Last year during the Gift-a-long I interviewed a couple designers for the blog, and it was so much fun I’m doing it again! Today, meet Sashka of Sashkaknits.com. Sashka is Canadian (from BC), but sells her patterns on Ravelry in U.S. dollars. Twelve of them are on sale this week for the GAL.
Tell us about yourself, both as a person and as a designer. What makes you “you”, and what makes that noteworthy?
Ha ha, I’d like to think that all the little idiosyncrasies that make me ‘me’ are charming but I might be slightly delusional about that. I am always awkward in social situations, especially large crowds. I do best in small groups of people I know well. I do make friends easily especially if we have something in common. I love reading – all types of books but right now I am reading a lot of Scandinavian mystery novels translated to English, I drink good coffee and nibble on dark chocolate. As a designer I love detail and texture and spend a lot of time experimenting until I get the right mix. I am a process knitter, when the project is done I don’t have a whole lot of attachment to it and usually give it away as a gift.
“Auberge” by Sashka Macievich
Describe your design process for us. Do you usually start the same way? Is there a particular place you go for inspiration? Do you have a set routine?
My inspiration could come from anywhere – sometimes while I am working on one design another one works itself out in my head, sometimes I see a pattern while I am out and about and sometimes the yarn itself tells me what it wants. A lot of time I have one idea in my head and when I start swatching it morphs into another better idea.
Once I start though I do have a set routine, I always swatch, sometimes several times, then I do the math in a spreadsheet and make my charts. Then I knit my sample working from the spreadsheet and the charts. My spreadsheets are very detailed and I keep meticulous notes during sample knitting. Once the sample is knit, it is time to put the pattern into words and take photos.
Do you have a favorite fiber, yarn weight, or color family you tend to gravitate toward? You certainly have a wide variety of pattern types and textures represented in your GAL patterns!
Yes, I love fingering weight yarn and I love texture. I love to experiment with creating texture with cables, lace and ribbing. Now I am starting to add colour to mix as well. As far as the wide variety of designs I decided to design whatever I wanted for a while to determine what it was I meant to be designing instead of what I thought I should be designing.
What’s your favorite thing you’ve ever designed? Why?
I love my Windmill Bay Stole. I knit it purely because I needed a warm snuggly wrap for when we were camping at our favourite spot. Whenever I pull it out I am immediately transported to a calm happy place.
“Windmill Bay Stole” by Sashka Macievich
Why indie patterns? Why do you publish them, and why should crafters buy them?
I tend to over commit myself. With self-publishing the only deadlines I have are the ones I create for myself. While this is definitely a job where I have to wear a lot of hats, I wear them because I want to and I like to take the time I need to do them well. I love to be part of the indie community, knitters and designers are always ready to help and teach those who truly want to learn. Crafters who buy indie patterns are really getting a lot for their money, indie designers are putting a lot into their craft. Never before have so many resources been available to designers and so many places to provide their designs for sale.
Which of your GAL patterns do you think would be the best gift?
Arboles Cowl, Alberni Cowl, Busu Cowl and Syxx Hat are all quick knits and I think would appeal to many people of different ages.
“Arboles Cowl” by Sashka Macievich
Do you plan to make anything during the GAL? If not, do any other GAL designs really stand out to you?
I do! But I can’t reveal my plans as it is secret Christmas knitting. (shhh) I have discovered so many designs in the GAL I would not have known about otherwise, many have jumped into my cart already!
Any new or exciting developments on the horizon? We’d love to hear as much as you’re comfortable sharing!
I have so many designs for next year already. Watch for shawls and garments for spring and fall.
Now for one of the hallmarks of the GAL – prizes! Sashka was kind enough to offer a free pattern to one of my fabulous readers. Would you like it to be you? Check out her full list of GAL patterns (here!) and tell us in the comments which one you’d most like to make and why. The random number generator and I will announce a winner this Sunday, November 23 at 6pm EST. Be sure to leave your Ravelry name or some other contact info in the comment so I can get you your prize!