It was at the end of March that we got a great surprise when Claire Walls of FlossiKnits, contacted Les Belles Bouclettes via our website and inquired about being one of our designers. She has had her patterns published in Brooklyn Tweed and Making Stories this past year and is one of Blacker Yarns Indie designers! Based in Nova Scotia, Claire feels passionately about sustainable, breed specific yarns. We both thought that this made Claire the perfect match with our Angora goats and mohair yarn!!
When Claire contacted us she already had various projects in mind for our yarn. She eagerly started a sock pattern, which will be released this week!! Here is a photo of Lazy Sundae socks. Isn’t it terrific?
The pattern and kit will be available very soon on the website, stay tune for more information!
*** To celebrate this new pattern and our new (Canadian) designer we will also be giving you a chance to win a pattern kit! You can expect a post with the contest details before the weekend! ***
But now, it is our pleasure to invite you to get to know Claire better! We know you’ll enjoy reading her interview as much as we did!
If you want to checkout more of Claire’s work, or stay up to date with what she is doing, here are the different ways to keep in touch with her.
1. What first drew you to knitting and when did you learn to knit?
I first learned to knit as a girl, my friends mum showed me the basic knit stitch but I had no idea beyond that, not even casting on! It wasn’t until my early twenties that I picked up the needles and tried it again. I became addicted! YouTube was definitely my friend and I taught myself to knit by picking patterns and googling anything I didn’t understand!
2. How did you progress to designing your own patterns?
I’d been adapting patterns and playing around with my own designs for a while but never put pen to paper to actually write one myself. It had been a dream of mine to actually one day forge a career in Knitwear Design and it was as I turned 30 I thought, what am I waiting for! I’d already started an instagram account for my knitting adventures and met some lovely people that really encouraged and supported me. I released my very first pattern Coddle, and never looked back! I absolutely love it!
3. Which fibres do you prefer to work with and why?
I’m passionate about working with natural fibres, particularly breed specific yarns. There’s just something so special knowing where the fleece comes from and it always inspires me to do the animal justice and make the pattern as good as I possibly can. The care and dedication farmers put into caring for those animals is always a source of inspiration to me.
4. Are there specific types of garments and/or stitches you enjoy working more?
Not really! I love trying new things and don’t have a particular favourite thing to work on. There is something I find really satisfying about seaming up a sweater though. When all the pieces come together it’s such a lovely moment!
5. What inspires your pattern designs?
Lots of things! A lot of the time it’s the yarn, certain yarns definitely suit certain stitches and I do a lot of swatching to make sure I’m heading in the right direction. I’m also really inspired by colour so that will sometimes steer which direction the design is going. I’m also obsessed with trying to build a cohesive handmade wardrobe so sometimes a design will spring from something I think would be the perfect wardrobe staple!
6. Is there a particular part of the process that appeals to you or do you enjoy it all from project conception to lifting the blocked item up and trying it on (when possible)?
The part of the whole process that I really enjoy is weirdly nothing to do with the actual making (which I also love!) but making connections with other makers and designers. I love making connections with people like yourself who are part of this amazing community and creating such beautiful things. Also, when someone actually spends their time to make one of my designs it’s one of the best feelings in the world!
7. Do you have favourite tools (a specific knitting needle brand for example) that you prefer to work with)?
I love my swift! It was handmade here in Halifax and it makes yarn winding so much more fun! (Note: You can find it at The Loop, downtown Halifax).
8. Do you make other crafts?
I sew! I actually had another business for 10 years where I handmade gifts and homewares from fabrics I designed and had printed. I’m also learning how to use a rug punching tool! I’m also an amateur natural dyer, I love experimenting to find new colours! I wish there were more hours in the day!
9. What do you do when you aren’t designing gorgeous patterns?
When I’m not doing my crafts I’m playing video games! I love gaming and haven’t had nearly enough time lately to indulge.