Lindy Zubairy

Tell us a little about yourself. What other things do you do apart from design?

I like to write too, and I’d like to find the time to do a bit more. My big hobby at the moment is vintage style. I’ve always enjoyed my mum’s younger look (50s and 60s) and my Gran’s younger look (30s and 40s) and now I’ve discovered how I can take the best of those now classic silhouettes and flourishes and actively try to finesse them into my own personal style.

What attracts you to knitting/crochet as distinct from any other craft(s)?

I think my attraction to crochet is quite layered and complicated. I find it easier than any other craft I’ve tried. I’ve always been a bit cack-handed and also impatient. I learnt to crochet later in life and taught myself on the quiet, so perhaps I escaped any feeling of intimidation by doing it on my own. Perhaps I’m less impatient now too. I found it incredibly soothing – an escape.

How do you get started on a design? Where does the inspiration come from?

It’s important, I think, to keep a weather-eye on what other people are doing – look at magazines, browse the web etc. I also do try to recycle old ideas – vintage fashion is amazingly creative and sometimes surprisingly contemporary. It can be positively eccentric. I take a lot of photographs of landscapes and animals. The colour combinations you see on exotic birds can be very refreshing! I really appreciate the simple and pared down and my design process is often one of stripping down, cutting back, until the finished idea emerges from the clutter.

Do you ever start with a yarn and design something with it in mind?

Yes. There are some really beautiful yarns around nowadays and they do inspire design ideas. My starlight top in this November’s Inside Crochet began as an idea for an ‘evening’ top that rose directly out of the sheen of the baby bamboo.

Who crochets up the patterns?

I design and make in an integrated process that ends up with a finished product (and often several unfinished!).

When you look back at the items you’ve designed, how has your work evolved? Which is your favourite of your designs?

Interesting question. I think one of my favourites is my circular rug in my book. I like bold statements. Any evolution has been ‘under the bonnet’ if you will, in that I try to structure my items and their patterns as cleanly and simply as I can, and prepare full but succinct instructions.

If you could only design one type of garment/accessory, what would it be?

Sweaters. I would never get bored within those parameters. I just wouldn’t be as prolific as it takes time to make up a garment, particularly if it has sleeves, and it needs care to shape and fit so that it flatters and enhances the figure.

Which yarn fibres do you most like to work in?

Bamboo and alpaca. But anything that glides over the hook, drapes nicely and feels luxurious would do me.

What design plans do you have for the next year?

I plan to continue my relationship with Inside Crochet magazine and nurture a new and promising one I am currently establishing with Hobbycraft. I intend to work harder at my Ravelry and Etsy presence and ultimately put in a new book proposal.

What does KCG mean to you?

I see the Guild as an important centre for the yarn crafts, and an authority of sorts too. It’s THE body that knitters and crocheters can turn to for advice, support, information and expertise. The incredible breadth of knowledge and experience amongst the members is invaluable as a resource, alongside its material collection of items and literature and I am proud to be a member of such a prestigious organisation.

How might KCG use its Collection to gain new members?

Might I suggest some active forging of links with the WI? Leaflets at WI meetings. A poster on the noticeboard at Denman College – and perhaps other craft colleges around the country. Universities offering fashion might well be interested in organising ‘field trips’ to visit the collection – so a letter to the Fashion Programme Leaders drawing it to their attention perhaps?

As KCG approaches its 40th anniversary in 2018, what would you like to see it achieve in the next 10 years?

A You Tube channel. Bursaries for young knitwear designers to go to college. An annual, high profile knitwear design competition. Celebrity patronage (Erika Knight, Kirsty Allsopp, Nicki Trench).... A coffee table book…. (Now THERE’s an idea!!!! Could be new designs by member-contributors, could be just about the collection – a kind of curated catalogue type thing – could be a ‘The Best Of’ Slipknot stories from down the years…) Hmmmmm.

Read more about Lindy's work on her website.

Lindy's first book is out November 2016.