GAL Interview with Moira Engel

I appreciated Moira Engel’s GAL Subway Boot Socks for their pocket and great photo (She has a mitten too!)

You as a designer questions:
What is your design process?

I often begin with stitch patterns or textures that I find striking. Then I figure what kind of piece would look best with that texture. I don’t always have a clear idea of what I want to make until I start to swatch.

Me too!

What influences your style?

Pretty much everything! I love street style and spend a lot of time just looking at people out in the world. The west coast of Canada has a very diverse and international population. The fashion creativity and cultural influences of the people here really inspires me.

I love this photo, I play violin (though not lately, gotta do something about that.)

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?)
My first love is sketching. I love to draw portraits and spend time with pencil and paper. So, the sketching is one of my favorite things. I like pattern writing and grading because it is tricky and gives my brain a workout! The challenging parts are definitely self-promotion and photography. I am a certified introvert and find any kind of self-promotion to be quite difficult. The photography is a challenge because so many things need to fall into place for a successful shoot.

What do you find most important in photography?
I am fortunate to have a lovely daughter who works for sushi! The model is the easy part. Locations, styling and waiting for that perfect light are time consuming. It’s worth the effort to get it right though. Photography is not something that I had ever aspired to, so it’s always delightful if I do manage to get the shots that I have envisioned.

You as a Giftalong designer:
What have you learned from the promotion?

I was absolutely amazed at how many wonderful people make up the fiber community! It’s huge! I was also pretty impressed with the whole social media experience. I have learned that the social media platforms are a really powerful tool!

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?

Yes…..all of those things! I especially strive to include techniques that are new to me. For knitting, there seems to be an unlimited number of techniques and it is always exciting to be able to learn something new.
Does anything intimidate you in knitting or crochet?
Fair Isle and colour work. I love the look but I find that it is intimidating and challenging. I keep trying though!

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?
I have so many stitchionaries and knitting books. So I usually start there. You-Tube is absolutely amazing! Anything that you want to learn is out there. I definitely head to You-Tube a lot.

Any repetitive motion disorders due to knitting or crochet? How do you deal with them?
I have two tennis elbows and arthritis in my thumbs. The elbows are happiest if I exercise with weights and get acupuncture. The thumbs just have to keep moving. I find that for me, taking a break from knitting isn’t helpful. If I keep everything moving…everything keeps moving!

What makes you buy a pattern (lovely photo, the story of the project, it looks do-able, it looks slightly challenging…)
Absolutely the first draw is the photo. If the piece is will represented and you can see all the details it is helpful. I do love to try something new and challenging. If I can’t figure out how it is done by just looking at it then I have to buy it!

Thanks Moira!

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