Monday, 28 November 2016

#GAL2016: Meet Dana Gervais

As part of the Indie Design GAL, I have interviewed some of my favourite participating designers. Here's the second in the series, an interview with Dana Gervais.

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Dana Gervais is based in Ontario, Canada, and specialises in designing bright, beautiful, eye catching socks that feature an abundance of colour and texture. Many of Dana’s designs reference popular culture, such as Dr Who, Sherlock Holmes and My Little Pony; I especially love her Rainbow Dash socks, with their bright rainbow stripes.


Sherlock Holmes inspired Moriarty Socks; image copyright Dana Gervais
Dr Who inspired Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey Socks; image copyright Dana Gervais
My Little Pony inspired Rainbow Dash; image copyright Dana Gervais

When did you learn to knit?

I learned to knit when I was about 7 or 8 years old from my Grandmother. She was an incredibly talented knitter and has always been my knitting inspiration.

How did you getting into designing and pattern writing?

Designing and pattern writing was an evolution for me. I started by heavily modifying existing patterns to suit my needs, then I started making my own designs from scratch. After many compliments and knitters asking me where they could find the pattern for something I made, I decided to start writing and publishing my designs. I started slowly at first, about 2 years ago I decided to treat it like a business.

What designs do you have in the pipeline?

I have so many projects on the go! I have partnered up with 2 subscription services and will be designing for them next year, I have two sock designs that will be featured in a book that is scheduled to be published in May and 2 other designs that will be featured in a book that is scheduled to be published in August. I also have 5 sock designs in various stages of production. I’m hoping to release at least 2 patterns per month in 2017.

What’s your favourite knitting technique?

I’m a fan of any kind of colourwork that doesn’t require me to knit with 2 different yarns at the same time. I’ve just discovered Roositud and I love it! It’s also known as Estonian inlay and it’s a knitting technique that allows you to embroider on the surface of the fabric as you knit it while only knitting with one colour of yarn. I have a couple of designs in the works that use this technique.

What knitting techniques would you like to try in 2017?

I have a few types of heels that I’m eager to try and maybe some unique gusset construction.

Which other GAL designers have caught your eye?

I’m lucky because I’m on the Pinterest team for the GAL, so I get a sneak peak at some of the designers and the patterns that will be featured. I’ve favourited some designs by Jane Richmond, Catherine Knutsson, Ambah O’Brien, Andrea Rangel, Virginia Sattler-Reimer – I feel very honoured and humbled to be in such talented company.

Do you knit Christmas gifts? What are your favourite gift knits?

I don’t usually knit Christmas gifts because the pressure of the deadline takes the fun out of it for me. Also, if I knit a Christmas gift for one person I feel obligated to knit for everyone. I do love to give the gift of knitting; I just prefer to do it for no reason and throughout the year instead of on one day. I often gift people socks (big surprise!), hats, mitts, shawls, cowls, dishcloths, and scarves.

Diagon Alley; image copyright Dana Gervais

Dana Gervais can be found as knitalot924 on Ravelry, Instagram and Twitter and at DanaGervaisDesigns.com

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If you want to find out more about the Indie Design GAL, start by reading my blog post on the event, or head straight to the GAL group on Ravelry.*

*Note that you will have to signed in to Ravelry for this link to work. Joining Ravelry is free and Ravelry is an excellent resource for knitters and crocheters.

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