5 minutes with Arne & Carlos
Meet Arne & Carlos, our favourite design duo, famous for their sock design and their passion for traditional Scandinavian knitting motifs!
Tell us a bit about yourselves and where you are from…
We are the Scandinavian Design duo Arne & Carlos. Arne is from Norway and I, Carlos, am from Sweden, but we live in Norway. We founded our company in 2002 and we specialise in knitting design. Arne has a degree in Fashion Design, specialising in menswear and pattern construction and I am self-taught, with a degree in Political Science. We had a knitwear brand from 2002 to 2010 that was sold in many high end stores such as Libertys and Harvey Nichols in London and since 2010, we’ve written six best selling books that have been translated from Norwegian and into 17 languages including English, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Dutch, all Scandinavian languages, Estonian, Finnish, Russian Korean and Japanese.
How long have you been knitting?
Arne has been knitting since he can remember, from a very young age. I have been knitting since I learnt in school, on and off until I started knitting full time 13 years ago.
Why did you decide to design Christmas baubles?
Originally it was a project we did with Japanese brand Comme des Garçons, which we later turned into a book. The reason why we wanted to do these was that we have such a rich cultural heritage in Scandinavia, when it comes to fair isle patterns and we just wanted to share these with the world. In order to do that, you have to make them relevant for today. The way we made them relevant was by adapting the patterns to a simple little, easy project, that anyone can knit and finish within a reasonable amount of time.
What challenges do you face as designers?
The biggest challenge we have as designers is that we can never “close the shop and go home”. It is not a 9 to 5 job. We are constantly getting impulses and ideas that we process in our brains, 24/7, and, sometimes, when we are supposed to design something, things don’t come out the way we want them to and we have to stop, go out into the garden and do some digging or rake leaves – and then suddenly, the ideas come to us. So, this is not a job, it’s a way of life. Sometimes we wish we could just go on holiday and think of other things, but we can’t. Still, we love our work and our lifestyle, so even if it is challenging, we find our work to be very rewarding.
Where do you get your inspiration?
The inspiration process is very individual. We don’t necessarily have to travel to a beautiful place and look at this or that to be inspired. For us, inspiration comes from within. When we are at home, in peace and quiet, tending our garden, we get our best ideas. Also when we meet and interact with people, the energy that they give us can be very positive and inspiring.
What is your best designing experience?
Coming up wit the idea for the Christmas balls is high on our list of best experiences. It was originally part of a collection for the Japanese brand Comme des Garçons and it was so much fun doing it! Then we continued with the book 55 Christmas Balls to knit and now the Christmas calendar for Patons. The first edition of the effect yarn for Regia was also a fantastic experience. Looking back, it’s those things that seem to be so simple and so easy to do, that have had the greatest impact when they hit the market. We believe the reason they feel so easy and simple to do, is because they’ve come straight from our heart.
What upcoming projects do you have planned?
We are currently on tour, we will be travelling around Norway, Denmark, the UK, Germany, the Netherlands and Japan this fall and the USA in January. We are also working on a new book and creating new designs for Regia and Patons as well as other projects which are still not official.
If you were a yarn, which yarn would you be and why?
Well, we have been pretty lucky to be able to work with Regia and Patons and to design sock yarn for them, so we’d have to say that we are The Regia Design Line by Arne&Carlos. Both the effect that we designed and the colour combinations that we’ve put together are very much a very big part of our design approach and what we are all about.
Love meeting designers? Follow us on Bloglovin’ and never miss a post!
Last updated: December 3rd, 2015.