Christine Guest Designs
Christine Guest Designs, I really love talking to other designers about their process. I’ve never chatted with you before, so let’s get started with a bonus question:
Bonus Q: Tell me about how you got here.
My degree is in chemistry with a minor in math. I love chemistry, it’s the smallest you can go without falling into really weird math.
I love stitches too, but so far I haven’t tried dying yarn or spinning it.
My patterns explore stitch tweaks, interesting constructions and projects that call to me.
All this analysis and design is great, but things really get delightful when other people make my patterns, and tell me their ideas. I hope you will!
Ahh. I knew you were a science/math person!
Q1: Where do you usually start when creating a design?
In my head with the stitches. In my body near water, either swimming, walking by the river in town, or washing dishes.
Q2: Do you have a preference of working with restrictions versus doing “whatever”?
I like some boundaries, at least as far as garment or household good. Otherwise I either get too many ideas or worse no ideas at all.
Q3: How do you start a design? Yarn? Stitch Pattern? Shape? Concept?
Stitches, concept and occasionally construction, usually because a stitch looks better sideways or diagonal.
Q4: How do you decide which ideas to pursue and which to let sit?
Right now it’s which one can I get yarn support for! I’ve worked on and let sit some maple leaf pattern experiments two autumns in a row. Once the snow flies and there aren’t as many
inspirations on the sidewalk, I move on to other ideas.
Yarn support is so great and often is what makes this possible isn’t it? You got yarn from Elemental Affects for this one — in one of my favorite colors.
Christine Guest Designs
Q5: Do you do collections or concept development?
I like concept development best. Deciding what things look good together in an outfit it trickier than making a lot of things that have the same motifs on them.
Q6: What appeals to you about independent designing?
I just love getting to do this whether it’s all my own way, or working with an editor. When I used to read how to design articles in Knitter’s Magazine when I was in
college, I daydreamed about writing patterns. I thought, ‘if only I had access to the mainframe when I was at home and had the time to design.’ Little did I know someday I’d have a computer in my own house with all the spreadsheets and graphics programs that I’d need. I didn’t even envision something like Stitchmastery to make a chart and have it write the text for me.
I’m always kind of surprised that happens. I write all my own text, make my charts, draw my schematics. I guess my approach is either totally old school, or new school?
Q7: What role does color play in your work?
It’s like a very good character actor who occasionally steals the show. I don’t usually think of color first, but if I make a sample in the right one, that’s the first thing people will see. I think it’s all
those garden design articles that tell you to take a photo of your flowers and desaturate it to look at the textures without the distraction of color. I’m not distracted anymore, but I’m not thinking
of it as much as I ought to either.
I love that description of color as a character actor!
Q8: What besides knitting and your family do you love?
Visiting gardens with herbs I can smell; hiking where there are rocks I can try to climb; singing with lots of other people (that’s what I missed the most when we couldn’t hold in-person church); and petting my neighbor’s dogs.
Q9: How do you remain creative?
I take naps, I don’t work on Sundays, I read in lots of science fiction and non-fiction and I listen to my lively family and the things they are interested in. But when I’m not creative, that’s fine too. There are so many ideas in my notebooks that can be developed, and that just takes diligence, the creative stuff is already done.
Q10: What next — besides leaving the house!
I’m hoping to hold parties to celebrate the birthdays and college graduations that slipped by this Covid year, and I’d like to go ice skating and learn to cross
country ski. I want to plant Cerinthe minor next to the rose bush.
It would be so cool if I could develop a gluten free hard roll that tastes like the ones I remember from the Rockland Jewish Bakery in
Could you briefly describe your Alcoyne design, and maybe give us a hint on pronunciation?
Alcyone is a yoke sweater with twist stitch stars and hexagons. I just found an online pronunciation; it turns out I’ve been saying it wrong all year! I got as far as “brightest star in the Pleiades,” and no other sweaters with that name on Ravelry and liked it.
Thanks Christine. I’m waiting to see details of this pullover. Rise Up.