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Cowgirlblues Q&A

On 15 November 2011, we had the pleasure of having a one on one 'Twitterview' with Cape Town-based knitwear and mohair accessories creator, Bridget Henderson. Featured as one of our November 2011 Style Snoops (see page 40), this is one inspiring artist that we can't get enough of. Reinventing the arts of knitting and crocheting, this multi-talented creative has made quite a name for herself with her must-have bags and accessories. We found out what inspires her, why she chose these crafts in particular and what she looks forward to the most about summer... @houseleisureSA Hi Bridget and thanks for joining us to chat more about your beautiful knitwear. @cowgirrlblues Thanks for asking, always good to talk about wool and knitting. @houseleisureSA Let's start at the beginning. You call yourself a ‘yarn fundi’. Where did it all start? @cowgirrlblues Whew, the beginning? Childhood? Corporate burn out? A change is as good as a holiday? All of the above maybe... @houseleisureSA So it was really a lifestyle choice for you? And tell us, what inspired the name cowgirlblues? @cowgirrlblues It was REALLY a lifestyle thing and a mindset shift. I needed a big change! Partly Tom Robbins "Even Cowgirls Get the Blues" - I did. And the book is about living more true to yourself. That and a holiday photo of me "herding cows" on the Wild Coast, actually I was chasing them into the camera! @houseleisureSA How interesting, a literal and symbolic meaning. Why have you chosen to work with merino wool and mohair? @cowgirrlblues The literal and symbolic meaning is important, thanks for picking that up, it's present in my product too. Linked to the wool and mohair choice - they're local, unappreciated, undervalued and therefore full of opportunity. Being animal fibres, they're elastic and have shape memory which cotton, bamboo and other plant fibres don't. They feel more alive to me than plant fibres, the memory thing; they hold more than just their physical shape. @houseleisureSA Plus mohair has made a big comeback and is a revived trend. Which of your own products is your favourite? @cowgirrlblues It's very on trend, and wool is coming back too - it will get bigger! We'll be seeing a lot more of both. Very tough call, I love them all, hard to choose, couldn't live without my pure wool neckwarmers, knit and crochet. @houseleisureSA We've also got our eyes on your everyday handbag, you've really brought the art of crochet back to life. @cowgirrlblues Thank you! I really love them all. The Knit Purse is so tactile, it's like having your own little sheep. I also love the Frilled Shrug - turns me into an instant princess, no fairy godmother or magic wand required. @houseleisureSA Love it! Who taught you the art of knitting and crocheting? @cowgirrlblues I hope crochet gets a lot more life - wonderful art, potential untapped - doilies step aside! My granny taught me to knit as a little girl but crochet I only learned recently, both are very simple stitches. The complexity is in combinations, variations, patterns and product construction, materials and context. @houseleisureSA Such a talented lady! And you work from home. How would you describe your home-studio in 3 words? @cowgirrlblues Personal, inviting (and ummmm) experimental - or adventurous, exploratory... All three? @houseleisureSA Sounds intriguing! You're also devoted to nature. What does eco-friendly design mean to you? @cowgirrlblues Mostly it means being gentle on the earth, and ourselves! Going back to cave days isn't an option. Paying more attention, knowing where things come from and how they're made, and choosing consciously. It's also often about making tough choices - consume less, use local stuff, be more creative and enjoy the whole process! @houseleisureSA We like the emphasis on local design. Now that we have finally reached summer, what is your ultimate accessory? @cowgirrlblues Mine is a summer shrug - a little something to put over your bikini or summer dress. And my all-time ultimate is the swimsuit: 1-piece, 2-piece, even a no-piece! Whatever gets you in the water! @houseleisureSA Agreed! What do you look forward to the most about summer? @cowgirrlblues Definitely swimming! Ice-cream! Beach holidays!! And people - somehow everyone has more time to hang out. @houseleisureSA Absolutely, nothing beats the beach. Finally, where can we find you when you’re not at your spinning wheel? @cowgirrlblues Table Mountain – Beach – Cafe Lazari – The Kitchen – The P & The G – Book Lounge – Gardens Centre – Woodstock – Yoga – Promenade – Home... @houseleisureSA Brilliant. Thanks for chatting to us Mo-Hair Maven :) We can't wait to see your next covetable creations. @cowgirrlblues Thank you H&L, it's been fun...

To find out more about Cowgirlblues or to browse Bridget's delightful creations please visit her website here.
Interviewed by Kim Grové.