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Thursday, 4 July 2013

INTERVIEW WITH LOUISA CROMPTON - former MillaMia Design Intern

Louisa Crompton is graduating from Huddersfield University with a First class BA (Hons) in Textile Crafts, specialising in knit in 2013. We were very lucky to have Louisa intern for us at MillaMia in 2012, during which time she certainly taught me a thing or two about duplicate stitch!

1) You are an unbelievably neat knitter and your finishing is beautiful. Who taught you to knit? 
My mum taught me how to knit, my mum always has a pair of needles in her hands, I wish I could knit as fast as she does!! And my Nan is one of the best knitters I know, although she doesn't do so much anymore due to arthritis! I had been asking my mum to teach me from a young age but I pretty much have two left hands so it took me until my foundation year just before university to actually learn how to knit! My mum taught me the basics - casting on and off, how to knit and purl etc... I taught myself the rest through videos on YouTube, magazines and books! - I haven't stopped since!

2) How did you decide to follow a career in knitted textiles?
When I started University I had a taste of all the disciplines we could specialise in, including:  embroidery, print, weave, knit and even rug tufting, I hands down knew I wanted to specialise as a knitter, I am taken over by the amazing varieties of stitches and fabrics that can be produced using a pair of needles! I was even won over by using a knitting machine as well. In my second year of university I practiced a lot of natural dyeing methods and knitting the various colours into basic samples - the colours were always so dull, until I started my placement year.

3) We so enjoyed your internship with us at MillaMia. Why do you feel it was useful?
MillaMia has been the BEST thing to happen to my practice and career, just by simply working with such lovely quality yarns and colours, it opened my eyes to a new world of colour and quality and it has given me so much confidence in producing new and innovative designs. My techniques and craftsmanship has come on leaps and bounds since working for MillaMia too, although I have always been a perfectionist! I cannot describe just how invaluable my experience working for MillaMia and all the wonderful people on the team has been!

4) What inspires you? 
As a designer, upcoming trends are my go to for inspiration, my collection at the moment (Rendered Reality - For interiors) is inspired by the digital aesthetic and the interaction with design by using computers programs or apps to create pattern, lines and blocks that go on to inspire my knitted textile designs, what intrigues me the most is just how quick a design can be produced on screen and how long it actually takes me to knit the designs (sometimes I will spend 16 hours on one piece).

5) Tell us a bit about your current collection and your plans for the future.
My final collection has been kindly sponsored by Sirdar Ltd. I use these yarns and combine them with 3 shades of the MillaMia yarn (Storm, Midnight and Forget me Not). The panels are knitted on a domestic Brother knitting machine and the designs are layered on top of the knitted pieces using a technique called Swiss Darning, Swiss Darning is also known as a duplicate stitch, so this means I can produce another stitch on top in a different colour - allowing me to control the texture of the fabric, my designs aren't about being flat, I like how they almost pop up at you.

After graduation I hope to pursue a career as a freelance designer working for other companies while hopefully producing and selling collections of my own.

We are so pleased to be able to share some of Louisa's work and inspirations here, but if you'd like to find out more for yourself, please follow the links below.

(posted by Max)

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