GAL Interview with Andrée Beddoe, knitandlive on Ravelry

Andrée Beddoe, knitandlive on Ravelry
You as a designer questions:
What is your design process?

It starts with an image in my head. Then I begin thinking about execution – how to translate that image into a knitted fabric. After a few nights sleeping on it, and a few warm showers, things start to come together in my head. I begin swatching, charting or both, which is an iterative process. Once things start looking good on the swatch, I begin knitting a prototype, and taking notes, to have available when I write the pattern


What influences your style?

I am heavily influenced by wanting to do something different. My guiding principle is that each of my patterns has to teach something new and unique even to experienced knitters. I also like ‘natural’ shapes – shapes that one is more likely to see on a hike or by the river. Hence why I incorporate circles, and curves into my designs.

What about designing and producing patterns are you most adept at, what parts are you most fond of, and what parts are challenging? (Pattern Grading, the last week of editing, coming up with a name for a project, self promotion?)

I love the process of translating what is in my head into a knitted design. I believe I am really good at that. I am constantly coming up with new techniques, or improving existing ones, to solve a design challenge. I also love knitting the prototype. However, what comes after, writing the pattern, getting it tested, getting photos taken, though necessary, is the least fun for me. In terms of the design name, that seems to always come along with the idea in my head.

What do you find most important in photography?

I appreciate photos that make it easier for me to see the entire design, and shape of the object. I also like photos that show close-ups and detail. If the design is a scarf, shawl, or stole, I like to see detail of the wrong side of the piece.

You as a Giftalong designer:

What have you learned from the promotion?

I have learned that there are many unselfish, wonderful, and hardworking designers and contributors working on the Giftalong promotion. I am so fortunate to have discovered it at the right time this year – literally 3 days before the deadline. Hopefully next year I can help out and be one of the volunteers.

(I would like to promote Natalia’s pattern that I am crocheting as aprt of GAL)

You as someone who likes to make things questions:

What is your usual process on a fiber project, for instance, do you start with a yarn, a cute pattern, a need you’ve noticed, something exciting you saw in a movie you want to copy, or a technique you want to learn – then what do you do next and then what?

Early on I knitted patterns to learn. I usually tried to copy the fiber and gauge the designer recommended. Also, my early designs reflected my learning process. In other words, I designed brioche patterns after I learned brioche. My first design, Notched Arrow, was after taking the “Shawlscapes” class by Stephen West on Craftsy. This was the first time I heard about a garter tab, after which I spent a couple of weeks reworking it to make it perfect and non-puckering… Right now, my ‘making’ process revolves around my designs and my continued learning.

Does anything intimidate you in knitting or crochet?

Nope. But, I love charts, so I am most likely to make something if it is charted.

When you want to learn something, do you look it up in a book, on U-tube, or seek a real person to teach you?

My learning tools are Japanese crochet and knitting books, about 300 other knitting and crochet books in my home library, YouTube, and Craftsy classes.

Any repetitive motion disorders due to knitting or crochet? How do you deal with them?

I don’t crochet much, though I am crocheting the “Polar Star Sweater Poncho” by Natalia Kononova, as part of the GAL 2017. With knitting, I am very lucky, I don’t have any motion disorder or discomfort. Plus, I knit multiple style, and often switch which hand I hold my yarn in.

What makes you buy a pattern (lovely photo, the story of the project, it looks do-able, it looks slightly challenging…)

For crochet, I would buy any pattern that looks good to me. Right now, overlay crochet looks cool, so I am collecting related books and patterns. Also, I am collecting crochet books on ‘continuous’ motif crochet. I have a bunch of books arriving after Thanksgiving.

On the other hand, for me to buy a knitting pattern it has to be different, particularly in shape and construction. I love learning new techniques. Most of the knitting patterns I buy, I don’t actually knit, I just buy them to learn how the designer made them – to add that technique to my repertoire.

Thank you Andrée!

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