Just tell me about yourself briefly and your business.
What name do you want to be referred by?
I am Priyamvada, an Indian knitter known as KnitSanyasini, who learnt her craft like most who fall in love with knitting - as a young girl watching my grandmother, aunt and mother knit and create customized love in the form of beautiful sweaters, cardigans, pullovers, scarfs, beanies, socks, gloves with their deft and skilled hands. This awoke an interest in the artist in me to create garments that could be caring, as well as pieces of self-expression. The interest to learn the craft in-depth led me to pursue a Bachelor's in Knitwear Design from the National Institute of Fashion Technology during which I accumulated knowledge and technicalities of the knitting industry along with varieties of yarn in various hues. I developed an entirely hand knit collection of 5 ensembles for my final graduation project which won the award for The Best Design Collection. KnitSanyasini is a continuation of my knitting story where I upcycle all the yarn collected over the years to make unique handcrafted wearable art that seeks to add colors and happiness to everyone who can find it through hand knitting.
How do you work with wool?
I prefer to be open to mediums and this means upcycling woolen blends and even collaborating with designers, yarn manufacturers, artists, and the knitting community in general. I am always on the lookout for organic sources of yarns as sustainable solutions cannot be restricted to only niche markets and have to involve all sectors of the supply chain. This may mean having an open mind to sometimes using even leftover yarns, artificial blends, artificial - natural blends as well so that they don't end up as waste which adds burden to the environment.
If you could choose one pivotal moment in your career, what would it be?
There is not one pivotal moment I can name in my knitting journey as it is a continuous process of discovery with every small milestone, collaboration, or interaction with the knitting community being a source of learning and inspiration. Winning the Best Design Collection Award motivated me to keep knitting. Collaborating with KPC yarns was a great learning curve in using their wonderful blends, sorting out logistics during a pandemic, and even plotting patterns. Getting validation from 'The Woolmark Company' through a mention on their Instagram profile helped me understand that I am playing a small role in a global sustainable movement with a long way to go.
What are the professional achievements you are proudest of?
Winning the Best Design Collection Award in my final year of undergrad and NIFT most Meritorious Student Award 2017.
If there is one thing you wish you’d know when you were starting out in wool/ cotton, what would it be?
One thing I wished I would have known when I started out is how different twists of yarn can affect the knitting process, right from choosing the correct needles, yarn tension that all affects the final outcome.
Why do you think wool and handmade textiles are so fashionable right now?
Hand knitting and handcrafted textiles, in general, are making a comeback as individuals across the world go back to their roots looking inwards for ways to cope with the effects of the lockdown, to create newness, self-expression and practical solutions that are not dependent on external sources. Hand knitting is a medium through which artists can create meaningful expressions.
What is your dream wool project?
My dream wool project would be to work with rural Indian women in a community that produces their own yarns thus creating a full sustainable circle from fiber to wearable garments at the same time empowering women.
Who are the artists who have most greatly inspired you?
The randomness of the medium inspires me the most.
What is your favourite woolen item in your wardrobe or home?
My favourite woollen item in my wardrobe is the scarf my mother taught me to knit when I was 7 years old.
Where do you work?
I currently work in the Indian city, Pune.
What is your ideal of a good beginner’s task?
A good beginner's task would be to make swatches before starting any project to see how the yarns behave.
Which is the KPC Yarn hue that really speaks to you?
The KPC yarn that really speaks to me is the Glencoul Chunky Parakeet yarn as it is so beautifully pastel and yet it immediately transports you to a tropical rainforest.
Visit Knit Sanyasini website to learn more about her work!