Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Meet the Designers

There's been lots of teaser posts in the past about exciting times ahead: plots, plans and all things yummy in the Fyberspates world and here comes another. We're busy planning for next year's collections and designers are busy swatching as we speak. We thought we would ask Belinda & Kyoko, two of our previous designers, what it's like to work with Fyberspates.

Belinda Boaden has now appeared in 2 of the Scrumptious Collection pattern books: 'The Scrumptious Collection Volume 1' and 'The Scrumptious Baby Collection'.  Belinda attracted the attention of the Fyberspates team due to her previous design work and agreed to come on board. Having never worked with a yarn company before to produce a pattern but often with magazines that gave a specific brief, Belinda admits that she enjoyed the freedom this design process afforded her. Better still, Belinda loves the solid colours of Scrumptious as she admits that solid colours are her personal preference as a knitter.

Belinda enjoys the lighter weight Scrumptious yarns best and has designed the Stonor pattern, a 4 ply adult size cardigan, as well as the delicate Corlyna set for babies in the same weight. When asked what advice Belinda would give buddy designers hoping to work in this way with yarn companies, Belinda suggests to send in decent sized swatches with clear drawings and descriptions.  If you're planning on using more than one stitch pattern then swatch them all, preferably in a little mock-up of how you'd expect them to work in the garment.  Furthermore, Belinda advises that adding on a trim to show how you intend to work button bands / buttonholes / other details is always a good way to go.  In other words, make those swatches look like a mini-garment.  Wisely, she advises that every designer should prepared not to be too precious about their work.  Sometimes someone else can look at your precious design and see a much better way forward for it and you need to recognise this, not be offended by it.

Kyoko Nakayoshi is the designer behind Cotton and Cloud and contributed both the Temari Kimono Jacket as well Kaelyn hat and cardigan set towards the Scrumptious Babies Collection. Kyoko's path crossed with Fyberspates after her previous design work for The Knitter magazine and she attended a book signing event in order to meet Jeni herself. Kyoko has also enjoyed working with a number of yarn companies in this way before and states that, "the companies I work for manufacture all kinds of yarns which have their own unique characteristics. This gives me flexibility and ability for me to create a wider spectrum of designs".

When I asked Kyoko what her favourite thing about working with Fyberspates was, her answer was enthusiastic and lovely to hear:

"Two things I love about Fyberspates are of course their yarns but also the people. Not only is Jeni so lovely, but she is also conscientious and hard working. I respect her immensely! With Fyberspates yarn, it is a guarantee that you will end up with beautiful knits. The yarn has somewhat of a refined lux-ness to it, and it makes you feel so satisfied to work with it".

Kyoko clearly enjoys her work, admitting that she enjoys all parts of the design process, from thinking about the new designs to deciding on the most suitable fibres.  Kyoko insists that swatching is also a fun part of the process because she can discover how the fibre behaves with certain stitches. Kyoko goes on to describe her enjoyment of the more meticulous part of the designing things like patterning, grading and charting.

Both designers have created wonderful pieces to be worked up in the Scrumptious Yarn range. You can find the collections and the yarn available for purchase at the shop.

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