Back in the beginning of 2009, Julie Turjoman wrote to me and asked if I'd be interested in being part of an exciting new book project. As I read that email, I had no doubt that I wanted to be involved. This is unusual, as book compilations/collections aren't something I normally get involved in, yet this one pushed all of my buttons. And in no time at all, I knew what I wanted to design.
This is the first book of it's kind to highlight the relationship between the internet, blogging, knitting and design. I was so very, very chuffed that Julie asked me to be part of this landmark, and to be included amongst so many well known bloggers and designers (Jared Flood, Clara Parkes, Shannon Oakey, Norah Gaughan, Wendy Bernard, Anne Hanson, Stefanie Japel - the list goes on!) It was clear from the beginning that this book going to be a definitive collection, and if the author wanted me to be part of it I wasn't going to argue!
Lenina is named after the female character in Huxley's Brave New World. Huxley's book played a pivotal role for me when I was first at art college, inspiring me to create all sorts of intriguing prints and textiles. It didn't just influence my creative landscape though, it influenced my political one too. There are many interpretations of her character, but essentially Lenina is feminine and likeable and happy and a just little bit different from her peers.
Photo © Jared Flood
At the time I first spoke with Julie, I'd been working a lot with sideways designs and was working intensely with kitchener stitch. I decided that for this project, I'd like to design a sideways Hat, but one that was a little bit different to my others. With this Hat, there is no kitchener or the hiding of the seams. With this Hat, the seams are the feature. The small cables running through the body of the Hat add the emphasis that this is a sideways knit, and create an additional texture. I'm pretty chuffed with the results. The design worked smoothly from start to finish, with no ripping out or changes to the plan.
Photo © Jared Flood
The finished book is wonderful. With each design there is an interview with it's designer and it makes for interesting reading. Jared's photography completes it all, and seems highly appropriate too. I have some shots of my own of Silvia wearing Lenina, taken late spring last year, but I'm a little embarrassed to put them in the same blog post as these shots of Jared's ;)
Besides the internet and blogging content, and the designer interviews, there's a wide range of projects that would no doubt appeal to many - it's a collection that has something for everyone. My initial reaction to this project, formed way back when, still stands - this is book is something special and I'm honoured to be part of it.
On an entirely different note, huge thanks to everyone who left comments and entered my 5th blogiversary competiton! I'll be contacting the winners shortly :)