Designer Crush: Kate Davies
As many of you know, I have had a serious knitting crush on designer Kate Davies for a really long time. Her story is one of using creativity, artistry, and sheer determination to overcome the effects of stroke she suffered at the age of 36. She grew up in an expressive, artistic family, so fostering creativity had always been a part of her life. When she suffered the stroke, she used knitting as one of the tools to get her body reconnected to her brain. You can read more about her story and how she began designing knitwear, making yarn, and writing books here. Today, her thriving business supports local Scottish craftspeople as employees, uses locally grown wool to make her labeled yarns and local printing presses to produce her books. KDD (Kate Davies Designs) was recognized in 2016 as the UK Microbusiness of the year. So inspiring!
Another crucial part of her recovery from the stroke was walking. Kate lives in beautiful Scotland along the West Highland Way. The walking trail stretches for 96 miles from Milngavie in the southern part of Scotland to Fort William in the north. You can read all about it here.
Cameron and I are determined to go and walk there soon!
Kate walks in her neighborhood daily, and takes much of the inspiration for her designs from her home. How could you not be inspired by this place?! You can read about the inspiration behind many of her designs as well as really great interviews and essays on her blog. She is quite an active blogger and I always enjoy each post.
Kate is known for her beautiful Fair-isle and Shetland inspired designs. The colors she has chosen for her branded yarns are inspired by her natural environment and highlight her color-work designs perfectly.
I am working on her Greis Dress right now....so much knitting!
Caller Herrin Hat made for a friend
As much fun as her color-work designs are, one of my very favorite of her designs is the Carbeth Pullover. It is named for the local loch where she and her Black Labs Bruce and Bobby like to swim in the summer. There is a ton of history to be learned about the area; if you are interested please read more here.
Carbeth is such a great sweater! Bulky-weight yarn and a cropped style make for a very fast and satisfying knit. The cropped length looks great on everyone I have ever seen wear it.....don't be fooled into making it longer if you can help it. If you are thinking about making one, I would really recommend heading to Ravelry to see the hundreds that have been made....you might be reassured by seeing the cropped length on so many different body types. Here it is on my 5'0 body as well as on the 5'8 Cameron.
We will be offering a class on the Carbeth sweater in March. This is a perfect first sweater....lots to learn and a great confidence-builder! We have lots of great yarn to choose from right now too. Cameron will also talk a little about how to modify the sweater for length and how to modify the neck or sleeves. I made one with ribbed sleeves and I love it!
Head here for more information and to register for the class. Hope to see you there!