Knit Equals Joy
Rise Up Designer Five
Knit Equals Joy is such a great name. Welcome, Carol Herman.
You are the fifth designer in the Rise Up collection; you went in a color direction that is completely different for your Garden Cowl, and I love it!
Q1: Where do you usually start when creating a design?
I’d say an idea usually grabs me and won’t let go. I have to follow it.
Q2: Do you have a preference of working with restrictions versus doing
While I love the challenge of working with restrictions, I prefer going wherever the design decides to take me.
Q3: How do you start a design? Yarn? Stitch Pattern? Shape? Concept?
My favorite is to start with the yarn and make a beautiful fabric enhancing the characteristics of that particular yarn. More often, though, I will start a favorite stitch pattern and see what happens.
Q4: How do you decide which ideas to pursue and which to let sit?
Usually, the design ideas will let me know. There are persistent ideas that just won’t let go. Then there are those that just won’t cooperate, no matter how much I try to force them. That means that they need more time to gel or to become something else.
Q5: Do you do collections or concept development?
Yes! My Ethereal Sweater, Little Ethereal, and Bridge City Cowl are all variations on a particular slipped stitch. Every Fall, I design a new pumpkin pattern, and currently there are seven patterns in the collection. I have several other collections that are variations on a theme or development of a concept. I really enjoy seeing how one idea leads to another.
Q6: What appeals to you about independent designing?
I love the connections I’ve made with other creative folks. I love that it pulls together my love of knitting, writing, teaching, numbers, problem-solving, photography, and beautiful things. It’s a really fun creative outlet for me.
Q7: What role does color play in your work?
Color has always influenced me, and I have a very strong reaction to color. I have on occasion ordered far too much yarn in order to find the exact tone I’m looking for. My favorite designs are those in which I get to play with color.
Not Just Knit Equals Joy
I love the Oregon Coast, photography, reading, and writing.
Q9: How do you remain creative?
Well, it doesn’t seem to be a problem; it’s more difficult to turn it off! But the things that are conducive to an optimal level of creativity for me are staying healthy, allowing myself to experience creative lulls (during which I believe creative connections are happening subconsciously), getting outside, especially at my favorite spot, the Oregon Coast, and keeping my eyes open, wherever I am.
Q10: What next — besides leaving the house?
Possibly a cardigan version of Ethereal… or there’s a colorwork sweater idea that has been trying to become just the right thing for, say, about five years. I really would like to design a shawl, since I’ve never designed one. And maybe I’ll pull together an e-book of simple but fun spa cloths for various holidays.
Garden Cowl, tell us a little about it.
The Garden Cowl is a big bold colorful cowl featuring abstract diamonds, an original colorwork flower, stripes, and colorblocking. Using positive/negative space, each side of the fabric is the reverse of the other. It’s a fun piece to knit and to wear.
Get Connected: Knit Equals Joy & Carol Herman