Here at NYE we are delighted that the creative talent behind the Woods Making Stories will be showcasing their fabulous project at the opening of our inaugural show. We have managed to squeeze in an interview with the super busy Verena Cohrs and Hanna Haferkamp, who are crowdfunding, co-ordinating European yarn companies and international designers and collating all this wonderful wooliness into a book (oh yes did I forget to mention that they both run their own individual successful companies too?!!!)
The energy and commitment demonstrated by these two amazing ladies is inspirational and best of all you will get to meet them in person in November.
Here is our interview with Verena and Hanna:
- Can you tell us what the ethos is behind the Woods, Making Stories project?
WOODS - making stories is a new knitting book that we created to celebrate knitting and the amazing makers that enable us to create with 2 sticks and yarn. We loved the push towards being more transparent, local and sustainable in yarn production that’s happened in the US in the last years and felt there was a lot of white space regarding this in Europe so we decided to found making stories to showcase local, sustainably made European yarns paired with amazing indie knitwear designers.
We deeply believe in a slow living lifestyle and a new ethos of care - caring for our environment and for each other. We love to support small, ideally female run businesses who are transparent in their operations and pay it forward to the women’s business community. It's extremely important to us to take care of everyone who is part of WOODS - from the designers to the videographers, from the writers to the amazing making stories community.
Being able to give back to the community while at the same time building our business based on our values and making decisions that we feel proud of is just wonderful.
- You have used crowdfunding to fund your project, how close have you come to achieving your target and can people still become involved with this?
As of today (Feb 25) we’ve reached an incredible 70% of our funding goal! We started the campaign on Feb 9, and being over halfway there already after 13 days is just mindblowing. A HUGE thank you to everyone who has backed us already!
The campaign is still running until March 14, so there’s more than enough time to get involved! You can pre-order your copy of the book or choose one of our reward packages - all of them include the book, and a range of really beautiful WOODS goodies like stickers, a tote bag (hello new project bag!) and even knitting webinars! You can back the campaign here: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/woods-making-stories-book.
The Indiegogo campaign page is also a great way to learn more about the book - like which patterns will be included and where the funding money goes.
- You have chosen some fabulous yarn producers to be involved, what things were you looking for when you were choosing the yarn?
It was really important for us to showcase local, sustainably made European yarns. The amazing push for transparency and sustainability in yarn production that has happened in the US in the past years inspired us to fill this space for Europe as well. This is why we were looking for yarn companies that have the same values as we do, that are transparent in their sourcing and production processes and that really care about all the amazing makers involved in bringing a yarn to life.
We were super positively surprised at how many yarn companies wanted to partner up with us on the book! In the end, we selected yarns that fulfilled our criteria of sustainability, European production and transparency, and worked great with our designs. Yarn weight, colours and availability were major decision factors when pairing up a yarn with a design, and we are super happy with the choices!
- Why is this important to you?
Europe has such a rich yarn history - especially when it comes to wool yarn -, but we felt no one was really showcasing the amazing yarn companies that we have here. We love sharing the beautiful European-made yarns we discovered, and enabling knitters to buy yarns that are local to them and sustainably made.
- You have chosen some fantastic designers for Making Stories, what was the brief they were given for their designs and what types of garments will be in the book?
For WOODS, we asked designers to send in submissions for modern, minimal autumn and winter knitwear designs with interesting texture or construction that show off natural yarns beautifully. We were looking for designs that would evoke words like cozy, warm or woolly - knits you would want to wear on long winter walks or curl up with in front of a fireplace. The book includes different types of garments, from accessories like socks, mittens, a hat and a scarf, to garments such as sweaters, a vest, a cardigan and a tunic dress. The patterns feature different techniques: there are colourwork and cable designs and lots of beautiful textures. Our two bonus patterns, the Gascogne Scarf and the Picos de Europa Hat, are already available through our crowdfunding rewards, and we also just started sharing sneak peeks of the designs that are going to be in the book on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/_makingstories/.
- Was this a difficult choice?
We were absolutely (positively) overwhelmed with the large number of beautiful design ideas we’ve been sent. Narrowing down all submissions to a coherent collection of 11 patterns for sure was a difficult process with the different types of garments, design features, compatibility with the yarns we wanted to include, knitter’s skill levels and overall style consistency to consider. But it was absolutely worth putting that much time and thought into the design selection process - we love the designs WOODS is going to include and can’t wait for all of you to see them!
- What can we expect the book to look like?
Hard facts first: It’s going to be at least 148 pages long, full colour, printed in Berlin with an amazing eco-certified printer on really good paper. Aesthetically speaking, we were inspired by all things nature and woodsy, natural fibers, and colours that evoke a weekend in a cabin in the forest near a lake - greens, greys, heathers, purples, pinks, and the occasional speck of bright sunlight.
All of the patterns will be accompanied by modeled photos and detailed shots of the designs - we’re so looking forward to the photo shoot already!
But there’s more - in addition to the 11 knitting patterns WOODS is going to contain we also have four long-form tutorials (everything from heel construction to seaming a sweater), beautiful articles about yarn production, and interviews with Clare Devine on heel construction and Karen Templer on sweater construction. Last, but not least, it was really important to us to spread the love of the making communities into the book which is why we’re going to include a special feature article by Francoise Danoy on her making story as well as showcase quite a few of the beautiful Instagram posts that keep popping up under our #mymakingstory hashtag.
- Where can people find you?
You can find us through:
Our crowdfunding page: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/woods-making-stories-book
Our website: http://www.making-stories.com/
Our Instagram: @_makingstories
Our Ravelry Group: http://www.ravelry.com/groups/making-stories