It starts with a sketch

Greetings! In my last post I alluded to news (scroll down to read my tips on sketching, or read on to hear my announcement). It isn’t exactly a secret at this point, but I would love to officially announce that I am working on a book!! I am pretty much the last of my cohort to do so, but I’m so glad to be doing it now with Melanie Falick at Stewart, Tabori & Chang. I’ve been a longtime fan of Melanie’s impeccable work, and I’m so honored to call her my editor for this project.


I’ve been trying to come up with my short synopsis of the project and it has proven a bit difficult, I have to say! It will be a pattern collection in line with the Vintage collections I did at Berroco (in DK, Worsted, Chunky), with a special emphasis on styling.

While I was at Berroco I learned so much about creating a story, traveling all the way from a yarn to a finished image. Before Berroco, I helped countless people shop for projects while working at Webs. In between all of this yarn, I was in a graduate program where I studied the use of aesthetics and fashion in the construction and performance of identity.

The book will hopefully contain elements of all of this, and practically speaking, my focus will be on garments that are knit logically, with an eye towards functionality. In my recent move I callously jettisoned a LOT of unworn sweaters. It was liberating and TOTALLY telling! My goal will be to create wardrobe staples with tons of visual interest, a la my most famous FO to date, Mlle Aidez.

So, that brings us to the sketch. The humble, terrifying sketch. I never went to fashion school, and many of my contemporaries didn’t either. It’s really scary to put your ideas down on paper, and it’s hugely disappointing when they look nothing like the sartorial visions in your head. While I was at Berroco, Norah showed me that there is no shame at all in tracing over a flat figure to get your proportions right.

I haven’t made the same high-tech leap to the iPad that she has, but I still believe in the value of good tools. I find sketching much easier with a quality pencil, and the sight of my little glass pencil sharpener keeps me cheery no matter how wonky my cables look. I picked up my supplies at Utrecht Art Supply in Providence (and inherited a few lucky pencils from Margery Winter). You can buy my favorites, the General’s Layout Pencil and the Alvin Ink Well sharpener on their website.

That’s it for me today, I have to get back to sketching because did I mention? The most important think you need for solid sketches is PRACTICE…and confidence. It’s amazing how much I like my sketches when I stop berating myself. Try it!


all text and images © cirilia rose 2017