• Posts Tagged ‘knitted’

    Meet Catherine Tough

    by  • 07/01/2015 • Country business, Country style • 0 Comments


     You can’t look at a Catherine Tough’s knitted designs without wanting to smile. Adorable country critters and jolly colour combinations… what’s not to love? Catherine established the business 13 years ago and has since become one of Britain’s leading knitwear designers. With the help of her dedicated team, she supplies some of our favourite stores including Harrods, The White Company and Anthropologie.

    What made you want to become a designer?
    I come from a creative family. Both my sisters work in design, and my mum was always making something on her old-fashioned knitting machine. I loved watching the Clothes Show every Sunday, it all looked so exciting.

    Why did you choose knitting in particular as something to pursue?
    I instantly took to the knitting machine when I did my Textile Design BA at Buckinghamshire College. You can work through ideas quite quickly which I like, and it’s great fun to get a machine to do something creative. I went on to specialise in knit for my MA at the Royal College of Art.

    What is your favourite part of the design process?
    Choosing the colours for a new collection. I love getting a new shade card and chopping it up to try out all the different colour combinations.

    What makes your business special?
    Beside the quality and design, I think our products always make people smile. Everyone involved loves what they do, so each of our accessories and creatures come out looking happy!

    Describe your favourite country moment.
    Walking on the Malvern Hills with my family, then heading home for one of my Mum’s roast dinners…lovely!

    Describe your creative style in three words.
    Unexpected, simple and fun.

    Feeling inspired? Enjoy 20% off at Catherine Tough with the code CHI2015. Offer ends 31 Jan 2015.

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    Meet Donna Wilson

    by  • 12/11/2014 • Country business, Country style • 0 Comments

    Style Setter Donna Wilson | Country Days | Country Homes and Interiors

    Originally from Scotland, Donna Wilson set up her London-based company in 2003, selling her signature knitted creatures. Since then, her business has grown and grown, and she now supplies to countries worldwide. She’s best known for knitted homewares such as cushions and throws, and has recently released a jolly collection of  jumpers – just in time for Christmas!

    When did you realise you wanted to become a designer? 
    I think it was at quite a young age, I was always drawing and making things, and was always most happy with a pencil in my hand. My grandma tried to teach me to  knit and crochet when I was really young, but I didn’t have the patience – even now I’m still the same, I prefer to machine knit!

    How do you start your design process? 
    I usually do sketches in a notebook. They look like little cartoons, tiny bodies with huge exaggerated heads! I get their look and idea on paper first, then start knitting. Usually they turn out very much like the drawings but occasionally I’ll make some out of the scraps or off cuts – sometimes these rejects are just as successful as the planned ones!

    What do you love most about what you do?
    Designing. I’ve been spending the last few weeks making mood boards, sketching and trying things out on the machine, and I remember why I love it. Being creative is a fantastic feeling, and I’d recommend anyone to give it a go.

    What is your favourite season?
    Definitely Autumn! Something happens to me when the season changes – I seem to relax more. I love the crisp blue skies, the leaves, the bright stark light and the fact that I can wear wool again!

    What five things couldn’t you live without? 
    Sketchbook, stapler, music, colourful paints and the sea.

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    Meet Melanie Porter

    by  • 15/10/2014 • Country business, Country style • 0 Comments

    Melanie Porter Style Setter | Country Days | Country Homes and Interiors  Melanie Porter uses traditional craft techniques such as spinning and lino weaving to create her signature hand-knitted homewares. She undertakes the entire process by hand, from upholstering furniture to crocheting individual buttons. We love the little hand spun lampshades from her latest collection; 100% British wool is individually dyed before being knitted on giant needles to create a custom-made heirlooms for your home.

    What made you want to become a designer?
    My family was exceptionally creative. My grandfather was an architect who upholstered on the side, my grandmother made lampshades and tapestries and my mother taught spinning and weaving – you could say craft is in my blood! I spent 10 years working in the fashion industry before giving into my urge to start making things for myself again. That’s when I started to work on my hand-knitted chair range.

    Where do you work?
    I work on my large scale pieces in a converted chapel in Buckingham. It has a little living space in the vestry, so I can stay for several days at a time and focus on a project. I also work from home quite a bit as I spend many hours knitting.

    What inspires you? 
    Vintage craft is my main source of inspiration. I love to consider a traditional craft and find a way to put a modern twist on it. I spend many hours on every piece that I make, I couldn’t do this work if I didn’t love every minute.

    What’s next?
    I have recently started selling my fat bubba wool to give knitters the chance to create their own super chunky knits. Learning to spin has also opened up new lines of experimentation for me. At the moment I’m working on hand-spun fairy lights wrapped in pompoms and different coloured fibres.

    Describe your creative style in three words.
    Surprising, slow and handmade.

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    Celebrate Wool Week

    by  • 03/10/2014 • Country moment • 0 Comments

    Wool Week Country Post | Country Days | Country Homes and Interiors

    Autumn has officially arrived and we’re feeling the chill – just in time for the start of Wool Week (6–12 October), a fun-filled festival celebrating all things warm and cosy. Show your support to the British wool industry by heading to the capital and taking part in a host of exciting activities, all dedicated to highlighting the beauty, versatility and sustainability of our favourite natural fibre. We’ve shortlisted our top three events on the agenda for this year.

    The Campaign for Wool Interiors Collection 
    Taking p ace in the iconic Southwark Cathedral, this exhibition consists of around 50 interior pieces specifically chosen to show the story of wool interiors, including high-street pieces from the likes of John Lewis, Toast and The Conran Shop to commissioned designer items. It runs from 5–12 October and admission is free.

    Wool Week at Heal’s 
    Pop by Heal’s Tottenham Court Road shop windows (on show until 13 October) to see their unique window installation, ‘An Uncommon Thread’; a cat’s cradle made from 500 metres of hand-dyed woollen rope. Beautiful products made from British wool will also be on sale, as well as the new Orwell Wingback chair, an exclusive in-house Heal’s design released in celebration of Wool Week.

    The Wool Ride 
    Make your way to Potters Fields in London on 5 October for a one-of-a-kind bike ride, journeying through some of the streets made famous by London’s most prominent wool merchants. Give your bike a temporary makeover in the ‘Woollen Cycle Workshop’ and be sure to wear your best woollen knits for the chance to win the best-dressed award! Sign up for your tickets here.

    Want more ideas and inspiration for weekends in the country? Subscribe to our Friday Country Post here.

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    Country look: Knitted accessories

    by  • 10/01/2014 • Country style • 0 Comments

    Curling up on the sofa with woolly layers is the best way to spend dark January evenings. We’ve found the perfect luxurious blankets and cushions from Seven Gauge Studios to add texture, warmth and a touch of colour to your home.

    The collection of knitted accessories, with bold graphic patterns, are the creation of talented designer Joy Bates who loves to work with rich primary colours. Her designs are just the thing to lift the spirits; we could all do with a splash of feel-good brights at this time of the year.

    Seven-Gauge-Studios- Country-Homes-and-Interiors-blog

    Lambswool knitted cushions, £65 each, Seven Gauge Studios.


    Lambswool knitted blankets, £225, Seven Gauge Studios.

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    Country buy: happy home accessories

    by  • 01/11/2013 • Country style • 0 Comments

    Instead of feeling sad now we’ve waved goodbye to the longer days of sunlight, here at Country Homes & Interiors we’ve decided to embrace all the things we love about winter.

    In the spirit of celebrating winter woollies and all things bright and cheery, we thought we’d share the joy of Donna Wilson’s whimsical collection of knitted curious creatures, cute cushions and luxurious lambswool blankets for your home. These snaps from the new autumn/winter collection are sure to make you smile…

    Donna Wilson Country Homes and Interiors blog

    Quirky new pieces from Donna Wilson

    Donna_Wilson Country Homes and Interiors

    Characterful accessories guaranteed to make a happy home

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    Woolly delights by Sally Nencini

    by  • 23/11/2012 • Country style • 0 Comments

    As our thoughts turn to all things woolly for staying cosy indoors, on my shopping radar this week is Sally Nencini – a designer and maker of knitted cushions, blankets and toys. All made here in the UK using the softest lambswool, they are the perfect snuggly addition every country home needs for this time of year.

    With a background in fashion design her love for textiles, hand-worked crafts and surface pattern has evolved into this fabulous collection of tactile homewares. Having also trained as an upholsterer, Sally offers a bespoke service of hand embroidering beautiful designs onto the cushions and fabrics of vintage furniture ­– to create unique, functional works of art.

    Woolly delights by Sally Nencini.

    Woolly delights, Cushions from £40; Fairisle Dolly, £36; Blankets & Upholstery, Price on application, all by Sally Nencini.

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    Winter warmers from Toast

    by  • 20/01/2012 • Country style • 1 Comment

    It has felt like a rather long week, with the dark mornings, wet days and cold evenings. So this weekend is one for staying in, keeping cosy and taking time out to relax. These gorgeous images from Toast instantly ignite the desire for a long lie in, snuggling down under the covers with a good book wearing a pair of knitted socks and enjoying a cup of something hot! This checked flannel bedlinen layered with tactile wool throws, is the perfect antidote for these cold winter nights.

    Aldwyn bedlinen, from £9 to £55, Toast.

    Aldwyn bedlinen, from £9 to £55, Toast.

    Fair Isle socks, from £14 to £18, Toast.

    Fair Isle socks, from £14 to £18, Toast.

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