Designer Spotlight: Bristol Ivy

Today we have another post in our Designer Spotlight series. Bristol Ivy is a knitting designer and fiber artist from
Portland, Maine. Her work focuses on the intersection between classic tailoring and innovative technique, and includes publications with Brooklyn Tweed, Quince & Co., Twist Collective, Knitty, Interweave Knits, Knitscene, and knit.wear. You can follow her adventures at her blog, on Ravelry, Twitter, and Instagram, and in her Ravelry group, Bristol Ivy Designs.

KP: How long have you been knitting, and how did you get started designing?
BI: I've been knitting since I was six, so around 22 years.  I wasn't into fiber arts until I was about 16, despite the fact that I grew up with it; my mom was a quilter, knitter, and threadwork whiz all through my childhood.  But just before I headed off to college, it felt like a little switch flipped, and the obsession became full-blown!
I started designing about five years ago.  I've always been someone who likes trying their hand at the creative side of their obsessions, if that makes sense: if I read, I wrote; if I danced, I choreographed; if I knit, I designed.  I sent in my first submission in 2010 while I was traveling around New Zealand, working on sheep and fiber farms, and published my first pattern a few months after I got back home.  It's been a whirlwind since then!

KP: You work within the knitting industry for your day job and design
Kit Camisole by Bristol Ivy from Quince & Co.
on the side. Do you ever get sick of talking about knitting, fiber, and yarn? 
BI: Haha, never! Knitting and the knitting industry satisfy so many different parts of my brain; creative, analytical, logical, social.  I don't think I'll ever be sick of it--though sometimes I do like not having to think about what I'm knitting so I can just zone out in the evenings!

KP: When you're not knitting (or sleeping) what do you like to do? 
BI: I love cooking and baking, and the impromptu kitchen dance parties that go along with it.  I also love other fiber arts--spinning, weaving, dyeing, felting--and am working on my sewing skills.  I also go running when I can, which is a great way to shake loose any stuck ideas!

KP: Of all your designs, which is your favorite?
Oh, that's a hard one! There are a couple that just came together better than I could have ever envisioned--the perfect combination of yarn, styling, and photography doing more for my original idea than I thought possible! The Kit Camisole with Quince & Co., in their fingering weight linen Sparrow, is one of these, and Winnowing in Wool People 2, in Brooklyn Tweed's Loft, is another.  It's always a good day when you see the pattern proofs and the photos for the first time and you get shivers of excitement!
Winnowing by Bristol Ivy from Wool People 2

KP: Do you have any knitting horror stories or mishaps? 
BI: Oh my gosh, so many.  Most involve fingering weight, late nights, and tight deadlines! My most recent project just wouldn't die: fingering weight, lots of stitches, unusual shaping and construction--I was so ready to be done! I finally got everything seamed at around midnight and went to go take a look in the mirror, and I was SWIMMING in it.  We're talking 16" of positive ease at the hips.  Luckily, with the construction I was able to rip back a few inches and snug things up, but that cascaded into other problems, and then I re-seamed it twisted THREE times... needless to say I wanted to throw it in the corner for a while! But I'm really happy I stuck with it and I know I'll wear it a lot.

Bristol's workspace

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