There are not many people that can do eccentricity like Erika Knight does………and boy does it suite her! She was a guest speaker today at The Creative Sanctuary and I had the huge pleasure of being there and listen to her amazing story.
I was always a huge fan of Erika’s work – the organic, simple lines of her designs always very enticing. Her new yarn collection is just yummy!, especially the lovely little blue wool in gorgeous chalky colours that just begs to be knitted, or the Maxi Wool in fab colours, Artisan stands out the most as its just such an interesting colour that will go with anything!! I love the story behind Marni colour in Maxi Wool collection – named after the film Marnie in which Tippi was petrified of red colour. Beautiful natural yarn with stunning pattern collection, that anyone can make.
It was marvelous to listen to her talk about her amazing carrier spanning so many years. The work she did for the most famous fashion houses from Vivian Westwood to Paul Smith., and the moment she new she made it when Boy George (still in his hey day) arrested in drug bust being escorted in hand cuffs but wearing a jumper designed by her!! Very empowering to hear how she fought for her individuality when trying to publish books, all publishers rejecting her as they wanted colours not natural, organic look but she stuck to her guns and succeeded immensely!
Erika Knight is fabulously eccentric, you get completely immersed in her, you hang on every word….just can’t tear yourself away! Who can produce a scrunch up piece of tissue paper containing twig, bark, stone and some linen string and tell you they are the most amazing things…..and you know what?, they are the most amazing things! the smoothness of the stone, the way it feels against your skin, the stunning colour you just want to recreate it in knitting. Inspiration is everywhere!
I loved how she described knitting and crocheting as creating stuff…..and that exactly what it is …..stuff, beautiful, personal and ours, we take a ball of yarn and create stuff! sometimes we don’t finish our stuff and it becomes UFO-unfinished object and sometimes we make lots of little stuff and ‘smooch’ it together and create one big stuff.
But what she spoke the most about is British yarn and the importance of buying British and supporting sheep breeders and yarn spinners. She quoted Churchill’s famous words ‘we are a nation of little shopkeepers’ for a while we have forgotten our quaint little shops, our ability to hand make the most amazing creations, we have forgotten our roots! But we are back! We are returning to knitting, sewing and crocheting, we seek quality which disposable fashion shops do not offer, we want heirlooms, we want to be proud to say ‘I made that’ about what we wear! in Erika’s words we are ‘upgrading, upscaling, uplifting craft’.
The little shops are returning and my beautiful friend Angela is doing just that. She had risked everything for a lovely, old dream which has turned into the most amazing reality. The Creative Sanctuary is everything and more!
Gorgeous display at The Creative Sanctuary of Erika Knight’s yarns and patterns
The lush Marni colour in Maxi Wool
The importance of buying British
The absolutely yummy Blue Wool
A basket of inspiration
Stunning Artisan colour Maxi Wool made by ‘smooching’ together little bits of stuff
Some more lovely yarn
The Lady herself
My beautiful friend Angela who makes it all happen
When I grow up I want to be Erika Knight 🙂