onsdag 20 mars 2013

Laura Chau - intervjun

Igår gick vid över hela 1000 lyssnare av vårt första avnsitt.
Tusen och åter tusen tack till alla er som lyssnat!

I detta inlägget kan ni läsa hela intervjun med Laura Chau som vi pratade om i första avsnittet!

1. Who taught you to knit and how old were you?

A close cousin taught me, in the car on a road trip when I was 12. I
learned the long-tail cast on and then the knit stitch, and I knit a
huge garter stitch scarf after that. I put it down for a long time
after that, but when I was starting university I saw a girl on the bus
knitting and thought, I should do that again! I went to a local craft
shop and bought some yarn, pulled out a needlecraft book from my shelf
and worked on re-learning how to knit, and how to purl for the first
time. I soon discovered the world of knitting on the internet, and I
learned lots of things very quickly.

2. Would you like to describe your path from publishing your first
design to when you became a fulltime knitwear designer?

My first design, Lucy in the Sky, came about while I was working in a
yarn shop. I'd started there not very long after I got back into it,
and I learned a ton of stuff on the job, such as how to fix mistakes,
reading your knitting, and not taking it too seriously! I'd knitted
quite a few sweaters from patterns before I decided to design one, so
I felt pretty comfortable with the basic construction of a sweater.
We'd gotten in a new yarn at the shop that I really loved, and I was
looking for a pattern to use it for but didn't find anything that fit
the idea in my head, so I decided to try making my own. Downloadable
patterns were pretty new, but I'd bought some others before, so I
decided to put mine up for sale as well. I used to email back each
person who bought it with the file!

Around the same time, Amy Singer asked if I would like to publish
something in Knitty - of course I was delighted. Serrano was the first
thing I put out that wasn't self-published, and I've had several other
pieces in Knitty as well over the years. Mostly I used knitting to
keep me sane while in university - I kept knitting up new things,
blogging about what I was working on, and it turned out some other
people wanted to make what I was making too! I kept up the
self-publishing and eventually I had a nice little library of
patterns. I taught myself to use spreadsheets for grading, and how to
lay out patterns.

Working at Lettuce Knit really helped me feel comfortable about my
knitting ideas and creativity, and there were lots of people to bounce
ideas off of (and of course, lots of beautiful and inspiring yarns).
When I finished school, I was fortunate enough to work with Wiley to
release my book, Teach Yourself Visually Sock Knitting. I told myself
that if I needed more money, I could always look for a "grown-up" job
and put knitting on the back burner. So far, that hasn't happened. I
recently left the yarn shop after many years, and I'm really enjoying
the freedom to work on my own ideas on my own time. Of course Ravelry
has changed the knitting landscape tons, and I probably wouldn't still
be doing this if it wasn't for them! The website makes it really easy
to connect with knitters, make new customers, and handle the technical
side of things. I certainly couldn't have kept up with emailing each
person who ordered a pattern!

3. What are you working on right now?

I'm still working on catching up with self-publishing pieces that I've
knit over the last while but never had time to finish up properly. I
have a few sweaters nearly ready to go and lots of ideas flowing! I
usually have pieces in every stage of development at once - sketches,
swatches, knitted things in progress, finished patterns that just need
photos, all kinds of things. I haven't submitted much to print
magazines, but I'm hoping to change that this year.

4. We love your book the Afternoon Tea Lookbook, where did you find
the inspiration to do this book and do you have any plans for a

Thank you! I love designing and knitting sweaters, and I love tea! I
had quite a pile of sweater patterns nearly ready to go, but I wanted
to do something a bit different with my self-publishing - hiring other
people. A good friend is an art director, Jasmine Cirjanic, who helped
put everything together - the photographer and makeup artist were her
friends, and the model was her sister. I really enjoyed the process of
styling, having a photographer - I was able to step back a bit and
take a look at the collection as a whole, and decide the type of feel
and look that I wanted it to have. Working with other people towards a
complete collection was also really good for encouraging me to focus
my energy towards a single goal. Right now I'm mostly focusing on
single patterns and don't have any concrete plans for a new
collection, but you never know - I loved working with everyone and I'd
definitely do it again.

5. Do you have any tips for knitters who want to design and publish
their own first creation but who are not quite sure how to go about

Ravelry has really changed the way designers and creators interact
with knitting consumers - it's so easy now to self-publish with very
low risk. However, on the flip side there are also so many people
publishing that it can be difficult to get noticed. My general advice
is to go for things and not be too afraid! Experiment, educate
yourself, and don't be afraid to ask for help or advice.

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