When did you learn to knit?
When I was 4 years old my seamstress mother was getting frustrated with me trying to get into all of her sewing notions and making a mess of things, and in order to keep me occupied she taught me how to knit. I distinctly remember using rusty orange color wool yarn and a pair of needles and it was garter stitch. I must say from what I remember it kept me busy for couple of days, but as any child my attention got switched to a next thing. Later in my late teen years she taught me how to calculate gauge and shared general idea about constructions. I was making myself some grunge looking cables and dropped stitch sweaters that were frowned upon by my mother, but they looked cool to me and I wore something no one else had.
When did you decide that you wanted to design?
Designing didn't really come to me as a matter of choice, I had to design if I wanted to make something. I grew up without access to much variety of yarns, needle sizes or patterns even! We had a tiny book of stitch patterns which I still have and my home ec book had some information about knitting in it. There was one magazine from Germany that was available in our town's library and it had a very long waiting list, so when the time was running out on using it or making something out of it one would have to hand write the remaining instructions before turning it in. So designing really was more freeing in that sense.
How would you describe your design aesthetic?
When I started designing first and then later it was because I was trying to dress myself, to make something that no one else would have and in a way to be part of self-expression of my style and taste. To describe it, I prefer simpler easy silhouettes with intelligent construction and designs featuring unique stitch patterns that also turn the experience of making something from my pattern into a teaching moment for someone who wishes to learn more new techniques but also entertaining for those you like to think and enjoy the mathematics of the design. As well as have an accessory that makes a statement and uplifts otherwise a very minimalistic wardrobe. I imagine knitters who knit and wear my designs living from urban streets of a metropolis to a serene living of the countryside. I always strive for balance in my body of work while still realizing the ideas that make me excited the most.
What things spark ideas and inspire your designs?
But being naturally a very observant person anything around me is inspiration Tiles, industrial design, architecture, geometry of the nature, textures on the most mundane everyday object that we might not normally notice. I like to think that inspiration source is not only a source, but it's that tiny trigger that sparks one imagination so far and wide that the eventual thought process wouldn't have anything reminiscent of the source. I feel that staying open to the ideas of the world and trying to see everything as shrewd as possible what makes that inspiration well ever flowing.
After having lived in Japan for 4 years it, people watching is absolutely fascinating to me. Different cultures and various cities carry so much within an individual style. Even though early on I have had great fascination with fashion, these days I find it harder to relate as how commercialized it has become. It's harder to identify as it is more trends driven than style. So I like to look at fashions for some details and ideas for construction. Being a maker, a knitter, I believe in the longevity of a certain clothing item and its value because you have created it yourself. When you create you share a part of your soul while making it, that mood you have been in the certain moment in time but if it also helps to express your taste and style.
What is your favorite part of the design process?
I don't think I can isolate just one part, but at least 2. I absolutely love the adrenaline rush that possibilities of a new design and right yarn choice present during the "blueprint" stage. I do my best to visualize the finished product while working out the correct specifications, fit and details. The agony and anticipation of casting on to knit it are quite high because this stage can't be rushed or you end up with needing to rip and rework. Finishing would be my other favorite part of the design process. Because when all knitting is finished, your knitting product "blob" is still in a stage of ugly duckling until you have given it proper care with washing and blocking, and of course seaming. This process of transforming the knit fabric into what it's intended to become is by far the most revealing. As once it dries and steamed again you get to see the result of what was in your head and you hope that others who make it would love it as much as you do.
Ravelry Page: http://www.ravelry.com/designers/olga-buraya-kefelian