A Brilliant Light!

Filament (n.) - a slender threadlike object or fiber; a conducting wire or thread with a high melting point

What makes someone love something so much that they wish to do it 24/7?

That's Easy: PASSION!

When one passionate person gets to know another with the same interest, the result can light up their world. So it must have been when Kathleen Dames and Anne Podlesak first began communicating. They "met" online when each was working on a project for Jane Austen Knits, a specially themed publication from Interweave Knits, and the compatibility was further strengthened by a collaboration on Knitty.com. Their complementary skills convinced them of their suitability as partners in craft, and they soon decided to merge their talents to create Filament, a quarterly online magazine. Kathleen and Anne live far apart, but distance was no barrier for them. In fact, it may have aided their design work since each lives in a uniquely stylish area of the country: New York (Kathleen) and New Mexico (Anne). That's part of the creative spice which is evident in their first collection. Here are 4 examples from Issue #1, whose theme is Classic Nostalgia, a combination of vintage form and practical function.

When we spoke with Kathleen, she described her appreciation for modern wear that references the past without being a slave to it. A "traditionalist" with a respect for practicalityKathleen Dames is a knitwear designer and host of the podcast, "The Sweater with Kathleen Dames." She has designed for Knitty and Knittyspin, Interweave Knits, and special publications such as Jane Austen Knits and Enchanted Knits. Her own independently released designs can be found on Ravelry.

Kathleen was taught to knit early on by her grandmother, but was on hiatus until knitting fever hit her as an adult. An English major with a love of the classics, she soon found herself designing. A "take charge" philosophy rules her design choices along with her love for timeless fashion. Perhaps that's why her designs for Filament are named after newsworthy characters and actresses from mid-20th Century America. We think her quote on work in the fiber world is summed up nicely here:

Don’t make something unless it is both made necessary and useful; but if it is both necessary and useful, don’t hesitate to make it beautiful.
— Shaker dictum

Filament co-founder and designer, Anne Podlesak, lives in the mountains of northern New Mexico. She is an indie dyer, who also knits, spins and designs. Her designs have been featured in Spin-Off magazine, Interweave Knits, special publications such as Jane Austen Knits, The Unofficial Harry Potter Knits, as well as her book released last fall, "Free Spirit Knits." Her independently released designs can be found on Ravelry, and Woolywonkafiber.com, where she sells her hand-dyed yarns. Here's Anne's response to our request for a quote:

Despite our diversity, the tendency to be accompanied by a cat is an oddity among knitters that cannot be explained.
— Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, At Knit's End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much

At present, the plan is to publish Filament on a quarterly basis, timed with the seasons. Currently, Kathleen and Anne are working on Winter '16 and Spring '17. Since we enjoy hearing"inside stories," we asked Kathleen about the choices that she feels distinguishes this new publication. She mentioned an intention to support independent dyers/spinners, whenever possible, so you are apt to see companies such as Spirit Trail Fiberworks, The Woolen Rabbit, and Black Water Abby as recommended yarns. There is also a plan for a knitting"face-off" in one of the upcoming issues: Each partner will use the same yarn and go off in their own direction to see what develops. 

As for the immediate future, Knitty City will be presenting a Trunk Show of all the Filament Designs, next Saturday, October 29 from 4:00-5:00 PM. Kathleen will be on hand along with printed versions of Filament and accessories, which will be for sale. Please come by to meet her, and see, first-hand, the fruits of their shared passion for beautiful hand-knit designs.