A sanyasini is a female monk – in the ancient Indian Language Sanskrit. When we combine that with knitter – we get the KNITSANYASINI – that’s me!
I am a 27 year old Indian woman who started knitting at the age of 7 and haven’t stopped since! My interest in knitting translated into my Bachelor Of Design as well in which I specialized in Knitwear Design from the National Institute of Fashion Technology. My love for the magic of loops around needles led me to get the Award for the best design project of my graduating year of 2017.
As a shy somewhat reserved personality – knitting gives me a way of finding myself and expressing who I am! While I am aware many might call it a grandmother’s craft – for me knitting is much like painting – the canvas is your imagination and the paint is the loops and patterns becoming strokes that can create a work of art.
Knitsanyasini started as a way for me to upcycle all the yarn collected over the years – right from my aunt’s and mother’s to my projects over my college years to make sustainable and unique hand crafted wearable art. This continued into exploring Indian yarns which I hand dyed from sources that are commonly available in the market like pomegranate, tea, madder root, coffee, red cabbage, spinach, beetroot, turmeric, carrots, orange, and even onion peels. I experimented with them to make vibrant dyes. I also use raw unfinished organic cotton yarn which had to be tested for color fastness, light fastness and enabled me to experiment with making garments that are eco-friendly and less toxic.
Like most who fall in love with knitting for the first time - I learnt my craft - as a young girl watching my grandmother, aunt and mother knit special bits of clothing for the family - cardigans, beanies, pullovers, scarves, socks and create customized love with their deft and skilled hands. While most do not associate Indian hand crafted garments to knitting – many parts of India get freezing cold in the winter months, especially in North India and it has been a practice for generations of Indian women knitters to make handmade knits for the family.
The idea that Indian yarn could be knit into custom made pieces for a global audience awoke an interest in the artist in me to create garments that could be caring, as well as pieces of self-expression.