SELVEDGE TALKS TO BAKKAby Penny Gray
It's not long now until our fair in Edinburgh, with preparations in full swing for Selvedge's first fair at Dovecot Studios we talk to one of the knitwear designers joining us...
What made you start working with textiles?
Having taken a 20-year maternity leave, after my children left home, I wanted to see if I could start a business in something I am passionate about and make a success of it. I moved to Shetland in order to launch this business.
What is it about your craft that captured your attention?
I love the double “layer” in Fair Isle patterns, the pattern itself and the colour.
What inspires you?
BAKKA aims to help preserve the cultural heritage of Fair Isle knitwear by bringing some of the oldest traditional patterns and colours forward into the 21st century through the use of luxury yarn. The idea that I am contributing to the perpetuity of this heritage is very inspiring in itself.
Who inspires you?
What is your favourite part of the process of sourcing/ making/ doing what you do?
I enjoy both ends of the process, designing new garments and selling the finished product.
What’s the hardest part, what do you dislike?
The most tedious part is definitely hand-washing and steam pressing. I am a fledgling business and do not yet have adequate facilities. I need grant aid to install large sinks, hot water, and a steam press of my own.
Where do you live and why have you chosen to be here?
I live at Bakka, a small croft on the west coast of mainland Shetland. It took me 5 years to find this location. I love the remoteness, the peace, the feeling of being alone. I have space to work and create.
What’s your ideal Sunday?
Sleeping after 6am, immersing myself in the nature surrounding me at Bakka whatever the weather, talking to the sheep, listening to the birds, watching the waves.
If you could fly anywhere in the world tomorrow where would you go and why?
The Faroes, Iceland, Northern Scandinavia or South America. Why? To explore their cultures and understand their use of patterns in knitted textiles.
To find our more about the Selvedge Edinburgh Fair this August 19th, click here.