When we go to trade events, talk with customers and do shows, people often ask us what we do, what our titles are and how we work together. At the end of each edition is our Masthead, which lists everyone on staff and their title, along with the many people we are thrilled to thank for their contribution to the edition.
In this series of blog posts, which you can read, in its entirety, here, we'll be introducing you to some of the people who help make this magazine possible. As always, we would love to continue the discussion and get your feedback on this or any other blog post, over on Facebook.
Talk about wearing many hats! It was hard to come up with just a few questions to ask Sandi, that would allow others to see her contributions, the same way we do, but I tried and managed to coerce a picture of her dog, Baxter, out of her too. I consider that a win.
MM: You have been working in the fiber arts for a long time, including a fair number of years owning your own yarn shop. What is it that drew you to knitting and especially design and tech editing?
SR: I learned to knit from the instructions in the back of a magazine when I was 18, and really never stopped. After too many years in a corporate career, when it was time for a major change, opening a knitting shop just felt right. Then it was just a matter of seeing which door was open and walking through. I had made up my own patterns for years, and started writing them down when people wanted the instructions for samples I made for the shop. A yarn distributor I knew asked if I'd do some designs for them, and others followed. After seeing some of my patterns, another yarn company asked me to tech edit.
When I closed the shop, it was natural to expand the design and tech editing work. This work suits me really well. I love living and working alone, and I work best with firm deadlines. Unlike those who have partners or children at home, I have the time and space to give the editing the focus it demands, and I get better at it every year. Designing fills my need to be creative, and tech editing works the analytic side of my brain.
|Baxter: Head of HR, PR and DIN-R|
MM: With all this experience, are there times when you can still learn new things from reading other people’s patterns? Is there anything in particular that has really caught your attention, in a Twist pattern?
SR: I am always amazed at the creativity of knitting designers. There is always something new to learn. I particularly love the endless ways simple stitches can be arranged and rearranged. Robin Melanson's Bellevue from a couple of issues ago is a great example of basic stitches combined to great effect.
MM: You aren’t just a Tech Editor, you also design both for Twist and independently. What do you consider important in your own designs and how is that reflected in some of the garments you’ve created for Twist?
SR: I try to design things that will be a pleasure to knit and that I'd really want to wear. What else is there, really? I find that I'm drawn to classic silhouettes, lighter weight yarns, and straight forward stitch work.
MM: Are there any tips you’d give an aspiring designer who wanted to write a great pattern?
SR: Of course I have tips! First of all, don't throw every trick you know into every pattern. A single idea brilliantly executed often makes a more effective finished project. Second, respect the knitter. Do you really need to say "Sleeves (make 2)"? I think the knitter will be able to figure out that a second sleeve is needed. And if they only need one sleeve, who are we to discriminate against amputees? Third, remember this is knitting, not structural engineering. The fabric we create is inherently flexible and will mold to the body within reasonable ranges. You probably do not need to size your pattern in 2" increments or put in the sort of shaping one would find in a tailored suit. And finally, ask questions. When in doubt, send your tech editor an e-mail and ask her opinion. It will save time for you both in the long run. Just the other day, I talked with Kristen Rengren about her design for the Winter 2012 issue. We were able to come up with a solution that simplified the pattern, making both her job and mine easier.
|Sandi's workspace and Crane Creek
MM: Are there any tips you have for customers to improve their knitting experience?
MM: What is the most rewarding/exciting aspect of your job at Twist?
SR: That's easy. I love working with such a wonderful group of talented, smart, funny and supportive women. Kate has assembled an exceptional team. With every issue, I'm proud to be part of creating such a gorgeous product.