Heather Dixon is visiting for this week's Inspired By!
She's been featured in more than one of Debbie Stoller's popular books, Vogue Knitting, the book Not Your Momma's Knitting, knitty.com, and in 2010 she began publishing her own collections of stunningly chic knit designs online! Whew. Professional, busy, and super fun!
It's a real treat for me to get to talk with Heather this week here at Cravings--enjoy the interview, everyone!
Faye: After successfully being published so many times, what made you want to go back to self-publishing by relaunching Army of Knitters?
Heather: It has been a dream of mine for many years to design my own collection. I didn’t see any other way I could do this, whilst maintaining complete control over the whole aesthetic.
F: All your patterns are beautiful, but your Army of Knitters collections have a completely new vibe--a lot younger, deliciously sexier, and very on-trend. What was the inspiration behind your new designs, and how would you describe the style you’re going for?
H: Before I launched Army of Knitters in April 2010 I had been designing for other companies. As a designer you have to be very flexible and offer your client exactly what they need. With Army of Knitters I’m finally designing for me, albeit the younger, slimmer version of me that exists in my head. The Army of Knitters women follows fashion but is unafraid to show off her individuality and loves her curves.
F: Are you a fashion maven in life outside of knitting? What winter runway or store trends have you seen that you’re excited to embody in your knitting as the weather gets colder?
H: In the fashion industry we work at least a year ahead. I’m a little behind at the moment and am still working on Summer 2011. For Fall 2011 I shall be using some undyed yarns, including thick & thin and chunky fur looks. I also want to design at least one Menswear piece. I can’t stay away from colour for long though, Winter 2011 will include bright colours and lots of mixed patterning.
F: Speaking of colder weather, what’s your favorite thing to eat and drink around this time of year to warm up your insides?
H: My kettle seems to be constantly on the boil for pots and pots of Betty’s tea but if I could have anything then it would be Cadbury’s Hot Chocolate and homemade shortbread. Fresh baked bread, still warm from the oven, lathered in butter, accompanied by my fella’s Butternut Squash Soup - Yum!
F:What’s on your needles right now? Is there anything in particular you always look forward to being able to make and wear in such knitter-friendly weather?
H:As I mentioned earlier, I’m still working on warmer weather designs. I don’t get time to knit anything except what I’m working on for AoK! I am thinking about knitting another Malachite though, it’s so very versatile.
F: Making ethical choices in choosing what kind of products we buy has gotten so much attention lately--both in the media and on a grassroots level. Are there any yarn companies who you think have done especially well in being responsible producers?
H: I do want to be more earth friendly and am doing some research in that area. I would like to work with more local spinners and natural dyers. I’d love to hear from these types of companies in the Hudson Valley area.
F: You’ve worked with Debbie Stoller several times through her S&B career--including helping her launch the designs for her Stitch Nation line of yarn. What has that experience been like?
H: Debbie Stoller is a very easy to get along with. She knows exactly what she wants which makes working with her a pleasure. I agreed to work with her on the launch of Stitch Nation, even though I was swamped at the time, as I have a great deal of respect for her and think that she has done wonderful things to promote knitting and crochet.
F: Who else would you really love to do something collaborative with? Do you have any idols in the knitting world?
H: I have an enormous amount of respect for designers who are not afraid to do their own thing. It’s a very tough and competitive business where only the strong and thoroughly determined can survive. Amongst my favorites are: Walter Van Beirendonck, Mark Fast, Vivienne Westwood and Sandra Backlund.
F: What can we expect from the next Army of Knitters collection?
H: My Spring 2011 collection will be a colourful froth of lace and ruffles inspired by Flamenco.
If you're craving more from Heather Dixon and her faabulous Army of Knitters collections, be sure to check her out on Ravelry, her website, and Twitter--and don't forget to show her some love when you do! ♥
Thanks for the lovely interview, Heather!
More Inspired By next week...