Creative Roots Challenge Week 8 - By Stephanie Erin

Week 8 of the Creative Roots Challenge welcomes Stephanie of By Stephanie Erin!
You can find this talented lady on Instagram here, and check out her website here.

By Stephanie Erin Creative Roots Blog Post

Week 8 Challenge: Do you swatch though? Show me your gauge fails and successes!

Prize: Wooden Swift

How to Enter: Post your challenge photo and tag @by.stephanie.erin + @knitbrooks, using hashtags #CreativeRootsChallenge + #CreativeRootsWeek8. You have until Monday, October 26th @ 1pm EST!

I’m a HUGE believer in gauge swatching but it’s a polarizing topic. You either love it or hate it. This week I want to see the projects that were a big fail and made you believe in gauge swatching, your gauge success stories, your stacks of swatches or why you choose to never ever swatch!

By Stephanie Erin Creative Roots Blog Post

Hey all! I’m Stephanie the designer, behind By Stephanie Erin. I am obsessed with crochet garments and designing sweaters that are going to fit and look good on a wide variety of shapes and sizes. I have been designing for 2 years and can’t wait to see what the future holds! 

By Stephanie Erin Maker Q&A

By Stephanie Erin Creative Roots Challenge Blog Post

When you first started your maker journey, what was your goal? How has it changed?
I first picked up a hook about 5 years ago because I thought that little amigurumi were the cutest things ever! I had these grand ideas that I would just create all the little stuffed toys. Then I realized you could also make accessories and garments and I have never looked back. 2 years ago I decided to try designing because I found myself casually sketching ideas and it’s like a floodgate was opened. I suddenly had an outlet to use all of my creative energy. Now I pretty much only make garments and the occasional accessory but I could not be happier. 

What is your favourite inspirational (or creativity-related) quote?
BE BRAVE. Without bravery, you will never know the world as richly as it longs to be known. Without bravery your life will remain small - far smaller than you probably wanted it to be. - Elizabeth Gilbert (Big Magic)

This speaks to me because I think as makers anytime we make anything we put a little piece of our soul into it. We put time, sweat and sometimes tears into our makes. Also trying something new can be scary! Trying to make your first sweater, or taking on a big blanket, or signing a contract to work with a company all take bravery. Without it we will never grow. 

What is your main creative struggle, and how do you work through it?
Wanting to take on all the projects. I still work full time at my day job, so By Stephanie Erin is done on evenings, late into the night and weekends. I have so many ideas that I want to bring to life and I often struggle with knowing which ones I can do now and which ones need to stay a sketch.  

Tell us about a total maker FAIL. What did you learn from it, and how did that failure help you grow? 
Well on theme with this weeks prompt, I have a massive gauge fail story. I was designing a sweater and I was doing something new in the yoke and I was tense while making it. So my gauge was smaaaaall. But that’s fine because I liked the fabric! Once I got to the body I relaxed into my work. Then when I went to try it on it was MASSIVE on me. I was so confused as this was supposed to be a tight fitting sweater. I checked my gauge and it had changed from 26 sts in 4” in the yoke to 20 sts in 4”. There was no way to recover it. I needed to frog so much work. So now I check my gauge every few rows and always have a measuring tape on hand!

What do you feel has been your biggest accomplishment? 
Oh this is a hard one. I have been so lucky to accomplish so many things in a relatively short period of time. I think right now I am most proud of being a regular teacher for Vogue’s Virtual Knitting Live. I absolutely love teaching, there is something special about seeing the lights go on in someones eyes when they understand the concept you just explained. I am really proud to be able to show people what crochet can do and share my knowledge with people. 

What is one goal you’re working towards right now?
I’m always working towards a huge list of goals, but the most important one at the top of the list is taking care of myself. Since this is all done in my spare time I can very easily get into a routine where I am not eating properly, not running, and sleeping very little in order to get all the things done. This is not healthy and I know when I get into these funks my creativity suffers. I’m actively making sure I take a deep breath to ensure I am balanced. 

Name three creative people who inspire you, and why?
@montana.crochet - Ashley’s yarn is truly next level. The depth of colour she is able to achieve is truly one of a kind. She is also such an incredible person and makes me laugh like no other!

@tlyarncrafts - I had the pleasure of meeting Toni in January at VKL and she inspires me over and over. I am in awe of what she has built and her smile absolutely lights up every room she’s in!

@knitatude - Chantal is so creative but also a boss business babe. I have learned so much from her and feel so incredibly lucky to be able to call her a friend. 

What is your best piece of advice for someone who has lost their creative mojo?
Know that it’s ok to take a break. If you are a designer, maybe test for someone else? If you’re a tester, make without a deadline. Don’t be afraid to completely walk away for a bit and enjoy some other activities in life. The world is full of amazing things and we should be doing what brings us joy. 

By Stephanie Erin Creative Roots Challenge Maker Q&A

Share five fun non-maker-related facts!

  1. I’m a long distance runner! I recently rediscovered the joy I find in running and I honestly think it has made me a much happier person overall

  2. My favourite colour is YELLOW! It reminds me of the sun and I think it is just such a happy and fun colour. My childhood bedroom was yellow with fairies painted on the walls. I also had a yellow bedspread and yellow pillows. When we moved and I was in high school I wanted my new room to be yellow too and my mom told me no! 

  3. My all time favourite TV show is The Office. I can watch it on repeat and literally never get bored. 

  4. I’m a sucker for All Dressed Chips. They are completely and utterly delicious and you can’t argue that fact. 

  5. I’m Canadian and most of my family lived in Newfoundland before it became a part of Canada! So I’m Canadian through and through. 

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