I’ve been knitting and crocheting since the age of seven, taught (as is so often the case) by my mum and nans who instilled in me a love of the patterns they knitted from originally. Born out of a passion for the fashions of the 1940s and 1950s, Skiff Vintage Patterns was started up in 2009. I combined it with my die-hard love of knitting and began to look for ways to keep them current rather than fossilising them in the past. Originally the site focused on selling original vintage knitting patterns, but more recently I have been concentrating on writing and workshops.
I’ve worked at the creative end of the media and digital marketing industries, but knitting has always been my first love; over the years I developed a style of my own, adapting these wonderful designs for a modern fit and yarn choice. I’m obsessed with the detail you can create when you use fine yarns and make it my work to go around boring people about the potentially fantastic results you could get if you spend just a little more time, effort and patience on your knitwear.
So much so that I wrote a book about how to adapt vintage knitting patterns, and how to adapt modern patterns to your own requirements. ‘Knit Back In Time’ was released in the UK on Search Press at the beginning of 2013, and by Interweave in the US in March under the title ‘Vintage Design Workshop: Knitting Techniques for Modern Style’. After that came a project book for Laurence King in 2014 – ‘Vintage Knit’ contains 25 vintage knitting projects, updated for a contemporary look.
I’m not one to sit still for long, so I took a rather different tack with my more recent books and Trixie von Purl was born. Trixie can say and knit things Geraldine Warner might not have considered … such as ‘Knit Your Own Kama Sutra: 12 Playful Projects for Naughty Knitters’, which came out on Harper Collins in the US and Apple in the UK in January 2015! This was swiftly followed by ‘Pride and Preju-Knits: 12 Genteel Knitting Projects Inspired by Jane Austen’ (Search Press UK/Harper Collins US) in Autumn 2015.
Continuing the vein of literary knits (well the Kama Sutra’s a book, right?) I also created the concept of a knitted ‘Story Cabinet’ around the Brothers Grimm as part of Lewes Artwave in 2015.
I have been known to hold knitting and crochet workshops in the hope that other crafters will be happy to put up with me rattling on.
In my spare time I like to write on this blog about the evolving possibilities of modern and vintage, plus any design ideas which take my fancy. I live near Lewes, East Sussex (UK) with my husband, young son, and a collection of cats, dogs, chickens and a bearded dragon called Spikey.