070 Fiber Alchemist Francoise Danoy transforms knitters with confidence | Power Purls Podcast



In this episode Kara talks to knitwear designer and regular coaching client, Francoise Danoy. Francoise is a self-proclaimed Yarn Alchemist: she transforms yarn into knitwear designs for her tribe of Fibre Muses to enjoy, and also teaches others how to become Yarn Alchemists themselves. Her mission is to evolve and grow, and right now the way she does that is by helping her Fibre Muses dive deep into themselves to find their creativity and magic. As a result of working with Francoise, a knitter can transform her yarn into a piece of fiber art, as well as discover and benefit from the magical properties of knitting, in order to create a more meaningful experience.

“Knitting is a quiet kind of magic that not only allows us to take a skein of yarn and transform in into something new, but connects us to our past, helps us stay grounded in the present and shapes our future.”


– Francoise Danoy

Episode highlights:


  • Francoise was a guest on episode 26, and we’re so happy to have her back again!
  • Francoise is a knitwear designer living in Osaka, Japan. Her father is French and her mother is Maori.
  • Francoise refers to herself as a yarn alchemist – she helps knitters transform their yarn into pieces of fiber art
  • Francoise wants to inspire her fibre muses to help them feel confident about creating beautiful hand knits.
  • She has been designing for 2.5 years, knitting for 3 years.
  • Kara and Francoise work together with Kara’s 1:1 coaching service – they have had a monthly call for years now.
  • Coaching gives Francoise an outside perspective on her business and lets her know she’s not alone.
  • Francoise says: When it comes to achieving goals, it’s less about succeeding or failing and more about doing the work.
  • The accountability aspect of coaching helps Francoise with the “getting it done” portion of her goal-setting process.
  • Francoise says that her sessions with Kara gives her a major confidence boost.
  • She also loved getting in-person help with TNNA from Kara.
  • Kara recommends the use of an editorial calendar to plan out your content each month and quarter.
  • Francoise says her design process hasn’t changed over the years, but she is more efficient now.
  • She also teaches that same process to others now so they can build a design business.
  • How long does it take to make a design? For hats, 1-2 months, shawls 2-3 months, garments longer.
  • The longest amount of time in the whole process is the test knitting.
  • Kara recommends always hiring a test knitter in order to preserve your passion for knitting.
  • Francoise says it’s still fun for her to knit her own designs, at least at this point.
  • Francoise casts on one project, sees it all the way through, and immediately starts the next one.
  • For her new collection, Francoise is batching by doing all the knitting, then all the pattern writing, then all the edits.
  • Francoise likes to start her work around 9 and be finished with her non-knitting work by lunch.
  • When she creates the sketches for her design, Fracoise tends to envision the colors at that point.
  • Francoise prefers to use semi-solid colorways, blues, yellows, reds, purples.
  • Her upcoming publication is going to feature more rustic and natural colors and warmer tones.
  • Francoise  immediately started her knitting journey with the idea of incorporating Maori designs into her stitches.
  • If she couldn’t find a pattern she liked, she would make one up!
  • This is what prompted Francoise to learn new techniques, so that she could incorporate that into her designs.
  • For Francoise, knitting was an opportunity to reconnect with her mother’s culture and learn her own heritage.
  • It is Francoise’s goal to help people have confidence to transform their yarn into amazing projects and make magic.
  • Francoise is now going to a quarterly pattern collection release schedule instead of a monthly one.
  • The biggest thing she’s struggling right now is shifting her mindset from short-term goals and deadlines to long-term.
  • Kara recommends creating a spreadsheet to map out your goals and the timeline associated with it.
  • Francoise is not influenced by the city where she lives (Osaka) for her design process.
  • Francoise’s advice for the fiber arts business: “Just put yourself out there and see it through, just go for it.”

Mentioned in this episode:

8 steps to creating a killer design

Chelsea Fitch

Francoise’s Tokerau Shawl pattern

Fiber Muse Alchemy kits – yarn club subscription from Francoise

Swatch Studio

The One Thing by Gary Keller


Learn more about Francoise and Aroha Knits:

Website: arohaknits.com

Facebook group: The Fibre Muse Circle

Instagram: instagram.com/arohaknits




Click here to sign up for a free 30-minute creative business strategy session with Kara!

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