at some point- the trouble is that I have too many completely unrelated interests. I'm toying with the idea of proper fashion design, or maybe doing more writing or blogging. I've considered going back to school for marketing or to get a further psychology degree, but I don't like the idea of being saddled with major loans and having to take a job I don't love to pay them off. Some days all I want to do is live in the wilderness and have a herd of goats and make cheese... others I want to live in NYC and take photos of people's outfits. It's a problem.  

When you knit for others, what do you like to make? Do you have any go-to patterns?

Heh, I'm afraid I don't knit for others, much- usually just a few hats each Christmas. Generally I'll make something really basic and relaxing, like a plain old stockinette hat in some handspun yarn (which is tough to use in designs, so I save it for non-work knitting) with some buttons or a giant pom pom. Occasionally I'll use it as a test run for design ideas- Catacomb's prototype was a hat for my father-in-law. I don't often use other people's patterns, though I have a list a mile long of ones I'd like to find time for. Someday, someday...  

Your CAF blog looks like so much fun! What's your favorite non-knitting crafty outlet?!

Well, judging by the blog, it's "gluing glitter to things", haha! I haven't done that in awhile but now that it's warm and I can glue outside again, it'll be back, I'm sure. I recently took an online painting class, and that's been fun, though it's always a little frustrating for me to be at a "beginner" level with something. I need to learn to push through and put in the practice to actually get good at it. I've also gotten way into the nail polish trend, though I don't know if that really counts as crafty.

Don't forget, you can get 10% off the A Most Bespeckled Hat pattern when you purchase it using the code "IMAKEHATSTOO"!

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