Interview with author and designer Larissa Brown – Part 2

This is the second part of my interview with author and designer Larissa Brown (LarissaBrown) The first part of the interview can be found here.

It’s hard to choose from among the 81 patterns in your Ravelry shop, but I think I would have to say that my favorite is Lichen. (And I have a lot of company there because it has been favorited 3,628 times!) Do you have a favorite and why?

Haha, I had to go look at my own design page on Ravelry, because I can’t remember what I’ve done.

Right now, my favorite (which I actually wear, which is not usual) is the Whale Road hood. I can tell it’s not going to be a popular one with the knitting public, and that’s fine. I love it. I think it’s weird and cool. I’d say that the Falconry Gauntlets are a favorite, because they’re so nerdy. The On Off Shawl and Layer Cake Blanket are two favorites, because they were instances where I pulled off what I intended without suffering. Same with Lichen, which I designed and knit in two days. It came out the way I intended when I drew it in my notebook, very naturally and smoothly, without problems. I love when it seems like a design is meant to be, not something I have to slog against to finish.

Photo of Lichen shawl by Larissa Brown
Lichen by Larissa Brown
©Martin John Brown. Used with permission.

Photo of Whale Road hoodie by Larissa Brown
Whale Road by Larissa Brown
©Larissa Brown. Used with permission.

Photo of Falconry Gauntlets by Larissa Brown
Falconry Gauntlets by Larissa Brown
©Larissa Brown. Used with permission.

On Off Shawl by Larissa Brown ©Larissa Brown. Used with permission.
On Off Shawl by Larissa Brown
©Larissa Brown. Used with permission.

Photo of Layer Cake Blanket by Larissa Brown
Layer Cake Blanket by Larissa Brown
©Larissa Brown. Used with permission.

Those gauntlets were a close second choice for me. They are so dramatic!

I know what you mean about how some pieces just seem to design themselves, while others have to be dragged into the world kicking and screaming. I have a couple of those types on the go now. When I get annoyed with one of them, I’ll put it on a time out and switch to the other one for awhile. It gets kind of depressing when progress is slow, but it’s exhilarating when the design just flows from your head to your hands and flies off the needles.

As indie designers, we have to wear a lot of hats. What is your favorite aspect of designing knitwear?

Seeing the very different ways that knitters approach a design and the huge range of results. It still amazes me how much variety can be seen when hundreds of people work from the same pattern. I wrote about this in my book Knitalong and online all over the place when I did my Meathead Hat installation, and it has always been my favorite part of designing.

Photo of Meathead Hat by Larissa Brown
Meathead Hat by Larissa Brown
©Larissa Brown. Used with permission.

And your least favorite?

I guess just the reverse–releasing a pattern that does not get made by many people. I have a few underdogs that I have affection for that just don’t get out there. I’ve included a couple in the GAL, such as a cute hat my son designed when he was 5 years old, and a very simple eyelet shawl that I think is lovely. Sales are not as relevant in terms of how I feel about designing, though money is important. The Shift Shawl is so fun–creating a sort of manual gradient–and I’d love to see more of what people bring to it and do with it.

Photo of Shift Shawl by Larissa Brown.
Shift Shawl by Larissa Brown
©Larissa Brown. Used with permission.

Can you tell us something about a new design you are currently working on?

I’m trying not to work on one! I’m working on my next book and want to devote precious hours to that. For fun, I’m knitting projects I’ve been letting sit. I’m making the Undertow shawl by Toby Roxane Barna and the Mitered Crosses Blanket from Kay Gardiner. I have ideas in mind all the time, including one for an MKAL shawl, and I write them down or try to let them float away.

Can’t wait to see what you come up with next!

Selected patterns from Larissa’s shop are on sale for 25% off as part of the 2014 Gift-A-Long on Ravelry. The sale ends Friday, November 21, 2014 at 11:59 pm US EST, but the Gift-A-Long continues until New Year’s Eve. Finished Objects made from any of the paid patterns from the 293 participating designers are eligible for prizes, so stop by and join in the fun.