In 2005 I decided to undertake a Masters degree in the History of Design at the Royal College of Art, London.
I write more about my dissertation on the development of the knitting pattern on the historical research page, but during my research looking at Victorian knitting patterns, I developed a desire to create some really beautiful, fine guauge knits. This was also inspired by beautiful vintage clothing at the Hammersmith Vintage Fair.
The designs are knitted in lace-weight yarns, as well as 4ply. Finding fine yarns at the time I was making the samples (2010) wasn’t as easy as it is now, and I resorted to crochet cotton for a couple of them! I also included beaded items and added embroidery.
I designed and started knitting the samples for the book and then I found a potential small publisher. Unfortunately, after completing the samples and photographing them, the publishing deal fell through.
Luckily Interweave, the large US publisher, took up the project and it was published in 2011.
In order to promote the book in the UK I decided to take stands at various knitting shows around the country, and over the next couple of years I also developed knitting kits – with yarns, beads and purse frames – along with a small pattern booklet, all presented in a box decorated by me!
The shows were successful, but a lot of hard work for little financial return. It was just after the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace in 2014 that I was approached by Rowan to work on their Swarovski collaboration. (see Rowan page)
I’m very proud of the book which still sells on Etsy, and I have recently updated the patterns and sell them as single patterns.
More information about the patterns can be found by following this link.
garment photos: Nick Sargeant