We just kicked off an exciting yarn giveaway for Berroco Vintage, used to make Galina Carroll’s Intarsia Delight poncho, featured in the Spring 2013 issue of Creative Knitting magazine. Click here to learn more about the contest, and enter for your chance to win some free yarn!
I had the good fortune to chat recently with Galina about her life as a designer and what led her to the successful career that she has today. She also shared the inspiration behind her Intarsia Delight design in Creative Knitting magazine. You can read my full interview here:
KGW: When did you first learn how to knit? Who taught you? Was it a family member?
GC: I was studying in the art high school in St. Petersburg, Russia, and knitting needles became a tool for my first project, which was a hat. Each student wanted to have his or her own identity by wearing something different. I did too. From the viewpoint of my mother I made a very ugly hat, but it was definitely unique!
KGW: Tell me how you got started designing knitwear? Where was your first design published?
GC: My degree in industrial design certainly helped me to think professionally about every project in my life. But my love of designing clothes began in childhood — first for my dolls, then for my friends and later for actual clients. I started working as the Design Director for Moda Atelier in St. Petersburg, Russia. Then in 1991 I continued my career as a knitwear designer in New York.
I worked in the New York Garment Center as a freelance sweater designer for companies like Donna Karan, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Liz Claiborne, Anthropologie, Gap, Icelandic Design and others. I also designed for my independent collection: Galina’s Design Studio. My own accessories collection was sold in high-end boutiques and at Barney’s New York.
After working a number of years in the fashion industry, I left my full-time position to focus strictly on knitwear freelance work. My first two designs were published in the book Just Wraps by Stephanie Kloss and Cathy Maguire and few weeks later in Vogue Knitting.
KGW: Can you share some inspiration about your design in the spring issue, and provide some details about the construction, stitch work, etc. What makes it unique? I have to say, I love your attention to detail!
GC: Normally I start the design process with a pencil and paper and the style in my head. I also use the ideas from my sketchbook where I keep inspiring reference and sketches. I like to work with simple shapes but pay close attention to details, such as the buttonhole treatment in my Intarsia Delight poncho design in the Spring Issue of Creative Knitting.
I didn’t want to use just any old buttonhole, but instead, I used two pieces of yarn to make a hole and a running stitch to stylize the look.
Intarsia Delight is so easy to make, even for a less experienced knitter. Basically the construction is one big square with the neckline knitted separately. Every beginner knows how to do Stockinette stitch and then just a basic running stitch which is used for the red stitching and the buttonhole accents in this design.
KGW: Do you have a funny or memorable story about your knitting experiences that you’d like to share?
GC: The University that I tried to get into was very prestigious and I failed to gain entrance the first time I tried. I was so nervous and upset that I developed a rash all over my body and my mother wanted me to see a psychiatrist. I decided to go, and the doctor suggested that I take up knitting as a means to relax! I then started and completed my first two beautiful garments — a skirt and vest — and all in in one week. My friends thought I was a crazy coffee drinker or had a knitting machine instead. The truth is, if I really enjoy making something, my nature is to do it fast!
Now go ahead and join the excitement on the Creative Knitting Facebook page and enter for a chance to win the yarn used for Galina’s Intarsia Delight design!
To learn more about Galina, visit her website: galinacarroll.com