Meet the Team: Yiskah Knits

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Please meet Yiskah Knits aka Bristol based knitware designer Jessica Biscoe. She has created a range of playful and contemporary knitware including brooches, jewellery and in the cold winter months berets and chunky scarves. We caught up with Jess to ask her about her involvement with the Paper • Scissors • Stone Temporium and her experiences of being a creative in the lovely city of Bristol. 

Why is Bristol a great place to be a creative?
There are so many opportunities to learn and get involved in Bristol. With workshops, markets and galleries there are endless ways to see creative work and meet like-minded people. I live in Montpelier so am spoilt by cafe's, independent shops, street-art and colourful scenes to inspire me. I love Bristol!

What do you think makes Paper • Scissors • Stone special?
The huge variety of talented, local makers is what makes PSS such a gem. It's a great opportunity to bring handmade crafts to a mass audience that might not otherwise be exposed to it and provide a platform for local creatives to get together and showcase their work.

Do you have any advice to other artists wishing to sell their work?
I think networking is definitely key, be prepared to spend some time getting involved locally and online to show your wares off to the world. I think people often expect quick results and are disappointed in the beginning but patience and exposure, in the right places, will pay off in the end. 

What's the most enjoyable thing about your chosen discipline?
It's so relaxing, I find it a great way to switch off from the world. It's also brilliantly portable, I like to carry a little project bag with me in case I find a few quiet minutes to get some stitches in on the train or in a cafe.

What has proved the biggest work challenge so far this year?
Knitting autumn and winter stock through hot summery days. Appropriate clothing required!

Where do you go or what do you do to find inspiration? 
I love to 'knit-watch' when i'm out and about and see what styles people are wearing; it's great to spot hand-knitting every now and then too! I also find inspiration in films and books; period dramas and war-time films are brilliant for seeing how knitting was used as an essential skill to make functional pieces, and apply that aesthetic to my work.

Are you planning any special Christmas creations? 
As well as cosy snoods and hats, I have a few ideas for tree decorations and stockings!

What new tool, skill or resource would have a positive impact on your business?
It's my aim to master crochet next year; it's a very complimentary skill to knitting and there are things one does better than the other. I'd love to add little crocheted finishing touches to my knits.

Describe your studio or workspace?
My workspace consumes the corner of the living room in my little flat. I'm lucky that is has big dual aspect windows so I can glimpse the outdoors as I work. I have boxes of yarn, supplies, finished stock and plants arranged on a huge desk and creeping up the walls. It's great to be able to work at home and have everything I need at arms length.

Facebook / Twitter / Instagram…describe your relationship/experiences with social media….
My business started out online so I rely on social media a lot. The purpose of all of them is, in the end, promotion but I love that what you give and take from each is so different. With Instagram I like to share inspirational things I see and my working process. Twitter is great for networking and opportunities to learn and share information with creative people, and my blog acts as a way to give back to my little community where I can share weird cupcake recipes I've made, crafty DIYs, and knits i've made for myself. 

Which is your favourite local independent shop or eatery in Bristol & why?
Upstairs at BS8, on Park Street, is a lovely little artists co-operative in the sunny roof space of BS8. You'll likely find the perfect gift there, and a card to go with it. (My knits are for sale too!). In addition to that I really love the Here Gallery in Stokes Croft, there are so many fascinating books!

Tell us a secret…
My knitting tutor was YouTube; it's amazing what you can learn on there!

Finally if you were a biscuit, what would you be and why?
I'd say a Tunnock's caramel bar. I ate so many of them as a kid, I probably looked like one. 

To see more of Yiskah Knits work please click here

Do come and visit us at Volume 4 of the Paper • Scissors • Stone Temporium, located in Cabot's Circus, Bristol to have a gander at Yiskah Knits beautiful creations!

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