As part of the Giftalong, several participating designers are making guest appearances on other blogs. This week I’ve interviewed Sharon Boswell (SharonB on Ravelry) of Sygneture Designs. Read on to learn more about this under-rated designer!
How/why did you begin designing?
I’ve improvised my own projects for a long time but started writing patterns last year during the Malabrigo Junkies Ravelry group’s October Stockpile design competition. The competition was to design a 1 skein project for the variegated colours in the Malabrigo range. I’d made a ponytail hole hat sometime previously but wanted one with a higher hole and I decided to try it for the competition. I also wanted to use short rows as changing the number of stitches each row helps to avoid any pooling problems in the variegated yarn. And after some trial and error my Brumby Jill pattern was born. I didn’t win a prize but I became hooked on designing and I have been doing it ever since.
Brumby Jill by Sharon Boswell
What’s your design process like?
I imagine knitting and crochet projects all the time, I just love thinking of colours, shapes and textures. I tend to mull the designs over in my head for quite some time before knitting a sample and writing a pattern. Initially I had to knit more than one sample to work out the design so stayed with smaller projects, but I am now doing garments and shawls.
Some of your patterns have very unique names. Do they have any special significance?
With my first hat I wanted to pick an Australian name and something that related to horses, so Brumby which is the Australian word for wild horse (like Mustang in the US) and Jill because our word for cowboy is Jackeroo which gets modified to Jillaroo for a women (similar to cowgirl). Hence Brumby Jill.
Some of the more recent designs are named after Australian beaches. Merewether is a beach (and the adjacent suburb) in my hometown of Newcastle in NSW. Corlette Point is a beach where my family used to holiday when I was a kid. I have taken the naming theme a step further with my Merewether projects and named them after streets in the suburb of Merewether.
Corlette Point by Sharon Boswell
Why indie patterns? Why do you publish them, and why should crafters buy them?
So far I haven’t submitted to any publications as I am quite busy with a full-time job and four kids, and designing needs to work to my timings not external deadlines. Publishing on ravelry allows me to do everything at my own pace. I publish to share the things that I like with others with similar taste and to contribute to the craft community. I put a lot of effort into ensuring that my patterns are well written, accurate, and that they are something a little different without being difficult to make. Being an indie designer with a small collection at the moment, I am able to quickly answer any questions crafters may have, either before or after purchase.
Do you have a favorite tool or yarn?
My favourite tools are my Signature Needle Arts circulars, and I think Santa is bringing me some more of them too.
My favourite yarns are from the wonderful Skein yarns in northern NSW, I love their Merino Silk Sport, Merino Cashmere Fingering and Top Draw Socks. I also love Madelinetosh and Malabrigo and wish they were easier to get in Australia.
What’s your favorite thing you’ve designed?
My Merewether vest is one of my favourite things I have ever knitted, I wear my grey one (Railway Street) all the time and have several lots of yarn earmarked for more of them.
Merewether by Sharon Boswell
What has been the highlight of the GAL for you?
Its very exciting that three people are making Merewether in the garments GAL, and all seem to be happy with their projects. Its great to make something you love for yourself but even better to be able to share it with other ravelers. Its also been great fun moderating in both Garments and Baby and Child threads, and my own queue grows daily when I see everyone’s great projects.
Now for the best part: Sharon has agreed to give away one of her patterns to one of my fabulous readers! She is offering the winner’s choice of Corlette Point, Brumby Jill, Affogato, Salvation Jane, or the adorable Jelly Beanie. To enter, leave a comment on this post telling us which pattern you want the most, and why. Don’t forget to leave your contact info (Ravelry names preferred)! I will choose a winner from the comments next Wednesday, December 11 and then Sharon will be in touch with your prize!