Indie designer of the week – Lisa Chemery, Frogginette Knitting!
This week, we caught up with Lisa Chemery, the designer behind Frogginette Patterns, the gold standard in adorable but functional garments and accessories. Check out all of her patterns here!
Hello Lisa, we are so excited to learn more about your inspiration. Tell us a bit about yourself!
I have a bit of an international background. I’m French originally, but my family traveled a lot when I was a kid, so I’ve lived in many different countries and was influenced by many different cultures. I moved to the United States 15 years ago, and this is where I met my husband. We recently moved to Germany and now live in a beautiful small town on the Baltic Sea. We have two toddlers, so life can get hectic. Prioritizing is key!
Wow, that sounds beautiful! When and why did you start knitting?
My grandmother, who was a very talented seamstress and handmade many of my clothes, taught me how to knit and sew at a young age, but it didn’t really “stick” at the time. I picked up the needles again and re-taught myself how to knit about 15 years ago. I am not exactly sure why! I think I felt an urge to make something with my hands and I found knitting to be very soothing after a stressful day at work (I used to work in television production).
Above: Tutu top
Many of us knit for the relaxation, and we can only imagine how stressful a job in television could be. As you began to create your own patterns, what drew you to designing for children?
I’ve always been fascinated by children’s fashion, and I am particularly influenced by the elegance and simplicity of French and Scandinavian children wear, but with an added whimsical touch.
I think I started designing what I thought my children (of my friends’ children) should wear, which I wasn’t seeing out there. I like vintage style and heirloom-quality, but without too much fuss and frills.
First and foremost, I think children’s clothes should be practical, comfortable and relatively quick and fun to make. And special. As a mother, I don’t have much time (or patience!) to knit fussy or very intricate designs in lace-weight yarns, especially when it comes to garments, which are outgrown so quickly!
What is your most popular pattern?
Which of your patterns would you recommend for a fairly simple project, and for someone looking for a real challenge?
My Tiered Baby Coat is quite straightforward and a very fast knit. A great bang for your buck. But I think most of my patterns could be accessible to an adventurous beginner. When there’s a will, there’s a way!
My Silverfox Cardigan pattern features more advanced techniques, but it is a lot easier to knit than it seems (as most of my patterns are). I would recommend it to an intermediate knitter who is a bit scared of cables, because the cable pattern is such a breeze to work, and very addictive.
What would be your three tips for someone looking to start designing his/ her own patterns?
1- Design things you like/would wear. Don’t worry too much about trends or what other people are doing.
2- That being said, try to hone in on your own style, find your own voice.
3- Be patient! There will be a lot of frogging and dead-ends. The process of creating a pattern is also a lot more time-consuming than it appears and some of it isn’t as fun as coming up with the design (grading… ugh!)
What do you enjoy knitting for yourself?
I don’t have much time to knit for myself, but when I do, I mostly knit sweaters and cardigans.
If you were a yarn , what would you be and why?
If I were a yarn, I’d be a lovely merino/cashmere blend in a worsted weight and a rich, vibrant color… that doesn’t bleed or pill!
Last updated: April 2nd, 2015.