Skiff Vintage Patterns was started up at the beginning of 2009. Born out of a passion for the fashions of the 1940s and 1950s, 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. For the last few years the site has focused on selling original vintage knitting patterns, but more recently I haven’t had the time to spend on running that side of the business, so am now focusing on writing and workshops.
I’ve been knitting and crocheting since the age of seven, taught by my mum and nans who instilled in me a love of the patterns they knitted from originally. Over the years I developed a style of my own, adapting these wonderful designs for a modern fit and yarn choice. I’ve worked at the creative end of the media and digital marketing industries, but knitting has always been my first love. 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’ve written 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 (available on Amazon), and by Interweave in the US in March under the title ‘Vintage Design Workshop: Knitting Techniques for Modern Style’ (also available on Amazon). More recently, I have been working on a project book for Laurence King – ‘Vintage Knit’ contains 25 vintage knitting projects, updated for a contemporary look. Publication date is August 2014 (available to pre-order on Amazon). I’ve also completed a rather different knitting book under the pseudonym ‘Trixie von Purl’ due out Christmas 2014 – more will be revealed nearer the time!
I believe there is a tremendous amount of confidence to be gained from examining these older patterns and deconstructing them to suit modern shapes and yarns, which means that knitters can go off-road and adapt any pattern they like, even creating their own new, fresh designs.
In my spare time I like to write about the evolving possibilities of modern and vintage on this blog. 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.