Welcome Laurel of Lobug Designs!
Laurel is probably best known for her gorgeous sock club designs for the Unique Sheep; you can check out allÂ her designs on Ravelry here.Â She’s generously donated a copy of her Cheshire Cat socks pattern, so please, leave a comment on this blog post about the interview by midnight PST 2/15/2011Â for a chance to win!Â I’ll use random.org & post the winner 2/16/2011.
ï»¿Steph:Â Lots of gorgeous socks on your designer page!Â Are socks your favorite thing to design?Â to knit?Â Toe up, cuff down, or either?
Laurel: Actually, having that many sock designs was a bit of an accident. I love designing, and originally was doing mostly sweaters- and thoroughly enjoying it. One day I sat down to sketch a design for a Canadian yarn company that had put out a call for submissions (they had specifically mentioned socks in their call), and did a sock sketch for the first time.
I liked it so much I couldnâ€™t send it to them because they claimed copyrights for all accepted designs; so I sent it to Laura at The Unique Sheep (Iâ€™d worked with her before), with the idea for a series of The Lord of the Rings designs.Â And Iâ€™ve spent the last 3 years doing mostly socks because of that!
I love variety- I love doing something different every time, so socks are appealing to me in that. There are an incredible amount of things that can be done with them; and so many technique options as well!
I do toe-up, cuff-down- I really want to try out the new hat-heel construction; Iâ€™m constantly looking for different ways to work the heel.
I love learning and doing new things with knitting (I love the Fearless Knitting thing that got started a while back- I think with Knitting Daily and Ravelry), and if you are ever in a sock club that I design for, youâ€™ll find out quickly that I rarely stick to one method of sock construction for any 2 designs in a row. Part of the reason for that is that some designs lend themselves more easily to a certain construction technique, and part of the reason is just that I love the variety.
But I do like designing other garments too.
One thing I realized after going to TNNA this winter is that I needed a concrete business plan, especially focusing on how I wanted to distribute my patterns beyond PDFs.Â Craft MBA just recently posted a good summary here of things to consider if youâ€™re thinking of doing some sort of craft, design, etc business.Â Do you have a formal business plan?Â Does it incorporate design goals & plans as well?Â What did you include?Â If you donâ€™t have one, now that Iâ€™ve asked, are you thinking about it?
You know, itâ€™s funny you should ask this now. I recently (as in last week) finished reading Shannon Okeyâ€™s latest book about knitwear design, and that is something that is mentioned there as well. I have started thinking about it, but I confess, I havenâ€™t gotten much beyond that.
I kind of fell into the world of designing as a business accidentally and, so far, have been letting it take its â€œnaturalâ€ course. Iâ€™m really only just now starting to think of it as a business and realize that I need to make long and short term goals and plans.
So, yes, Iâ€™m thinking about it; but itâ€™s not very concrete as yet. Thank you for the great link!!
Whatâ€™s your favorite thing about designing?Â Least favorite?Â Iâ€™m including all things ancillary to actual designing & knitting â€“ so feel free to address pattern layout, marketing, website design, etc, etc.
Oh, marketing is definitely my least favorite. Iâ€™m not very good at selling myself- and taking the time to do so is a very conscious and intentional â€œI need to do this so I can keep doing the fun partâ€ thing for me.
Preparing submissions can be very frustrating and nerve-wracking. Itâ€™s hard to get what is in my head on paper in such a way that others will understand and want it.
My favorite? I love knitting. I love watching the design that is my head happen on the yarn. I love holding the finished object- and seeing others wear it.
I donâ€™t mind the pattern writing and math; but the knitting is where Iâ€™m happiest; and I think if my business (it sounds weird calling it my business) ever gets to the point I need to hire sample knitters instead of doing the knitting myself, Iâ€™ll probably quit and turn it back into a hobby.
At least, thatâ€™s how I feel about it now.Â I suppose that might change when my kids are older.
Do you use a tech editor?Â Test knitters? Thoughts either way?
I would LOVE to use a tech editor. But I really canâ€™t afford one. Maybe someday. For now, I do that part myself.
Test knitters? Absolutely necessary. I love them. I have some of the best test knitters ever. Use them as much as possible. It cuts down on SO much errata. Yes, errata happens even with test knitters, Iâ€™ve discovered, but it helps a lot.
The best thing is when I send a pattern to a tester, and she doesnâ€™t have any trouble with it.Â Itâ€™s rare, but every once in a while that happens, and that tells me Iâ€™m becoming a better tech editor.
Do you have a space set aside for working on your designs (or, lucky you if you do, a studio)?Â If yes, can you describe it?Â What would your perfect studio look (smell, feel) like?
Oh, I would love to have a studio!! A room with shelves of yarn sorted where I can see and touch and breathe them. All my knitting books right next to the yarn. A big roll-top desk with my computer and everything I need for designing. A stereo next to a comfy chair surrounded by knitting bags and baskets….. That would be blissful!
No, I donâ€™t have a studio. At this point, I do have my roll-top desk with my computer- but it has way more in and on it than just designing stuff. In fact, I have to do my sketching on the kitchen table because my desk is so full.
I do also have my comfy chair, but the stereo is far away from it, and rarely gets used because there is so much other noise in my home.
At this point, I do my design paper/computer work at the kitchen table and my desk, and the actual knitting happens wherever I am. Mostly in my comfy chair, but I will and do knit anywhere, and keep my current projects in easily portable bags.
LOL, that sounds like me.Â I work either at our desktop computer, or on my laptop at the dining room table.Â Knitting occurs on the couch.
Thanks so much Laurel!
Don’t forget to comment & enter on this blog post for a chance at winning a copy of Laurel’s Cheshire Cat sock pattern.