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This time around we have a bonus episode for you all. This is part of the Tits Out Collective Series of episodes: Discussions with designers and dyers who are taking part in the Collaboration created by Countess Ablaze. There’s links below to give you an insight into why the collective is here.
All patterns and yarn colourways will be available from noon (UK time) on 1st July 2018.
Please show your support, as a donation is made to charity for every skein or pattern purchased.
Babs: Hi there, and welcome to the Mythical Makers Podcast! These are weekly ramblings from myself, Babs Rudlin, Fiery Phoenix, and…
Karen: I’m Karen Moffett, Mama Dragon.
(short musical clip)
Babs Rudlin: Hi there and welcome to the Mythical Makers podcast from myself Babs Rudlin the Fiery Phoenix and
Karen Moffett: I’m Karen Moffett, Mama Dragon.
(Short musical clip)
Karen: Welcome to our bonus podcast of Mythical Makers. Today we’re interviewing Rachy Newin of Rachy Newin Designs about her participation in the Tits Out Collective.
Babs: I Particularly wanted to talk with you Because you’re a crochet designer I’ve been stalking In a variety of groups for quite some time now.
Karen & Rachy: (laughing)
Babs: We’ve been chatting on and off now for ages and I really admire the way you cope with some of the difficulties of life that designer face. You’ve been very diplomatic.
Babs: And so the comments and suggestions that you have for a colleagues in the industry are always on point. And you are a crochet designer, which I love, Because the majority of people I know are knit designers. So when the tits out Collective Happened and I think almost everybody that I saw were saying they were creating a knit design. All the designers were knitwear or knit designers. So I like for you to share what your take on this is as a crochet designer. And use a hooker, crochet or some other phrase? To describe yourself.
Rachy: Um all the above? I’m a crocheter but I also like the humour that goes into calling yourself a hooker. so…(laughing)
Babs: That’s cool, that’s fine we were talking about the term Hooker the other week In a different podcast. I was saying that I use it all the time when I talk to other crocheters but the thing is you say that away from the crochet world, you get all sorts of strange looks, Which of course I do sort of enjoy. But I do feel bad calling somebody else that ( all laugh) phrase.
Rachy: Then again the colour way I’m using is called witches tit and I was very excited when the mailman brought it to me Which resulted in some interesting looks from the neighbours Because it’s not something you usually get in the mail (all laugh) so I just embrace that aspect of crochet at this point.
Karen: That’s fantastic.
Babs: Oh that’s wonderful.
Karen: Are you working on a tangle there Rachy?
Rachy: Yes my lightweight tangled so I’m attempting to detangle it without cutting the yarn.
Karen: Oh no….
Rachy: But its not a big tangle so…
Karen: That takes patience and also stubbornness.
Rachy: I Like detangling
Karen: I do too! Everybody thinks I’m crazy (laughs)
Rachy: Oh yay! I found another person who agrees with me. (all laugh)
Babs: It’s so satisfying when its done. Its, its a secret pleasure I love doing that. Oh no Sophie’s eaten my yarn… I’ll have to spend 4 hours untangling it all. (all laugh)
Karen: Uhmmm. Yeah, but I’m a bit of a miser so…the idea of cutting it, oh my.. Or wasting some of it. Uh huh.. Nope not gonna happen!
Rachy: Well also when you’re working with nicer yarn it is really really enjoyable to just feel the yarn as you tetangle it. Like this is silk marino, it feels nice on your fingers.
Karen: Yeah, yeah I totally agree.
Babs: Absolutely. So… Rachy why is it that you got involved? What is it about the Get Your Tits Out Collective. I still get embarrassed every time I say it. (all laugh) What was it that appealed to you about that particular movement? Um If you want to call it that.With the number of people behind it it’s become that now.
Rachy: I would agree. So I have a background in freelance marketing. That’s what I do, or did as my day job before I got into designing. So this whole idea of being asked to work for exposure erm, in particular when you are a woman. Who’s a business woman being treated as significantly less than the men who are doing similar or the same job. That’s something that’s always been super, super relevant to me. Pretty much as long as I’ve been in the working world. And it’s also something that I struggle with a lot in designing, that I get approached with a lot.in designing. So for me um, this was just a really good opportunity to kind of, maybe, hopefully make people aware of the fact that, you know, this is something that we face. And that it’s not OK to ask and that, you know, it really can be taking advantage of people. A lot of the justifications that people use ar really, don’t make it OK to, you know, take advantage of designers or professionals in that kind of way. Something that spoke to me very much… yeah.
Babs: Yeah absolutely I mean before I became a, um, a designer I was, um I was a Facepainter. My, my very last previous job was as a facepainter.
Karen: Oh my goodness, I’m gonna tell Kit that, shes gonna love it!
Babs: (Laughing), Before I leapt into the world of yarn. I was all colour, colour and texture, I love it. All over it. And, and you know, even in face painting you are constantly being asked to spend 8 hours standing in a boiling hot field with no food, no drink, no money for exposure. And one fo the things I would frequently say to people is exposure kills! It doesn’t actually help you.
Karen & Rachy: Yes!
Babs: It kills your business off. If all you do is stand around for free all day long you’re not going to put any food on the table. It’s not gonna pay any bills, it’s ridiculous.
Babs: But it is, its something thats endemic. Its everywhere. And it seems that its OK to ask a woman to do that far more than its OK to ask a man. There were a lot o men in the facepainting world I know that they did get asked to do stuff for exposure as well. But I think they were just mentally setup to say “No, naff off. I’m not going to do that.” Women find it a lot harder to say “No”. I’m not quite sure why we do that. Whether we are too nice – I just don’t uderstand… Women aren’t always necessarily nice. WE know that this is not the truth!
Rachy: I think that for me that’s a big part of where it comes in. It’ss not just that its not OK to be asked, its that when I say no, ‘cause I will say no, Some people don’t take it well when a woman says no. Were supposed to be nicer. WEre supposed to be… and this was where the Countess was mentioning like sexism. And this is to me where it really comes into play. Like, you know, we’re expected to be nice. We’re expected be kinder. We’re expected to be more accomodating and supportive. We’re expected to do all these things without asking for payment and I think that is more expected that a man will add a price tag for his time. So I had some very negative experiences to telling some people off for asking me to work for exposure. So that definitely doesn’t make things easier.
Karen: Yeah. I think as far as the, um, asking goes it’s not specifically because we’re women. I think it’s because, just all of the arts, and so women get asked more often because women are involved in the creative arts. Um, but, yeah like you were saying with the facepainting and the, y’know, men are still being asked that. But, but arts are just not as valued as some of your other careers. You know I feel its not that, its not as, people don’t view it as an important contribution to society like all of the other big, y’know, jobs.
Karen: Yeah! That’s part of the reason that I like the way Frenchie (Francoise Danoy) has been taking the “How am I making an impact on my world?”
Karen: With my designing.I like that, that approach.
Babs: We need to, we definitely need to address the fact that every time, not every time, it is starting to become less, btu the majority of ties that I say “I’m a designer” and I will proudly say “I’m a designer, I teach and I design for crochet and I design for knitwear” and, um, you know, there used to be a time when people would look at me pityingly and would say “well when you get somewhere (laughs) let me know.” And it’s like… I don’t need your pity.I’m earning money…
Babs: I’m being published regularly, I don’t need pity.I just need people to understand that this is a real job. I can earn real money. Now stop being so silly and just move on shall we? ‘Cause I’m treating you to Tea at the Ritz… does this not tell you something? (laughs)
Babs: But yeah, it’s almost as if I’m doing a craft based activity, my career or my work is in the crafts and er, therefore it’s somehow going to be earning less money. It’s less valid or you need to be sympathetic for me as I’m just starting out and haven’t realised yet that I can’t make this work. But thats just…
Karen: Because its still so much the hobby versus career.thing.
Babs & Rachy: Yeah
Karen: It’s seen as a hobby. It’s seen as a passtime not as a career.
Babs: And that is something which we definitely need to address. Which hopefully this will be. Now Rachy did you manage to find a dyer who was able to get you some yarn?
Rachy: Yes. I’m working with Witch Candy. She’s out of Long Island, so she’s maybe a 2 hour drive from me and the yarn came in two days.
Rachy: Which is awesome. Her version is called “Witches Tit”, which is just fabulous!
Rachy: It’s gorgeous, I’ve been posting, like a million photos on Instagram.and the entire sample is actually on the blocking mat right now. So this is going to be The fastest pattern release I’ve ever done. But its on the blocking mats and tomorrow’s supposed to be a cloudy day so fingers crossed I’m gonna get photos… and…we’re going to take it from there. I’m very excited about that.
Babs: That’s really really cool.
Karen: That’s wonderful.
Babs: I was, I was so happy when I found somebody local who’d be abe to get the yarn out to me in time. “I can actually join in!” This is something I can really take an active part in.
Rachy: Who are you working with in the end?
Babs: It’s Giddy Aunt Yarns, and, um, they’re a UK dyer, not massive but their yarn is gorgeous! All over instagram at the moment. Much like yourself (all laugh). Its they yarn, look at the yarn, oh its that yarn again! Wips and more yarn (laughing).
Rachy: I’m gonna go scope it out afterwards.because there are some really gorgous colourways that are coming up for the collective. I’m loving them.
Babs: Yeah it’s absolutely beautiful. And what I’m really loving is that there are so many designs and all the names. Um some people have ruder names, some people have less rude names (all laugh) it’s lovely to see how they are all coming together with the theme. Um, yeah, I’m really really enjoying it. I can’t wait to see the Countess’, her posts, where she’s going to be sharing different links through to different yarns, different patterns. That is if we can get things over to her in time with links to just about everything. Her feed is going to look stunning!
Rachy: I’m very excited!
Karen: It’s neat to see all of the individual personalities coming through in the dying and the designing.
Rachy: Yeah. I think that it’s especially cool considering this all came out from that whole idea of copying. And when you look at the feed you really see that you shouldn’t be copying. Because if you just, kind of like, do your own thing with the same inspiration you’re gonna come up with something that’s totally unique and that’s much more “on brand” than if you copy someone else’s work.
Karen & Babs: Yeah
Babs: I think this is a perfect example of how everybody can have the same brief, if you like, the same base colours but you create so many different combinations so many different things by putting your own spin, your own interpretation on it. There’s no need to copy. Because there is enough colour, enough inspiration out there for everybody to do their own thing. I think this will demonstrate that beautifully. There’s not gonna be any duplicates.
Babs: I think the last count was over 200 people who are involved. It could be significantly more than that now. And everything is gonna be different. There will be the theme, obviously there will be this colourway theme throughout. But nothing is gonna be the same. That is going to, hopefully it will give people a different perspective. Even if you’re part of the yarn community it will, it should, really open your eyes to see what is possible even if everybody starts with the same ingredients. The same three or four colours and just run amok with it and just see what happens. I think IT will really clearly demonstrate that there is no need to copy anything. We can all make it unique from a similar standpoint.
Rachy: Yeah. I think it’s also why when there’s new people, I do a lot of teaching, When there’s new designers who are, you know, starting our or whatever.I never really feel like they’re competition. Because if they grow enough to develop their own voice and they’re just going to be doing something totally different from me. So it’s all good. Like it’s one of the nice parts of working in the arts community. That we’re not really competing in the same way because we should do our own thing. We have what speaks to our own inspiration and we have unique things that are totally different. It’s not like we’re directly competing to do the exact same work.
Babs: Exactly. One of the things I love to see is when somebody comes in as a new designer and they think they’re gonna be doing one thing. After about 6 months of playing around, experimenting of finding their audience and finding what they really do enjoy creating. They actually find out that they do something completely different. And, and it’s like… “I’ve had this huge revelation and I’m going to do this! Which isn’t what I thought I’d be doing but I’m gonna do this. I love this” and they’re so excited about it. I’m so happy that they’ve found their thing.and that is a wonderful moment. It isn’t always where people think they are going to go.
Babs: I’m certainly not doing what I thought I’d be doing, you know, a couple of years ago. And it’s just wonderful to see many people just pick that up and find their thing. It could be a particular stitch, a particular colourway, a particular weight of yarn or it could be a combination of all those things. But its great to see everybody find their thing that is true to them.
Rachy: Yeah. I don’t know. I originally go into design thinking I would make amigurumi. That is about the furthest thing from what I’m currently designing. So (Babs laughing) life and yarn takes us where we’re supposed to go sort of idea.
I do want to give a shout out to Witch Candy. I think her colour way for the Tits Out Collective is awesome. It’s launching July 1st along with eveyone else’s. She has been incredible to work with, her base is gorgeous.so we’re gonna give her a shout out. She’s up on Etsy and you can find her by searching Witch Candy.
Karen: Thank you so much
Rachy: Thanks for having me.
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Bye for now,
Babs & Karen