Today we’re chatting to a good friend of mine, the gorgeous, stylish and totally fabulous Christelle Nihoul of ChristalLK Designs. Christelle Nihoul is a much-loved member of the Mod Team for the Indie Design Gift Along and a very talented knitwear designer. You can check out her designs here at ChristalLK
Who is Christelle Nihoul?
I’m a knitwear designer born in Belgium, but “Jack of All Trades” is probably a more suited title.
With the help of my husband, and amateur photographer, and my three reluctant models, I founded a small company based on our passions of photography and design.
Tell us, Christelle Nihoul, how did you get into knitting/crochet and who taught you?
I learnt to knit, crochet, knead bread with my grandmother, I also learned to trace sewing patterns. For my grandmother, it was an essential skill to learn ! But I enjoyed it, it was so interesting to see her working on her sewing machine, creating a dress from scratch or knitting a sweater.
What made you want to start designing?
I started knitting again after my last daughter’s birth and designing was a way to go further on that subject. And it was also quite obvious for me that it was the right thing to do.
What’s you favourite part of the design process?
Definitely sampling !
What inspires you?
I find inspiration in colors, “haute couture”, fashion, nature, architecture (amongst so many other things)
Are you a full-time or part-time designer and how does that fit into your life?
I’m a full-time designer and have been for a few years now and it’s like an other job you can do. With its good and bad sides.
Do you have a favourite thing to design and why?
I love designing shawls because you can play with shapes, patterns, colors … more than with sweaters. But recently, I design more Fair-Isle and colorwork accessories. And I’m starting to love this more than shawls !
Do you have much time to make things for yourself or for gifting?
No, knitting for design takes all my time. Job time and leisure time. So the Indie Design Gift Along is a way to knit patterns from other designers. And a way to make gifts for other people who aren’t modelling for me.
Do you have a favourite yarn and why?
I don’t have a favourite yarn (even if I love knitting silk or blend with silk). Because every fibres has it’s own personality. And I’m trying to emphasize that personality with my designs !
What’s your favourite of your own designs and what do you love about it?
This is not really my favourite design. But I’m pretty proud to have released my first plus size design in June. It was a challenge for me, I was so hesitant to create a plus size line, I had this in mind for ages but it meant that I had to take the risk to not have enough testers, that it could be a failure and above all that I had to play the model.
But I made it
Is there anything new you can tell us about or a recent design you’d like to chat about?
There is something new. I’m working since months now to create my own brand of yarn. But I can’t tell more about this. Stay tuned, it’ll be announced early in 2020.
What’s your favourite colour?
Lilac and a lot of purple shades (but not the old lady purple color ^^)
Have you been a participating designer in the Indie Gift Along before and what do you love most about it?
I’m a participating designer for 4 (or 5?) years now. And I literally LOVE the spirit of giving, laughing, sharing. More than knitting. Because let us be frank, I chat more than I knit!
Which Gift Along 2019 designers inspire you and why?
There are so many great designers participating to this event. If I have to name someone I’d name Tatsiana Kupryianchyk because she brought a wind of change in the crochet world!
For knitting, it’s quite more difficult. I’m not able to name only one person, could I say : take a look on the participating designers list ? And you will find a lot of the designers who are so inspiring in their own way !
How do people get in touch with Christelle Nihoul or see more designs from ChristalLK?
Website: www.christallk.com (not updated for ages!)
Facebook: Christelle Nihoul
Ravelry pattern store: https://www.ravelry.com/designers/christelle-nihoul
Quick links to our shop
Austermann Yarns, Baby Yarns, Debbie Bliss Yarns, Lanas Stop Yarns, Araucania Yarns, Schoeller & Stahl Yarns, Felting Yarns, Noro Yarns, DK Yarns, 4ply Yarns, Aran Yarns, Fur Yarns, James C Brett Yarns, Lion Brand Yarns