What lead you to becoming a yarn producer?
I have been a knitwear designer for fashion and high street brands for many years. I have always loved the low-tech simplicity and slow pace of knitting, and the human need to create unique personal treasures. Having designed yarns for other brands with some of the world’s best fibre mills I jumped at the opportunity to create my own yarn collection in 2012. I support British manufacturing by launching with British wools made entirely in Yorkshire. There are now 6 yarns in the collection, all made from sustainable natural fibres.
Where do you create? Who is your team?
I work from a quirky studio in the creative British seaside city of Brighton, where I originally went to Art School. It’s a unique city with many makers and artists and I find being near the sea a constant source of inspiration. My team is very small – it’s just me and my daughter Arabella and our little three-legged Chihuahua, Winnie, who makes all the big decisions! It’s important to me to work closely with our suppliers and to use the right people with the relevant expertise for the product. We work with a family run British heritage mill in Yorkshire to make our British wool yarns – fur, maxi, vintage and British blue wool. We partner with an Italian spinner to produce our recycled linen – Studio Linen. A mill in India creates the newest yarn in the collection – gossypium cotton.
What inspires you?
I’m a very visual person, so I am constantly inspired by just walking around the city I live in. I love art exhibitions, trawling thrift stores and flea markets. I also love to travel, and always keep my eyes open to new colours, textures and shapes, which I collect as tear sheets from magazines, Pinterest images, small found objects and copious notes and sketches.
Fall is a wonderful time of year for knitting and crochet. I love the process of hibernating for the winter, bringing super chunky woolen throws into my home and getting cozy with a new knitting project.
Can you walk us through the creation of one of your yarns?
Studio Linen has been a great success for us over the summer months, but I think that it is really an all year round yarn as it’s perfect for layering. Garments will naturally soften with wear and age.
It is important to me to use sustainable natural fibres, and linen is an ancient fibre spun from the flax plant. The flax plant is naturally resistant to pests and therefore no pesticides nor herbicides are necessary to grow. Flax plants produce large amounts of usable fibre per acre and do not need irrigation.
This yarn is made from 85% recycled rayon-linen fibre, sorted from selected wastage from the textile industry and regenerated using the eco-friendly hydrolysis method. Blended with 15% premium natural line, grown in Belgium, these fibres are twisted and dyed by a specialist Italian spinner in Biella, Northern Italy. This produces a unique yarn with a dry hand feel and subtle sheen. There is currently a refined palette of eight essential colours that will work with everything you wear. We will be introducing new colours to extend the palette in 2017.