Here is some loveliness to make up for my gloomy last post:
The gorgeous postcards are from Jane's Apron, check out her blog and etsy shop, it has lots of vintage inspired, beautifully crafted goodies.
I bought the yarn from ebay after going to a Debbie Bliss lecture last week with my friend Marilyn. I was really intrigued to learn more about her design process and the life of a knitwear designer.
Which isn't as cushy as I had envisioned. She still works from a bedroom in her house (I'd imagined a loft-ish studio with lots of staff), and at one point she said she couldn't do a photo shoot in the location of her choice as the budget wouldn't stretch to cover it. It was only in Scotland, so not exactly pushing the exotic boat out! I suppose I had assumed that once one's reached her level of success that these kind of financial considerations wouldn't be a big issue. But then I think it's much harder to make a living as a designer than in a lot of other professions, especially if you are seen as a craft-based designer.
Her working life was pretty enviable though. The life of a designer sounds so very appealing. She gets to spend a lot of her time creating yarn or garment designs and then one of her knitters will work out how to write the pattern and do all the dull, technical bits. She also told us about visiting yarn/knitwear shows in Italy where she sees predictions for future colour and style trends. And creating a 'story' for a new range, encompassing the yarn, garments, the style of the models, the location, the theme for the book... I guess the creative satisfaction must more than make up for the relatively-limited financial rewards.
I was really impressed with how down to earth she was. She clearly knows her craft inside out having spent her working life in textiles and the fashion industry. She has an absolutely intuitive understanding of how yarn and different fibres work, speaking about the yarn 'talking' to her about how to use it. And she spoke about body shapes and how tailoring can enhance certain figures, something which was clearly important to her. She'd brought some of her sketch book pages with her which were beautifully detailed and bursting with a wealth of designs, a bag of beautiful swatches and plenty of garments for us to try on.
Her lecture was so inspiring, I'm bursting with ideas for future projects now. It lead to my friend and I having a conversation about inspiration, where it comes from and what to do when it's absent. And how it's easy to feel guilty about spending time reading books/magasines and visiting galleries/shows when you feel you should be 'working'. But I reckon spending the time gaining inspiration and viewing other people's work is a really important part of the creative process. Or at least that's what I like to think after a few hours visiting other people's blogs!
This is the design I'm planning to knit:
It's from her Pure Silk book. It'll be good to take a break from the blanket and actually finish something! Watch this space for the results!