As part of the original Around the World in 80 Skeins tour, the 27th stop was to visit Nicoleta Ganea, a machine knitting designer living in Romania.
Hi, Nicoleta! Where do you live and what’s the best thing about your city?
I live in Bucharest, Romania. Bucharest is also my hometown. I like the fact that it is a pretty safe city.
How did you get started knitting and how did it turn into designing?
A few years ago I kept on asking myself what am I suppose to do for fun and also be able to transform it into a business if I desire so, to combine business and pleasure, which, for me, is the basis of success. Asking this question daily, after some weeks, machine knitting popped into my mind. Actually, this was an idea I used to have when I was a teenager, in high school, hand knitting sweaters and blouses for myself, and my mom bought all sort of beautiful sweaters for me from someone who machine knitted them. I told myself that this is something I would love to do myself, then I forgot about this idea and it came back to me when I was sitting with myself, asking and being open to receive the answer to the “what am I suppose to do now?” question. I started designing because I did not see machine knitting patterns I loved. I am a young woman who likes feminine and fashionable clothes, and making them for myself is a great motivation for me. In fact, my only motivation is to machine knit fashionable clothes for myself.
Do you only machine knit or do you also hand knit?
For the moment, I only machine knit. When I have an inspiration for a project, I like to be able to finish it as soon as possible and see the result. I learned how to hand knit when I was 6 years old, but now I think is more practical to machine knit.
How does where you live influence your designs?
I wouldn’t think that where I live influences too much my designs, besides having 4 seasons and having to dress accordingly and living in the city where people show more interest in what they wear when it comes to fashion. I just try to follow the trends. It’s true that if I lived in India or in an Arabic country, the clothes I would wear would be different, therefore the designs too, but in Romania, we wear the same types of clothes as in most other European countries, US, Canada, etc.
Do you have a favorite fiber arts designer?
I love Vogue Knitting designs.
Where is your favorite place to work?
A favourite place to knit would be in the workshop/office I dream of having in an attic. For the moment I knit in my bedroom, on my desk where the knitting machine is installed. I must admit, that this is a con for a machine knitter, as a hand knitters can go and create anywhere they desire.
What is your favorite working snack or drink?
I almost always have a big cup of different sorts of herbal teas. For example, I like to drink alot of green tea with honey and lemon or a mix of rooibos and linden tea, again, with honey and lemon.
Do you have a favorite local yarn store?
Unfortunately, I do not have one. In Romania, machine knitting is not popular at all, so I am forced to always buy yarns online. Machine knitting requires different type of yarns than hand knitting does, therefore the local yarn stores do not have the type of yarns I need and they never have cones which is always preferable.
What is your design process like?
I plan all before I start: I choose a stitch pattern and yarns, I knit a tension swatch, I make a schematic for the garment I desire to knit, and then I start knitting.
Do you have a favorite design in your portfolio that was inspired by your culture/environment?
I designed a sweater blouse specifically for this project with Romanian traditional influences. It is called Romanian Traditional Inspired Sleeveless Blouse and is available on my website. You can see in the second picture me and my Sound Choir colleagues and we are wearing Romanian traditional costumes, the ones that inspired me for creating and knitting this blouse.
Thank you for joining us on the tour and for sharing your beautiful designs and inspirations with us!