KOEL Kid – VaskavullaKnit – Part I
Here at KOEL HQ we have a soft spot for Nordic design. But boy, do we feel Danish designer Thea Rytter of Vaskavullaknit when she says she sometimes feels the urge to ‘rock the Nordic design boat’ a little. Adding some glitter, improvisation and color to the otherwise so serene style. Let’s get to know this fun and refreshing fibre artist and find out all about her creative path, her humble and down-to-earth vision. And most of all, why we all need a ‘creative living room’ now rather than later.
Thea Rytter (32) lives in Holbæk, about one hour from Copenhagen. She is the mother of three children an ugly shih tzu dog, and married to her high school boyfriend who works as a teacher. She divides her time between working as an editor at a Danish craft magazine called Maries Ideer and working as a knitwear designer with her brand VaskavullaKnit. If you have not already, do your craft loving heart a favor and follow her on instagram for a daily shot of inspiration.
You’re a knitter with a passion for embroidery. How was your love for these yarn crafts ignited?
I started making knitwear patterns around 8 years ago and it quickly became a big part of my work life. An editor of a craft magazine by day and making patterns for my web shop, magazines and books by night. Since knitting became such a big part of my life, I needed a place where I could learn something new. To relax and improvise. So that is how embroidery became a “hobby” a few years ago. I like the embroidery because there are no rules. You can just go crazy and improvise. With the knitting I always have to write things down to make it a pattern. But the embroidery is much more “as we go”.
I’ve been showing my embroidery to the world via Vaskavullaknit on Instagram for a couple of years now. And quickly people started asking if I could teach them how to make these big embroideries. So I now teach workshops where people can learn how to do so themselves. When I entered the knitting world as a professional, I found, and sometimes still find, it quite conservative. A lot of rules and people who were more interested in how a knitting pattern where supposed to be written than the creative process or the craft itself. People are often locked inside their pattern, making the same sweaters and socks as everyone else not daring to step out of the box. I get many e-mails and messages on Instagram. “Can I… change the yarn, colour etc.”, well – yes you can! Or just give it a try, no one will be hurt.
I’ve found that my embroidery workshop guests get much more than just a new creative skill when I teach them how to make their knit work even more fabulous with the embroidery needle– they also find the courage to put the needle to something they’ve spend hours on making. And while it might be scary at first, it ends up being very liberating. And that’s my mission: Setting people free creatively. That’s what keeps me going.
Best piece of advice you ever got to help you grow your business, make it more successful or generally more FUN?
It’s a classic advice, but just a general life-advice. There’s cake enough for everyone. Meaning that the success of other people doesn’t take away the success you have. In a creative business like ours, it is so important to be true to yourself and your own style. Otherwise you cannot keep up the work. When someone suddenly has success with something, it is easy to focus on that. Perhaps even try to copy the idea somehow, but it’s important that people recognize your work. And the only way they can do that, is if you are true to what you like. Don’t be afraid to change your style though, but just don’t do it because you see others having success with something. If you are true to what you like to do, then it already is a success by being fun to do.
Loved our chat with Thea as much as we did and cannot wait to hear more? Then we recommend you stay tuned. Because tomorrow we continue our conversation with VaskavullaKnit in which we will learn more about her creative path. That’s not all, she will also -exclusively – share an exciting embroidery pattern with us!