Today, I am delighted to share a guest post by Bristol Ivy, the designer behind our latest collection, the Bristol Ivy Collection.
“The genesis of a collection is always an interesting thing. In some cases, prevailing themes beg to be explored; in others, yarn takes a front seat and guides the intention of the collection. In the case of my new collection with Kelbourne Woolens in The Fibre Co. Cumbria and Cumbria Fingering, it was a little bit of both – plus a healthy dose of repeat viewings of many, many 1940s costume dramas on Netflix!
The first spark of this collection was my long-standing desire to play with angles, this time on a bed of ribbing and lace. The Fibre Co. yarns lend themselves so well to texture and openwork that I knew I wanted to use both to define the clean lines of the garments. I think you can do so much to create new perspectives on sweaters with the subtle placement of increases and decreases, and ribbing and eyelets or mesh highlight those shifts and turns so nicely. So I knew I wanted those stitches to be the focal points of the collection, and the first step was to translate it across several garments.
Above: Bristol’s original swatch and sketch for what would become Prue in Cumbria Fingering.
The next thoughts came with the yarn itself. Cumbria, in both its fingering and worsted iterations, feels like such a toothy, drapey, inherently solid yarn to me, something that you can reckon on still being a favorite, non-pilly, wearable sweater ten years down the road. I wanted to keep that wearability and longevity in mind as I was designing, and pulled from classic and vintage silhouettes to ensure that the sweaters stayed in style long enough to do the yarn justice! There are little modern touches in each – Hylda’s dropped hem, Hester’s positive ease, Myrtle’s slightly cocooned hem, for example – but I wanted them to be able to transcend trends and be something that you reach for in your closet over and over again.
The best part of a collection for me, though, is the moment when it goes out into the world. No matter what my thoughts were on it, no matter what meaning the genesis and the process had for me, it now becomes about the genesis of the knitters’ stories and their own processes of adding the sweaters to their lives. And I can’t wait to see how those stories develop!”
Thanks so much Bristol! You can view the original collection announcement post here. – KGO
All modeled images by and © Carrie Bostick Hoge