Meet Svitana, from Lozova, Ukraine. She is the owner and maker behind Onward Onward, an online shop dedicated to the creation of hand knit wear for children. She combines old world craft with modern design. Her works are expertly made and playful. Read about who inspired her, how she comes up with her designs and how she selects her materials below:
What inspired you to start your own knitting business?
I was not as much attracted to the "technical" part of creating my own knitwear, as I was attracted to the designer's work. To execute what you've designed with the utmost care and quality is very important, but the result of such efforts by itself is what brings me great satisfaction. The desire to invent, develop and create something new, something different, something unique accompanied me over the years. Meeting my beloved man - my grandson Tihon - helped me to live out an old dream. It was he who inspired me to create cute knitwear which would please not only him but everyone else, too.
Recently I had the idea to explore the small business possibilities and offer my designs to other little fashionistas. And this is where Tihon also actively helps me - he gladly poses for the camera, and is my favorite model.
How do you choose your materials?
I take the choice of materials for my products very seriously - we are talking about children here. Therefore, I prefer yarn blends which consist of natural eco-safe components - wool, and cotton. The fabric knitted from such yarn is very pleasant to the touch. I always pay attention to the woolen thread within the yarn - it has to be specially treated and not itchy. As to the texture and color, I try to pick natural, "rustic" yarn skeins, avoiding aggressive colors and questionable dyes. The product knitted with these yarns is comfortable, warm and cozy.
What is your creative process like? Do you start with a sketch or do you start making the item as you knit?
I find it difficult to determine at what point a brand new idea is born, sometimes long before it's turn comes up. Sometimes I think it over weeks after weeks, and sometimes the idea appears in my mind as the complete image, with all the details, characteristics and tidbits. For some things I have to do a detailed sketch, drawing in every detail, choosing a palette, combining colors and patterns. The result isn't always satisfying. In this case, I start over. Some products do not require such painstaking approach - they appear in my mind as a complete image. Working on such things is particularly nice, it all turns out so quickly and easily.
Are your products, made to order or limited edition? If so, why is that important to you?
As I was saying, the designer's work is a very important part of the process for me. I try to create diverse, unique things, even if it's a very limited edition, but with a special, creative approach to each product. Although, of course, I am always pleased if a customer contacts me and asks to knit their favorite product in different size or in different color palette.
Tell us about a current project are working on.
At the moment I'm trying to create a whole line of children's knitwear for spring, the spring collection if I may say so, for kids about the same age, but a really wide range. I wish that every new thing I design was not only unique and special, but also comfortable and a good match to other products from my shop. And I hope my new designs would make happy all children whose parents would like to buy Onward Onward knitwear.