here, and the second part here. Check back next Monday for the last part of the interview.
Do you have a type of project that you lean towards for pattern design?
I choose accessories, so make small things. This does not mean I am not capable of designing a sweater but I am very slow at knitting due to the hand disability and my hat would probably take the same time to knit as anybody else’s sweater. I love the feeling of achievement when a project is finished, and its so addictive, that it does put me off making bigger pieces. I compromise though, so for example my pagan throw, magickal blanket is being released square by square with a magical symbol on each one.
How do you conceptualize your designs?
I keep a design journal. This goes with me anywhere and any ideas however stupid or insane go into this journal. In the back I keep a running idea for books or pattern titles, but in the main pages I sketch anything that comes to mind. I also collect images in computer folders to inspire me… so I have a Pagan one, which has folders for everything in different subheadings and I have an African folder, an Egyptian folder, etc. I don’t generally put photos in my design journal, they would go into my computer folders but if I was inspired to make something along those lines, then I would sketch my interpretation of it.
I also do lots of those spider/brainstorm diagrams too… so if there is a vague theme I can examine every angle of it, and I do not always submit one idea to a client I submit a selection expecting at least one to hit home, and then am sometimes shocked and overworked when a client accepts about 5 off the list!
Where do you do your best design work?
Truthfully, in the past my best design work is never for myself and always for other people. I am trying to change that though. The thing is, I cannot keep a good idea secret and cannot help submitting it somewhere. I want to keep those ideas for myself, but I have a problem in that my design journal gets full but only about 10% of ideas ever get made… this means I have a store of ideas so if a book wants a theme on say African bold textiles and I have something in my design journal, half of me knows it could stay in there for years before I get round to it but if I submit it to a magazine or book and it gets accepted, then it gets bumped up the priority list and puts pressure on me to make it. One of my designer friends did comment objectively, and said, I would do much better if I kept the ideas I give away to myself and release my own pattern.
Here are more of my favorite patterns by Erssie:
Solstice Sun Motif
Throw or Square
You can keep up with Erssie's new designs by visiting her website, Erssie Knits.