Avenue Yarns is starting what we hope will be a favorite for our community: Artist interviews! We will interview designers, yarn manufacturers, and independent yarn dyers for a closer look at the process of creativity. You will be able to find the yarns and designs at Avenue. What's more, you can meet many creative folks through classes and special programs at Avenue. So keep an eye out for upcoming events.
We start our interview adventure with Kira Dulaney, a local knit and crochet designer and teacher.
Hi Kira. Tell us how you learned to craft?
I learned crochet from my mother when I was three, although it took me a while to believe that story! Having worked with yarn at such a young age seems to have made it easier for me to pick up other fiber arts easily, similar to the way that a bilingual child finds it easy to learn additional languages. I learned the knit stitch from my paternal grandmother from when I was five, and I remember that experience more. At one point I picked up the knitting on my own and worked one row, then couldn't remember what to do (turn the work around) but I didn't want to ask for help, so I ended up teaching myself to knit in the reverse direction. When my grandmother found me, she was amazed to find I had stockinette fabric even though I didn't know how to purl, and made me show her how I knit back and forth without turning the work around.
When did you start designing?
I started publishing patterns in 2007, although I had been improvising designs for years. I worked at Artfibers yarn shop in San Francisco (and remember meeting Rebekah there) and customers got increasingly frustrated that they couldn't get a pattern for items I was wearing. Little did I know that coming up with an idea and prototype was the easiest part!
What do you like about the design process?
I love that there are always new stitches and techniques to explore, I enjoy sitting down with a new yarn and swatching to figure out which stitch will highlight its best qualities, and I treasure the friendships that have developed with some indie dyers.
How does it feel to release a pattern?
It's always the culmination of a long process and I usually share some sneak peeks along the way, but there's nothing like releasing a pattern and seeing the excitement. I also love sharing photos of projects from my test knitters/crocheters, which is a great way to see a design in different yarns and on various people.
How can people learn more about your classes and workshops?
The best way is to sign up for my email newsletter, which I send about once a month to share news about classes as well as events and new patterns. I post on Instagram, Facebook, and Ravelry (as @kirakdesigns on all three) but it can be hard for people to see every post. My website also lists upcoming classes and events, as well as private lessons and my bi-weekly craft circles.
Kira K Designs: patterns for the modern knitter and crocheter