5 minutes with...Sweet Paprika Designs

As part of the Indie Design Giftalong 2015 I am featuring short interviews with a few designers I have come across during the event. Today we have Elizabeth Sullivan aka Sweetpaprika on Ravelry

What is the thing you enjoy most about being a designer?
I love the creative process and trying to transform ideas from my head into actuality. Sometimes more successfully than others, but that’s all part of the process. I also love seeing people make and enjoy my designs.

©Sweet Paprika Designs

Where does your inspiration come from?
Everywhere! Often a yarn or a stitch pattern inspires me, but when I’m actively searching for ideas I start looking at everything around me: colour combinations of my son’s toys, sewer grates while out for a walk, embroidery motifs, vintage clothing shaping, street fashion… It’s kind of like my brain starts buzzing and everything becomes a possible starting point for a new design.

What is the one thing you wish you had known when you started out designing?
I started trying to design stuff for myself as a teenager, long before I ever thought of publishing a pattern. I wish I’d known a bit more about garment construction back then. I think it would have saved me a lot of half-finished sweaters! Socks and hats were my most successful early design attempts.

Which is your favourite design and why?
That’s such a tough question! One of my designs that I’m most proud of is Leif the Lucky because it was kind of an accidental design. I had three colours of yarn leftover that I wanted to make into a hat for my brother as a Christmas present. I wanted it to be really warm so decided to work it in double knitting, threw in some Latvian braid and once I knew I had enough yarn left added earflaps. I love the way it turned out and I probably wouldn’t have chosen the construction method I did if I’d had unlimited yarn of each colour, but it really worked for this design. Plus my brother loved it too and it’s always satisfying to know that a knitted gift is well appreciated!

If you could invite 3 designers to dinner, who would you choose?
I’ve met and worked with so many people online that I’ve never met in real life and it would be so great to sit down and have dinner with them all. Maybe not all at once though – that would be a big dinner!
If I had to choose only 3: Barbara Walker (my knitting hero), Jennifer Wood (who I’ve been working with for several years now), and Julia Trice (I’ve long admired both her designs and her articulate and supportive Ravelry posts).

Instagram ID: sweetpaprikadesigns