Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Spring KAL Week 3- Interview with Cecily Glowik MacDonald!

Welcome everyone to week three of our Spring KAL! I hope everyone's projects are going well! It seems like everyone is making good progress on the Ravelry Thread and I've been seeing some lovely pictures posted over there as well! All of us beans are knitting right along and I will be posting some new updates on those next week. As promised, I have an interview to share with you today with Cecily Glowik MacDonald, the amazing designer behind the Goodale Cardigan that we are all knitting! Here is what she had to say about Goodale, inspiration, designing, and upcoming projects!



The first published design
JBW: How did you get into knitwear design and what was your first published design?

CGM: As soon as I learned how to knit I began designing my own very simple things and taking parts of sweaters that were of the same gauge and melding them together. Some worked, some did not, but I loved experimenting. The first design that I ever had accepted is called the “Buckle Bag” and is in the Vogue on the Go series in the book named Bags Two. Here is the Ravelry link: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/buckle-bag-2

JBW: It seems like most independent designers find themselves on this career path quite by accident. Did this happen for you as well, or did you always know you wanted to work in the fiber arts industry?

Idlewood, one of
Cecily's most popular
designs to date.
CGM: I went to college as a Fine Arts Major with a concentration in painting and had no idea where I would go from there! I ended up moving to Brooklyn, NY after graduation and found that the tiny poorly ventilated apartments were not conducive to working with oil paint. A non-knitter friend gave me a copy of Stitch and Bitch for Christmas of 2003 and the next month I got started knitting and absolutely fell in love.

JBW: Your designs are very much your own unique style. How did this style evolve into what it is now?

CGM: I have now realized that the designs that do best for me are the ones that I want to knit and to wear. I love knitting stockinette stitch pieces with simple details and those are the pieces that I put on most often. I feel that for a while I was over thinking designing and that it works best to just design what makes me happy.

JBW: Where do you find inspiration for your designs?

CGM: Most of my design ideas come from simple swatching. Even if I am just knitting a  stockinette stitch swatch to begin with, the drape and texture and way the stitches look seem to always inspire an idea for a new piece. I also love window shopping in real life and on line, so I am sure that the things that I see also influence what I decide to make.

JBW: Of all of your designs, do you have a favorite? One that you return to time and time again or wear often?
Kara

Current
CGM: My favorites tend to change from week to week and depending upon the time of year. At the moment Current and Kara are my go to sweaters.

JBW: What does a typical day look like for you? 

CGM: I get up and get some coffee and do a bit of knitting to wake up. Then I begin to tackle emails and my to do list. My to do list usually includes things like sizing and writing patterns, packaging and filling wholesale orders, getting swatches and sketches ready for either myself or companies I am working with, reminding myself that I need to get a new blog post ready soon, finishing and blocking pieces, getting styling ready and figuring out photo shoot times, plus a million other random things! After I have completed as much of my to do list as I can, I get to knit some more.

JBW: What was the last non work-related crafty project (knitting or other) you did?

CGM: I have been trying to learn to sew and made my wonderful friend and co-author Melissa LaBarre a little crooked baby quilt for her new little girl.

Goodale, of course. :)
JBW: The Goodale Cardigan is one of your most popular designs on Ravelry, what inspired this design and what do you think makes it so popular?

CGM: Goodale was a project that I cast on for and then it sort of morphed into what it is. And I love pockets and Stockinette Stitch! I think that the popularity of it was due to the kind comments and support that I received about it from wonderful designer friends after I wore it to one of the TNNA trade shows. (Thank you all!)

JBW: Do you have any tips or advice for those of us participating in the KAL?

Goodale pocket close-up.
CGM: This was the question that I receive most when Goodale was released: If alternating skeins of a hand dyed yarn, where do you twist? I did some swatching and found that if you twist at the end of the WS rows right before you work the end I-cord trim, it works well. Another suggestion is to twist the 2 skeins at the underarm when you get to the body.

Goodale, sleeve and
increase close-up.
JBW: We heard that you are working on a book and just loved the skirts you sewed for that photo shoot! What can you tell us about the book and what inspired you to sew all of those skirts?

CGM: I am very excited about the self published book that I am working on, it has nine new sweater designs from me and 3 accessories from designer friends. I had a great team of people working on it and will publish it at the end of the summer/ beginning of Fall. I was so thrilled when I found Brett’s book and made the first skirt and realized that I could actually do it! Finding a consistent and inexpensive way to style a collection can be tough and being able to make skirts with fabrics that I chose was amazing.

"Starling" one of Cecily's
most recent designs, available
on Ravelry.

JBW: What is next for you in the design world?  Any exciting projects on the horizon?

CGM: Right now I am in the midst of finishing up my book and because I like to get ahead of myself, starting to plan a second in hopes that this one does well and I get to do another! 

Thanks again so much to Cecily for being a part of this KAL and for designing such a beautiful sweater that we are all so anxious to finish and wear! If you haven't yet signed in on our "Roll Call", please remember to do so soon. Next week is the last week to check in as I'll be announcing the yarn and fabric winners in the week five blog post! In the meantime, remember you can e-mail me any questions about the project or check in on the Ravelry Thread for help. There are tons of friendly voices there who have all been super supportive so far! See you all back here next week and of course, happy knitting!

Kristen

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