Francoise Danoy, or Frenchie as she is known by her beloved Fiber Muses is the talent behind the phenomenon of Aroha Knits. With regular knitting challenges, the Popular Swatch Studio Course and the recent additions of Alchemy Kits (permanently sold out) and the Fabulous new digital magazine Fibre Muse Quarterly it feels as if Frenchie is going to take over the world of knitting!
Tell us something unexpected about yourself….
I have four citizenships! Australia, France, New Zealand and the United States. I was born with the first three and then acquired US citizenship in 2012.
How long have you been editing magazines?
I just started, so about 6 months now. But since I am designing the majority of the patterns in the issue, I consider myself designer first, editor second.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
The process of the little bits and pieces coming together. I knew that it was going to be a lot of work putting it together, but I didn’t expect it to be enjoyable. I think the concept of working in batches works well for me.
What led you to this role?
I created a Fibre Muse Quarterly because I wanted my work as a designer to mean something a bit more in the community. I didn’t want to release single patterns every month… I wanted to create something that people were excited for and have greater impact on them.
It is a nerve wracking experience selecting from your proposals – making the right choice for your readers?
A little bit, yeah! But I’ve learned to trust my gut and if I know that I put my best foot forward, then I can be happy with my choice.
What is you biggest bugbear when working with so many different designers?
Well since I design the majority of the patterns and only work with one other designer (with some exceptions), I haven’t run into major issues on that front yet 😉
On average how many proposals are submitted for each call request you send into the yarn world?
I send out design proposals to just my community of students in my knitwear design e-course. In the beginning, I only got two. For the Giver issue I got over 10! For this upcoming design proposal I sent out, I got 7 so far. I like to use the Quarterly as an opportunity for my students to put their best foot forward and show me the process they’ve made. While I can only accept one, they will experience rejection, but I hope to make even that a good experience (because I know how much that sucks!).
Do you personally prefer crochet or knitting?
Knitting – I don’t know how to crochet!
Do you have a favourite technique that you love to see in the real world?
More Maori-themed colorwork designs, perhaps?
What themes inspire you the most, seasonal/holidays, colours/yarn weights, skills/techniques or something else entirely?
I draw inspiration from my four “Fibre Muses” who have their own theme that goes along with them. For example, the Giver Muse: I think of neutral colorways, whites, blacks, greys, heavier weight yarns, and perhaps a touch of cables.
Have you ever designed a knitting or crochet pattern yourself?
Yup! I have over 70+ patterns published to date.
What does the future hold for your magazine?
I hope it continues to grow. It’s just brand new but I feel very passionately about this project. I do hope to get a printed version up and running one day, but I have to focus on one thing at a time.
If someone wanted to become an editor do you have any advice for them?
Get a good project management system. Deadlines will come up much sooner than you expect!
If you could ask designers for one thing to make your life easier when selecting patterns what would it be?
My students do a really good job with their design proposals, so keep it up guys!
The next issue of the Fibre Muse Quarterly, themed around the muse of selflessness, the Giver, is coming out November 24th! The Fibre Muse Quarterly is a curation of stories, told through words, images and knitwear designs that focus on answering the question, “Why do we knit?”, and the impact it has on our lives, so we can feel confident that our work as knitters, as artists even, was value and worth.