Designer of the Month Kirsten, aka K.M. Bedigan, aka AthenaAphaia chats with GTS about this and that. Take a closer look at the lady behind the designs, hear about her latest collection and where you can expect to see her next! So grab a cuppa and read on.
PS: The image at the end is just the cutest.
- Ginger Twist Studio: How is it you came to knitting? And then how did that turn into designing?
K.M. Bedigan: I was taught knitting as a child by my grandma, but didn’t really pick it up seriously again when I was at University. A couple of friends knit and that prompted me to pick up the needles again. Then I didn’t stop.
I’d always been into art and design when I was in school, so adapting those skills to knitting seemed a logical step. An entry into a pattern design competition was the initial starting point.
- GTS: Where do you gain inspiration for your designs? Your pattern titles are certainly not typical names!
KMB: Inspiration comes from anywhere and everything it seems! I have a random folder of pictures and notes of things that I feel are useful, but sometimes the yarn itself or a colour can provide a starting point. I tend to be fairly good at taking an idea in my head and figuring out to reproduce it in yarn, though it isn’t always successful! Coming up with names is always fun – I actually keep a note on my phone with a list of words I think are good for potential pattern names. I do like more unusual names though, a background in archaeology and classics means that I love picking up works from various languages.
- GTS: Tell us a wee bit about your latest collection of shawls please.
KMB: Courtesans has been in development for a long time; I have a number of books on the topic which are some of my favourites to re-read over and over again. It always struck me that these women could be a good starting point for a collection, so I thought it was time I did it. There are a huge number of courtesans which I could have used, but decided to stick with those who were important in Paris in the nineteenth century. The eight I chose all provided very clear images of personality or style, which was the starting point for the finished collection.
- GTS: Do you have a favourite thing you like designing? You have quite a few shawls…
KMB: I seem to go through phases of designing. I originally started with a focus on colourwork but recently have been exploring lace a bit more, and shawls do lend themselves to that. I always describe myself as having an interest in colour and texture.
- GTS: Any design/knitty plans for the future that you would like to share? Maybe a certain yarny event you are participating in come March?
KMB: Yes, I’ll be at Edinburgh Yarn Festival with a stall this year – which is equally scary and exciting. I’ll have all my patterns there, along with fibre (I’m a happy enabler for spinning) and some other bits and pieces.
Design-wise, I have some collaborations out this month, which is very exciting. I’m also in the planning stages of some new shawls.
- GTS: DPN’s or magic loop?
KMB: Both! It depends what I’m doing.
- GTS: Any pets?