I started writing this post earlier and found myself severely veering off my intended topic. I began rambling on about socks. A good topic for sure but one that should get its entire post not try to steal the lime light of my Meet the Designer featurette!
That’s right it’s finally here! A little interview with Knitwear Designer Naomi Burette! You guys, she is simply splendid. I knew from the moment I began working with her that she and I were, as our favorite character Anne is fond of saying, “kindred spirits”. I am honored in having her join me here today. Grab your coffee and stay a while! Enjoy getting to know Naomi. I sure did!
Do you have a family history with knitting?
I love my family history! I come from a very rich history of makers and I’m so proud of it! And of course I love to romanticize everything so everyday things like cooking, cleaning, and ekeing out a living turns into the wonderful tastes of homemade golden bread, creamy potato soup, and tantalizing strawberry rhubarb jam!
So of course when I tell you that my grandmother knit my grandfather sweaters (A necessity because they were to poor to purchase a sweater from the store. Not to mention they raised their own sheep.) I will of course think that it is the most wonderful thing in the world!
But seriously, I think even the poorest knitter puts art into their work! There is something so satisfying about looping yarn together and seeing it turn into a wearable object that begs for your utmost attention and dedication. The fact that our ancestors were required to make their own garments and yet turned each one into a piece of art is so inspiring to me! These were women just like us who went through similar daily struggles of feeding and clothing their kids.
How did you get started with Knitwear Design?
I never thought I would become a knitwear designer. I actually have my education in music and have my masters of music education with a choral emphasis. I graduated from college and began teaching at a K-12 school where I taught 9 preps everyday…which for those of you who don’t know how crazy this is…an average load is 4-6 preps. Anyways without going into everything too much, after my son was born we moved to a different state and I suddenly had nothing to do. So I decided to start a blog! Because of course in the 21st century Mom is synonymous with Blog! Hahaha.
After some thought I fell back to my creative fiber/textile roots and began my blog Sew.Knit.Create. Then after playing around with it for several years, trying to earn some income from it, failing, letting go of it for a while….I ended up being diagnosed with a herniated disc which put me on my back in bed for two months. That was last June and I basically stopped everything for those two months except for knitting because I could do that while my oldest watched Netflix all day and my four month old lay beside me. That was when I decided that I wanted to pay homage to ancestors by taking all of these designs that I remember from my childhood and recreating them into a book. A book that would basically document our family history and their relationship with fiber and textiles.
So with that dream I actually recreated the Julianna Socks (a free pattern on my blog) These were my first written pattern and I really need to edit it as I’m sure there are a million mistakes in it! With that dream in mind I decided to get back into my Sew.Knit.Create business…..to figure out exactly what I wanted to do and then to act on it. I spent about seven months last year figuring out exactly what I wanted to do.
I decided that I needed to get back on instagram and randomly/or not so randomly ended up connecting with Franchise of Aroha Knits and ended up being chosen as a beta tester for her Swatch Studio….which was my catalyst to designing….and now here I am! So CRAZY! And that is what I’m doing now! Taking these ideas that have been floating around in my head and turning them into something that I can touch. I like to say that as a knitter I “turn time into something tangible” (Ooh im seeing my brand motto “Making time tangible” )
What inpires you when you knit and design knitwear?
I am inspired by my memories. I am inspired by the places that I grew up. I am inspired by the tawny sand, azure blue sea, and the emerald forests and hills of Nova Scotia. I am inspired by the details in nature. By the gold edge of the changing maple leaf. I am inspired by the dandelion puff. I am inspired by the simple manudane everyday things that are actually at their core so magical in their simplicity.
What inspired the creation of the Sunlit Autumn Shawl?
I love autumn! (Well I love all the seasons…but…) In my neighborhood we have this half-mile maple lined drive that literally GLOWS when the leaves are changing!
First its just the tips that turn redden and then about the third week of October all those gorgeous maple trees are in full fledged color. So in the afternoon we go for a walk about 3 o’clock and the sun is just perfect and it alights all those maple trees on fire! You feel that wind ruffle your hair, as I struggle to push that tandem stroller up the hill, I take a sip of coffee from my to-go cup, and gaze up at those reds and golds….and the world is PERFECT.
And THAT is what I wanted to capture in my shawl design. So Sunlit Autumn is a feeling that I want the knitters to experience when they knit it and wear the shawl. I want them to forget their struggles of daily life and feel uplifted when they wrap that wooly goodness around them.
In more concrete words I scoured the web for a yarn that would help capture that feeling that I wanted and I somehow happened upon DragonFly Fibers and found the perfect skein!
I love to string words together if you couldn’t tell! Anne of Green Gables has always been like my favorite character ever and I always loved how she could turn the simplest mundane things in life into something beautiful. Why call it Barry’s Pond when you can call it Lake of Shinning Waters!
Thank you Naomi!! Isn’t she a marvelous writer??! I have fallen completely in love with her writing. Just as Anne could bring you in her world with her words so does Naomi! Didn’t you feel that fall perfection in her description of what inspired her shawl?? It’s not to late to join the KAL it’s running till Nov 15th. Look at the beautiful prize that comes at the end!