Rayhmah recently designed the Hydrangea Shrug using Rhapsody Light and Beaded Mohair & Sequins. She spoke with us about her design process and her background.
1. What was your inspiration for the Hydrangea Shrug?
It was the colour. Since I was introduced to Artyarns, H16 has been my favourite colour beside H26 and 904. This beautiful mix of lavender and light blue reminds me of Hydrangeas, sunsets in northern areas with the ice reflecting the soft shades of the painted sky or also some kinds of mother of pearl. When I had the chance to put my hands on the skein Rhapsody Light and two Mohair Splash in H16, I just couldn’t resist. Even winding the balls was a pleasure. So these three skeins were sitting there waiting for the right pattern to happen so to say. I found that I liked the Mohair Splash most in stockinette and a shrug or bolero was what I had enough yardage for.
2. Do you follow a specific philosophy as a designer? If so, what is it?
Creating beauty in simplicity is an art and my goal at the same time. I have a soft spot for elegant, feminine and discreet fashion with extraordinary shapes that becomes unique because of it’s details. It’s not easy to make something simple look special but once achieved, it makes the design fabulous.
3. What is your design process, in general and specifically for this piece?
Usually it starts with the yarn and what it reminds me of. Nature, scents, colours, fine and sophisticated traditional handwork … These are the things that move me emotionally. Just like a beautiful fabric brings the image of the finished garment to my mind, a beautiful yarn in combination with what moves me initiates the same for knitted designs. What I design is never static. It develops and changes during the process. The finished design must not necessarily look like what I thought of at first. Sometimes a knitted stitch pattern or shape comes out differently or looks better or worse in a specific yarn. If it feels right, I keep going, if not, I unravel and start over. My feeling tips the scales. If it doesn’t feel right, I will never be happy with what I have on my needles.
When I knitted the Hydrangea Shrug, I wanted the eyes focused on the beautiful yarn, so the design itself had to be rather simple. The Lace gives it a final touch, femininity and elegance yet does not distract too much from the beaded yarn.
4. What are you most proud of about your piece?
Actually I’m not proud. I’m very self-critical and rather surprised by the positive response it gets. When I look at my designs, I always see something that I could have done better. Being praised this much just makes me humble because I don’t see myself like that.
5. What were your favorite qualities about the yarns you used?
My professional background (master bespoke tailor) made me become very picky when it comes to fibres and threads, may it be a woven piece of fabric or a skein of yarn. I love to buy hand-dyed yarns of high quality natural fibres like smerino, silk, cashmere or mohair. Amongst others, ending up with Artyarns is a natural consequence. What I love about Artyarts is that there are only the finest fibres used: Japanese Silk, Itailan Cashmere… paired with hand-dyeing it’s the crest of what is possible.
Find all of Rahymah’s beatuiful designs on Ravelry here!