In Conversation With Nihan Caydamli

Get to know Nihan Caydamli of Lapiin Lapiin. Nihan grew up in Istanbul and currently resides in Los Angeles, where she hand knits sweaters and accessories. 
  
Sweaters modeled by Amarachi Nwokoma
  
  
   
What motivated you to create Lapiin Lapiin and how did you start to make it a reality?
    

Lapiin Lapiin started as a journal documenting my exploration and journey into knitting. As an architecture student during the pandemic, a lot of our production moved online. I found that I wasn’t feeling the same alchemy with my work as I was when I was in-person, creating models and using my hands. Knitting became a meditative way to channel the itch and yearning for the tactile and tangible parts of my creativity, and it meshed with that same digital headspace by creating collages and images. I never expected it to grow as quickly as it did, but I’m incredibly grateful for all the collaboration and support I’ve received through the page. 

  

 

Who or what are your inspirations? 

My inspiration comes from everything around me! My incredible peers, talented artists, and creators. Lately, I’ve loved to draw inspiration from nature, feelings, motifs, and paintings. I find Impressionism to be the conjunction of the three for me, and a huge source of inspiration for the senses and color schemes of the pieces I make. 

 

 

   

How do you source your materials? 

Finding the right materials is not only the most integral part of creating a piece, it is the starting point of everything I have made! I spend hours on the internet looking for second-hand yarns, as well as going to local shops and small businesses to find the perfect material. I also have started working with farms that shear their own sheep and goats to spin into yarn, and it’s really rewarding being in touch with where the materials come from. Fast fashion culture has put textile and material on the back burner, and that’s a huge part of what makes it so destructive. I find that if a fabric or texture really speaks to someone and draws them in, it's more likely that it becomes a piece that will be kept around for a long time. Knitting feels like painting to me, so finding the materials to mix and weave and “paint” with is also what ends up directing what each piece ends up being.

   

  

What are your interests beyond Lapiin Lapiin? Do you have any other outlets for your creativity?

I’m currently finishing my B.Arch degree at the Southern California Institute of Architecture, so I’m pretty much constantly 3D modeling, producing images and imagining spaces. I’m really lucky to be in a discipline that allows me to constantly learn, explore and play. I once asked my dad about the moment he knew I would be a “creative,” and his response was that “the second you picked up a pair of scissors, I knew it was over.” It’s hard to pinpoint any particular outlet or interest, as I feel like everything I do is deeply intertwined. Beyond knitting, I love spending any free time I have learning from other products of creativity, watching films, exploring worldbuilding in video games and stories. Even though I’m absorbing a lot of what’s shared and put out in the world, it feels like an outlet knowing that every story told and piece made is valuable and important- and it definitely fuels all curiosity and creativity I have. 

     

What are you most excited about with the future of Lapiin Lapiin? 

The organic next step feels like creating a website for my knitwear, but I’ve always dreamed of having a website that is more community-oriented. I’m in the beginning stages of creating a website as a space to share other artists’ work and showcase things from all disciplines of design- photography, tattoo work, objects, art, architectural design, knitwear (of course), and also writing! I would love to hold a space for creatives to have discussions between disciplines. This idea is something that really excites me, as art and creative work is often compartmentalized on social media and in the world- despite the fact that we are always learning from each other, sharing, listening, and growing.

   

 

 

Lapiin Lapiin's collection is available now!