Hello Fellow Fiber Enthusiasts! Today I have a terrific interview from Sivia Harding who will be visiting the shop on March 14th and 15th to teach 3 classes. You can sign up for the classes here (right now they are at a special reduced rate so make sure to sign up before all the spaces are taken), and in the mean time you can read all about how Sivia creates her beautiful designs!
Meghan: When did you start knitting? Did someone teach you? What was your first project?
Sivia: I taught myself how to knit from a rather awful video that I checked out from the library. I had wanted to learn when I was a child but no one else in my family could teach me. When I finally learned, I was in my mid-40s at the time and desperate for a new hobby, having just moved to a new place far away, without the ability to do any of the art and fiber crafts I had done in the past. After I struggled with solitary knitting for a while (this was before there was much on the internet), I found a knitting friend and a knitting guild, and I was set. I think my very first project was a garter stitch scarf made with thrifted yarn. Sound familiar?
Meghan: When did you start designing patterns? What prompted you to begin designing?
Sivia: I started designing very soon after learning, since I was already a graphic designer and artist. It just came naturally. I think the first impetus was to make original things to sell at the guild charity events. Several of my designs that are still popular came from that time: Diamond Fantasy, Victorian Shoulderette, and the Shetland Garden Faroese Shawl, among others.
Meghan: What inspires you to design a pattern? What inspired this (these) patterns specifically?
Sivia: Hmm... the inspiration could be almost anything! A new shape, a beautiful stitch pattern (or several), a reflection in a puddle... With Diamond Fantasy (still one of my favorites), I wanted to see if I could do a edging pattern at the same time as a tip-to-top lace design. The shaping of the inner lace taught me tons, and putting it with an edging was a fascinating exercise. The piece ended up having a very satisfying knitting rhythm, and the interesting parts of the design set the bar for the others that were yet to come.
Meghan: I notice that you use a lot of beads in your designs, (which are beautiful!!) is there a specific reason for this other than just loving beads?
Sivia: Oh gee, I get asked this a lot, and I embarrassingly can't remember when I started putting beads in my knitting. It seemed like a very natural extension of lace in terms of highlighting points of the lace pattern and incorporating extra dimensions of light and color into the knitted fabric. I am not sure whether that entirely answers your question!
Meghan: Do you design full time or part time, what are your other hobbies or jobs?
Sivia: I work at my knitting full time, and that includes teaching and designing. I do travel quite a bit to teach, which means that I have a hard time fitting my schedule together with a regular part time or full time job. I have been doing this full time for over six years now. I have lots of hobbies too, but most of them are things like movies, books, music... I have immense appreciation for the arts and I am trained in painting and printmaking.
Meghan: What is your favorite knitting technique?
Very hard question to answer!! This is changing all the time as I keep learning... may that never stop!! I am known for lace and beads, of course, but I love to incorporate colorwork and cables (to mention a couple of other techniques) into my designs.
Meghan: Where can we find you on social media? Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Ravelry, Blog, website?
Ravelry forum: http://www.ravelry.com/groups/sivia-harding