Just as much as we love knitting and yarn crafts, we also adore the designers, because let’s face it – where would we really be without them? This week we are just thrilled to point the spotlight to the Devon based and very talented Ella Austin of BomBella and talk about her new collection, Colour and Line.
This collection is so sweet and sophisticated, and with accessories, baby and adult garments, there’s really something for everyone. Tell us a bit about your themes and thoughts behind this collection?
I love stranded colour work knitting, so a collection of colour work designs is something I’ve always wanted to do. I particularly like designing colourwork patterns inspired by modern or mid-century designs. Most of the Colour and Line designs are inspired by elements from various textiles, prints and ceramics as well patterns found in geometry and nature.
When I started the collection I knew that I wanted to use a lot of neutral and preferably undyed shades of yarn along with bright pops of colour. The main goal with picking the colours was to get the balance right so that the bold designs could be toned down to achieve a calm and beautiful finish.
Venn was probably the hardest design to pick colours for, as the yarns are somewhat blended in the stranded sections. For the design to look its best you need to have contrast in tone between the adjoining colours. Venn was also the most fun to pick colours for! I enjoyed watching how each colour knitted up when closely stranded with another colour. The Quince & Co. colours are absolutely stunning!
I thought very carefully about the yarns for each design, factoring in attributes such as drape as well as the colour palettes.
Tell us about your colour choice for the socks.
These colours were inspired by a colourway option that Debbie of Skein Queen dyed for my Bunty Mitts pattern, Pewter and Teal. I loved the grey and blue together but I wanted the third colour to be slightly darker than the undyed white of the mitts. The Jawoll String colour was exactly what I was looking for; a warm and natural-looking pale grey. The Elephant Grey was a perfect darker grey and the French Blue gave a pop of bright colour in a sophisticated shade. I was delighted when I started knitting the colourwork section and saw that colours worked exactly as I hoped they would.
We’re always curious about the person behind the designs; can you tell us a bit about your journey into designing knitwear.
My mother and both grandmothers knit and so I was lucky to learn when I was very young. I always loved knitting but I didn’t get far beyond the basics of knitting and purling. In my mid-twenties I wanted to knit for expected babies, so I learnt to knit patterns that were a little more complex. When I moved from London to Reading I started going to a knitting group, the outcasts, who were very inspiring. Soon after this Ravelry went online. Obsessing about knitting and the possibilities of creating with yarn became so much easier! I felt naturally drawn to designing.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not knitting/designing?
I do spend an awful lot of time knitting! I’m quite a slow knitter and I often like to work the details of designs as I knit. This involves a lot of sketching, writing notes, knitting, frogging, amending notes, reknitting etc. When I’m not designing, my three kids are usually my focus. I feel like I’m always feeding them! When I get the chance I enjoy reading and drawing. I love comic books and music (but only particular types of both of those things)! My favourite places are museums, galleries and libraries, charity shops and the beach. I feel very lucky to now be living in South Devon where we enjoy the beaches frequently, but I do sometimes miss London (especially the British Museum and the National Gallery)!
Which is your own personal favourite of your designs and why?
I think that my overall favourite is still Intrepid Fox. I wouldn’t say that it’s my ‘best’ design but it is the one I love most! Intrepid Fox was my first design and the one I’ve knit most times. Each time I finish one I fall in love with it and then I want to knit another one!
What is your dream project?
This is so hard as there are quite a few dream projects! I’d love to do all sorts of knitted costume design – especially for extravagant characters and popular musicians. I’d enjoy knitting masses of intricate toys and art dolls. Dreaming really big; it would be amazing to knit a huge but detailed sculpture for the fourth plinth at Trafalgar Square!
And finally, what’s on your needles right now?
Back to reality! At the moment I’m mostly knitting Camp and Trail Socks by Lydia Gluck in John Arbon Textiles Viola – lovely pattern and lovely yarn! These will be a thank you present for my friend who lent us her tent, but I see myself knitting many more pairs! I always have multiple WIPs on the go! Among other things I’m also knitting Recharge Shawl by Kate Heppell in Skein Queen Enchant and I’m finishing yet another Intrepid Fox in Rowan Fine Tweed. Plans are underway for a Colour and Line KAL once the final patterns are released, so I’m trying to choose which one of those to cast on soon!
We are more than a little smitten with this collection, thank you for your time Ella!
If you like the Colour and Line collection as much as we do, well boy are you in luck. We are giving away the yarn to make Ella’s Herbaceous sock pattern along with the patterns to the entire collection, very generously donated by Ella. To enter, simply leave a comment below telling us why you love colourwork.
Lang Jawoll is one of our go-to sock yarns as it’s extra durable thanks to the reinforcement spool tucked inside, it also comes in every colour imaginable and suits just about every wallet.
And finally, the Piccadilly KAL ended last weekend, what a way to spend a summer! Huge thanks to everyone who participated, we have admired all your progresses for the past three months, and the lucky winner of a £25 Loop voucher is lilli55, congratulations! The runners up and winners of Justyna Lorowska patters are caronwasserfall and Alotty. We will be in touch to arrange your prizes.
Until next time, yarn friends! And you know what they say; Knit fast, dye warm.