This month, we invite you to peek into the life of Erika Knight – the brilliant and renowned knitwear designer, author and yarn designer.
We have been lucky enough to meet Erika at the shop, when she came in to do a book signing and talk last October. And we cannot say, for someone so beyond talented and clever, just how nice she is! With many strings to her bow, she is fascinating to listen to – and we were riveted by her talk about colours and shapes, the stories behind her yarn names (Steve is named after Steve McQueen’s beautiful blue eyes) and the reasoning behind her colour choices (you always have to have a “pop” colour in your palette!).
So we proudly present to you, our second knitterview. Enjoy!
When and how did you learn to knit?
I learnt at art school during my punk years, when holes and ladders didn’t matter and safety pins were de rigeur.
How did your career in knitting begin?
After art school I worked for a textile printing company, but unfortunately I couldn’t afford to carry on doing this job that I loved, so I had to fall back on my hobby. I did half a dozen sketches, trawled them round to local and London boutiques and got an order for one or two, then three and four and so it began…
Who / what is your biggest inspiration?
Anything and everything, I am always inspired by things and people around me.
Do you have a favourite design / pattern of all time?
Yes, a sweater called ‘Antarctic’, named after a collection designed for my label Molto! many years ago to celebrate the life of our British hero, Captain Scott. It was like a hit record for us at the time. It was so simple, and I am considering re-releasing it again for this Autumn…watch this space.
What is the best thing about creating your own yarn range?
Being in control of the fibre quality, colours and knowing the whole process is natural, ethical, sustainable and supporting British sheep and manufacturing.
Erika Knight British Blue Wool in Pretty
Who do you design for?
I design for myself, things I like and value. I believe there are lots of people like me who want classic, timeless pieces, but with a bit of style.
What do you hope people gain from knitting/ crocheting your patterns?
The end result is a timeless, quality garment, but I hope that they too enjoy the process of working with beautiful and natural fibres and simple designs that work.
If you could be someone else (past or present) for one day, who would you be?
I think it would have to be Coco Chanel – because she was a strong woman, a bit of a rebel, a perfectionist, and a true innovator who really conceived and created ready to wear comfortable clothes for modern stylish women.
What song/s are you listening to at the moment?
I love the British jazz saxophonist Simon Spillett, who I recently saw at a basement gig in Soho.
If you could give one piece of advice/wisdom to knitters and crocheters the world over, what would it be?
Experiment, and don’t be frightened to have a go!
The Knit Club stocks Erika Knight beautiful British yarns and patterns (also available online), and the lovely Erika will be visiting The Knit Club on the 27th April at 2pm to talk about her new baby poster pattern and knitting for babies and beyond.