Viktorija Mineikyte is an ex-FTY’s contestants. She now makes handmade knitwear with fun vibrant colours. She has created her Instagram page (@vicky.knits) with the hope to help the community with designs, patterns, and technique tutorials. In this issue we have meant to know more about her story and passion…
How did your studies at NCAD (Dublin) help you in developing the passion for knitting?
I started my studies in NCAD with very little knowledge about knitwear and knitwear design. There I knitted very simple small pieces for a project, with the help of my tutor Bernie McCoy. She was an important mentor when I just started out. Her insightful knowledge about knitwear design motivated me to explore deeper what I can create with yarns and their potential as a medium for fashion and innovation.
Why did you choose to start your own first business in the handmade knitwear segment?
Vicky.knits started purely as a channel to share my work as a knitwear designer and connect with the community. It also helped keep me sane during the COVID-19 lockdown. I want to share my work and inspirations during this difficult time. It is such a pleasant surprise to find that my online presence has grown as much as it has since the lockdown! I am glad I can help others start their knitting journeys.
Where do you find the inspiration for your job?
I think any creative person can relate to how important their heritage is as a source of inspiration. Even though I grew up in Ireland, I still speak Lithuanian and I am very much rooted to my cultural upbringing. Colours and patterns I see in everyday objects are also an important source of inspiration. I have the best creative outcomes when I simply put the yarn on my needles and start working. When I am working on a knit machine I produce a variety of small samples first and play with them on a mini stand to see what kind of silhouettes I can create. It’s a very hands-on process and often I just improvise and experiment with different colours and textures. Knitting, sewing and handicraft are skills that I gathered growing up and it was quite important as it paved the way to this unconventional and unique way of work. For me, I enjoy every second of it.
How do you select the yarns for your creations? What does influence you most in choosing the yarns for your creations? (Ex. wool, cotton, linen, or colours, softness…)
I select yarns based on their weights, colours, and the type of project I am working on. Colours are an important factor in my work. I like to work with palettes that are fun and consist of lively colours. Sometimes I see some interesting unique colours and I want to produce something with them but the challenge lies within how to create a stage for them to work harmoniously together and showcase their most beautiful sides. That’s where the designs come in. I also trial different yarn brands and manufacturers, because they can really produce some crucial differences in the textures and the final appearance. The variety and constant experiments are fun and help me stay creative.
What represents FTY for you?
A sense of community. A brilliant opportunity as a young designer to progress in knitwear design. It was also an excellent place to make valuable connections and to gain more knowledge about the field. I am very grateful because I think it showed me an entrance to my career. That may be what a lot of other young designers who are just starting out need as well.
Vicky’s feature on Vanity Fair Italia (along with other knitters of the world) here.