Independent Designer Spotlight: An Interview with Teri Kruse

As you may know, we love working with Indie Designers through our Yarn Support Program.  Today we're featuring the super fun Highlight sweater pattern by Teri Kruse. Made with RainCItyKnits Organic Fingering Merino in Midnight, Hot Pink and Highlighter Yellow.  Subsitute with our Superwash Sock in the same colours for a durable sweater!

About the design from Teri: 

I love bright colors. When I came up with the idea for this sweater, I really had a few very specific details in mind. One, I wanted to use bright colors. Two, I wanted stripes. Three, I wanted the neckline to be lower cut and the shoulder a bit of a faux saddle shoulder, but still a raglan. Well, I think I accomplished that here.

Teri is offering this pattern for 25% until the end of November 2014 with code Highlight14  through Ravelry (login required).


Interview with Teri Kruse, Knitwear Designer


Tell us a bit about yourself. 

One thing most people don't know about me, is that I take New Year's resolutions seriously. So, 10 years ago, when I decided to teach myself how to knit, I meant it! I haven't looked back. Discovering knitting was my "eureka" moment. I started modifying things right away and designing shortly thereafter. It wasn't much of a stretch for me as I had been sewing since high school. 

I currently live and knit in North Dakota, where I have ample appropriate knitwear weather, but I do dream of the day when I will travel the world, knitting in tow. 

How did you get into designing?

This just sort of happened naturally for me. Once I taught myself how to knit, I always wanted to change things in the patterns I was using and soon, I couldn't find patterns for what I wanted, so I just started making up my own. I had been modifying sewing patterns since I was 14, and I even made my own senior prom dress. So, it always seemed like the "normal" thing for me to do.

How long have you been knitting?

Just about 10 years now, actually 11 in January.

What is your favourite design?

This is difficult. I think they are all my favorites in some way or at least for a time.  I think it is kind of like the whole "kid" thing. You aren't supposed to pick favorites! 

What would advice would you give other aspiring designers?

Research the business ahead of time or just do it for fun and don't expect success because it is really really hard. I think I got fairly lucky in this respect. And please don't undervalue your work or think you have to "give" it away. Free patterns are fine, but if you worked hard at something, and had it professionally edited and photographed, don't be afraid to be compensated for your work.

Also, for me, I find it really refreshing and helpful to occasionally knit someone elses' patterns. I like to see how other's do things even if I might do them differently.

Anything else we should know?

I have a lot of social media accounts where I ramble on about knitting:  ninja8tofu9 on Instagram. Also, @ninja8tofu on twitter, but I warn you...I also ramble on about my other passions on twitter, hockey and football (soccer for US readers). I also have a whole bunch of new things coming out and will be doing a KAL soon from my Ravelry group which is called Ninja8tofu's Tofu Shack.