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Arne Nerjordet and Carlos Zachrison, Norwegian and Swedish respectively, established their design company ARNE & CARLOS in 2002. Drawing on traditional Scandinavian influences and the natural environment, they create original and striking knitwear, and work with such prestigious fashion designers as Comme des Garçons. Arne and Carlos’ creative base is their eclectic farm in Norway, where they absorb the rich tradition of Scandinavian arts and crafts while exploring their own knitwear inspirations. www.arne-carlos.com
Where were you both born? Arne: I was Born in Lillehamer, Norway. Carlos: I was born in Sao Paolo, Brazil. My father is Swedish and my mother Spanish.
What are your educational backgrounds? Carlos: I graduated from Lunds University in 2000 after studying Political Sciences and foreign languages. Arne: I graduated from ESMOD (Fashion School) in Oslo in 1996 and worked as a teacher in Design in the same school until 2000.
What first got you interested in your craft? Did you know from an early age that you wanted to get into fashion design? Arne: I got into Crafts as a kid. I learned knitting and crochet from my great Grandmother, grandmother and mother. Growing up on a small farm, it was natural to learn how to knit as this was what everyone in every generation did. Carlos: I got into crafts in school and summer camp in the late 70s. Macrame, drawing, painting, making friendship-bracelets and some knitting. I picked up knitting again as an adult, to relax in the spare time. I have also done embroidery. Arne & Carlos: No, neither of us knew that we wanted to get into fashion design, and after working in the fashion industry for 7 years, we had enough of it and now we are so happy that we are doing crafts instead, something which we truly love and enjoy!.
Where do you get your materials? Arne & Carlos: We love working with natural materials and have collaborated with all major Norwegian yarn suppliers and used their yarns. We also enjoy working with cottons, especially the Peruvian pima cotton qualities
What made you want to publish a book in the first place and why Christmas Balls, why not a fashion design book? Arne & Carlos: Because we got tired of the fashion world, and we were enjoying our Hobby of knitting so much that we wanted to share that with people. Also, our knitted Balls were being sold by Comme Des Garçons stores, including Sover Street Market in London and they set the price to £ 80 per ball, which was a big provocation. We decided to go the other way because fashion can be so elitist sometimes, and knitting the balls is all about having a great time and enjoying creating the different patterns. It should be something for everyone to do!
Any tips for beginners? Arne & Carlos: Start by knitting a plain ball without any patterns first. The go to the simple patterns like the x and o. Once you have knitted a few ball, you’ll remember the pattern by heart. And then, once you’ve gotten through the 55 balls, knitting the doll should be simple, as it is basically a Christmas Ball with a body on it.
What is your favourite craft tool? Arne & Carlos: We like bamboo needles – and we’ve also tried the square shaped needles that are new on the market. We really loved those1
Where does your inspiration come from? Arne & Carlos: Basically everything in our lives inspire us. It could be a meeting with a very interesting person (not a celebrity, but someone who is really interesting) or it could be our garden, or some old magazines. Inspiration comes from the life we live!
You have a huge exhibition in Norway at the moment, which is all set to tour the country for 4 years. That must be very exciting...? Arne & Carlos: Yes it is, and we feel very honoured that the National museum has done this for us and our 10th anniversary
What do you love most about living in Norway? Arne & Carlos: The clean air and the beautiful surroundings.
Has publishing books changed your world? Arne & Carlos: Yes, we are travelling more than before, but we are lucky that get to see many countries and meet many people with a common interest
What do you enjoy doing the most, when you're not knitting or crafting? Arne & Carlos: Spending time in our garden.
What is next for Arne & Carlos? Arne & Carlos: We’ve jut handed in a new manuscript and there will be a new book out next spring!
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