I feel like I'm constantly reading about and meeting people who use fiber in unique and inspiring ways. Knitters, weavers, spinners, dyers, printers... everyone has a different connection to fiber through their craft and it means something different to each and every one of us. It's my pleasure to introduce a brand new column that explores those connections and gives us a different perspective on the impact that fiber has on the lives of artists who use it in very different ways. I'm already inspired just thinking about it... Here we go!
I came across Caitlin Ffrench
through her patterns on Ravelry
and was immediately intrigued by her unique style and great personality (well, of what I can tell from her photos. But seriously, they have a lot of personality!) Caitlin is a pattern designer with garment photos that are both really fun and also jealousy inducing because of the incredible scenery that she lives in the midst of in the Pacific Northwest. I knew from her blog that she is a natural dyeing expert (jealous a little bit more), and then I happened to grab a copy of the new Knit Scene magazine and lo and behold, there was Caitlin with a solar dyeing tutorial! It's on my list of things to try out this summer, that's for sure. Who's with me?!? Here's a little more about this lovely, multi-talented fiber artist...
Hello! My Name is Caitlin Ffrench. Facts about me: I play accordion. It is large, and red, and it was my aunt's when she was little. No one else in the family wanted it! I make most of my own clothes. Dresses, sweaters, hoodies... its is because i'm 6 feet tall, and I need clothes that actually fit! I really like my cat. A lot. We hang out most every day, and we sing together! I got a BFA (Fine Arts degree) and halfway through completing it, went for a year of fibre school to draw inspiration. I ride bikes a lot. I also build freak bikes. Bikes are better than most everything else. Hobbies??.... all sorts. Weaving, spinning, sewing, building lovely things in my woodshop... a lot of reading too! I LOVE Grey's Anatomy. A LOT! I cry every time!
Ways Caitlin works with fiber, including her favorite craft:
Sewing, embroidery, spinning, weaving, felting, pattern construction, surface construction (screen printing), knitting, crochet. And my favorites change all the time. Right now i'm totally into weaving.. but 2 weeks ago it was spinning!
And now for the big open ended question. To Caitlin, fiber is...
Fiber is my everyday; I really make things every day. Some days I don't make much... but I still use my hands all of the time. Fiber is something to keep my mind happy, and my heart well. I can be connected to my fibre life by adventuring in the woods, harvesting dyes. Or I can be connected by just simply wearing something that I have sewn.
Fiber is something that I grew up with. My mother and grandmother both made things from fibre when I was growing up. My grandmother has since passed away, but I use her sewing machine all of the time. (It is a workhorse!) And my mother is a magnificent fibre artist. She can sew more beautiful things than I could believe are possible. She is fantastic! SO fibre is also something that connects me to my family.
You can find the lovely yarns that Caitlin dyes for sale in her Etsy shop
, and she also has a blog
. Thanks, Caitlin!