Nicole Leybourne is the Kiwi behind the brand The Knitter. You may be wondering why in the middle of an Australian summer I’m telling you about jumpers. This is a fabulous brand, person, product, but you may want to start saving for it now. I am.
I Like what Nicole Leybourne says on her website ” “Nicole Leybourne. A sheep enthusiast, a toast lover, a curious soul, a knitter; the Knitter.” Humble, handmade knitwear. Lovingly created and locally made, using incredibly soft mohair and woollen yarns; sourced from happy sheep and giddy goats. Supporting small communities and a slower pace of life. Knitted together by humble hands, using century old methods, while keeping things happy and fun, the way life should be lived.
This is an interview with Nicole Leybourne in Yen Magazine
How did you get your start?
I used to knit a bit here and there with my mum and my nan when I was young. However, I wasn’t exactly the best knitter in the world (I’m still not). I have taught myself a lot since then, and I’m now pretty happy to say that my knits have a lot less holes. Patience and perseverance.
What advice do you have for others wanting to get into your field?
Never give up. I’ve also learned that trawling social media isn’t an overly productive way to utilise our short time here on planet Earth.
What has been your favourite project to work on?
Knitting my first really long ‘Z’ scarf in the Tokyo summer heat, while my roommate and I listened to music together in our shoebox-sized apartment well into the wee hours. I treasure such silly memories.
What did you become obsessed with while in Tokyo?
The sound of the cicadas buzzing all through the hot summer nights. Some nights I’d walk home at four AM and they’d be making so much noise that I would forget to be scared. Also, the sushi. It really is the best.
Who would you love to collaborate with?
Romance was Born and Meadham Kirchhoff because they’re fun. Who do you admire? My mum. I admire my mum for just getting on with life and never complaining about all that she has been through. My mum is kind and has a heart that never stops giving, even to those who have not been kind to her. My mum is tiny and small on the outside but strong and resilient on the inside.
What do you love about the industry?
That people are free to create magic. What would you like to change? That the industry takes itself so seriously – too seriously.
What do you do to get out of a funk?
Laugh. Sometimes it’s the only way.
What would you be happy to not see again?
How long does it take you to knit a piece?
A cardigan takes a couple of days if I work without any distractions. So, usually longer.
What’s the most important attribute for a knitter to have?
Where’s the craziest place you’ve knitted?
As silly as it sounds, in Perth’s 40 degree summer heat. I never knew knitting could make me so hot and bothered.
What are you working on?
Seamless garments – I am teaching myself how to knit on circular needles and it’s quite rewarding when you have finally got to that place where it all starts to come together. When my design starts looking less like a bunch of woolly noodles lying on the living room floor and more like a cardigan, that is such a good feeling.
What does 2016 have in store for you?
I would love to visit India and Mount Everest in Nepal. I would also like to stock my knits in a few places and to have many more adventures.
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