Designer Q&A: Shibaguyz Part II
In Part I of this designer Q&A, I spoke with Shannon and Jason Mullett-Bowlsby, aka the Shibaguyz, about their design process and crafty pursuits. Here in Part II, things took a more random turn as we talked about music, yarn, travel, and their ideal dinner party.
Project Editor, Interweave Crochet and Love of Crochet
What is your favorite weight of yarn?
Shannon: It all depends on one thing: the fabric. I love a gossamer laceweight as much as a fab rustic chunky yarn, but I’d never use that laceweight to make an afghan. (What kind of devil would do that?) Every weight serves a purpose—it’s just a matter of finding how each one works best. That’s why I have literally thousands of swatches.
What do you like to listen to/watch while you’re working?
That really depends on each of our moods and what’s going on in the world that day. Shannon will listen to a lot of music—classical, rock, jazz, country, reggae—and also audio books if he has a day devoted to stitching or swatching. If it’s fashion week somewhere, he’ll watch the shows on his computer while working on patterning.
Jason, on the other hand, will listen to music primarily while editing photos or creating charts/schematics on his computer in his workroom (downstairs from the design studio). At any point in time you can hear everything from Patsy Cline to Lady Gaga to the original soundtrack of Oklahoma!. He also likes having NPR news and radio shows in the background as he works on photos. He ruptured his eardrum years ago and if it’s too quiet, the ringing in his ear drives him nuts.
On photo shoots, it’s old-school rock. Our models love it!
What is your favorite part of the day and why?
Evening, about an hour before dusk. This is the time we tend to be walking the Shibakidz (our three Shiba Inu) in the park or by the water. Photographers call this “golden hour”: the hour just before sunset when the sun is perpendicular to the land and light becomes soft and gold colored. It’s kind of magical; time slows down a bit as you watch the shadows lengthen, and everything gets quiet for just a moment while you think about everything that happened that day. Sigh . . . Then Jason swears because he forgot his camera in the car, missing a beautiful sunset.
What are your favorite hobbies?
We get asked this question a lot in one form or another. Let’s be clear here: crochet and knit design is our business, not hobby. Designing in these mediums is what pays the bills and, yes, we love to do it each and every day, but it’s not a hobby for us; it’s a business and we treat it as such.
Our actual hobbies include reading, dancing, hiking, walking along the beach with the Shibas (really), making and eating good food (mostly the eating part—Jason is an amazing cook), and doing a bit of gardening. Shannon will make the occasional afghan or socks for us. This winter, he crocheted three afghans for us (for the first time in over fifteen years). We LOVE what we get to do for a living and there isn’t a day that goes by that we don’t take stock and feel grateful that we do this, but couldn’t call it our hobby.
If you could go anywhere on vacation, where would you go and why?
So many possibilities here . . . Shooting from the hip, let’s say the Mediterranean. Shannon would love to tour the Italian countryside, stay in some villas, and visit archaeological sites along the way. He’d of course schedule this Italian vacation to coincide with Milan Men’s Fashion Week because, I mean, Milan, AND Italian men’s fashion. Jason has an affinity for ancient Greek history, culture, and food, so we’d have to swing by that part of the world as well.
If you could have dinner with anyone, who would you have dinner with and why?
If this is a dream dinner that anyone living or dead could attend, here’s the guest list:
Julia Child, hostess and chef
Mozart, entertainment on the piano
Truman Capote (Because who would not want to see Dorothy Parker and Truman Capote go toe to toe?)
Who would star as you and Jason in a movie about your lives?
Shannon: Julianne Moore. Don’t judge me; she could totally pull it off.
Jason: Tom Hardy, because I want people to look at me and think “WOW, he looks just like Tom Hardy,” then give me a shot of what they’ve been drinking.
Thanks so much to Shannon and Jason for taking the time to answer my questions! Make sure to check out some of Shannon’s designs in past, present, and future issues of Interweave Crochet and Love of Crochet! To keep up with the Shibaguyz in all their crafting endeavors, check out their websites, Shibaguyz.com and ShibaguyzDesignz.com; find them on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook as the Shibaguyz; and check out Shannon’s designs on Ravelry.