Designer Spotlight: Jennifer Dassau

Jennifer DassauThere is a pattern that is very different and very cool, and I have had in in my Favorites on Ravelry for a very long time. It’s called Venomous Tentacula and it’s by today’s Designer Spotlight person – Jennifer Dassau! I’m glad you have a chance to get to know her and her amazing designs a little bit better today. Of course read through to the end, where you’ll find a special offer on one of Jennifer’s patterns.

Loopy: Hi Jennifer! Thanks for being in our spotlight today. How long have you been a knitter and who taught you to knit?

Venmous TentacularJennifer: Hi Loopy! I taught myself from a book 10 years ago, when my son was a baby. I’d always been a sewist, but I was looking for a fiber-y craft that was more portable, with simpler equipment.

Loopy: I do love that about knitting – the portability. You can really work on it almost anywhere. What is your favorite type of item to knit?

SundryJennifer: It’s a toss-up between sweaters and shawls, with sweaters leading lately. I’m craving getting back to some asymmetric, colorful shawl knitting, though; I love to pair up colors and put them on interesting shapes.

Loopy: You have some really fun designs – shawls, sweaters, cowls, scarves, and more. What is the most challenging thing that you have knit to date?

Jennifer: Any new technique, such as intarsia or lace, was a challenge at first; but they’re all mastered with practice. I’ve had plans (for a long time!) to learn to knit Continental, but the challenge is devoting the time knowing the product won’t be usable at first; I always think “next time . . . I’ll just get this project done quickly first.”

KoaLoopy: When you only have limited time to work on projects and knit, the learning curve to re-learn a different way does take some extra thought, doesn’t it? When did you start designing, and what spurred that interest?

Jennifer: From almost the very beginning, after learning the basics, I was “designing” mods and variations to patterns. Then six years ago I put up the original free, one size version of my Razor Cardi pattern, which received a lot of love. I dabbled for a few years until 2012 when I released my Five Short Row Shawls ebook; since then, designing has moved increasingly to being my main focus.

Lorem IpsumLoopy: Do you have a favorite pattern that you’ve designed?

Jennifer: It’s always the latest one! But Lorem Ipsum is probably my favorite garment because it’s so versatile and goes with everything. For accessories, I love the short row, sideways construction of Yoli Hat – that one is both process and project knitting.

Loopy: I love the Lorem Ipsum name. It may officially refer to dummy text, but it is a really cute sweater! What is your favorite part of your designing? And your not-so-favorite part?

AmortentiaJennifer: I like working out the construction and the math challenges, and at the same time loathe not being able to cast on and just knit something without pre-planning; it’s such a double-edged sword.

Loopy: Well it’s good that you like both parts – the designing and the knitting part. Do you have other jobs outside of pattern designing?

Roam CowlJennifer: Being a self-employed independent knitwear pattern designer is my paid job; my other job is running the house and family, which gives back intangible rewards like love and order.

Loopy: Do you do this business full-time, or on the side?  And is that hard?

Jennifer: It’s full-time hours, fit in on the side! All jobs are hard, but fortunately designing is flexible; I typically brainstorm creative ideas and keep up with the business side of things like email, social media and customer outreach, in the morning (I’m a slow-starter!), math and write patterns in the afternoon, and knit late night. It helps that my husband works from home as well, so we maintain a productive atmosphere during “office hours.”

PiewhacketLoopy: Oh, that’s nice to have kind of a tag-team at home with your husband. Does anyone else in your family knit?

Jennifer: No one! My Nanna was a creative fireball in many other ways – she could look at a dress and recreate it herself – so I like to think I’m channeling her.

Loopy: Yes, you definitely got her style gene. Are there other hobbies that you enjoy?

Jennifer: I’ve started getting more serious about photography, both for my design business, and for fun. I read a lot, and I putter around with making wire wrapped jewelry for myself. I also really want Rondelayto get back to sewing and my neglected fabric stash.

Loopy: Sewing and fabrics are very fun! (There are design possibilities there, too….) What would be your favorite way to spend a day off?

Jennifer: A day sightseeing in a beautiful city, then dinner and late-night drinks at a fabulous restaurant.

CauldronLoopy: Last question: Morning or Night person? Coffee or Tea? English or Continental? Solids or Multicolors? 🙂

Jennifer: Definitely night, coffee every morning, English (lever knitting – it’s fast!), and solids.

Loopy: Thanks for being in the spotlight today! Anything else you’d like to add?

Jennifer: Knitting should be fun – make things you love!

Loopy: Amen to that. And I’ll just add that you should use yarn and tools that you love, too. It Crossfiremakes your knitting time all the more relaxing and enjoyable.

Jennifer is offering our blog readers a 20% discount on a pattern of your choice from her Ravelry pattern shop. The code (theloopyewe) is good from today (Friday, August 14) through next Friday (August 21). Have fun picking out a new project, and then pop over and get some yarn to go with it! 😉

Sheri and The Loopy Ewe Crew

6 comments

  1. The first things I remembering knitting was a pair of tennis sweaters for my boyfriend and me. I knit them over the summer between freshman and sophomore years of college. They turned out pretty well, but of course he broke up with me about a month after starting me second year. I don’t remember what happened to his…I probably frogged it once I got over him!

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