Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Interview with Christina Werge

Ready to meet another designer who is participating in the Indie Design Gift-a-long? This week I got to know more about Christina Werge from Berlin, Germany. 

Annie, Hitch: Patterns inspired by
the Films of Alfred Hitchock
photo (c) Nick Murway
I've been to Germany many times in my younger years to visit family, so it was fun to reconnect - in even the remotest way - with someone actually living in Germany. 

Christina is an accomplished designer who has been published in a number of places, including Knitty, Knit Now, and Clotheshorse. She also has a design in the Cooperative Press book Hitch: Patterns Inspired by the Films of Alfred Hitchcock. You can also find her designs on her website  Herrlichkeiten which also offers tutorials and blog entries.

What I really noticed about Christina is that she has an impressive range of designs, from accessories like shawls, hats and mitts, to sweaters and tank tops.

How would you describe your design style?
My designs always have a twist to them. Sometimes you’ll have to look hard to find the it - a unusual construction or small details. My designs sometimes look more complicated than they are as I always have the knitting process in my mind when designing. If a design looks good, but is a pain to knit, it is not going to be published.
Dome Hat, photo (c) C. Werge
Where do you get your inspiration from?
My inspiration comes from a lot of sources. I am a very visual person and love to discover patterns in everyday life and nature. Sometimes this leads very directly to a design like when the cupola of the new synagogue in Berlin on my way to work sparked the idea for the Dome Hat. But more often it’s just a detail that gets my gears working…
Who is your knitting audience? Who are your designs targeted at?
I love to think about my audience as knitters who like to try something new and have fun knitting for themselves and other people. That’s why I have a lot of smaller, giftable things in my portfolio. I believe easy does not have to be boring and love to design for a wide range of skill levels. While I love to design things for everyone, I feel I can best anticipate the challenges of my own figure when it comes down to sweater design. MY sweater patterns are designed to make women look great - if they have curves or not. I always include instructions where to alter the fitting of my sweaters so that every woman can look good in them!
Daphne Tank, photo (c) Christina Werge
What are your favorite techniques or types of things to knit?
Looking at my patterns I’d have to admit that I love slipped and twisted stitches. It’ such an easy thing to knit - or in the case of a slipped stitch to not knit - and they open up a world of possibilities: colour work, cable work, even shaping (like the waist shaping of Daphne) is possible.
You have a sweater pattern, Annie, in the book Hitch: Patterns Inspired by the Films of Alfred Hitchcock from Cooperative Press. How did you come to be involved in the book?
I saw the call for submissions on the Designer board in Ravelry. As I love Hitchcock films I just knew I had to give it a try and submit a design.
Is there a difference in your design process between self-published patterns and designs for publications like Knit Now, Knitty or Hitch?
Yes, there is. While a call for submissions might spark an idea that leads to a self-published design or an idea that was to become a self-pub fits a call for submissions so well, it gets chosen, the process that follows is quite different. When self-publishing, I can/have to chose the yarn myself, my personal deadlines are flexible and I can make changes until the last moment and perhaps just knit another sample. There is a lot of going back and forth involved. With publications that’s different. I write down the pattern first as always, and then I will knit the sample. When working for someone else my sample knitting is the first (and possibly only) test knit there will be. So everything is pretty straightforward. Especially as I have to get a lot of knitting done in little time.
What is your greatest challenge throughout the design process?
Letting go. Accepting a design just won’t work and not trying to start it again and again is definitely not my strength. ;)
What do you have planned for 2015 design-wise?
Dome mitts, photo (c) C. Werge
I have a sweater pattern almost finished and also a great cable heavy design. I didn't have much of time for designing this year and next year looks like it’s going to be similar. So I’m focusing on self-publishing as I can tailor my schedule to my needs.
Elinor Shawlette, photo (c) C. Werge

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