We are long-time fans of Dawn Henderson's designs, released under the name Dawn Landix. And we are delighted to feature her sock design as part of our Yarn Along the Rockies celebration starting Aug. 17th. We wanted to find out more about Dawn, including her obsession with socks. For more info, check out her knitwear patterns here and read more about her Thunder and Lightning Sock Pattern.
How did you get started as a knitwear designer?
I know a lot of people say they began designing because they couldn't find the patterns they were looking for, but that wasn't really the case for me. I had no problem finding awesome patterns! And while I did often make changes or modifications, it wasn't due to unhappiness with the pattern itself, but usually just a way to give it a fresh take. When my budget didn't allow for purchasing patterns on a whim, I was often re-knitting the same patterns over and over. When I'd finally talked myself into attempting knitwear design on a professional level, it was because I just wanted to add my own perspective and my own stories to the catalogue. It also seemed like a great way to honor my heritage by using some of its themes as an influence.
What do you find most fulfilling about the work that you do?
Definitely the storytelling aspect of it all, which can seem a bit odd when thinking of knitting patterns! But, some of my designs have very sacred stories and histories wrapped up in them. My Lyne Socks, for example, are named after my grandmother, Carolyne. I know she would've gotten a kick out of those! My Siki shawl, which was inspired by traditional African beadwork - there was so much illuminating research I'd done on that subject before I ever even began the shawl sample or the pattern writing. The Kia Socks, my first published pattern, is basically a super gentle revolution marking a pertinent time of growth and change within our knitting community. I love that moments, relationships, cultures can be tied so deeply into something as simple as a sock pattern.
When do you do your best work?
When there's a looming deadline, lol!
How would you describe your design aesthetic?
Simple, but with interest. Mellow, but deep. My design aesthetic very much mirrors my personality, lol. Easy... but not boring.
How does being a mom influence your creative live/creativity?
I think the sheer amount of children I have (4) and the fact that I homeschool them has a huge influence on my creativity because we're very hands-on with much that we do. Handicrafts and art projects have always just been a part of life. But more specifically, motherhood has added a huge amount of patience and open-mindedness to my creative life. It's shown me that some projects just won't get completed until a year into the future. Or that the "right way" to do something isn't right for everyone. And that creativity doesn't have to be confined to the realms of fine arts or visual arts or handicrafts. It can be taken into the kitchen, into the garden, onto our bookshelves! Creativity is endlessly abundant when it's not being stifled.
Do you listen to music while you work?
Yes! We almost always have music playing around here, but if I'm trying to meet deadlines then I usually swing between the Purple Rain soundtrack and Linkin Park's Hybrid Theory. That really gets the energy moving!
What's next for you?
Everything. Seriously though, I spent so much time talking my self out of trying things or shying away from experiences because of fear and doubt... I've turned a corner, done some major healing, and at this point I'm ready to receive whatever comes up next.
Also, more socks.
You designed the Thunder and Lightning Socks for the Yarn Along the Rockies celebration at Fancy Tiger Crafts. What do you like about designing/knitting socks?
Socks are just the BEST! They allow so much room for expression and creativity all within a small tube. But also, socks were my first ever FO, and I've been in love with them ever since. There's the sense of practicality - everybody needs socks - and also the total sense of whimsy. Because everybody needs speckled socks with bobbles!