Meet the Maker: Knitting Pattern Designer Louise Walker
Knitting has seen a huge resurgence in recent years, with a little practice and a few You Tube tutorials it seems there is nothing that can’t be created when you put you mind to it. Louise Walker has done just that, her love for the craft has grown and culminated into her very own successful business, Sincerely Louise.
Louise’s work has appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers titles, and she even got a spot on the Alan Titchmarsh show showcasing her wonderful talent, and has had commissions from the likes of Boden and Phileas Fogg to name but a few.
Here we ask Louise about her plans for the coming year, what’s the best thing about working for herself, and where she get’s all of her inspiration from for her unique and quirky makes . . .
Knitting Pattern Designer Louise Walker
How did you start ‘Sincerely Louise’?
I started Sincerely Louise whilst at university as an instagram account. Under that name I posted photographs of my knits and daily life. After graduating I interned and worked for another knitters until I decided to start my own business under the same name.
What is the design process you work through when developing a new product?
My design process is usually to draw out some sketches of what I’d like to make and then source the yarn. Once it arrives I usually just begin knitting. I like a lot of shaping, and work from the sketches drawn, sometimes I’ll knit a piece up several times until it’s perfect.
What’s behind the Forest friends that you create, how did they come about?
The forest friends started as a commission from Boden for an A/W launch at Somerset House. I was asked to create a set of animal heads to be featured alongside their Mini range. From here I was asked to sell the pieces at the online retailer Molly-Meg and exhibit another set at Unravel Festival. I had so many requests for patterns and kits that I quickly started producing them.
Give us a tour of your workspace. . .
My workspace is currently by the computer when designing, researching and answering emails. Around me I have a knitted animal or two, bunting and piles of notebooks and scraps of paper with patterns on. If I’m knitting I’ll frequent the sitting room and watch an abundance of daytime quiz shows surrounded by yarn.
What are the pros and cons of being your own boss?
I think the pros of being your own boss is that you can choose your own work hours, however this may also be a con, as I never seem to stop working. I do love the freedom but often my weekends are taken on a Monday, Tuesday and my summer holidays in January.
What is the one piece of information you wish you’d known at the very beginning?
One thing I wished I’d realised a lot earlier is to have much more confidence in myself. I have such a wonderful responses from my patterns however found it hard for a long time to push myself to contact people. I’ve certainly developed this skill in the last year and has given me so many more opportunities.
What are the key items you need if you want to get started in knitting?
Needles, yarn and an inspiring pattern. I enjoyed learning to knit but it wasn’t until I found a really interesting pattern that made me realise knitting didn’t have to be just scarfs and jumpers. From there I never stopped.
What inspires you?
I’m inspired a lot by toy animals, I love seeing the personality they’ve been given by the makers. I’m also inspired a lot by the yarns I work with, I’ve still got a stash to go through to decide what they’re going to be made into.
And for the future, have you got any projects in the pipeline?
I’ve currently got some really exciting projects in the pipeline and you may be seeing a lot more of me on screen, as I’ll be working on some tutorials. I’ve also got some commissions on the go, all animal related of course and will be releasing a new set of kits in the future.
If you want to keep up to date with all of Louise’s creations make sure to follow her Facebook page. Louise also has an Etsy shop which stocks her wonderful Forest Friend kits, for you to try your hand at!