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Behind The Stitches: Georgia Farrell

Can we talk about MODE Collection Four??? I'm in love with this Spring/Summer 2021 collection. Lace was truly the star of the show. You all know that I'm a fan of a chunky knit but after viewing the collection I went running to my craft room to dust off my 3mms! The colors, the patterns, the classic silhouettes...chef's kiss. 

The entire collection is so dreamy but as soon as I saw the Pepper Sweater I knew that I had to get an interview with the designer onto the blog. Turns out, if you have been a fan of MODE for a few years then you've probably wanted to make one of Georgia Ferrell's designs! This week we are getting to know knitwear designer, Georgia Farrell. 


"I’ve loved making and creating for as long as I can remember"


Sam: Where are you from and where are you currently based?


Georgia: I’m from Essex in the UK, so just to the east of London, where I still live and work now. My studio is on the Hylands Estate in Chelmsford, but I am currently working from home, like a lot of us are right now, due to the lockdown restrictions. 


Sam: What is your go-to craft and where do you think your love of crafting comes from?


Georgia: It has to be knitting, even though it’s the craft I have chosen as my discipline as a designer, it’s still definitely my favourite craft to do for fun! I have always loved crafts, even looking back to when I was a child I used to love the crafts we did at my church and on Brownie camp, (I don’t know if you have brownies in the US, it’s kinda like Scouts for little girls) and I was totally into art at school. I’ve loved making and creating for as long as I can remember. 


Sam: Are you the only crafty person in your family? 


Georgia: My Mum is quite crafty, she’s always so great at helping me with the practical side of things like when I was studying, I’d come up with these wild ideas of things I wanted to create and she would help me figure out how to make them happen. And my Dad is into art, we would sit and draw things together on holidays when I was little and we always go to exhibitions together. But it’s my lovely Nan who taught me to knit, she’s 96 now and can no longer knit but she loves seeing everything I make and I get her to hold all my swatches and tell me which ones she likes best, usually the softest one! 




Sam: Did you go to school for design? If so, what was the biggest lesson your schooling taught you?


Georgia: Yeah so I went to University in London and studied for a degree in textile design, and I specialised in knitted textiles, so that’s how I approach design, from a fabric up perspective. The biggest thing I discovered more than learnt, whilst I was studying, was finding my design style, my handwriting as a designer. Finding what inspired me, what my design process looked like, how I felt comfortable expressing my ideas to other people, all that sort of thing. Just having the luxury of time to play, explore and develop yourself was the most valuable part of my time studying. I also learnt a lot when I interned, that real-life experience was so vital. 


Sam: I think you mentioned that you worked at a haberdashery before becoming a designer. Have the lessons that you learned from that experience influenced your design process today?


Georgia: I did, after I graduated from university I was freelancing in fashion and doing bits and pieces of work for myself, but I needed money, and I managed to get myself the ultimate part-time retail job for knitters, working for Rowan selling yarn in the department store Liberty of London. That time taught me so much! The lovely ladies I worked alongside very generously taught me so much more about knitting and advising customers on yarns and colours, and helping with pattern queries, all gave me such valuable experience which I hope still helps me today in my designing. Thinking about the things that I know put people off designs and patterns, and the things that knitters loved, even down to photography; how to show all the features of a design and the size and shape of finished knits as well as close up’s of texture and detail. 



Sam: How long have you been designing patterns? What was the first pattern that you released?


Georgia: It must be about 6 or 7 years now, my first designs sort of came at once, I designed a matching hat and snood called Arrow for Rowan, and a summer cardigan for Knit Now magazine called City Chic Jacket, that was my first design in print which was super exciting for me! 


"I photographed my swatch and played around with mirroring it on the computer so that, without spending days swatching, I could get an idea of how I could create that sense of movement by simply changing the direction of the lace pattern"


Sam: How did you start your relationship with Mode at Rowan and how has it evolved and grown over time?


Georgia: I was already designing for Rowan when Mode at Rowan was created and they approached me and asked if I would be interested in designing for this new concept they were working on, as soon as I saw the mood boards for the first collection I was super excited to design for Mode! I love the whole concept and I really think there is so much potential there for Mode to continue to grow. Rowan still works with some designers that contributed to the first Rowan magazine which I absolutely love, and I hope that I will be one of the designers that are featured in every Mode collection for a long time to come! 



Sam: What has been your favorite Rowan yarn pattern that you’ve created? 


Georgia: I really can’t pick one! But my latest collection with Rowan ‘My London’ is my favourite thing that I have created with Rowan, probably my favourite thing I’ve created ever, until the next project at least! 



Sam: Can we talk about Pepper??? Where did the inspiration to create Pepper come from?


Georgia: We can indeed! All of my work is inspired by my love of architecture, sometimes like for ‘My London’ it’s specific buildings, and sometimes it’s just my love of the kind of geometric shapes and clean structural lines that seep through from architecture into my designs, and Pepper is definitely one of those designs! I was swatching up a simple diagonal lace idea, usually, I’m not the biggest lover of lace knitting but I thought if I can do it simply and cleanly it could have a very structural quality to it, and I was super happy with how it was coming out, but I wanted more from the design. I had this idea that I wanted to create a sense of movement in the design of the fabric, so I photographed my swatch and played around with mirroring it on the computer so that, without spending days swatching, I could get an idea of how I could create that sense of movement by simply changing the direction of the lace pattern at different points over different sections of the boxy cardigan shape I had in mind, and eventually I settled on what is now Pepper! I’m super happy with how it turned out, I especially love the way the lines almost swirl in a very geometric way on the back. 


"don’t think that the finished outcome is all that matters, because your inspiration, your process, your unique creativity is so valuable"


Sam: I noticed that there was quite a lot of lace in the newest Mode at Rowan collection. Is this a trend that you see continuing? What is your favorite lace stitch?


Georgia: Like I say, I’m not normally the biggest fan of lace, but I do love the way it’s been done in the latest Mode at Rowan collection, it feels really fresh and a more modern take on lace, and I think that could be something that we see more of. I love any lace that’s geometric. 




Sam: What advice do you have for new designers? 


Georgia: Make sure you know your craft, but also, don’t limit your creativity, and don’t think that the finished outcome is all that matters, because your inspiration, your process, your unique creativity is so valuable. 


Sam: What has your creative process brought to your life?


Georgia: That’s such a wonderful question, honestly, so much I can’t even put it into words! It’s how I express my truest self, it’s a massive part of my identity and how I see the world, it’s one of my greatest gifts and I cherish it. 




Sam: What do you like to binge-watch or listen to while you craft?


Georgia: At the moment, I’m rewatching Downton Abbey whilst I knit, I love binge-watching programs I have already seen years before when they came out each week on TV, whilst I knit. I have a terrible memory so there’s usually so much I’ve forgotten that feels new when I see it again but enough that I remember so that I don’t need to fully concentrate, the perfect balance for knitting! 



I want to thank Georgia for taking the time to chat with us! If you want to see more of Georgia's work you can follow her on Instagram @georgiafarrelldesign and you can also visit her website, and shop her amazing patterns!



Who should I talk to next? Leave your suggestions in the comments section along with any thoughts you have about Georgia's interview. 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 time, happy crafting! 




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