My academic background has nothing to do with knitting ! I obtained a degree in international trade, then a PhD in ancient history. When my first child was born, I set aside research in favour of the life of a craftswoman. I founded Atelier Lune de Nacre (Pearlescent Moon Studio) soon after. I learned the basics of knitting with my mother when I was 4 ½ years old and more complicated techniques (like knitting in the round seamless gloves, mittens and socks or cable knitting) with my grandmother a few years later. I also read many books of knitting techniques, I love to learn new techniques and continue to perfect my practice. Knitting is a passion and I find it always magical to create a garment only from needles and skeins, and then ship it to a distant country to bring warmth to another human who shares my values regarding handmade, natural materials and small business.
Making things out of hands is a way of life in my family. One of my great-grandmother was a fashion designer in Paris, one of my grandmothers was a dressmaker, the other knit for her children and grandchildren. My parents work in the artistic field : my mother is an artist of contemporary abstract art, my father is an art teacher. They have always done many things from their hands, so I was immersed in the idea that it was fun, useful and fulfilling to practice creative and artistic activities. I am a mother in my turn, and with my husband, who also loves to work with his hands, we continue this way of life with our home-schooled children, a way of life perfectly compatible with a modern and connected life. We live in an old farmhouse that was built in the middle of the eighteenth century. It was at the time the farm of a winegrower (we live in France, in the Loire Valley, a soil of vines). We renovate ourselves little by little this house, surrounded by meadows and woods.
My workshop is a small room in our house. Until the middle of the nineteenth century, it was part of a sheepfold. Today, it is still filled with wool, but rather in the form of balls or skeins ! Through the window, I can see part of our field behind our house. In the background, our large permaculture-led vegetable garden and our fruit trees. In the foreground, the meadow where our sheep graze, and two magnificent old trees : a robin tree which embalms the garden in spring, and an immense spruce with a red grape vine climbing the trunk... I rise early to work, and every morning I see the sun rising over this landscape. It’s always a wonder...
I create garments and accessories for adults, infants & toddlers, and home accessories too. All my products are entirely handmade. I only choose natural and/or organic materials for yarns (wool, merinos, alpaca, mohair, cashmere, silk, cotton, linen, hemp…) and other supplies (buttons made of wood, glass, mother-of-pearl, ceramic, bone and horn, stone…). I find my supplies all over the world.
I chose to limit myself to a palette of neutral colors, similar to those found in an Icelandic landscape : dark blue - medium blue - ice blue - light gray - medium gray - dark gray - black - chocolate brown – caffe latte - light beige - off-white, sometimes with a moss green, a pale gray pink and a dark violet.
My sources of inspiration are varied : I like the purity of line of ancient Japan clothes, the simplicity of the forms and the beauty of the materials of the Scandinavian products, the magic of the Celtic motifs and legends, the creativity of the nomadic clothes all over the world. All these cultures share beautiful spiritual traditions (often animistic) and strong links with natural elements.
Creation process of a piece of knitwear is always a long time task :
- first sketches in my notebook, with pencils and watercolor pens.
- swatching (experiments with the yarn and various needle sizes to obtain the best look and feel for the garnment, and to calculate the gauge (how many stitches and rows to the inch)
- drafting (planning the pattern of the garnment in several sizes) with knitting graph paper, knitting calculator and my computer
- hand knitting (about 60 hours for a man sweater, between 10 and 20 hours for a baby sweater…)
- steam blocking
- assembling (pieces are hand sewn together with a yarn needle)
- finishing (buttons bands and collars knitting, buttons sewing, ends weaving…)
In addition to this online shop, I also take part in craft markets in France, during which I sometimes run knitting workshops. I also sell some of my creations in shops or art galleries, in France or elsewhere in Europe.