As I have mentioned in a previous post, one of my designs was included in a recent pattern collection published by Sweet Paprika Designs. The company is headed by two wonderful and talented sisters, Debbie and Elizabeth Sullivan. This week, Elizabeth agreed to answer some questions about their new “Cloudy Day Collection” so I could share it with you here on the blog. We also have a digital copy of the collection to give away, details are at the bottom of this post!
Julianna: What was the inspiration behind the collection?
Elizabeth: I was definitely inspired by the yarn colours for this pattern collection. I knew last summer that we would be adding some greys to our yarn lines and that I wanted to design some new patterns for them. The idea for a collection kind of grew from there.
J: What prompted you to make this collection?
E: I’ve wanted to make a collection of patterns for a while and one day in the shower (best thinking place ever!), the whole concept just popped into my head. Of course it was the middle of the summer at the time, but that’s actually a good time to start thinking about winter patterns.
J: How did you choose what types of patterns to include?
E: I wanted to include patterns that would evoke a certain mood: cozy and comfortable, a little bit luxurious but still casual enough to wear everyday.
J: Can you describe the different steps of the process of putting it all together?
E: After my first inspiration, I put together a mood board for the collection. It was the first time I’d used a mood board for designing, and I had a lot of fun with it! I contacted a couple of designers we’d worked with before to see if they were interested in collaborating on the project. Once we had the design submissions, Debbie and I worked together to decide on which colours we’d use for which projects and then sent out the yarn to the designers.
While we were waiting to get the samples back, I set up a photo shoot with a friend who is a fantastic photographer, and also arranged models for the shoot. It’s been an abnormally warm winter, so I was really hoping the weather would cooperate for our winter-themed collection. Luckily it did!
Once the photos were done, the last thing to do was to finalize the editing and layout of all of the patterns and to publish the collection.
J: Did anything set you back/go wrong that you had to find a creative solution to?
E: Of course! The biggest set-back for me was that one of the sweaters I was planning to knit just was not working out at all. It was a design I’d started working on a while ago that I wanted to include, but I wasn’t confident in the sizing. It’s important to me that our designs are sized to look good on a variety of body shapes and sizes.
So about two weeks before the photo shoot, I scrapped that design completely and started swatching for what turned into the Khione sweater. I’m really happy that I made the decision to re-start from scratch, but it did require some very fast knitting on my part to finish on time!
J: Do you plan on doing more collections in the future?
E: Yes, definitely. I’m really happy with the way the “Cloudy Day Collection” turned out and I’m already starting to plan for our next collection. I don’t want to give away too much yet since the ideas are still bouncing around in my mind, but I’m aiming for a Fall collection.
J: How much did fashion trends or “yarn world” trends inform the collection?
E: Hmmm, that’s a hard question for me to answer. I guess that I am aware of both fashion and yarn trends, and I certainly don’t work in a bubble. At the same time, I prefer to create and work with designs that are timeless as well as fashionable.
I feel like we invest so much in our craft, from picking the perfect yarn to knitting a sweater or pair of socks that fit just right, that I want people who knit our designs to be able to love and wear the finished piece as long as it lasts.
J: Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions, Elizabeth!
The ladies from Sweet Paprika have graciously agreed to give a digital copy of The Cloudy Day Collection for free to one of our lucky readers! All you have to do to enter to win it is leave a comment at the bottom of this post telling us what your favourite Sweet Paprika pattern or colourway is. Just visit the Sweet Paprika Pattern Shop or Yarn Shop to view all of their gorgeous patterns and colourways.
The winner will be randomly chosen from the entries submitted before 11:59 EST on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 and will be notified by email and here on the blog. Good luck!
A note on the comment system: If you are new to making blog comments, don’t worry, it’s easy! Just click on the comment button below this post and enter your name and email address into the correct fields. You don’t have to use your real name if you don’t want to and your email address will remain private (we do, however, need you to enter your email address in order to contact you if you’ve won and to deliver the prize to you). Don’t worry if your comment doesn’t show up right away, we have to approve them before they become visible on the blog if you’ve never made a comment before.
All photos in this post are copyright “Kim-E Photo”.