There has been a lot of chatter and curiosity lately about "how to become a knitwear designer." Last week Robin Hunter, a Canadian Knitwear designer, interviewed me on her blog about my inspirations, insights on the biz, about my processes and advice for becoming a professional knitter. Each week Robin interviews a different designer; same questions, each story so different and fascinating!
I remember sitting in a Trisha Malcolm, editor of Vogue Knitting Magazine, lecture at Vogue Knitting Live in New York in 2012; she was direct, insightful and had a wealth of information for us eager knitters who were considering quitting our day jobs. One thing she said really stood out; it was an important question to consider and ask yourself if you are truly interested in becoming a knitwear designer fulltime: I know I love to knit, but why do I love to knit. Will I still love to knit if I have to knit to make a living? Will I be OK with the fact that I won’t be knitting simply for enjoyment anymore?
For most of us, knitting starts off as a hobby, it may even turn into a hobby that generates some income on the side, but it is still a passionate craft that is not a full-fledged business. Once you decide to make the leap, from hobby/enjoyable knitting to quitting your day job to work as a fulltime knitwear designer, it changes; now, knitting has to produce an income that needs to support you, this is a lot of pressure! Although, I knew in my hearts-of-hearts being a professional knitter was for me, Trisha made ask the question of myself, and made me think of the realities about the next move. It is a serious question that I recommend anyone considering making the move ask.
Because of the internet, it is really easy to become a professional knitter; but, it not easy to get noticed and to generate a steady income. It takes an enormous amount of work and time to make a name for yourself and to get the recognition, reputation and following. I am always having to think outside the box and try new strategies to keep the income coming in while also keeping up with designing output.
I invite you to join the conversation about your experiences, and I am open to your questions and comments about becoming a professional knitter.