We've had a relationship with Sarah Wilson, the Sexy Knitter, for years. She's made a number of amazing TNNA fashion show pieces for us, and she's an incredible designer. So when she volunteered to create a custom sweater, knit in our yarn, for one contributor to our Indiegogo campaign, we were floored. This is an incredibly special opportunity, not only for us, but for someone who will get to take advantage of Sarah's design skills and end up with an amazing sweater and also eternal fame as the inspiration and name for the pattern.
I asked Sarah a few questions about the perk and her relationship with Anzula.
You've created some amazing garments for Anzula. Please tell us more about your process in developing garments like Miss Brooks and Lady Sybil. What do you enjoy about designing garments as opposed to accessories or other items? You know, I really believe that fashion gives us each a way to express our own uniqueness, and handmade fashion even more so. I think this is why I have such a passion for designing garments. I love the idea that something so standardized like a knitting pattern can be transformed into unique, over and over again. With knitting especially, when you factor in size, yarn choice, color choice, and modifications, you are very likely going to wind up with a piece that is truly one-of-a-kind. When I set out to design a garment like Miss Brooks, I keep that in mind. How will it read on another body type? In another color, size, or yarn? Is this something that can be styled in multiple different ways? All of those questions factor into the design process. When I'm creating a showpiece like Lady Sybil or Miss Packton, I first ask myself, "What would NOT be normal?" and use that as a jumping off point. There are not a lot of people out there who are going to want to knit harem pants in laceweight yarn on size 3 needles, or spend 6 hours hand-embroidering a romper, but that's why the end result is so stunning - it's something that's never been seen before.
How do you envision working with the contributor to design their custom sweater? What types of inspiration sources are you looking for? I am excited to work one-on-one with such a generous sponsor to design their perfect sweater! The lucky donor will be supplied with a short survey to determine what kind of textures they prefer, what weight of yarn they'd like the sweater to be in, what their personal style is, what sort of fit their dream sweater would have, etc. From there, I'll provide them with a few sketches to choose from. Once we've determined what color will best suit their skin tones and what the sweater's finished measurements should be, I'll be off to the races! The resulting sweater will be the basis for a new pattern to be named after the donor. I can't wait!
You are making an amazing contribution to Anzula's Indiegogo campaign. How did you meet Sabrina? Can you tell us more about your relationship with Anzula? It is my pleasure to contribute. I can't imagine working in an unairconditioned factory, especially during a California summer. I first met Sabrina in 2010 when she stopped at my local yarn shop on her way to TNNA. After being introduced by the shop manager, we hit it off so well we wound up continuing the conversation over some Kansas City barbeque! The rest, as they say, is history. At this point, the only word I have to describe our relationship is "awesome". Sabrina is one of the most generous yarnies I've ever worked with, and I love that I've earned her trust when it comes to designing. I think I scare her when I'm in the midst of designing a showpiece, but so far it's always turned out well!
What are your favorite Anzula yarns to work with? Do you have a favorite colorway? Hoo boy, that's a tough one! To be completely truthful, I haven't met an Anzula yarn yet that I don't love working with (and at this point, I've worked with almost all of them). My design sensibilities generally lead me towards fingering weight yarns like Squishy, Haiku, or the brand-new, sparkly Nebula, but I also personally love Oasis, For Better or Worsted, and the 3 alpaca yarns, Kern, Inyo and Mariposa. Really though, I'd be happy just rolling around in a big vat of ALL the yarn! I love that each one highlights the characteristics of the fibers it contains while still maintaining a tight twist - that's probably my favorite thing about Anzula. As far as favorite colorways...pretty much all of the blues (Sabrina and I are working to develop a true Grecian blue, which will be featured in an upcoming showpiece), but of course I'm also partial to my own colorway, Sexy! ;)
We are so thankful to Sarah for contributing this amazing sweater and opportunity. Check out our Indiegogo campaign, and please use the share tools at the bottom of the campaign page to pass the word around.