Hi, my name is Jessica. I’m a full time graphic designer and part-time knitwear designer. I currently live in Tennessee with my husband, twin daughters, and two dogs.
How did you get into knitting & designing knitwear?
My grandma taught me the basics of knitting & crochet when I was young, but it wasn’t until I graduated from college and a friend of mine wanted to learn how to knit that I really got back into the hobby.
As I learned more about knitting, I started modifying patterns to fit the exact vision I had for the yarn. Once I had gained a little confidence from doing that, I branched out into drafting my own patterns from scratch.
What designers do you admire & why?
Tamy Gore is one of my favorite designers. I love the way she incorporates a variety of techniques that not only look great on a finished object but are also really fun to knit.
Andrea Rangel is another one I really admire. Her colorwork patterns are so inventive, and inspired me to want to create my own.
What does your design process look like?
For colorwork, I start with a blank grid on the computer. Then I just fill some squares with color and move things around until I have a pattern that I like. I’ll usually come up with two or three variations then swatch to see which one works best. After I have the stitch pattern figured out, I just have to work out how to fit it into a project (i.e. hat, cowl, etc).
What are you best known for as a designer?
So far, all of my colorwork patterns are designed using slipped stitches, which means you only have to work with one strand of yarn at a time. It’s a little more challenging to design, but a LOT easier to knit that regular stranded colorwork.
What type of project do you like to knit/crochet most?
I mostly knit accessories: hats, shawls, and cowls.
What are your hobbies/interests outside of the fiber community?
I love reading! I’m always listening to audiobooks while I knit. I also like hiking & horseback riding.
Get a more personal look at Jessica’s designs & interests on Instagram as @JessicaStroughDesigns or on her Raverly designer page!
I’d given up doing this type of work because I would get in such a tangle. I’d even tried to work the colour using both hands resulting in too loose tension. I’d never thought of slipping stitches. Am now inspired to try again.