The outsiders call us obsessed, or they can’t believe our focus on “just a hobby”. But we persevere, no matter what our reasons for knitting may be. We find endless pleasure in what we do, even if it’s only for half an hour a day; we just can’t stop.
So what is the inspiration that motivates us to knit? There are innumerable ways by which we are inspired to continue on our knitting journey – people, places, experimenting with yarn, replicating a garment, and all kinds of visual stimuli (paintings, colors, fashion magazines, vintage clothing). This post is about the “who” and the “what” have inspired me, and continue to inspire me on my knitting journey.
- My journey begins in my early 20s. I signed up for a continuing education course designing a simple sweater, and writing the pattern instructions for it. A coil bound book entitled The Knitting Architect published by Knitting Fever was our text. This course was the beginning of my design path.
- I have always enjoyed looking through fashion magazines, particularly the September issues filled with all the fall fashion trends.
- Needlecrafts are another pleasure of mine. Detailed hand stitchery enhance my knitting skills.
- After being out of print for many years, Vogue Knitting Magazine was reinstated in 1982. This magazine has been my greatest source of information and projects over the years. I have collected almost all the issues from 1982.
- I went to university receiving an undergrad degree in home economics, majoring in clothing design; ultimately obtaining an MA with a focus on fashion businesses, design and manufacturing. Courses that gave me the knowledge I have applied to knitting include:
Historic Costume (particularly 1920s and 1950s)
Home Decor and Textile Surface Design
- Barbara G. Walker – the author of A Treasury of Knitting Patterns and A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns; my go-to’s when beginning any design project.
- Kaffe Fassett and Rowan Yarns – Kaffe Fassett is now 80 years old and is still working as a textile artist, and he’s published over 30 books. His debut book Glorious Knits in 1985 was an invaluable source of instruction and inspiration, and it revolutionized knitting in the early 1980s. He was the first living textile artist to have a solo exhibit at the Victoria & Albert Museum in 1988. I was lucky enough to attend it. Many other British Designers of the 1980s set up yarn and design/retail spaces in London, contributing patterns and designer knitting trends. Kaffe Fassett has collaborated with Rowan Yarns for many years. Rowan publishes the most beautiful photographed magazine of knit fashions with their own line of yarns.
- Interweave Knits and Knitscene Magazines
- Movies – I’ll see a garment in a movie and want to replicate it or add my own touch.
- Contemporary Fashion Designer Collections strong on knits, including Malorie Urbanovitch, an Edmonton based designer who designs and showcases hand knits in every collection. I work for her making samples, and she continues to challenge me.
- South American Yarn Producers – Mirasol, Malabrigo, Manos del Uruguay for their textile artistry and hand dyed yarns.
- Wool – my most favorite fiber to knit with, for all its special characteristics.
- Color Collective for color trends.
- Yarn Retail experience – working with customers, sharing skills and knowledge, and the opportunity to explore the beautiful materials of knitting.
The process of knitting has always been the most important to me, and producing professionally finished projects. You are my greatest motivator. Whatever your reasons for knitting, my goal is to help you produce beautiful and skillfully put together projects.