Friday, March 23, 2012

An Interview with...Brandon Mably

Once a week I post  interviews with interesting designers about their insights on their experience of working in the Knitting industry.  I’ve noticed that every designer makes their living in a slightly different manner bringing their own unique presence to the Knitting world. 

Brandon regularly contributes to Rowan magazine. He has many dedicated followers and is an inspiration with his passion for the craft of knitting and for his amazing skill at combining colours. In his first book collaboration with Kaffe Fassett, his studio design partner, Brandon has recently published Knitting with the Color Guys. Next week I will have an interview with Kaffe.

You can find Brandon here.

Where do you find inspiration?
Inspiration is found around every corner, from a row of chimney pots to a fruit market plus the old world fuel to the imagination by adding a new colour arrangement gives it fresh life.

What is your favourite knitting technique?
I knit to put colours together, basic stocking stitch is all that I need to do to hold the colours with an added technique or working with manageable lengths of yarn.
I've noticed that you are focusing more on accessories. Could you tell us a little more? 
Our new book "Knitting with the Colour Guys' focuses on accessories and yes, Kaffe has designed sock yarn for Regia and we do throw it in here and there. It is a hugely popular yarn range.

Do you look at other designers' work or are you afraid that you will be influenced by their designs?
I love to see what's on the catwalk but otherwise I'm so wrapped up in looking at ideas I've picked up from museums, books, magazines or old textiles etc I don't really follow them.

Check out my book 'Knitting Colour' Its all about where I get ideas and use them. It's a good workshop book too.

How do you feel about the so called controversy of "dumbing down" patterns for knitters?
Frankly, I don't take any notice. Knitters generally love to see something fabulous in colours so we give it to them. Vogue Knitting certainly don't restrain us or Rowan.

How many sample/test knitters do you have working for you or do you do it all yourself?
Besides myself knitting up swatches I have 2 knitters I can hand my swatches over to knit into garments and write the instructions for. 

Pattern from Knitting with the Color Guys.

Did you do a formal business plan?
What's that?

Do you have a mentor?
There are many people I admire including Kaffe and Debbie Bliss.

What impact has the Internet had on your business?
A lot, it's opened up one's profile to the world but also attracts a lot of time wasting questions and distractions. 

Pattern from Knitting with the Color Guys

Do you use a Tech Editor?
We provide a hand written graph to the publisher with a swatch or finished garment. 

How do you maintain your life/work balance?
Both Kaffe and I live for work but both exercise regularly. We make time for the theatre, cinema, exhibitions, as well. We don't work as 9 to 5 day though.

How do you deal with criticism?
Like anyone else, its hard to take.

How long did it take for you to be able to support yourself?
Because I live very simply not very long.

What advice would you give someone who wants to pursue a career in knitting?
Try and find your own voice. If you have the passion go for it!

Pattern from Knitting with the Color Guys

1 comment:

  1. Thankyou for the interview - nice to hear from Brandon as sometimes he is overshadowed by Kaffe