I have just returned from a quick trip to London to celebrate the launch of my patterns: Two of Daisies Scarflette, and Six of Daisies Cardigan with Loop London
This is a bit of a travel diary but I also wanted to share more info about the patterns that is less like what you might find in the description, and more in the details.
I arrived in chilly, drizzly, London on Friday first thing in the morning and drove straight to Islington. Islington is a bustling cool little shopping district, now, with little back roads with intimate shops. Loop is on one of these called Camden Passage and is flanked by a really sweet little cheese shop and a coffee shop. Antique vendors set up outside across the little car-less road and even in the morning with the rain, people were out. This is not the location where I would visit during my time in 2007 at Central Saint Martins, but it is nearby and it most certainly was not this busy then.
My entire time while working in fashion and designing my own line, including back when I was in school, I never seemed to fit in. It was not necessarily that people were mean or that my work wasn't appreciated, but more that me and my work did not fit into a category that existed-- more that people did not know what to make of me or what to do with my work. Later, I showed during NY fashion week, and even so I never got coverage on Style.com (RIP) for my shows or really was taken seriously. I think it was because of my focus on craft and the industry's reluctance to embrace things that are hard to comoditize. This has always weighed on me but finding likeminded people has always been the antedote. Taking the walk from my flat near Old Street Station over to Islington and Loop always made me feel welcome and home.
Susan, pictured with me above, is the owner of the shop and not only does she create a cozy, expertly curated but packed to the gills assortment of the most beautiful yarns and notions, but also employs a lovely diverse group of knitters. Loop is 2 floors jam packed with beautiful things. It was hard to avoid shopping- so I didn't. But I did only get things that are hard to find stateside. Below is a photo of what I bought.
I cannot wait to plan a project with those pom pom yarns. Also the Qing Fibre Suri is so delicious.
My second day in London and at the shop was to lead a workshop on the colorwork for the patterns. Both patterns can be worked as stranded // fairisle or instarsia. In the class we talked through pros and cons of each and how to do them. Loop and I are planning a future zoom workshop on these techniques, so keep an eye out.
The first of the two patterns we released is the Two of Daisies Scarflette. This pattern joins the family after the love I received for the Flower Power Pullover and is one of very few neck accessories that I have ever designed. Inspired by a royal playing card with the mirroring of imagery, this scarflette allows for really light and bright colors that are fun to knit but not always fun to wear. The pattern works equally well in high contrast colors as well as less contrasty hues and is a great pattern for beginners in colorwork since the colors do not shift around.
Someone in the class on this chart asked me why the flowers are not perfectly symmetrical and I realized in that moment how that was perhaps an odd choice. The answer is that when I create charts for myself to follow, I import a drawing instead of mapping it out in a computer program. The hand drawn ness comes through in the final chart- and while flowers are perfect- they are not always perfectly symmetrical. I realized win that moment that I love how my process comes through in the final result even though it is quite subtle. For more information on this pattern and how to purchase, check it out here.
The second of the patterns is the Six of Daisies Cardigan. The chart design is quite similar to the scarflette. This garment is one that I offer as a ready to wear sweater. I love that this hand knit version, due to its chunkier weight, has a different vibe completely. I love that hand knits look hand knit. I love that making your own garments allows you to chose the colors and yarns that work best for you. I love that you can knit this in cotton if you have an aversion to wool.
I arrived home yesterday after a whirlwind 2 day trip to a cold and rainy Providence. Getting to mingle with knitters always fills up my cup and seeing all of your love for these patterns continues to fill me with gratitude. Thank you as always for following along.