Happy Friday! In today’s Designer Spotlight we are featuring Alicia Plummer and her beautiful design work. I know you’ll enjoy reading more about her, and be sure to check out the extra special offer she has for you at the end of the post.
Loopy: Hi Alicia! Thanks for being in our spotlight today – we’re glad to have you. How long have you been a knitter and who taught you to knit?
Alicia: Thanks, Loopy. I’m so thankful to be here! My grandmother taught me to knit when I was younger, but I picked it up again in 2009. My mother showed up at the door with a children’s sweater pattern for my daughter who was only 18 months at the time (where did the time go?!?!) and I self taught and did a lot of research. I was hooked after that!
Loopy: I think it’s interesting that a lot of people get into (or back into) knitting when they have kids. Lucky for those kids. What is your favorite type of item to knit?
Alicia: Definitely pullovers! I get the most use out of them. As much as I love cardigans, I am constantly running around doing errands and cleaning the house, and the front panels flopping around seem to get in my way! Haha.
Loopy: And see, if I was running around doing errands and cleaning the house, I’d be whipping the sweater (a cardigan) right off. Ha! What is the most challenging thing that you have knit to date?
Alicia: Hmm- Honestly, In Stillness! It’s very basic and straightforward, but writing it out instead of charting was hard. I knit intuitively and read stitches easily, so being so literal is difficult. I wanted one where people who couldn’t read charts could still knit with ease. It had a LOT of edits (multiple tech edits) along with many testers. I’m happy to say now it’s a nice clean file!
Loopy: There are a lot of people who don’t like knitting from charts. That was a great thing for you to do for them, and nice to know of a sweater pattern that is chart-free. When did you start designing, and what spurred that interest?
Alicia: I started designing about 2 years into knitting, and I had knit a few sweaters at that point. None of them really fit me the way I wanted and I ended up not wearing them. Melissa Schaschwary really helped me- we encouraged each other and don’t put out a single design that we haven’t talked through together! I wouldn’t be where I am without her!
Loopy: Do you have a favorite pattern that you’ve designed?
Alicia: Ease, hands down. It’s so flattering on everyone, and so is the bulky version. Though Sandshore is another favorite. I’ve just worked up a new design that isn’t ready for release just yet, but it’s very relaxed and summery. That’s in Quince’s Kestrel. I’ll give a few hints: It’s got 3/4 length sleeves and a breezy, relaxed feel. Linen is such a great investment for summer knitting because it NEVER pills, softens over time and has such amazing drape. I fall in love with it all over again every summer.
Loopy: Knitting with linen is on my list for the summer for those very reasons. What is your favorite part of your designing? And your not-so-favorite part?
Alicia: My favorite part is the hope and excitement that builds up as I’m working on something. Also, seeing all different shapes and sizes of people feeling good about themselves in my designs. That’s so priceless to me. My not so favorite part would be handling when people are mean. Some people do get outright mean, and that’s hard. I’ve never been thick skinned- a kind word will go far, though I always try to go out of my way to help anyone that needs it regardless of how they’ve spoken to me.
Loopy: That IS discouraging, isn’t it? I don’t understand the need for mean. I’m glad most people are lovely to deal with and the mean ones are rare! Do you have other jobs outside of pattern designing?
Alicia: Sort of, yes! I homeschool my girls, shuttle them to activities, keep up with housework (sort of…shhh!), that sort of thing. Dishes are not a priority!
Loopy: Do you do this business full-time, or on the side? And is that hard?
Alicia: Melissa and I were just talking about how it’s a full time job on part time hours–and yes, that is hard! It adds a lot of stress, because the job isn’t just knitting, you know? It’s swatching, crunching math, working with companies, knitting, blocking, photographing, styling, test knitting, formatting, working with a tech editor, promoting, answering questions…I love every aspect of it but it would be amazing if each day held about 4 more hours!!! Hahaha!
Alicia: No one else in my family knits–my mother is an incredible quilter, and my aunt does needlefelt and wet felting. I am happily married with two beautiful girls. Most of my family is passed away, including my father. That was a really hard time for me. But God has blessed me with a huge family of in-laws and they’re amazing. I am so thankful for them and the support and love they give. Being part of a big family is a new experience (well, not so much now that I’ve been in it a while) but it’s the most incredible, safe, cherished feeling of love.
Alicia: I love, love, love hiking, kayaking, and gardening barefoot! I love working on our old farmhouse- painting, rearranging, etc. My husband and I love taking the kids into the White Mountains to go exploring. If it’s warm, you’ll pretty much find me barefoot. Anything outside in the warmer months is just…amazing.
Loopy: What would be your favorite way to spend a day off?
Alicia: Probably hiking with my family. There’s just something so refreshing about exploring nature with your family, going new places, walking through granite that’s been carved by years of glacier water. Visiting my cousins in Vermont is another favorite–we go out into their acres and acres of garden, pick berries, lounge on the porch in the sunlight.
Alicia: Definitely night person. I stay up working from about 8 pm to midnight, typically. I need to change that and start getting more sleep!!! Continental, hands down (haha, get it?), As far as solids or multicolors, it totally depends on the project 🙂
Loopy: Anything else you’d like to add?
Alicia: I’d love to offer a 30% discount to everyone who was so kind to support me in this endeavor! In my Ravelry store, any self-published patterns will work with the code “getloopy” 🙂
Loopy: Thanks again for being in our Designer Spotlight today, Alicia, and for the extra discount!
Have fun picking out a new pattern from Alicia, and tell us what you picked and what yarn you’re thinking about using.