Designer Q&A: Susanna IC
Susanna IC has an extensive collection of studio arts and art history degrees as well as a rather large yarn stash. Her projects and designs can be found on Ravelry as zuzusus, and at www.artqualia.com.
Q: How did you start designing?
A: When I started designing, I had no idea there were knitting patterns; I just used stitch dictionaries and my fashion design background. It was only when I started posting projects to Ravelry—which were just my own makings—that I wrote up whatever people liked and asked for. These are still on Ravelry as free patterns.
Q: What is the most rewarding part of designing?
A: I love knitting and trying to figure out what the yarn wants to become. I can have an idea in my head of what I want to do, but the yarn might not agree. I’ve been known to rip out finished and blocked shawls because something was not exactly right. That’s why I make all of my samples: frogging is an important part of my design process. I’m publishing close to 30 patterns this year—it has been a crazy year. I have kids at home but I work on my designs during the day and after they’re finished with their homework. I’ve been able to design more because the kids are getting older and more self-sufficient, so it’s much easier than it used to be. Plus I have a very understanding and supportive husband. He took over all of the vacuuming because he does not want me to sprain my wrist. Isn’t he sweet? I know, he’s a keeper!
Q: What was the inspiration behind the Waxwing Shawl from Interweave Knits Winter 2017?
A: I imagined something simple and modern, a gossamer heirloom that anybody could make for a bride. I wanted to make sure that somebody who has never knitted lace would be able to do this, and that’s why I used a very simple lace pattern for the body of the shawl with just a little bit of more complex lace along the bottom edge. Truly, anyone can make this shawl—after all, lace knitting is just knit and purl stiches with some strategically placed yarn overs.
Q: What is your favorite thing to knit?
A: I love knitting lace and I love knitting cables, but if I can combine lace and cables together, that’s the best thing ever. One of the most recent examples of this is Sinua, a cables and lace sweater I designed for Twist Collective Fall 2016. I love working on shawls because they can be super simple or very complex, but the best thing is that you don’t have to size them. If for some reason your shawl comes out too big or too small, you can always find somebody to gift it to. That’s much harder to do with a sweater that doesn’t fit.
Q: What do you watch while knitting?
A: Lately I’ve been watching a lot of Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead. And I love re-watching Downton Abbey and Doctor Who. I love to read science fiction and I love Jane Austen novels—I do love science and math and I’m a total nerd as far as science fiction goes. I am an artist but I have a science background. Before I got my Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts and Master’s in Art History, I was pre-med and I studied fashion design. I love lacy shawls but I also like minimalist sweaters. I like a lot of different things and I think that’s reflected in my design process.