Do you have beautiful feet? This line from a favorite childhood song is the first thing that pops to mind when perusing Dana Gervais’ amazing pattern catalogue. From amazing cables, to cheery color work, and incredible lace, Dana’s got patterns to make your toes win the award for best dressed! Let’s see if we can uncover the method behind this designer’s fabulous footwear… please join me in welcoming GAL designer Dana to the blog.
Q1. Colorwork, lace, cables, your designs have it all! How do you come up with such great styles time and time again?
I feel very lucky that inspiration seems to find me on a pretty regular basis. There is beauty and inspiration everywhere: yarns, geometric patterns, architecture, nature, textures, it’s everywhere!
Q2. You’ve stormed the Ravelry castle with your fabulous sock patterns. What drew you to designing primarily for feet?
I love to knit all the things, but socks are my favourite thing to knit. My grandmother taught me how to knit and memories of her teaching me how to turn a heel, pick up gusset stitches, and graft a toe are some of my favourite memories of the time we spent together and I still feel a connection to her with every sock I knit.
Q3. I’m biased for knitting on a slant… and thus picked your Ahlie collection as my favorite “non-foot” set. Where did the inspired this off kilter set come from?
I live in the Toronto area and I would hear my kids say the word ‘Ahlie’ to their friends. Ahlie is Torontonian slang meaning “I know” or “Truth”. It’s spoken with a Jamaican accent which puts an extended emphasis on the last syllable and I wanted to capture the drawl of that second syllable in the stitch pattern.
Q4. A former Financial Planner, creative counsellor, and property manager – what turned you onto designing? Who is your biggest influencer / supporter?
In early 2015, we decided it was time to wind down our rental consulting and property management business. This freed up some of my time, and while I love my analytical brain, I’d been craving a way to indulge both my analytical and creative skills. Knit design seemed like the perfect balance.
My husbeast, kids, family, and friends are all fiercely supportive. This industry is full of talented, smart, creative, designers who inspire and influence me every day with how they run their businesses and how they function within the knit design community. There is a really unique dynamic inside this community, everyone is supportive, helpful, and non-competitive. The annual Indie Design Giftalong on Ravelry is a great example of this dynamic at work. I’m thankful every day to be part of it.
Q5. Do you employ any eco principles in your designs and/ or business? I try.
I like to use yarns and dyers who are local to me to reduce the carbon footprint of transporting materials, while at the same time supporting local businesses. I also choose non-superwash options and nylon-free options when practical, to avoid the environmental impact of the extra processing.
Q6. What’s on your needles or caught your eye that you wished you had time to CO this GAL?
I have no personal knitting on the needles right now. I have a lot of sample knitting happening, and sadly haven’t had time to cast on anything else. If I were knitting for myself right now, I would be knitting Mine by Faye Kennington, Woodsong Camber by you, and Zeccola Hat by Sarah Jordan. They’re all beautiful and unique!
Puddles species to species question: 2 dogs and 2 cats, introduce us to them. What role do they play in your designing?
Maggie is a 10 year old diabetic schnauzer with liver disease and environmental allergies. She’s one of my best friends. Here she is wearing a sweater and cowl (winters are cold where we live).
Guinness is a 5 year old chocolate lab who is shy with people he doesn’t know. He’s super cuddly, adores kids and loves to wear cowls on our walks.
Sammy and Dean are 2 years old and are the reason we can’t have nice things. Or keep a Christmas tree decorated for more than 24 hours. They are also the reason all my socks have cat hair content in the fibre and why I spend an hour photoshopping cat hair out of pattern photos. They’re super fluffy and charming.
Find Dana around the world here:
Ravelry Pattern Store: https://www.ravelry.com/designers/dana-gervais
Facebook: Dana Gervais Designs