It was on a trip to Japan in 1983 (performing in the Broadway show Sophisticated Ladies) that I first became aware of the sweaters of Kansai Yamamoto. These were like no sweaters I had ever seen before: intricate stitches, bold fiber combinations, unexpected accents. By 1984 I had my very first knitting machine, a Bulky 8, which I dutifully packed and brought with me on the next road trip. I began designing and knitting my first sweaters while on tour, inspired by the wild designs I had seen the year before.
The next twist of my showbiz career, as a member of the electronic music group Silicon Soul, brought new development to my knitting. Between gigs, I studied draping, pattern making, machine knitting technology and design at Parsons School of Design and the Fashion Institute of Technology, at home in New York City.
O! Jolly! gradually evolved in the late 80's, alternately as a line of "fashion forward" knitwear and a creator of fiber art. The photos on the left are from this time.
During the 90's my knitted stitch patterns were purchased by leading fashion designers and retailers including Alexander Julian, Ann Taylor, Armani Exchange, Club Monaco, Federated Stores Product Development, Reebok, Jones Apparel Group, and Saks Fifth Avenue.
With the new millennium came my knitting/design hiatus in order to have the time to homeschool my son. It was also a time for conceptual design and forging plans on what was to come.