Business Women’s Day – Knitwear Designers Edition

LoveKnitting |

Today is Business Women’s Day, and to help celebrate, we’ve asked four indie knitwear designers to tell us about making the move from knitting as a hobby to designing knitwear as a profession. Here are their inspirational thoughts!

Have you ever thought about designing your own patterns, but need that extra push to make it happen? These designers share their stories and are rooting for you to give it a go!

How did you come to be a knitwear designer?

Alexi Tavel of Two of Wands

Follow your dreams.

“In 2013 after climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, I returned to the lodge and met a woman who offered to read my tarot cards. When the Two of Wands was drawn, she told me this card represented my future and that I needed to take action. The card is focused on taking the path of discovery and creativity, taking your ideas and desires and turning them into a solid plan for success. I’d always wanted to turn one of my creative endeavors into a business, so I dove in and ended up naming my company after that tarot card. It was only later on that I realized the two wands could also represent knitting needles, so now the name has a deeper, double meaning to me.”

two of wands knitted hat

Amanda Berry of Fluff and Fuzz

Find your niche.

“I decided to specialise in designing toy knitting patterns, I think it is a really good idea to find a niche area that you love, whether it is knitting toys, socks, or being the king or queen of cable patterns, and build a career on that specialism. Also, I use social media as it is a great free marketing tool, but to reach knitters I participated in craft forums, such as the LoveKnitting community, which is a great way to share your projects, build a following, and get some valuable feedback.”

amanda berry teddy bear

 

Pat Alinejad of Gypsycream

You’re never too old.

“I came to designing late in life. I didn’t even realise I could design and certainly didn’t think of writing patterns and selling patterns online. I just wanted to knit a bear and couldn’t find one I liked or a pattern I could actually read. When friends saw my finished bears they asked for the pattern details to buy, so I researched how to sell online and there we have it, Gypsycream was born! I’m never happier than when I’m sat with a note pad, pen, pair of needles, yarn and a new idea bubbling away. I love that I can fit my new career in with my family and what could be better than working on something I actually love doing?”

 

gyspycream knitting dolls

 

Vera Stensrud of OGE

Believe in yourself. (And find a good tech editor)

“To make a career out of knitting I truly believe you must be passionate about what you are doing, I guess this applies to most things in life if you want to succeed. Get yourself a brilliant Technical Editor (an absolute must) and create your own style. Believe in yourself and that anything is possible, and most of all ENJOY!!”

oge jumper knitwear

 

Emma Friedlander-Collins

And a crochet designer for good measure!

“I’d never thought of becoming a crochet designer, five years ago I didn’t even know you could be, but after gentle encouragement from my family I started sharing the patterns I’d created online. After the lovely reception they got, I started to sell them, and after a few months and far more sales than I ever imagined, it seemed that there was an audience for the things I was creating. With some sales figures and a complete collection of dress up pieces I’d made for my boys I approached a publisher and they leapt at the chance to make a book. However it wasn’t until book two that I thought there would be enough of an income to actually quit the day job and go cro-pro. That was nearly three years ago, and since then I’ve been on an incredible journey working with yarn companies, writing patterns for all the crafty-yarny mags out there, hosting workshops at places like the British Library, hosting CALs and writing another book. Sometimes all the deadlines can get a bit crazy, but it’s definitely been worth it.”

emma friedlander collins knitwear

Do you want to become a designer on LoveKnitting?

Click here to find out how!

 

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