Collection Feature

Knightsbridge Collection Feature / Barnaby: A day in the Life

For the next couple of weeks we’ll be profiling the designers featured in the Knightsbridge Collection with some insight into their process, tips + tricks about their garment or accessory, fun interviews, and other little tid-bits. We hope you enjoy getting to know the Kelbourne Woolens team and contributing designers. To view the full pattern line, check out the Knightsbridge Collection on Ravelry here

Today, we’re delighted to have the lovely Mari Chiba give us a little insight into her day as independent designer, marketing manager, and all around industry expert.

MC: I write a lot about my inspirations for designs on my blog. Although I love to talk about my designs and where they come from, today I’d like to write more about what it’s like to be a designer. Each designer their own niche, workflow, schedule, and a host of other factors that make this job draw such a diverse group of people. So today, I share with you, a day in the life with me. 

• 5:45: My husband gets up to work out before heading to work. I turn my back to this early hour and stay in bed. 
• 6:30: Brian leaves for work and I finally roll out of bed. 6:30-8:30: Attempt exercise (sometimes more successfully than other days), eat yogurt, sample knitting, watching trashy TV.8:30-9:30: Sample knitting, reading emails.
• 9:30-1:00: Work my day job, for Stitchcraft Marketing. I work from home, so this means sitting in my office answering emails, writing, talking on the phone, and lots of other small tasks, all focused around yarn. 
• 1:00-1:30: Eat lunch (usually left overs from the night before) while reading blogs and trying to stay current on what’s happening in the knitting world.
• 1:30-5:30: Back to the day job at Stitchcraft. More meetings, more to-dos. I have a color coded detailed to-do list each day, and we do all of our project tracking on Trello. I love lists and spreadsheets. I make lots of both for work and life. 
• 5:00-6:00: Cook dinner – and knit in the kitchen while I’m cooking! I cook pretty low maintenance one dish meals so that I can knit while cooking. 
• 6:00-6:30: Eat dinner with my husband. Sometimes I knit during this too, but only if it’s stockinette or garter, something I can do while still making eye contact and holding a conversation, and pausing just long enough to shovel food.  
• 6:30-10:00: At this point I’ve ‘left the office’, so I’ll usually work on patterns from my laptop in the living room (because then it feels less like work, and at least if we’re in the same room it feels more like we’re spending time together), I also work on sample knitting, writing blog posts, etc. 
• 10:00-10:30: Lights out! I try to have 30-60 minutes each day with no screens and no lights. Usually we just talk or listen to music in the dark. After spending most of my day staring at a computer screen I try to give my eyes a break. 
• 10:30: Sleep! So we can start all over again tomorrow.

As you can see, my whole life revolves around yarn! In my day job I work with lots of yarn companies and other industry related companies, and in every spare moment I’m usually knitting, writing notes for a pattern, or daydreaming about my next design. I design because I have to–there’s a little voice somewhere inside me that whispers sweaters into my dreams, and when I’m awake I knit them. 

Barnaby was inspired by dreamy men in woolly henley sweaters standing around looking rugged. And if you knit this sweater, I’m sure you’ll entice one or three…right?
Thanks, Mari!
If you love this post on the Knightsbridge Collection, check out our other features here.

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