We share an interest in floatplanes and she has actually published a collection of knit and crochet patterns inspired by early women in flight. Check out Leather, Lace, Grit & Grace! I'm really partial to the Leather + Lace Aviatrix Cap, even though my crochet skills are lacking, but all the designs are fabulous.
Denise kindly agreed to let me interview her, so keep reading to learn more about her designs and their inspirations...
My transition to designer was a gradual one, and grew out of my genuine love of most all things artistic. At one point I instructed design school students in non-design courses (mainly English, ethics and history), and during my instructor days I decided to pick up a paint brush and just started painting. Some time after that I took an unfinished shawl pattern from a Ravelry friend, Lyn Robinson, and turned it into a finished design, the Festival Shawl. After that, I pretty much didn’t look back!
In terms of my favorite items to design, of course it’s the one I’ve yet to design! I do love shawls and cowls and other neckware (especially cowls at the moment), jewelry, bags, skirts and sweaters. I also have a weakness for big, cushy interior design items
Where do you find inspiration for your designs?
Literature and mythology, art and culture (and I include the runway in that category), nature, color, the clean lines of certain furniture and interior design, as well as sleek cars.
What’s the inspiration behind Leather, Lace, Grit & Grace?
I’ve loved flight since I was a kid, and in the mid-90s I visited Kill Devil Hills (it’s changed a lot since that first visit, so perhaps I need to go back again). Sometime afterward, I started to research and read about famous pilots, and eventually came across Harriet Quimby’s story. Many people still do not know of her famous first flight across the English Channel because of a bad news day (the Titanic sunk the previous evening). Since then, I had been slowly amassing research bits and pieces on various female pilots, which eventually led to the book.
Can you give us some hints on upcoming designs for 2016?
Hmmm… well, I’m not too big on hints concerning my own work, although I can tell you that I’ve already got several individual designs that will be published by third parties in 2016. Additionally, I have a few projects of my own scheduled for next year which I’m really pretty excited about, so I’m thoroughly looking forward to 2016.