Maine, United States

Making / FAUNA Contributor Spotlight: Carol Sunday

Making / FAUNA Contributor Spotlight: Carol Sunday


Carol Sunday designed the Napali Vest for Making / FAUNA.  She shares the store behind her design:

Inspiration is a complicated thing. It's rarely just one thing, and for me is most often a large number of dusty old things that have been shuffling around in there quietly until a fresh idea brings them out into a new light. Birds are a theme I've used in knitting and in art for a long time. Besides the fact that I personally like most birds, I love the geometric design possibilities they present. With their neatly angled backs, they can be almost triangular in shape, and so lend themselves to being arranged in all sorts of interesting ways. Twenty-five years ago I worked as an engineer for the EPA, and my office was chilly, so I always needed a little sweater to throw on. I designed and knitted a couple of cropped cotton cardigans with gansey bird motifs. One was light blue with a border of parading egrets. The other, in a ginger color, had song birds scattered about, with a border of birds on wavy twigs.


The sweater styles would look out of date now, and I no longer have them, but still have the graph-paper chart for my egrets design. Several years later I was making a living creating what were basically paper snowflakes with nature-inspired motifs that I painted and framed.


My birds and twigs showed up in them as well. And they've popped up again in some of my colorwork designs,


like my Buntings cardigan,


and Machu Picchu pullover. So those are some of the dusty old things. More recently, I had lunch with my friend Cyd from Tucson Yarn Company, and she was wearing a lovely linen wrap-front vest with cord ties. I loved the shape of it and the drape of it. It looked almost Himalayan or Tibetan, and I wanted to make something knitted using a similar shape. For some reason, her vest made me think of a photo that a friend had taken while visiting the Himalayas.


It was an image of a sadhu novice (sage in training) with a parrot perched on her head
scarf. I don't have the actual photo, but did make a sketch of it. And then thinking of Cyd's vest and thinking of that image made me think of my EPA bird sweaters ... and just like that, all those disparate ideas came together in the idea for my Nepali Bird vest. Funny how these things happen.


Here's one I made for myself, in blue and in a cropped length. Love the subtle, swirling damask design that the birds create! I think I'll wear it a lot!

Thank you, Carol!