tisdag 26 mars 2013

Intervjun med Kirsten Jensen

I Avsnitt 2 intervuade vi designern Kirsten Jensen. Här kommer den i text. Se avsnitt 2's show notes för att hitta länkarna.

How come you started knitting?

I started knitting when I was about 11 or 12. My mom (Kanute on Rav) is a fantastic textile artist and taught me how. I always wanted to learn, but was equally encouraged because it was the preppie era and I wanted lots of fair isle sweaters, which were in style, but we didn’t have the money for them. “If you make them, I will buy the yarn” was my mom’s answer to that (it was also how I learned how to sew). So I started knitting--little did she know that I would gravitate toward expensive yarn! LOL. My first sweater was a horrid, puffy, pure-1980s maroon & white striped pull-over from French Elle. I knit my first Lopi colorwork sweater my freshman year in college.

When did you take the step starting to designing patterns of your own?

I’ve always altered patterns to customize fit, or to use a method that made more sense technically or aesthetically to me. I don’t think I’ve ever knitted a pattern following the directions completely. I’ve frequently taken a pattern that has a shape I like, and just knit it up in colorwork, or adding/subtracting cables. Once I had kids I was quickly disgusted by how large the patterns were--wide and short--and I wanted to make heirlooms that actually fit and which my kids could keep forever. I didn’t really start designing for others until Ravelry, and I joined that right about the same time I was pregnant with my son. His “Old School” sweater was my first pattern.

Just like me you seem to have a passion for colorwork. What is your favorite project ever?

I love color and color knitting. Straight stockinette bores the hell out of me and actually takes me longer to knit. I’m an art historian, so I love color theory, geometry and symmetry, and my designs tend to go in that direction.

My favorite project ever I guess would have to be “Snow Falling on Cedars”--the original design for what became Kyllene (although I’m tired of it now, having knit it four times!!). I knit it in Jaggerspun Zephyr and it was such a joy to feel and watch come off my needles. Sadly, I made the upper arms a bit tight, so I don’t wear it too often.

Tell me about your designing process?

I don’t really have a process, which is likely why I am so slow at turning things out (I also have a full-time day job!). Generally I see a pattern or chart (I have some from the 15th century) that I like and I imagine it in a shape, and then I see what I have in terms of yarn. I really do just create as I go--it’s a very organic process and I often forget to take notes, which kicks me in the pants when I decide to release it publicly.

What do you do when you are not designing?

As I mentioned, I’m a museum curator and art historian. I write about American art and design, but am also interested in 19th and early 20th century Scandinavian art.

Would you like to work full time as a designer?

I’m not sure I’d like to be a designer full-time. The process of making something that would appeal to enough people to actually make a living at it is not all that compelling for me. I find that I get really stressed out about writing up the patterns and that detracts from my enjoyment of knitting. I like the freedom of being an “amateur.”

Your name sounds scandinavian.. do you have that in heritage?

I’m Danish-American! I have Danish families on both sides, on my mom’s a ggg-grandfather & grandmother Knudsen came from Funen in the 1870s and moved to Colorado; on my father’s side, a grandfather Jensen came from Jylland to Brooklyn--which had a Danish section at the time!--in 1913. I keep in touch with some of the Jensens when we visit each year. My partner, Lars, is Danish. My grandmother was happy about that ;].

What advice would you give to our listeners that would like to start publish pattern on their own?

You really have to think about your audience. In many ways that does affect the design process. Ravelry and places like Pintrest actually offer a lot in terms of doing research about what people knit. I’m more of an iconoclast--I knit for myself and my family, and if I get enough “likes” I’ll think about taking the time to write it up. Professional technical editors are wonderful helpers--you have to pay them, of course, but in my case that alleviates somewhat the technical side of designing and leaves me to focus on the vision! And never under-estimate the power of a free pattern!

1 kommentar:

  1. Hej! Vill bara tacka för er trevliga podcast! Jag älskar Stickpodden och när de rekomenderade er så kastade jag mig genast hit och lyssnade! Jätteroligt! Det är så bra att ni och stickpodden kompletterar varandra, har olika stil! Jag gillar verkligen det här med ravelrydoldisar, och att ni har så tydliga teman som felrfärgsstickningen! Vill också tillägga att mekko- klänningen är helt otrolig! Vilket jobb...