I’m happy to have designer Rose Beck in the Loopy Designer Spotlight today. I love her designs and made my first one back in 2011. I know you’ll enjoy getting to know her.
Loopy: Hi Rose! Thanks for being in our blog today. You know I’m a big fan of yours. How long have you been a knitter, and who taught you to knit?
Rose: Hi Loopy! I’ve been obsessed with yarn since grade school, when I learned how to crochet from a library book. I started to stash Kmart yarn as early as age 8. For years after, I tried to teach myself to knit but couldn’t get the hang of it. Then my college roommate sat me down and went through everything slowly, and I’ve been knitting for almost 30 years now.
Loopy: I’m so glad your roommate was a knitter who could help. I hope she loves your designs now! What is your favorite thing to knit?
Rose: I don’t have a particular favorite and oscillate mostly between hats, shawls, and sweaters. I can say, though, that sweater sleeves are my LEAST favorite thing to knit!
Loopy: I’m not a big fan of sleeves, either. I should learn to knit those first. What is the most challenging thing that you have knit to date?
Rose: I am working on a sweater design now with a lengthy and complicated lace chart. It is challenging because I have to focus intently on the chart – not a great project for watching TV or online knitting group!
Loopy: When did you start designing and what spurred that interest?
Rose: I have always experimented with my own knitting creations and also with modifying others’ published patterns. I started publishing my own patterns on Ravelry in 2010. Back then Ravelry was still young and knitting shawls had become all the rage. I had just been diagnosed with breast cancer and the chemotherapy had left me incredibly weak. I spent hours on our living room couch, dreaming of knitting but unable to physically knit for more than minutes at a time. It was then that I decided to try designing shawls, because I was able to type at a laptop. The constructiton of shawls intrigued me and I saw them as interesting math problems (yes, I m a nerd at heart). Because most of the time I only had enough energy to knit swatches, I would enlist the help of generous Ravelry friends for sample/test knitting and photography. I was so excited when people online appreciated my designs. It was definitely a bright spot that helped to keep me going during that dark time in my life.
Loopy: It’s wonderful that knitting gave you a positive focus during that tough time. I love that you were doing swatches and the computer work, and had other knitters who stepped up and helped with the knitting. Such a supportive community. Do you have a favorite pattern that you’ve designed?
Rose: Hm, I guess I tend not to have favorites because I like so many things! I’ve always been proud of my graphic concept for the Hexed! Shawl, but I also love top-down triangular shawl construction. I think my favorite of those is Lattice.
Loopy: My favorite of yours is “And So Are You”. I’ve made it twice! I like the way it wraps around the shoulders, and the stitch pattern is so pretty. What is your favorite part of your designing, and your not so favorite part?
Rose: Well, I do have a favorite here – the idea process. I absolutely love mulling over new design ideas – figuring out how to incorporate a unique stitch pattern, a unique method of construction, or putting colors/yarns together. My least favorite part is writing the pattern, especially grading sweaters! (Grading means writing the instructions for different sizes.)
Loopy: I’ve always thought that must be quite the challenge when designing sweaters. It doesn’t sound fun! Do you have other jobs outside of pattern designing? And do you do this business full-time or on the side?
Rose: By day I am an academic physician at a university-affiliated hospital. I do my design business on the side and it can be hard if I make too many design commitments and my day job interferes! These days I aim for just several designs a year, including a couple commitments to magazines.
Loopy: Does anyone else in your family knit? (Would you like to tell us about your family?)
Rose: I am always happy to talk about my beautiful family. I have a strong and supportive husband/best friend/soul mate and I have two wonderful teenagers (yes, that is possible). Sadly, no one else knits, which just might be the worst thing about my family. It does mean, however, that I don’t have to fight anyone over yarn.
Loopy: That’s a good point! Your stash gets to be all your own. You never know. Having grown up around a knitter, your kids might just decide to give it a try sometime down the road. Are there other hobbies that you enjoy?
Rose: I love the creative process in may crafts, including sewing and weaving. I also like to cook occasionally.
Loopy: What would be your favorite way to spend a day off?
Rose: In my craft studio, making things. In addition to working on knitting designs, these days I’m sewing masks and project bags for my Etsy shop.
Loopy: Ok – last set of questions: Morning or night person? Coffee or Tea? English or Continental? Solids or Multicolors?
Rose: Night person and Tea. English for purling and Continental for knitting and stranded colorwork. Semi-solids for lace and cables. Multicolor/speckles for everything else.
Loopy: So interesting – I’ve never known anyone who purls a different way than they knit! I will have to investigate that option. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Rose: Never be afraid to pursue your creative dreams, and never be afraid to go beyond what the printed pattern says. Knit on!
Loopy: Thanks again for being with us today, Rose!
Rose has set up a Loopy blog reader 20% discount on the pattern of your choice from her Ravelry shop. The discount is valid from July 17-24 with the code: LOOPY2020. You might also like to follow Rose on Instagram to get updates on her patterns and her etsy shop additions. She makes wonderful bags!
Happy weekend all –