RISE UP DESIGNER SIX
Ruth Brasch is Ruth Brasch Design. Welcome, Ruth. I love your tagline “patterns to satisfy your curiosity”. That pretty much expresses what I look for in knitting and designing!
You are the sixth designer in the Rise Up collection; I love what you chose to do with the stitch pattern inspiration. Let’s talk about how the design process works for you. Although I’ve asked these questions of everyone, I am putting them here, because I’ve kind of forgotten!
Q1 Where do you usually start when creating a design?
Usually I begin with a question. I wonder, “what would happen if…” and then I make it happen with yarn!
Q2: Do you have a preference of working with restrictions versus doing “whatever”?
I hate working with restrictions. I find that when I give myself restrictions I tend to become perfectionistic and limit myself rather than giving my curiosity full rein.
Q3: How do you start a design? Yarn? Stitch Pattern? Shape? Concept?
This depends on the question I’m trying to answer. Usually I begin with a chart or a basic pattern outline. Sometimes I have a full pattern written off only a concept before I even begin swatching or pick up the yarn I’ll use.
I love when something comes almost fully designed for me; I usually find there are so many details to sort out that even those easily borne take on a life of their own.
The Work of Ruth Brasch Design
Q4: How do you decide which ideas to pursue and which to let sit?
Often it’s just a matter of what “works.” Some designs flow easily, others feel as if I’m forcing them into existence with sheer determination and willpower. Unless I’ve made a professional commitment to publish one of the “determination” patterns, I tend to let go of those and stick with the ones that are flowing nicely. I believe that our work reflects our attitudes and feelings, so I don’t like to publish a pattern that feels forced or pushed.
Q5: Do you do collections or concept development?
I don’t tend to create formal collections. Sometimes I’ll play with a stitch pattern or shape and create multiple patterns with it to see how I can vary or enhance it, but in general I mostly create stand alone patterns, or occasionally sets.
Q6: What appeals to you about independent designing?
I appreciate the flexibility of independent design. If a concept isn’t working, I can put it in time out and work on another one, or I can cancel the stubborn concept entirely. I also appreciate that I don’t have strict deadlines to meet unless I put them on myself.
Q7: What role does color play in your work?
Color influences my work in the sense that if I find a color uninspiring or ugly I have a hard time seeing the beauty of a stitch pattern in it. For example, I can’t stand working with pastels or neutrals; I find them dull and uninspiring, so I don’t use them. For the most part I prefer to design with colors many makers find difficult to use: highly variegated or speckled, or brightly colored. I believe those yarns can shine when given the chance and used in a way that shows them off.
Good work on finding a voice for those difficult-to-work-with yarns! I love that crocheted afghan shown here–the gray is such a brilliant background.
Being Ruth Brasch Design
Q8: What besides knitting and your family do you love?
I love photography, though I’m not very good at it. I love to read and dye yarn as well.
Q9: How do you remain creative?
When I’m feeling uninspired I try to find the source of the lack of inspiration and meet it head on. If I’m feeling as if I have too many projects I’m slogging through and that I’ll never be done, I find a project I can finish quickly in 1-2 days. If I’m having trouble matching a yarn to a stitch pattern, I’ll work on a scrappy project that doesn’t require pattern to yarn matching; I’ll see progress, and often the blending of the scrappy colors will inspire me to get past the yarn/stitch difficulty.
Q10: What next — besides leaving the house!
Well, there’s always more socks – you can be sure you’ll see more socks from me! I also have some secret plans for May and September, so there’s fun on the horizon that I can’t reveal yet. Other than that, I go where the design inspiration takes me.
I’ve been interested talking to people who have taken a heavy hit on their creativity during this pandemic. I seem rarely at a loss for things that need my attention. I get bogged in the details, but never run out of ideas!
Your Rise Up Design
To waver in mind, will, or feeling:
Hesitate in choice of opinions or courses.
Traveling cables and changing textures
Rise up this sock,
Representing my vacillation
as I designed them.
Knit or purl?
Left or right?
Diamond or triangle?
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