Sasha’s knitted designs are just gorgeous. She is a natural with texture, color, and overall lines of a finished object. A few years after learning to knit, this young woman produced her first for-sale pattern, Bluebonnets, which was lace--but it wasn’t just lace, it was an image of a bluebonnet flower that she worked out and incorporated into a knitted headband. Then on to stranded-color stitch creation for the edges of Ceres, a hat-and-mitts set.
Here are some of my favorite patterns by Sasha:
Tied Up and Twisted
Hot Water Bottle Cozy
Here are her answers to your burning questions:
How did you get started designing patterns?
Hot Water Bottle Cozy was my first pattern, and basically I had this yarn, it wanted to be a bottle cozy, and there weren't any patterns that it would work in without a bunch of gauge-related tweaking anyway. So I said, "eff this, it's just rectangles, how hard can it be?" Turns out it really wasn't that hard, so I kept going--got hooked on being able to knit things that were *exactly* what I wanted, was writing them down for my own future reference anyway, and boom--I'm designing patterns.
What is your design preference: knit or crochet?
I prefer knitting to crochet because, unlike crocheting, I know how to knit.
What is your weapon of choice?
I usually wind up using circs with a nice, long cord because once you know magic loop, you can really knit anything on them. They're versatile, and so I tend to buy those. That said, from an experiential point of view, and not a practical point of view, I really enjoy knitting with wooden DPNs. They just feel nicer.
Are there types of stitches that you use a lot, and why?
Cables. They're cozy, and you can be really creative with them. I've found that, as a designer, I'm much more interested in playing with patterns and textures than I am with colors. I enjoy seeing the ways that color and texture affect each other--how a lighter color will make cables stand out, how the texture of a pattern will create subtle shading and variations in a single colorway.
What is your favorite color / pattern combination?
Um.....I like Ceres?
What’s your favorite fiber to work with when designing?
I like natural fibers, and I tend to be attracted to alpaca.
Do you have a type of project that you lean towards for pattern design?
Not really, although projects smaller than sweaters are just statistically more likely to ever be finished. And I just can't seem to drum up much interest inside of me for socks. *shrug*
How do you conceptualize your designs?
I have a small sketchbook that I carry around with me.
Where do you do your best design work?
I guess at home. I know not everyone feels this way at home, but I can both relax and shut myself off from distractions most easily when I'm at home.
Who or what was your earliest inspiration that started you on your way to being the designer you are today?
Well, my mother taught me how to knit, so that's a big one. I think Jane Brocket put a sort of aesthetic and "you can do it!" bug in me shortly before I started designing. She also turned me on to hot water bottles.
Do you have any advice for knitters or crocheters who are new to designing patterns?
Start with something simple and rectangular, like a bottle cozy or a cool scarf, and then figure out more complex shaping from there as you go. And don't stop knitting other people's patterns just because you can do it all yourself! Knitting other people's stuff is how we learn to do new things.
You can keep tabs on what Sasha is up to by visiting her blog, Sasha’s Blue Carpet, which is a fun-to-read romp through crafting, cooking, feminism, and other interesting stuff.