As a part of the Gift-a-Long, designers are doing blog interviews to get to know each other better and to help our readers get to know more designers. If you are a member of Ravelry, you can go to this post to see other blog posts about the GAL and GAL designers.
Today, I am pleased to be interviewing Gabriella Henry, aka SweetP Designs, about her design work and crafty interests. I hope you find this interesting and head over to ravelry to see more of her work. You can also check out her blog, her ravelry group, her pinterest board and her facebook group.
Gabriella is a New Zealand designer who specializes in accessory patterns – she uses many interesting stitch patterns that showcase those precious yarns that are sometimes hard to match with the right project. I could easily queue her entire catalog, her aesthetic speaks to me and all of the special yarns in my stash, but I especially love the Wayside Hat, the Hemlock Mitts and the Lucie Shawlette (knit and crochet together!)
Amy: How does designing fit in with the rest of your life? It is a full time job, part time job, or other? If you do a different job full time, is designing at all related?
Gabriella: I work Wed-Fri at a local school (so not really design related except for knitting during my lunch break!). I tend to cram as much of my design work as I can into Monday and Tuesday. Of course I am knitting and planning and thinking about knitting every day, but I guess I have two “dedicated” design days where I try and get the paperworky bits done. I also work very part time doing admin and other behind the scenes work for an indie yarn dyer in France (Tri’Coterie). When I’m not working I am a busy Mum to 3 daughters and a volunteer with the local ambulance service.
Amy: What is your favorite thing in your toolbag?
Gabriella: Probably my Addi Click interchangeable needles. I am not a monogamous knitter or designer – I normally have lots of projects on the go and the interchangeable set lets me have a project on every cable :) I love the pointy tips for lace work.
Amy: What is your favorite thing about designing? Is it different than you thought it would be when you started?
Gabriella: I like the whole process of turning a scrap of an idea into a fully fledged pattern. I feel very privileged that designing gave me a creative outlet during the years that I was home with small children and that I can do a job I love in the hours and time that suits me.
My least favourite thing is photo editing :)
Amy: Are you a process crafter or a product crafter, and does that affect the way that you design?
Gabriella: I am definitely a process crafter and often choose projects not because I need the item, but because I want to know how to do that, or I want to try something new. Knitting is a constant learning process for me as I expose myself to new techniques and tips and this is one of the things I love most about my crafting. My inner product crafter is usually whispering in my ear when I design though.
Amy: Which of your designs was the result of wanting to learn something new and what can you tell us about the process?
Gabriella: Lately I have been expanding my crochet skills and have been exploring crochet design. My Andy neck and wrist warmer set was a result of knowing exactly the type of fabric I wanted to create and using crochet to achieve that. It’s been a great experience learning how to write patterns for another craft. Likewise my latest release is Lucie which is a combination of both knitting and crochet. I have enjoyed exploring how to combine both crafts in a way that remains approachable and achievable.
Amy: Describe your perfect crafting weekend.
Gabriella: Good friends, good yarn, good wine.
Amy: Excellent answer!
I hope this interview has inspired you to take a closer look at Gabriella’s work, and to explore the designs of some other GAL designers that you may not have seen before.
Remember, the KAL/CAL for the Gift-a-Long ends at midnight on December 31st. There are still many, many prizes to be won, games going on in the forums, and lots of ravelers to ooh and aah over your project photos in the project threads.