World Crafters are people who make things in different parts of the world. Some turned their hobby into a profession, some are balancing a day job with small crafty business, some chose to keep their hobby and just enjoy making, creating and giving. Behind each stitch is a story…
I “met” Nataly a couple of years ago when I picked up my Vogue Knitting issue. Nataly’s design was on the cover and I felt so inspired by her love for texture, color and harmonious combination of knit stitches in her Textured Dress. Since then I’ve been following Nataly’s crafty journey and admiring her endless fount of creativity! Today Nataly is sharing her knitting journey and taking us to her hometown – beautiful Kiev, the heart and capital of Ukraine.
How did your knitting journey begin?
My Mom taught me to knit. She was always in love with handmade – when she was 20 years old, she decided to take knitting classes. Other members of our family were never interested in anything craft related. I remember our house was full of things knit by my Mom. Right now she switched to embroidery – creating embroidered pictures.
Do you balance knitting with something else?
No, knitting is my full-time job – designing and creating knitwear.
How did it become a full-time job? Did your family support you?
Since I was 14 years old I have been knitting a lot – for myself, for friends. I even remember I got orders for custom knits from my fellow students at school. At one point I understood there was no way I could fit all the knitwear in my drawers, so I tried to sell my works. I think the abundance of design ideas and finished knits became the main reason to start my own knitwear brand. My family was always supportive in all my aspirations!
When a hobby became a full-time job, did something change?
Of course, as soon as your hobby becomes a job, it’s a job, not a hobby 🙂 You can’t allow yourself not to work. But at the end of the day what is a job? Isn’t it a thing that you love to do? It’s not a monotonous process. There are things that are more pleasant to perform than the others. But I believe that a man and the universe are always striving for balance. I even noticed that if I have a lot of custom orders, the new ones are not coming until I finish the old ones – this is my balance! Plus there are a lot of aspects of this job that you can work on to take a break from knitting – it can be communicating with clients, managing my internet shop or designing something new. I think for me the most difficult thing is monotony. In all other work aspects I find something positive and inspiring.
Is it difficult for you to put a price label on your products?
Yes, it can be difficult. In this case I ask my husband what he thinks about the price I am about to put on. Well, usually he says it’s too low and I should go up 🙂
I know that your design was published in Vogue Knitting Winter 2012/2013. And it was on the cover of this issue!
Could you share this experience, please?
Vogue Knitting is the only magazine that I am reading and that inspires me. I was so happy to have the opportunity to collaborate with it. The fact that my design was on the cover of Vogue Knitting is incredible! This work coincided with my pregnancy and birth of my son, so the only thing I was worried about was to meet the deadlines. The dress took me several months. Vogue Knitting sent me a gorgeous soft yarn of rich burgundy color (Fyberspates/Lantern Moon Scrumptious Chunky wool/silk). The most difficult thing for me was to write a pattern. I’ve never written any instructions for my designs, so I had to work really really hard. As far as I know the pattern is being sold individually on vogueknitting.com. Right now I continue working with this magazine.
What is your favorite technique?
I am in love with lace – light and feminine. But sometimes I crave for something more “hardcore” 🙂 For example, I love trying new materials. The world is full of things that you can knit with, yarn is just one of them – ropes, ribbons, wires!.. Try it!
How does your designing process look like? Do you plan your designs or you just go with the flow?
I do plan my designs. I am sketching, knitting swatches, trying different stitches, thinking and imagining the final result. But very often the idea is pretty formed in my head from the very beginning, all the rest is just savoring the details.
And of course the favorite topic – yarn! What fibers do you prefer?
I love all yarn made of natural fiber. I enjoy trying new unusual combinations.
And the size of your stash? 🙂
I have a lot, a lot of yarn. But I am not stashing it, I am just managing one internet yarn shop. So my studio is full of creativity! What I love most about it is that I can always find yarn that I need for my new ideas and designs.
How many WIPs do you usually have?
It’s always 3-4 projects. It can take a year before my idea becomes a finished product. In the meanwhile I’m working on my custom orders or designing something else. And the current WIP is waiting for its turn.
I love how you play with texture in your knits! Do you have a special design education?
I was studying for my Master’s in Psychology, but I was having my doubts – is this what I want to do? Psychology was extremely interesting, but work with fabric, texture and color was calling my name. So I found a teacher of ceramics and weaving and started to take classes with him. These classes had everything that I loved – color, texture, shape. And of course I was reading a lot and experimenting. I think self-education is something amazing – it never stops, it’s absolutely limitless.
What is your favorite knitting spot?
Outside, on a rocking chair.
I am always fascinated to hear about different corners of the world where crafters live. Could you please tell us about your city?
Kiev is a wonderful, incredibly beautiful city. It’s really impossible to walk in Podil and not feel this creative energy and get inspired. We live outside of the city and are fortunate enough to enjoy fields, gullies, pines and birds chirping outside. Nature inspires me to create folklore designs, simple forms and lines. Kiev is full of creative people. I have a lot of friends who turned their hobby (decoupage, embroidery, jewelry) into profession. It’s always interesting to be around these people.
Did knitting influence your life in any particular way?
Each skill opens new doors, new opportunities. Knitting is a big part of who I am, so naturally and organically interwoven into my life that I really can’t say in what way in particular.
Have a great crafty weekend!