7.18.2012

Getting to Know You #9: Grace Akhrem

Today's guest is a designer whose work carries a fashion sensibility so close to my own wardrobe, I find myself drooling over practically everything she designs. It's none other than the fabulous Grace Akhrem, and if you're not familiar with her work you should go queue it all immediately, then come back here and read the rest of the interview.

I first met Grace last June at TNNA, and she immediately made me feel welcome hanging out with all the cool kids. Grace's fantastic, low-key personality punctuated by hilarious outbursts of sarcastic commentary meant we hit it off right away, and I'm honored to count her among my professional friends. Every time I walked by her booth last month at the show, she had out some new sample that I had to stop and pet and try on and attempt to stuff into my giant knitting bag. (No luck though, some people are just SO touchy about stealing!) ;)

Here's Grace, modeling her Grace Headband.

One of Grace's most ingenius designs is a tribute to another knitwear designer; it's called Olga's Vest and can be styled in over 12 ways! Grace is heading up a knitalong for this pattern beginning August 4th for anyone who's interested, and you can find more details about that here.


 Grace's Olga's Vest KAL begins on August 4th, hosted in her Ravelry group.

Let's move on to the questions, shall we?

TSK:  So, Olga's Vest can be styled at least 12 different ways, and probably many more. I love that the creativity you had in designing this piece inspires creativity in others to find new ways to wear it! How on earth did you come up with the idea to make this garment? Did you know going into it that it would be so versatile?

GA: I had no idea that this vest was going to be so versatile. I intended for it to be worn two ways - forwards and backwards. When I finally finished the vest and sewed on all the buttons I asked a friend to try it on. She kept trying it on all the different ways - we were both surprised how versatile the garment could be... and it's all because of the buttons and the stitch I created.

 One of my very favorite of Grace's designs, the Bougainvilla Lace Shrug.

TSK: This appears to be just your sixth adult garment since you started designing. Your accessory patterns have experienced huge success, one of which nabbed the cover of Interweave Gifts in 2011. Where does your heart for designing lie? Do you find that you enjoy designing accessories more, or can we look forward to seeing more garments from you in the near future?

GA: I guess it depends more on my mood. I have a very short attention span when it comes to yarn and colors and I might lose interest in something rather quickly, which is why I usually create more accessories. Lately I have found myself more disciplined and able to knit something in the same yarn that is longer than 300 yards. I do love designing garments - especially the ones that can be worn more than one way. I have a few more garments on the needles and a couple more in the queue that I hope to have finished before May. You will still see more accessories from me, but I guess it just depends on my attention span.

Grace's Robin Hood, Olana Shawl and Gregorio patterns

TSK: What's up next for you? Any big plans for designing in 2012?

GA: Yes! It seems like I am always getting ready for the next TNNA. This TNNA I only had three new patterns - my all time low. I hope that when I have that few that they are very strong patterns. I want to have about 5 pieces for this next TNNA and I have been thinking about putting together an e-book. My only problem is my full-time job and all the time constraints that come with it. But I am very optimistic and I think I can make it happen this year.

TSK: Sounds like you have a big year ahead! Okay, last question. What makes you feel "sexy"?

GA: I'm not really sure what makes me feel sexy.... heels maybe?.... especially stilettos.


Thanks so much for stopping by, Grace! Y'all be sure to look Grace up not only on Ravelry but also on her Facebook and Twitter pages. She'd love to see you all over there!


We have a fabulous giveaway to go along with today's post! (You knew that part was coming, right?) The amaaaaazing Anzula Luxury Fibers has offered up enough Squishy for one lucky winner to knit their very own Olga's Vest as part of Grace's KAL! Grace will also be providing the pattern to the winner, free of charge. All you need to do to enter is leave a comment stating which size you'd make, and whether you'd prefer Maple or Plum. And if you're on Twitter and want an extra entry, just tweet the following:

I've just entered to win an Olga's Vest kit from @Anzula, @GraceAkhrem & @TheSexyKnitter! Find out more here: http://tinyurl.com/gtkygrace.

Good luck all, and we'll announce the winner on July 25th! (You'll need to be "present" to win though, and the winner will have 3 days to claim their prize or we'll select someone else.)
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53 comments:

  1. I love the Plum and I'd knit a size S.

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  2. It's a close race, but I'd have to pick Plum! And I'm usually a size S, so that's probably what I'd knit.

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  3. That's such a cool pattern. Where have I been that I've missed it until now??? I'd knit a large and absolutely love the plum! Thanks for the chance to win!

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  4. I love the plum color and would make either the XL or the 2X.

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  5. This is a fun pattern that I was planning to make even without winning! I would choose the Maple for a Small for my daughter who would love the versatility of this vest. All style for the stylish!

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  6. I'd love to make a size 2x in the Maple. So pretty!

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  7. I would make a large in Plum yummy!

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  8. What an awesome design! I fall somewhere between L/XL... So I would probably have to knit the XL. The yarns are simply yummy... such a tough choice, but the Plum would be my final choice (:

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  9. This pattern was on my to-buy list! I'd go for either an XS or S and the Plum. What a fab giveaway! Thank you.

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  10. Beautiful patterns. I'd make an XS in the plum.

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  11. I love this!!! I'd make a Large and I Looooooove the Plum. If I don't win I'm going to have to dye something up for this, it's too gorgeous!!

    Jessecreations on Rav

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  12. I tweeted! I'm @StoriedYarns.

    :)

    Jess

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  13. Awesome post! Thanks for sharing :) I would need an XL and its hard to pick between the two colors but I would go with the plum!
    Raverly ID: Nonosmom

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  14. Great giveaway!! I'd make L or XL in plum. Definitely plum. :)

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  15. yes! this vest is awesome..id love to knit it up in the plum colorway in medium :)

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  16. What a cool design! How very versatile :) I'd make a small size in Maple for sure!

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  17. I love the maple! And, I would probably knit the XL

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  18. I would make the 3x in plum. Ooh please ooh please!

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  19. I love this garment! I would knit in plum and probably a size medium or maybe large. (I would have to look at finished measurements to decide for sure!)

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  20. I very cool vest, I would make it in a large in plum. I love it!

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  21. I already have the pattern and am planning on joining the KAL, but that yarn is so yummy!

    I'd love to make the vest with the plum in size 36.

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  22. LOVE IT! I would love to make it in maple, I would need to make it in a XXL. so pretty! happycrafter207 on ravelry

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  23. I would make Olga's vest for my mum in maple!

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  24. What a lovely vest -- I think it would fantastic in plum! I'd knit a size XL or 2X (depending on ease and drape). I'm editorabc on Ravelry. You're always so generous - what a great giveaway! Thank you!

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  25. This vest is so cool. Love that you don't have to be stuck with one way of wearing it! I would make a size medium (M) and I love the plum colourway, it looks so rich! Thanks for a fab giveaway!

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  26. Thank you for a great giveaway! I'd knit the Large size in the plum colourway but the maple looks good too, to be honest either would be great, lol. ;-)

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  27. I sould make an XL in plum.
    sparky136 on ravelry

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  28. I would love plum and I'd make a medium.

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  29. Plum please! Size medium. Fabulous pattern.

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  30. Small plum!! I love Anzula!

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  31. I would choose the color plum in size 2x. Great pattern.

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  32. I would love to make the L in plum, oh boy is this a great contest! Thank you :-)

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  33. Both Color are gorgeous! i would probably make the medium size in Plum. Or maple. Or Plum.

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  34. I think medium in maple would be right for me. I love that it's so versatile!

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  35. I would probably make a small in maple for my daughter!
    I wish I could wear it!

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  36. I'd make a 2x so I could layer it with other shirts making it even more versatile! And I'd definitely make it in Plum. Thanks for the chance to win!

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  37. https://twitter.com/cmouse01/status/226768289064435712

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  38. Too cool! The 3X is the best size for me, and I think the Maple would make me just a little happier than the Plum. I've also tweeted as @zuzus_books. Thanks for introducing me to some great patterns!

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  39. Fantastic giveaway, thanks! I'd knit the large, and as lovely as the maple is it would have to be plum!

    (tweeted: https://twitter.com/eclecticitee/status/226807789891252224)

    chana on Rav

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  40. I love this so much I will definitely make this! Would knit a Medium in Plum!!
    Meegan

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  41. This is lovely!!! I'd knit a medium in plum! Love
    The pattern & I LOVE all of Anzula's yarns!!

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  42. I'd love to knit the Medium in Plum! Just gorgeous!
    globalite on Ravelry

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  43. So cool! I'd knit it in 4X for my friend :)

    zilliah on rav

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  44. Ooooh. I'd knit it in 4x for my mom... in plum, although the maple is lovely!

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  45. I tweeted it, too! https://twitter.com/EmilyGusba/status/227848596991668224

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  46. The medium in Plum - oh, this would be so fantastic!

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