While I have a certain *ahem* beaded project blocking on the floor today I thought it was time to fill you in on my latest viewing addiction. You may not have heard of it yet, but you almost certainly will. A Youtube venture from Skacel called Fiber Factor.
I first heard about Fiber Factor through the twitter feeds of Alex Tinsley and Sarah Wilson, both knitwear designers who seem to have a knack for staying ahead of trends in the knitting community. They had recently published a video on youtube in which they reviewed the first round of judging on Fiber Factor. I was intrigued and decided to go check out the original videos before watching their recap. What followed was a tumble down quite the rabbit hole as I watched the original challenge followed by the judging. Then I watched Alex and Sarah's video. Then I watched all the contestant videos. Then I looked up to realize five hours had gone by.
Fiber Factor is designed to be similar in style to Project Runway, only with knitwear design, rather than sewn fabrics. Because of the nature of knitting the challenges have to take place over a longer period of time and are done via correspondence rather than in a matter of hours or days. The last challenge required the contestants to design and knit a project that reflected something about their life or that had influenced them in 22 days. The garments and shawls were then mailed in to the Skacel studio and judged by a panel that included such names as Franklin Habit and Ysolda Teague. The contestants also submitted 90 second videos in which they explained their item and described why they made certain yarn and design choices.
In the last challenge, hands down my favorite pattern was the Seasons sweater by Natalie Larson. I really hope that they work with her to write up and release the pattern because I am dying to knit it. The customization with the removable hood and the fabric lining of the pockets and the hood just sing to me. And while I don't think I would ever knit Lauren Riker's Butterfly Dress, I did look her up after watching the show and add many of her patterns to my queue. She designs for a younger audience and her aesthetic is very cute and flirty. If you sign up for her mailing list you get a download code for a sweet tunic style sweater that I already have plans to knit up soon.
The next challenge is due in mid June and the judging will be done at TNNA. I cannot wait!