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Interview: Sara Peterson, Knotty Gnome


Today’s interview is with Sara Peterson of Knotty Gnome Designs. Sara designs both knit and crochet patterns.

Sara Peterson, modeling Tilt Shift Shawl

Sara Peterson, modeling Tilt Shift Shawl

How did you get started designing?
I started knitting around 2003 and by 2007-ish I had enough skills to start figuring out how make the designs that were dancing in my head like this Pringle of Scotland-inspired cardigan. Not long after that, I started writing my own patterns.

Which comes first – the yarn or the inspiration?
I’m usually inspired first by a stitch pattern or something I see (a shape, a texture, or maybe a RTW item of clothing). Then I search for the right yarn. I also design quilt patterns and I approach it the same way–I almost always come up with a design first and then choose fabric.

Nicke's Hat

Nicke’s Hat

What characteristics do you try to incorporate in your designs?
As a knitter, I have to be in the right kind of mood to focus on something really dizzying and I’m often distracted by my dogs and cats, so I like to design what I like to knit–simple designs with just a bit of flare. Nothing super boring but also something I can put down at a moment’s notice without losing my place. I love lots of different types of knitting–lace, cables, colorwork, and I design crochet patterns too.

What is your favourite type of item to design?
I really like to design hats. They’re a nice blank canvas with so many potential shapes and possibilities but they can be finished quickly.

Your desert island yarn? (if you could only knit with one yarn from now on which would it be?)
I love me some Madelinetosh. If I had to stick with one yarn, I’d probably pick Tosh DK.

Naughty or Nice

Naughty or Nice

What’s your “comfort knitting?”
Definitely socks. If I’m busy or frustrated with other projects, I can always knit a row or two on a pair of socks.

Which is your most under-appreciated design?
Probably the Snowcone Mittens.

I personally love them and they’ve gotten a lot of favorites, but they weren’t a big seller for me. My guess is that stranding multiple colors might seem daunting, even though you only work 2 colors at a time.

Snowcone Mittens

Snowcone Mittens

Which three GAL designs are top of your list to cast on?
Oh, the Gift-a-long. I purchased so many patterns that I’m itching to make. The ones I’m most excited about are Cable Bunny by Julia Trice, Fuego Hat by Justyna Lorkowska, and the Swift River Cardigan by Mary Annarella. But I’m not officially allowing myself to cast-on personal knits until I finish the sweaters I’m making for my nieces and nephews (Jane and Ziggy by Georgie Hallam and Little Fisher Pullover by Andrea Sanchez).

Continental or English?
I’m a thrower.

What’s the best thing about knitting?
For the most part, it’s very soothing and relaxing for me to come home from a long day at work and knit. It’s a great way to unwind.

What’s the one piece of advice you’d like to share with other knitters?
Don’t be afraid to deviate from the pattern. As a newer knitter, I was terrified to go off-book and I ended up with a lot of ill-fitting sweaters. Modifying patterns isn’t so scary and it usually results in a much more flattering garment.

Any knitting/designing New Year’s resolutions?
I’m not big on resolutions but I would like to publish at least one design per month in 2015, and I’d also really like to focus on adding to my crochet catalog.

View all of Sara’s patterns here. All photos are copyright Jennifer Dassau and used by permission.

What is the Gift-A-Long? The GAL is a big knitting and crochet designer promotion with prizes and more than 5,000 people participating in a giant KAL/CAL. Come join the GAL group on Ravelry!

posted under interview, Knitting

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Audrey II

Angular Path Scarf

Cartouche Stole

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Fossetta Hat

Sargaço Shawl

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New Tech Cowl

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Taming of the Fox

Don't Ask Y

Cantilevering Leaves

Amplification Stole

Combs Cowl

Mindfulness Cowl

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Gridwork Scarf
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