28 Jan An interview with Kara Gott Warner…..
Today I am pleased to start my new series – interviews with designers, editors and other folks in the knitting industry – with an interview with Kara Gott Warner. I’ve only known Kara for a couple of years but in that time she has definitely earned my respect, inspired and encouraged me, and I am glad to count her among my friends. I think you will find her as interesting as I do.
So, let’s hear Kara’s interview……..
JC: Tell us a little bit about Kara Gott Warner – who are you?
Kara: I am the executive editor of Creative Knitting and DRG Publishing’s other titles, and the busy mom of two year old son London.
JC: Knitters always ask each other how we became interested in knitting. Was there anything in particular that peaked your interest and got you started?
Kara: I was attracted to both the tactile part of knitting, and the problem solving of designing. When I first started knitting, I could not read a pattern to save my life! I simply saw something I liked either in a knitting or fashion magazine and set out to make it. I then realized that I had to learn how to read and write a pattern if I wanted to break into the business.
JC: What took you down the path from “knitter” to “designer”, then on to “editor”?
Kara: When I started knitting I knew I wanted to turn it into a career, but I had no idea how. I started to really get serious about knitting in my early twenties, and I learned as much as I could from books, fellow designers and online networking groups. I joined The National Needlearts Assoc (TNNA) and the Assoc of Knitwear Designers (AKD), attending as many trade shows as I could. On becoming an editor – Back in 2007, fellow designer and good friend Kim Dolce of Dolce Handknits, advised me that DRG Publications was looking for an editor – and the rest is history!
JC: What is a typical day like for a knitting book editor?
Kara: Working in publishing is highly deadline driven, so I’ve gotten in the habit of reviewing my schedule for approaching deadlines. Some of my days are spent quietly at my computer writing copy, proofreading or planning a layout – while many others are filled with running from meeting to meeting.
JC: Where do your ideas or inspiration for designs/books come from?
Kara: Where do I start? The ideas come from everywhere – fashion magazines, trend services we subscribe to, interesting fabric or stitch patterns I see in passing that someone may be wearing. I also derive ideas from art and nature. I’m always looking at the simplest texture and subtleties in everything around me.
JC: What might be a typical time frame for a book to go from idea to release?
Kara: A book takes about 8 months from concept to print for small pattern books, and close to a year for hardcover books. Once the contributors are contacted, the clock starts ticking, and it goes pretty darn fast!
JC: What separates the books you edit from other books?
Kara: My goal is to always offer “approachable” designs for knitters of every level. If I offer designs that are fairly easy, I strive to always make them on-trend, never boxy or boring. When choosing designs, I often think to myself: “Would I wear this?”. If the answer is yes, I think that’s a pretty good gauge. I know we all have different taste, but tempering that with what I like to some degree, helps add more life to a collection.
JC: Can you give us a peak into your office space?
Kara: Since putting together publications is a team effort, I work pretty closely with my assistant so that we can have easy access to each other, but my space is separate enough that I can have quiet time to concentrate if I need to.
JC: Where can knitters see your published books and/or designs?
Kara: My own designs – igottknits – are now exclusively available at Annie’s Attic and ePatterns Central. I also have my own book of published designs: The Divine Drop Stitch, and I also design for DRG books and Creative Knitting magazine from time to time. I’ve also been published in Family Circle Easy Knitting, Interweave Knits and Vogue Knitting.
JC: What is next for you – any projects you can tell us about or give us a sneak peek at?
Kara: My focus these days is mostly on editing the magazine and books, with 8 publications in the works right now..whew! But I do try to contribute 2 new designs to my igottknits pattern collection each season.
JC: Kara, thank you so much for participating in my interview series – and for being the first interview! You’ve got us all waiting now to see those 8 publications. 🙂
Kara: You are very welcome, and thank you for inviting me to be your first interview.
I hope you have enjoyed hearing about Kara, in her own words. The next time you pick up a Creative Knitting magazine or book from DRG (House of White Birches) – I think your understanding and appreciation of the work that goes into bringing them to “life” will have gone up substantially.
Until next post….Cheers! Jean