I am Camille, 31, I am a graphic designer, illustrator and knitter. I am the designer behind the Making Stories Magazine. I am originally from Paris, France but I have been living and working in Finland for about 10 years.
How long have you been knitting and designing?
My mother, her mother and grand mother before her were all knitters. My mother used to make us sweaters with our favourite childhood characters on them. She taught me the basics of knitting and crochet when I was around 10-12 years old and I started to make these simple 2 meters-long scarves with the only 2 basic stitches- knits and purls-that I knew. I really liked knitting and I think it fit well my rather quiet and withdrawn personality. It gave me a hobby to spend the long summer holidays and something to focus and get better at.
After I moved to Finland in 2009, knitting took a different meaning. Thinking about it now, I got really into it as a way to deal with living in a new country, knowing very little about my surroundings and having basically no friends. I made hats and socks for my boyfriend and his family and friends and that helped me to start conversations and to knowing people. I learned cables, colourwork, and pro techniques by myself when I started to follow experienced level patterns from Brooklyn Tweed and Purl Soho.
Fast forward to around two years ago, I noticed that Verena Cohrs from the Sustainablist was looking for sample designers and I decided to contact her. Thanks to her, I learnt a lot about construction and pattern making; it gave me the confidence to start designing my first pattern, which is the Kaksi reversible hat, in the upcoming Issue 2 of Making Stories magazine. I hope that more will come in the future!
Not only do you create wonderful pieces of knitwear, but you are also a graphic designer! Do you find one influences the other?
To me, knitting and graphic design/illustration is one same thing but viewed from different angles, which is a means of visual and physical expression. While knitting or designing, I consider textures and rhythms, shapes and colors and composition. Also, I try my best to give meaning to what I do; In knitting as to get a deeper connection to what I wear and consider better quality, in graphic design/illustration hoping to find new ways of expression and getting people to slow down and pay attention to details and see something in a whole new way.
I am very happy to work on projects like the Making Stories magazine, where my passions for graphic design, illustration and knitting come together.
Tell us about your design for Issue 2. What inspired you?
I was inspired by the theme of issue 2 about loving and caring. I thought about the idea of feeling comfortable as a self-care act. During the colder months, here in Finland, I find that there is almost nothing more comfortable than putting on a warm chunky hat! When it comes to the design itself, I wanted to add something extra by making the hat reversible.
Do you have a favourite type of knitting project?
I don‚Äôt have a favourite! It really depends on my mood and my/ my friends‚Äô needs. Sometimes I like a simple project and sometimes I want a challenge. But I have quite the collection of patterns waiting to be started.
What is your knitting community like?
I still consider knitting as a side activity, even though I spend lot of time doing it. I am not a trained professional, all I know is mostly self-taught. None of my friends really knit or crochet, so it is basically just me. But I share new patterns, techniques and yarn companies with my mother once in a while. I also like to visit my local yarn shop in Helsinki called Snurre; I spend some time discussing new yarn with the friendly owners and they have the best yarn selection.
What is your favourite making tool?
My interchangeable needles set! So organized and practical.
What is your favourite making memory?
I remember feeling very proud of myself when I finished the Sake socks by Cookie A, i think it is the most challenging thing I have ever knitted!
What do you do when you knit - watch a movie, read a book, nothing, ...?
If it‚Äôs not a pattern that demands a lot of focus, I listen to podcasts or watch documentaries. If I need to pay attention, then I prefer total silence. On summer days, I knit outdoors, otherwise I like to sit on the floor with pillows.