A note from Jo, our hand knitter
I’ve knitted from the age of 8. My grandmother worked in a Bury Cotton Mill, so textiles are in my DNA. My mother showed me how to unravel jumble sale wool jumpers, wash and re-use the yarn. I continue to do this, I get cashmere knitwear from Lowie and from Charity Shops, to work with. I used to make sweaters with patterns and pictures on, for myself, my four older sisters, and later…boyfriends! I was an Art student in the 1980s, but my mum used to say to me, ‘Your real art is your jumpers.’
I’ve worked with Lowie on and off since 2013. I was contacted via the UK Hand knitting website by Bronwyn Lowenthal, founder and design director at Lowie.
As a freelance, I divide my time between designing and making crochet and knitted items, often from recycled materials, having patterns in published and online crochet magazines, a bit of teaching and the odd commission. A high spot was a 2014 collaboration with the WI and Kingston University Fashion students, where I made a piece for a budding designer and my handiwork- a crochet mesh top- was featured at the WI AGM at the Royal Albert Hall in the presence of H.M. The Queen.
Fast forward, last year, I was asked by Bronwyn to do some knitted samples and make hats, using yarn that was already in the studio. It was really exciting to reconnect with the team and together we came up with 3 designs, two berets and a beanie.
Just before lockdown, Bronwyn commissioned me to make ten of each design, to complement their AW20 collection. I was so thrilled! Bronwyn offers me a fair price for my work, and I hope that these merino hats made by me in the UK- South London, to be precise- will prove popular.
10% of each sale goes to RASASC, to support their vital work with women and girls.