News

New collection launched at Pulse 2014

I launched my new collection of scarves and new geometric blanket colourways at Pulse 2014 a couple of weeks ago, to a great reception from buyers both here in the UK, and internationally.

I’m just about to place an order with my new manufacturer in Leicester in the next week or so, with an estimated 6-8 week turnaround time, so hopefully will be able to send out orders from the end of July onwards. More in depth info on each product and more importantly how to buy them is via my online shop. I will be running a pre-order promotion on all my products in just a few exciting weeks. Keep your eyes peeled on my facebook and instgram feed for more information.

Meanwhile here’s a quick preview of my new products to whet your appetite:

*NEW* PUZZLE infinity scarves

*NEW* PUZZLE infinity scarves

*NEW* MAZE pattern scarves

*NEW* MAZE pattern scarves

*NEW* Monochrome geometric blanket colourway

*NEW* Monochrome geometric blanket colourway

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The springing of springtime

A blooming gorgeous April for me this year. A springtime explosion of honey scented blooms from Cyprus, via a stop off in Sussex, and back to a blossom filled Hampshire again. Hope you had a good one too xx

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New British Knitwear manufacturer = found!

Since my last post I have been busy scheming and planning the way forward for me and my little knit business, putting plans in place to make the day to day running more smooth, and planning for future growth and expansion.

The first and most urgent priority was finding a new knitwear manufacturer, to reproduce my designs. At present the very-micro-‘manufacturer’ – a.k.a the wonderful knitwear department at Shetland College of Art, who I currently work with, are only set up as a small social enterprise, using the digital knitting machines at the college. However, as the popularity and demand for my products is growing (a good problem as my partner says!) I have consequently struggled to produce bigger orders than 20-30 pieces with them, due to – understandably – a lack of infrastructure to support and complete all the finishing required to complete larger orders.

What with that, and the extra cost/time of shipping yarn to Shetland, I decided it was time to try and source a new UK based manufacturer, as sustainability, and supporting UK manufacturing is still one of the key values of my business, so really wanted to make this happen if at all possible. So my search began. I searched the internet high and low, sent off a tonne of emails to potential candidates, and then… either I didn’t hear back, or was told unfortunately they couldn’t work with a small business such as mine, as I wouldn’t be able to make their minimum order requirements.

I was beginning to lose hope, when one of the manufacturers I had emailed helpfully replied ‘we can’t help you, but my husband works for Skinwear Ltd, and they might be just what you are looking for…’

I swiftly contacted them, with all fingers and toes crossed, and lo they do appear to be just the knitwear manufacturer I’ve been looking for. They have forty super snazzy Shima’s ‘in work’, the majority of which are ‘Wholegarment‘ Shima’s, that almost magically knit garments and accessories in one whole piece without the need for any seaming, or finishing, AND, most importantly they can work to small enough minimum orders for my little business to manage.

I paid them a visit just before Easter, and it felt nothing short of miraculous to witness a little piece of Shima heaven in action in an inconspicuous manufacturing unit just near Leicester. So I’m now working with the wonderful Skinwear Ltd in Leicester, UK. I couldn’t be more happy about producing my accessories with such a fantastic specialist UK based knitwear producer, who I know I can trust produce my accessories to the high standard I require, and provide employment for over forty skilled local people.

Photo’s from my fabulous factory visit below xx

Shima heaven! wholegarment shima knitted gloves

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Ease

EASE

It’s gone a little quiet here at KnitHQ since Christmas, as we (Stephen & I) moved in January into our first (co-owned) home, with a proper grown-up mortgage. The lead up to the move was very exciting, but has been a far greater upheaval, than I think either of us had anticipated. I don’t think we realised quite how settled we were in our previous little rented flat, which was nicely decorated, in good working condition, & situated in the pretty (& rather posh) bit of Winchester.

The new flat, although lovely, is also a little smaller, (thank god we have a loft to stash heaps of stuff in) and needs a little updating. We’re currently living with old-fashioned storage heaters, (who ever through they were a good idea??!) and what we think to be the flats original bathroom and kitchen, dating perhaps from the late 60’s/early 70’s. The first couple of weeks we moved in I think we both felt a little displaced, like we were living in someone else’s flat, coupled with boxes to go through in every corner, meant it’s taken us a good 5/6 weeks to feel settled & at home here.

So it has taken me a little longer than last year to settle on my word of the year, a la Susannah Conway, as have been a little distracted. Last years word; E X P A N D,  really fed me during a period of real growth for my business, and felt just right for a year of pushing myself forwards.

This year I was initially mulling over the idea of ‘Brave’, although the more I thought about it, the more tired and overwhelmed I felt, not how I’m aiming to feel at all!

So after more mulling, and pondering, I have arrived at E A S E. Just saying that word makes me feel more relaxed. I feel like I’ve been really pushing for success the past couple of years, and this sometimes left me depleted, and unbalanced in other areas of my life. I feel like I need to find more easy ways to make things happen for my business. Making decisions that support me, and don’t mean that I have to work all the hours to make it happen. So E A S E it is, and I couldn’t be more ready for it.

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I made it! Phew!

The autumn (a.k.a a knitters crazy-pants-busy-ass time of year) has been in full swing again. I exhibited at MADE LONDON, and MADE13 in Brighton again, (I seriously doubted whether I would make it as far as setting up my stand at some points this year, as was in-between getting lots of new and exciting wholesale orders dispatched to shops, oh and of course still teaching three days a week…!) I met some great new customers, potential stockists, and other fantastic and inspiring designer/makers, (indulging in my favourite pastime of designer swapsies…) & generally had a ball! Here’s my high-lights below. Enjoy xx

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