Kate: You introduced the pieces as "a collection of six wearable knits celebrating women of all ages, shapes and sizes" and named the designs after six women's colleges across the United States. You also are donating 100% of ebook sales for the month of September to Planned Parenthood. Can you talk a little bit more about this choice and where the six names come from and your personal connection to them? What made you think of donating to Planned Parenthood, as the organization itself isn't directly related to women's colleges?
Lori: You will notice that the collection is dedicated to my mother. She was my first and most enduring role model; the person most responsible for my sense of style and a Wellesley graduate. The seed for the collection's theme was planted when I decided to name one of the designs in honor of her alma mater and it grew from there.
Sisterhood, for me, became a celebration of women. Not only their shapes and sizes, but a tribute to those who forged our path — from women's suffrage to the 2016 election (our first female nominee for the President of the United States is a Wellesley grad). So I thought about women's rights, the importance of education, access to healthcare, protection against violence, and equal pay for equal work. Symbolically, I decided to launch the collection on the anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment and name the designs for extraordinary women's colleges. But I wanted to do more, so I set out to find a way that I could give back.
Having worked worked in healthcare for 25 years, I am passionate about women's access to quality, affordable healthcare. Growing up in the 1970s and 80s, Planned Parenthood was one of the only places young women could go for health screenings and family planning services at an affordable cost. Today, Planned Parenthood organizations, in addition to their advocacy, outreach and educational services, provide hands-on, gynecologic, health screening and family planning services to over 2.5 million women a year. For many of these women, it is the only access to these services in their underserved communities. And, one-in-five women access a Planned Parenthood affiliated facility in their lifetime. With their funding in jeopardy, I decided that I would donate all of the proceeds from the sale of the collection through September to this organization that I laud.
Kate: When we were discussing the release of the collection, you mentioned wanting to swatch the stitch patterns/gauge in other Fibre Co. yarns in order to provide some alternate options for knitters. Why did you think this was important? Were there any alternate suggestions that came of the process that surprised you?
Lori: One of the most wonderful things about The Fibre Co. yarns is that there is so much variety! So part of my challenge was to design garments that would "work" knit in a variety of yarns. So,what happens when you knit Barnard, not in the Cumbria it is shown in, but in Terra or Canopy Worsted? You can get gauge with each, but the drape will be a little different, the the texture will vary, the knitting experience itself with change. So why not try different yarns?
In fact, I have knit 3 of the designs in alternate yarns for my own wear! I had enough Organik in my stash to knit myself Barnard (my alma mater) from stash yarn. It is a perfect color and drape for me.