bitch and knit, crafts, crochet, deb buckingham, Elfinwear, etsy, free pattern, free patterns,, knitted, knitting designer, pixiebell

Interview with Diane Serviss – Knitting Designer

One of the biggest mysteries in the knitting world is how to achieve success as a designer.
I’m excited to introduce to you Diane Serviss. She’s known in the Etsy world as Pixiebell. I’ve “stalked” her for quite sometime now, just popping in and out to admire her fun photography and whimsical designs.  

I was looking through the free hat patterns on Ravelry when I stumbled upon Jakes Cable Beanie.

What an impressive knit. Fun. Fast. Not to mention, Fabulous. You know me, that’s what I’m all about. I actually knitted it in a couple hours, using the recommend yarn, Lions Brand Wool Ease Chunky. The cables are beautiful. But the one thing that I found fun about this hat was, you use dpn’s to knit it, not a circular. I enjoyed that. Alot.

My Knitted Version

So, I dug a bit deeper on Ravelry and found her Elfinwear page. Her About Me section is so much fun to read. What an accomplished woman. Did you know that her Signature Pixie hat and her gnome style beanies were featured in the 2012 episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Ty Pennington can be seen wearing her pixie hat, in olive!

I think it’s time to chat with Diane…

Thanks for joining me, Diane. I’m curious, what inspired you to design this awesome Jakes Cable Beanie? 

My nephew, Jake, is an avid outdoorsman in Montana. I noticed every time I saw photos of him, he always wore a hood but no hat. He mentioned he always had a hard time finding one that fit snug without being too bulky. Aunt Diane to the rescue!

What a great aunt! Is there anything in particular that inspires you to design, in general?

I am really inspired by movies, new and old. I am always amazed by the gorgeous wardrobes and garments worn especially in period pieces. You can see influences of cartoons, Dr. Zhivago, even Bridgette Jones in my work.

Dr. Zhivago, nice! So, what advice do you have for a new knitter?

Practice and challenge yourself! Find a fibre that you really love working with. Start off with a pattern that you feel comfortable with, then try another pattern with a new technique in it. Continue learning and growing and trying new things.

Great advice! You obviously have been knitting for awhile, can you share with us about 
how long?

I taught myself to loom knit in 2005. Along the way I realized there were some restrictions to what I could do. In 2007, I finally taught myself to needle knit by watching videos on youtube. Three years ago, I taught myself to crochet the very same way.

I can relate to you when you say you taught yourself to knit in front of youtube videos. What exactly was your first knitting project?

I think, like most new knitters, it was a scarf! It was garter stitched and green and I held onto it for quite some time until I learned to knit in the round and made one of my first hats to match it. 

What is your favorite knitting project now?

Felted Wizard and Princess Hats

I guess it is no secret that I love hats. My favorites are always something childlike in a grownup size. I love pointy pixie hats and gnome hats and big puffy tassels. I love any excuse to play dress up. One of my favorite patterns is in the book, “New Knits on the Block.” I could make a million of these and give one to every princess I know. 

Diane, for many designers, knitting has become a way of life, rather than a hobby. How has knitting changed your life?

Knitting has changed my life in every way imaginable. Knitting was only going to be a hobby, but when I graduated college in 2008 and realized no one was hiring, I fell back on my hobby. Now, in 2012, that hobby is a thriving business that employs both myself and my husband full time…he is an amazing knitter. Our eldest daughter knits for us seasonally. I certainly never planned to head down this road, but what an amazing lifestyle we have been blessed with.

I love to hear happily-ever-after stories. One last question, what is your favorite type of yarn to work with?

The yarn I most often use and design for is Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick. I love instant gratification. Give me a fat yarn and a fat set of needles and in one hour I’ll hand you a finished hat, my friend.

This was fun! I also discovered Diane (Elfinwear) has a Flickr account. See more fun pics there. 

Dear Readers, I’d be honored (and I’m sure Diane would too), if you’d check out her designs. She’s an inspiration to all of us.

Many, many thanks to Diane for joining me today. Please tune in each Wednesday for a new knitting designer. You WON’T want to miss a single week. I promise!

So, as I always say, 

Knit On!





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