I met Kathleen and Nick Greco at the Stitches East Event in Maryland this past year. It was such a delight to see the two of them. They're probably the most friendly, creative and enthusiastic people you will ever meet.
Grab your knitting and your enthusiasm for the first installment of a two part interview with the talented Kathleen Greco of JellyYarns.com. Part Two of the interview will be seen on this blog on Wed. Click those needles together and away we go to the colorful land of JellyYarn!
Q. Kathleen, tell us how you and Nick made the transition from Dimensional Illustrators, Inc. to Jelly Yarns.com? How did you come up with the name?
A. Our corporate company is still Dimensional Illustrators, Inc. Jelly Yarns and Yummy Yarns are our product brands as an indie yarn company. My work evolved and overlapped directions from opportunities + exploring new directions. There were many forks in the road and I explored a lot of them and we're still evolving!
Fine art oil painting with a private art teacher began at age 6.
At age 11, I changed to a different private art teacher for, drawing techniques and color theory.
I learned to knit and crochet from my mom early high school age.
By degree I am a product designer, (from the University of the Arts formally Philadelphia College of Art - Bachelor of Science Industrial Design '79) [had lots of color theory classes] After designing for RCA Corporation for 3 years, I worked as a consultant product designer and had my own "shop" complete with table saws, drill press, lathe, etc. to facilitate the designs and create prototypes. Clients: Franklin Mint, RCA, Rhom and Haas…)
I have always loved working dimensionally and in plastic (i.e. plexiglass, vacuum forming, thermoforming, etc.
Dimensional Illustrators, Inc was born. An art director saw one of my prototypes and wanted me to create a "sculpture illustration" for an ad. My work evolved from product design to "dimensional illustration" creating sculptural illustrations for advertising agencies in New York City, as well as magazines and pharmaceutical companies; Newsweek, Discover, Health, Wyeth, etc. I created the sculptural illustrations from plexiglass or sculpy clay then photograph them with my 4x6 Format camera. Won some awards in awards shows for illustration.
I was also working on a fine art technique making Polaroid transfers on my own handmade paper. I exhibited my work in many fine art galleries in the US.
We decided to create our own awards show recognizing 3Dimensional Illustration. They were held at the Art Directors Club in NYC. We produced books from the show winners for about 7 years with Harper Collins Publishing. Suddenly, we were producing books with Harper Collins in graphic design and craft books with Rockport Publishers and Watson Guptil Publishers.
When knitting exploded, we created the Yummy Yarns books with Watson-Guptil. Then created a few more books and later created the Knitter's Guide to Combining Yarns book with C&T Publishing.
Jelly Yarn was born at the same time. While designing the Yummy Yarns book, an idea came to me to design a "patent leather" texture purse. I wanted to knit the texture of "glossy"? Vinyl yarn was the answer and I found a company to make it for us. We wanted a fun name something would be interesting and fun. We produced the Jelly Yarn book (Krause) with F+W Publications.
I have exhibited my 5' x 4 ' crochet sand piece and smaller pieces of hyperbolic coral crochet with the Institute of Figuring, hence the Fine Art of Jelly Yarn.
We now produce knitting and crochet books with F&W Publishing.
Phew that's the Short and Long of it!
Q. You have so much enthusiasm for your business. What keeps you motivated?
A. I get a lot of satisfaction from creating, ever since I was a child. Perhaps it was my parents constant enthusiasm to create something, make it my own … to envision an idea, see it clearly in your mind then take your hands and make it…. It's magically motivating to always make things.
Q. Tell us about your book, The Knitters Guide to Combining Yarns.
A. I wanted to create a book that would show different combinations of yarn in 6 colors, 10 yarns, 6 color relationships and 4 seasons. I also wanted to include a chapter on color harmony. The book was supposed to be named Yarn Harmony.
Below you will see several pictures Kathleen was nice enough to share of the beautiful patterns and swatches in The Knitter's Guide to Combining Yarns. This book is absolutely mouthwatering and a must have for your library!
Winter Patterns and Swatches
Red Winter Swatches
Fall Orange Swatches
Green Summer Swatches
Blue Summer Swatches
Stay tuned Wednesday to learn more about the Kathleen and Nick Greco, JellyYarns, patterns and more!