10 Dec Designer Interview ~ GooseBear Knits
Today we meet Jessica K. Larson, who designs under the name GooseBear Knits. Jessica came to professional designing by the way of a degree in engineering, which you can see in her designs. On Ravelry, Jessica is known as “omarsyarns” – a nod to her furry companion who also frequently provides protection by laying near, on, or in her knitting bag.
I started knitting at the age of 6. I knitted on an off for a number of years. About 7 or 8 years ago, I picked the needles back up and now I knit nearly every day. As I knit other peoples’ patterns, I began to break them down and think about what I would do differently — the engineer in me wanted to come out and play. Inevitably, this lead to designing my own things. I started self publishing my designs about a year ago. I also have a yarn supportive husband and two cats, who see it as their mission to guard my yarn. Or rather…their yarn.
How did you get started with selling your designs?
I had been designing things for myself for a couple of years and my knitting friends kept encouraging me to write up the patterns. In the fall of 2012, I decided to enter the design competition hosted by the Malabrigo Junkies group on Ravelry as part of their October Stockpile event. My entry was my first published pattern and I’ve been hooked ever since.
What do you see as your design style?
I would describe my style as minimalist. My favorite thing to design is shawls. I enjoy playing with shapes and construction techniques. An example of this is my In Flight shawl. I started with the typical triangular shawl construction, modified the location of the increases and inserted some mesh panels. The result is a shape that rests naturally on the shoulders.
What influences your designs?
I tend to be influenced by things that I see around me. Recently for example, I went to Germany for work and I was struck by the beautiful architecture. One of my shawls is based on some of the shapes of the buildings I saw there. I also am influenced by nature and sometimes even the yarn I happen to have on hand.
What do you enjoy most about designing?
I enjoy the process of creating something new. There is a satisfying sense of accomplishment when I can turn an idea into a knitted item. It’s an added bonus that other people get excited about my patterns. I get a lot of pleasure from seeing my patterns knit up by other people.
I have a new cowl pattern – Emita Cowl – released in early December, that I am excited about. I am also working patterns for a colorwork hat and a lace shawl.
Do you get to do much knitting for yourself?
I design what I want to knit. Frequently this means knitting for myself. Right now I am knitting Christmas gifts for my family. Some of these gifts will result in published patterns. Recently my sister had a baby so I suspect that there will be quite a few baby items in my future.
What prompted you to participate in the Ravelry Indie Design Gift A-long?
It sounded like a really fun idea and a great opportunity to get more involved in the design community. I am currently a moderator for the cowl and scarf KAL/CAL. I am getting a big kick out of it! My husband teases me about the time I spend on the computer monitoring the group.
Has the GAL met your expectations?
The GAL came together so quickly I’m not sure there was even time to create expectations. I’m really enjoying the excitement level. Feedback from participants has been extremely positive and very supportive of the indie designer community. Lots of people have made it clear that they’d like to see this become a regular event.
Would you like to see the GAL become an annual event?
Absolutely! There are so many things I love about the GAL. It has given me the opportunity to interact with some amazing people, both designers and knitters. I’ve been exposed to incredible designs from my peers. A few weeks in, the FO thread is really gaining momentum. It’s fun to browse through and see the results of people’s hard work. It’s also a bit dangerous, because I keep seeing things I want to knit, which of course facilitates my somewhat out of control yarn habit and also gives me endless opportunities to enable. Which I am very good at . 🙂
Where can folks find your designs?
Thank you Jessica for the lovely interview and sharing your designs with us!
Happy Knitting ~ Jean