Interview: Kara Gott Warner

Welcome to my first ever Fiber Artist Friday Interview!!  I hope to continue theis tradition for a long time to come. Today’s fiber artist, as you may know fromt his morning’s post is the Designer/Editor/Etsian Kara Gott Warner! (Kind of a reniassance woman- I applaud!!)

Kara Gott Warner very kindly allowed me to ask her some questions about editing, designing and fiber-life related subjects.

Here they are:
 
How did you get interested in knitting?

I first started knitting when I was about 12. My grandmother taught me, but it didn’t quite stick. I rediscovered knitting in my mid twenties when I was working in a very high-stress design job in New York City. I found knitting as a great escape, and I haven’t stopped since!

 As a mom, how do you keep your home life, creative life and work life balanced?

Wow, that can be quite a challenge at times! I learned that once I became a mom, everything had to be “integrated.” For example, I may find that in between chopping some veggies for dinner I can get a few rows of knitting in, or answer an important email. I also focus on “first things first.” I  don’t want to put out too many fires, so it’s always best to accomplish what is the most important first. You know how life is- there are just some things you can’t cross off that to-do list, and tomorrow’s another day. Just call it “job security.”
 When you create your designs, do you have a particular method? Do they start with a gorgeous yarn, a certain item, a pretty stitch pattern?

There’s no rhyme or reason, but generally I find my inspiration first from an amazing skein of yarn. Of course ideas pop into my head, and I may imagine if a nice worsted, chunky or fine weight yarn is in order, and then seek out the right yarn. I feel that the yarns speak to me– they always dictate the right design.
 

Is there a certain type of pattern you like to design?

Lately, I’m having a lot of fun designing accessories and small items. It’s so much fun to sit down and just knit for a few hours, and then poof- a new scarf! My igottknits collection this season features a few scarf and other accessory designs that are easy and quick to make. With the holidays approaching, I think they make for some great on-the-fly gift giving!

 I love your etsy shop, especially your felted bobble bracelets. How did you get interested in making them?

It’s kind of funny how I started. What got me excited about making these “mala-esque” bracelets was by examining some traditional mala bracelets. I just loved the idea of making the bobbles into a simple ring and topping them off with a luxurious tassel made of silk or some other fine fiber. What a great way to utilize my stash yarns! My bracelets are featured in my etsy store: igottknits.etsy.com.  
 
Do you have other crafts you like to do?

I will admit that I’m pretty obsessed with knitting, but now that I’ve discovered jewelry, I’ve had so much fun integrating knitting and beading. I’m still learning and exploring different stringing methods, and now I’m venturing into designing necklaces as well.
 What is your favorite fiber? (Come on, I know you have one!) 

Merino wool is my fav. If I had to choose one yarn, I would have to say I love working with Malabrigo worsted the best. Oh so soft, and their colors are total eye-candy!
 
I know you work as an editor for knitting books, what exactly does that mean? (Talk to me like I’m four, I have no experience in the publishing field.)

 
The best way to describe the process of putting together It’s In The Bag– I think the number one important thing is to be a really good organizer. Thank goodness for Excel spreadsheets!  I also try to see “the big picture.” When I start a new book, I always think what the end result will look, and work backwards. I think an important aspect to being a book editor is to have a finger on the pulse of what knitters want, and what sells in the industry.  I also think it’s important to add some creative vision to the process too. Sometimes I have a strong instinct about something, even though it may or may not be what the industry dictates. Sometimes you have to go to the beat of your own drum!
 
So once a theme has been decided, I then flesh out the details of the book- the name, the chapters and I also think of the artistic aspects of layout – what kind of photos I want in the book, what kind of type, copy, backgrounds, illustrations, and the book cover.
 
Next-  a submission call goes out to designers with all the details needed to submit a design consideration. I request a swatch, a sketch and a photo of the design concept. Basically, I need to be able imagine what the finished project will look before I’m holding the sample in my hands or reading a pattern.
 
Once the projects are chosen, I then go about choosing new yarns to match the color theme of the book. In many cases the designers pick the perfect yarn, so it’s always nice to be able to go with what the designer thinks is best since it’s their vision. Then once the projects and patterns are complete, I review the patterns and inspect the finished project samples. From this point, all of the patterns and models are sent to the tech editor. When the tech editing process is complete, I proofread the patterns for style, grammar and general language. Then the fun begins….
 
Once the projects and patterns are complete, the layout and photography process begins! I like to think of this phase almost like putting together pieces of a puzzle. Once the patterns and photos are dropped into the layout, I review it again for style, language, make sure the photos are placed correctly. Basically every little inch of the book is reviewed with a fine-toothed comb.
 
This is a bit of a simplified version of the process, but a book of this size takes about a year to complete from concept to final printing.  When my advance copy finally arrives in my mailbox, it’s quite a satisfying feeling!
 
I hear you have a new book coming out, care to tell us about it?

Sure, the book is called The Perfect Finish: A No-Nonsense Guide to Finishing Techniques for Knitters of Every Level. I have to say, this book has taken me out of my comfort zone a bit. Finishing is of course a very technical and precise subject. The book will feature 11 teacher/designers. One of the well-known teachers featured in the book is Leslye Solomon, who is known for her vast knowledge as an expert finisher. I think this book will such a unique addition to any knitter’s library for years and maybe generations to come. 
 

I want to send a huge thank you to Kara Gott Warner for being so nice to answer all my questions. If you want to hear more from her be sure to check out her blog: www.SheKnitsintheLoop.com  and don’t forget that this Monday I am kicking off the blog tour of It’s in the Bag! Follow along and you’ll get to hear all about this great book, and get a chance to win a copy of the book, or one of the DellaQ bags featured in the book!

That’s all for today!

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3 Responses to “Interview: Kara Gott Warner”

  1. Heather Says:

    I really like this interview. That book looks interesting and I seriously want one of her bracelets. thanks

  2. It’s in the Bag Review (Day 1 of Blog Tour!) « Hook and Needle Girl Says:

    […] If you haven’t seen it yet, check out her interview. […]

  3. Kara Gott Warner Says:

    What a darling you are to refer to me a Renaissance woman….I’m hardly that, but thanks for the great compliment, and also the honor of having you interview me. It was lots of fun!

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