Rubina’s collaboration with WORK+SHELTER was literally a worldwide effort with many different people. Kari (Rubina’s founder) was in India, Theresa (W+S’s co-founder) was in Brooklyn, Namita (W+S’s other co-founder) was in Amsterdam (and also in India with Kari at some point), and the pattern designers (Allison and Katie), were in the US. All the while the WORK+SHELTER women knitters were in New Delhi.
It started in January of 2012, when Theresa and Kari first talked about a possible collaboration. What could we do? A pancho? AWESOME – but maybe too much for our first endeavor. A cowl? What is a cowl? Can I even pronounce it correctly? Cow-EL. Oh yes – love that idea.
It took many steps, lots of back-and-forths, a couple different directions, and several intergal participants, but we eventually got there and are very happy with the results!
Here’s how it happened (in somewhat of a chronological order):
Enter Allyson, knitter and pattern-designer extraordinaire from Chicago. Allyson and Theresa went back and forth with concepts, designs and sketches (all via google hangout, of course):
CHOOSING YARN (ROUND ONE).
Enter Katie, an all-around creative gal and yarn-dying extraordinaire from Los Angeles. The team was super excited to experiment with Katie’s awesome tea-dyed yarn (GORGEOUS).
SAMPLING (ROUND ONE).
Allyson made some samples of her and Katie’s pattern with the dyed yarn.
But, we needed thicker yarn to make sure the cowls were up to our market’s standards, which wouldn’t hold the tea dyes. Sad.
SO, IT WAS BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD – YARN AND ANOTHER ROUND OF SAMPLING.
We looked into chunkier options and sent out surveys to the market on color combos. Then Theresa called upon some local Brooklyn knitters to expedite the sampling process, using the original pattern with different yarns. We finally stuck with a chunky Peruvian yarn in an array of fun colors. Yay! Then it was off to the WORK+SHELTER ladies for input and feedback on production. All was approved after the first round of sampling, an order made, and production time!
KNITTING. AND KNITTING. AND MORE KNITTING.
BLOCKING THE COWLS.
Buljeet shapes each cowls right after it’s knitted so it molds into the desired shape and size.
PACKING AND SHIPPING.
Seema and Buljeet count and pack the last of the cowls for shipment to the US!
GETTING READY FOR RUBINA!
While still in India, Kari interviewed Seema, the lead knitter who also teaches the other women, as well as Namita while their trips overlapped in Delhi.
Back in NYC, Theresa enlisted the awesome photographer Andrea Patton to take some great pics for the feature online.
All of that to finally launch on Rubina’s website this week!
Hope you enjoy as much as we do. xo