The Voyages of Vivian

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Talitha Kuomi

Do you remember Talitha Kuomi from the Indie Design Gift-a-long? She’s just published her first independent knitting book, “The Voyages of Vivian,” and gave me a sneak peek! Traveling the world with Vivian through the pages of the book, I was enthralled with the pictures, knitting designs, and story. So I asked if she’d grace us with an interview during her virtual release tour. And she said “yes”… so please join me in welcoming, Tal!

Voyages Of Vivian Book Cover

As a seasoned designer with over 150 publications, what inspired you to branch out into book publishing?
I love to tell a story, and so to be allowed to put together a collection of patterns that help to farther a story is right up my alley. I feel like I’ve been building up to themed books or collections for awhile now in one way or another.

The back story between Mrs. Crosby and Vivian is delightfully unique. Was it a result of Divine inspiration or are you blessed with a fun-loving audacious, yet refined, pen-pal?
I had a few summer camp cabin mates that became pen-pals when I was a child, but we haven’t sent letters for ages now. That said, one of my closest friends growing up was a fabulous letter writer and because of her, I love the idea of corresponding through letters. Today, my cousins and I still send written notes. There is something so dear about a handwritten note that deepens whatever is being said many times over. As to Mrs. Crosby and Vivian, I was inspired by the spunk and cheekiness of the figurehead of Mrs. Crosby Yarns. Reading through her blog, I stumbled across this post and immediately knew that this was Vivian and Mrs. Crosby’s first meeting as children.

With 8 designs, adventures, and destinations, it was tough to choose a favorite. But the “Crossings” pattern and story segment really jumped out at me! I love that the patterns are accessible for beginner knitters, yet interesting enough for seasoned veterans. Which came first, the patterns or the story?
For me, the stories always come first. Nearly every knitwear pattern I’ve ever written was my attempt to capture a feeling, or process a thought, or pray through a situation. Once I felt sure of Vivian’s story, it was easy to design the things I thought she’d want to wear at each stop on her journey. The fun bit, for me, is that even though my style and Vivian’s are nothing alike, all the patterns in the book are things I’d wear as well. I worked really hard to pare ideas down to their essence so that each knit piece leaves room for the personalities of the different wearers to shine.

Crossing from Voyages Of Vivian
Photo from Voyages Of Vivian

What was it like to ride an elephant in gorgeous knitwear?
Ah, I have truly never ridden an elephant. This would be a question for Vivian…

Will you be planning a book knit-a-long? If so, when and where do we sign-up and join in?
There is a knit-a-long in the works, but the details aren’t firmed up yet. The best way to know when it all comes together, would be to follow me on IG, Facebook, Twitter or to keep an eye on my blog (links below) or join my Ravelry group ‘Talitha’s Tangles’. I’ll be announcing what I know when I know it in all those places.

Photo from Voyages Of Vivian
Photo from Voyages Of Vivian

Puddles species to species questions – who are the beautiful white animals in “Trek”?
Aren’t they gorgeous animals? I think so, too, Puddles. Those are white wolves, tame of course, from Joshua Tree, CA. Vivian tells me that she didn’t get their names.

Photo from Voyages Of Vivian
Photo from Voyages Of Vivian

Thank you so much for inviting us along on Vivian’s adventure! You can see a preview of “The Voyages of Vivian” here or purchase your copy in print or online here.

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On a side note, all the patterns in “Voyages of Vivian” feature Mrs. Crosby’s yarn. As I was unfamiliar with this brand, I inquired to see if they employee any eco practices in their business. Below is Amanda Jarvis’s response:
“Being such a small company there isn’t much we do here that isn’t as ecological as possible. We recycle everything we possibly can and reuse all of the boxes we receive shipment in.”

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