One of my biggest inspiration for becoming a knitwear designer is my grandmother. Because knitting is a craft passed down from generations of women, I owe my craft to her, through my mother who taught me when I was a kid. But I owe her so much more than just my craft.
Mémé was a seamstress and she was crazy talented. She created many beautiful wedding dresses for the women in her small town, clothes for her children… At her funeral, women would come to us telling us with emotion that she was the one who made their wedding dress so many years ago, so that's how she was remembered.
She was never really seen as an artist in her time, because crafts weren't recognized for their value as they are today and she was only perceived in society as a stay-at-home mum of 6 when working mums became the norm. But today, we all know the value of her art and the art of all the other women like her who passed it down to us.
I remember my grandmother through the things that she made for me as a kid: The short skirts that I asked her, and even though she was shocked that I wanted such short skirts, she made them anyway because it made me happy. The enormous stuffed dogs that she made for my sister and I despite my mother's protest or the hundreds of doll clothes. And I still wear today some of the beautiful clothes that she created for my mother and were passed down to me.
When you make something beautiful with your own two hands, when you create your own fashion, that's how you will be remembered by, that's your legacy. And you don't need to be a designer to do it. Just chosing your yarn, your colors and pattern, putting your time, your love into making something makes you a true artist.
Knitting is an art form, to me as noble as any of the fine arts, and maybe even more important because you create things that you and your loved ones get to wear everyday. Because by wearing your handknit, you are the creator of your own fashion and you make a statement to the world to how unique you are.
When I wear my grandmother clothes, I don't just think about how talented she was to create these shapes, chose the right fabric and assemble everything with the utmost care. I think about how generous she was with her craft, always ready to share it with others, to bring more happiness to her loved ones. What she passed down to me is more than a taste for crafts or a technique, it's the values that I chose to surround it with:
To live as a creator because my art has real value.
To inspire and be inspired by nature, arts and the generations of women who came before me.
To progress, learn and grow everyday.
And finally to share my craft with others and help them shine like true artists because to me that's the power of knitting.