Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark is one of my favorite designers. Her garments are cutting edge, yet classic; bold, yet understated. And she's loaded with talent and experience.
|Mercedes says: "The Fleurette Camisole was inspired by historical garments, with its sweet color palette and delicate floral embroidery. Done on a larger scale than the tiny handwork of yesteryear, this is a modern interpretation of a cool linen chemise, with a duplicate stitch pattern and fluid short-row shaping in a simple A-line shape."|
|Mercedes says: "I'm in love with retro fashion—the slim-fitting Beulah Cardigan channels the spirit of 1950s "sweater girl" looks. Scallop embroidery adds detailing without being overly sweet and a modern color palette makes it a classic for today. This is the kind of garment I love to have in my wardrobe to layer over camis."|
In the Spring 2012 issue of Knitscene, Clair McLafferty profiled Mercedes. Here's an excerpt from that profile, plus details on a couple of Mercedes's patterns, designed specifically for this issue of Knitscene.
Taking Shape: Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark
Unlike a lot of knitwear designers, Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark has not been knitting since she was a kid. In fact, it was not until her mid-twenties that she really got into working with yarn.
Now she is the owner of Mercedes Knits, an online business that encases her knitwear designs and, until recently, was the sister to Kitchen Sink Dyeworks, her now disbanded yarn company. With an almost untenable work schedule of designing, dyeing, and teaching, she recently decided to pursue more design work—and to do that work with other dyers' yarns.
As a fiber art and textile major at Savannah College of Art and Design, Mercedes learned how to shape and design garments from textiles, and there became familiar with spinning and dyeing fibers. From 2004 to 2009, this parlayed into ownership of Knit Nouveau, a local yarn store in Homewood, Alabama. During this time, she developed the knitting-specific skills she has incorporated into her designs and her effective instructing on particulars of the subject.
Though she had designed and tweaked patterns for her own personal use before this point, it was in the shop that she began writing patterns for others' use. A few of these patterns were published in an online setting, but most of those fashioned during this time were sold in the store itself. Because Mercedes had tailored these patterns to the demands of what the local population would want, she was able to begin publishing more experimental patterns and hand-dyeing yarn after Knit Nouveau closed its doors. This transition presented her "a lot more freedom. I can design to a broader base and do more of what I want because of the worldwide audience," she said.
It is not surprising that the freedom she has so enjoyed has translated into designing patterns for yarn companies, online venues, and print. She has more than sixty patterns posted on Ravelry, some with upward of 2,000 likes, and an Interweave Knits cover feature already under her belt. Mercedes's distinctive style has been fleshed out by her numerous designs and shines through in the pieces she designed for her Knitscene collection.
Focusing on creating what she dubs "classic silhouettes with modern detailing," the curves in the detailing on her work draw the eye to the curves created by the shaping in so many of her designs.
Mercedes describes each piece in her Knitscene collection as being individually "tied back to a retro vibe" that seems to stem from a different era in each design, with a color palette to match the style.
—Clair McLafferty, from the Spring 2012 issue of Knitscene
All of the patterns from this issue are available now as single pattern downloads. This is a beautiful issue of Knitscene. You'll find both the Fleurette Camisole and the Beulah Cardigan, plus a couple more of Mercedes's designs, and there are some really stunning lace-knitting patterns, too, so visit the Knitting Daily Shop and download some patterns!