Saturday 15 March 2014

Guest Blogger Week 107 ~ Eclectic Mix Knitwear

I would like to say a huge welcome
to Sonji Clayton

My name is Sonji Clayton, I am a freelance designer and educator. 
Much thanks to Susan for featuring me in her 'Guest Blog Post' this month, 
I hope all you aspiring knitwear and crochet designers find my journey interesting!

Background: My mother taught me to knit, crotchet and hand sew when I was in primary school, as I got older I fell in love with the fashion industry strongly influenced and inspired by shows such as The Clothes Show, Soul Train and designers such as, Vivian Westwood and Yohji Yamamoto, on leaving school I went on  to study Fashion Retail and Business at The College for the Distributive Trades. Over the years I had been freelancing as a make-up artist/stylist and designing and knitting made to order garments for private clients, which encouraged me to go back and pursue a part-time career in knitwear design. 
From 2006 - 2010 I sold my handcrafted accessories and clothing at the Fashion Enter Boutique, which is owned by the largest online portal for fashion designers & manufacturers, Fashion Capital. In Autumn 2011 I launched my on-line boutique 'Eclectic Mix Knitwear' to sell my self-published knitting & crochet patterns part-time.

These are 2 of my most popular knitting patterns: 'Versatility' in my designs is a key feature

My designs are heavily influenced by yarn texture and simple symmetrical silouhettes. I have received commissions from stylists as far away as New York. My experience within knit design genres is constantly evolving. In 2009 my biography and designs were featured in a full page article in Lets Knit Magazine about my life as a knitwear designer. Alongside my design work, I am also an Associate Lecturer/NVQ Assessor, within Further Education and a creative business coach within the private sector. 
This 'Bonita' gilet design was featured in 'Lets Knit Magazine' in 2012: It is now available as a free download in my Ravelry Store:

I have taught Intro to Knitwear Design at the Stitch & Craft Show, Olympia, 'How to Design Your Own Slouchy Hat' for both knitters and crocheters. I wish to build on this  experience, so currently, I am working towards seeking funding in order to take part in exhibitions, shows and to deliver workshops related to the business of craft and design. 
'Ebook' Tutorial is sold in my online stores:
How to make your own T-Shirt Yarn

have included anything and everything but in particular, Kaye Fassett’s Fairisle and fabric designs, Sonia Rykiel’s fine and chunky knitwear collections, Missoni’s range of clothing and soft furnishings, handmade vintage patterns i.e. 20s/40s/50/60s/70’s and last but not least African fabrics, art and afros/ braid styles. All these inspirations are able to capture the qualities of the texture and colour of yarn and fabric, which for me visually and emotionally, manifests in a form that is both high fashion, ancient craftsmanship and art, in a very real sense I want to reach out and touch what I see. The handmade vintage patterns reflect and stretch the versatility of handmade techniques on an extremely practical, yet what seemingly impossible stylistic level, in this era of high-tech machine dominated manufacturing. 
Hair Editorial for Pride Magazine: The Stylist 'Angela Plummer' used my
 'Chameleon' Shrug Design

Thank you ever so much Sonji!
You are just so talented.
I hope you'll join me in thanking Sonji and check out her sites!


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I love reading everything you put and I will try and reply but it just depends on my health.
Thanks Sue