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*Breaking Stitch News* What’s next for Shay Johnson & her upcoming Studio 54 Crop

“I learned that I always need to be confident in myself, my vision, and my design abilities to be able to fearlessly pursue my ideas” -Shay



Sam: Where did the inspiration for this project come from?

Shay: Knitflix and Chill. No, literally! I was watching the Studio 54 Documentary on Netflix, which I highly recommend, and I was so enthralled by the fashions. Honestly, the 1970s was an EPIC era for fashion and music, so it's one of my favorite decades to study for inspiration. My favorite icons from that era have to be Diana Ross, Grace Jones, Donna Summer, and Earth Wind & Fire. I wanted to create a design that paid homage to the era, both in style and color choice. Thus, the Studio 54 Crop was born!


Sam: Can you walk us through your design process?

Shay: Sure. It's not always the same for me, but most often I am struck by inspiration from my immediate environment, what I'm watching on TV or online, or what music I am listening to at the moment. When I'm struck by a particular bit of inspiration, I pull out my sketchbook and start mocking up silhouettes of a design. When I am pleased with a general silhouette, I either have yarn in mind already, or need to stash dive. Next, I swatch, swatch, swatch. Fabric is really important to me in a garment because I want something to fit and drape in the most flattering way on the body. Then, without getting into it too much, there's a LOT of math that goes into translating the swatch into an entire design, based on how I want the garment to fit (i.e., positive ease versus negative ease), and whether there will be any shaping in the garment. For me, I go full tilt into knitting a design, often figuring it out as I go. There is often trial and error and lots of frogging along the way, but in the end, it’s all worth it!

Sam: How would you describe this new design?

Shay: The Studio Crop is a top down sweater, knit in the raglan construction. It's a no-seam sweater, which is awesome, and it is beginner-friendly. Most importantly, I've designed it to be flattering on several body types, and a versatile addition to any wardrobe!


Sam: How long did it take for you to complete this design?

Shay: From ideation and sketching to binding off, approximately three weeks. This was surprisingly quick for me, but I thankfully didn't make any initial mistakes, nor did I have to frog during the design process.

Sam: Were there any lessons that you learned from creating the As If Tee that helped with the creation of this new pattern?

Shay: Definitely! The main lesson I learned from the As If Tee wasn't a technical or design point, but rather a personal point. I learned that I always need to be confident in myself, my vision, and my design abilities to be able to fearlessly pursue my ideas. It is that fearlessness that helps me produce my best ideas and designs, and be able to share them with this awesome community.


Sam: What’s your favorite aspect of this new design?

Shay: That's a hard one! It's almost like asking a parent to pick a favorite child (haha!). But seriously, I would say that I really love the fit of this design more than anything. While the upper part of the sleeve may be seen as solely a design detail, I made it ribbed because I often have issues with sweaters fitting too snug around my shoulders and upper arms. With this part of the sleeve/shoulder area being ribbed, it not only adds a neat design detail, but it serves for a comfortable fit!

Sam: When is this pattern going to be available?

Shay: I plan to release the Studio 54 Crop pattern in late September, after the testing period ends.


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If you want to see more of Shay's work & find out as soon as this pattern is available you can follow her on Instagram @knitandcroshay, on Ravelry, and through her blog.

Who should I talk to next? Leave your suggestions in the comments section along with any thoughts you have about Shay's newest design. I’m always on the hunt for inspiring crafters. Also, don't forget to follow along on my Instagram account @bobbleclubhouse for your daily dose of all things fiber. Until next week, happy crafting!


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