Meet the Maker: Knit and Crochet Artist Theodora Burrow
Theodora loves to knit and crochet and we love her vintage style and craft makes. If you haven’t seen her work before then check out her website to see what she is up to. We were lucky enough to get to find out more about her so keep finding to learn more…
How did you first get into knitting/crochet?
I taught myself to knit from books I found in charity shops. I poured over them for ages until at last I cracked it. It was the pre-internet days, so no YouTube tutorials. I didn’t know anybody who could knit. My Irish grandmother had taught me when I was very little, but I’d forgotten it all. My mum told me she didn’t knit because it just wasn’t cool in the 60s when she was growing up and going out.
I taught myself to crochet about 8 years ago, as I had found vintage crochet patterns for beautiful hats in old Vogue knitting books from the 1930s. I wanted the hats, so I had to learn, and I haven’t looked back. I love the versatility and extra dimensions that crocheting gives.
What’s your favourite thing to make?
Hats! And doilies. And vintage jumpers. But the jumpers are a real investment in time, whereas hats are more of an instant gratification. I think that’s why so many knitters and crocheters are such yarn hoarders. We just can’t resist that instant hit of excitement when purchasing new yarn.
Too many to mention. I have bags of UFOs languishing in the loft, at the back of cupboards, and in the gap between my sofa and the wall. I am typically making at least two hats, in either knit or crochet, and have another design swatch on the go, and of course, the pile of just-started or half-finished crochet blankets. At the moment I am just writing up a new hat pattern in crochet in yarn by The Wool Kitchen.
I love weaving, something I tried for the first time last year. I’ve already had a few commissions for wall hangings, and am now selling some pieces on Etsy. It’s so relaxing, and yet incredibly creative, utilizing so many different fibres and textures. Colour just seems to explode onto the loom. The only bit I don’t like is the fastening off, and weaving in ends.
I also crochet frames for covers of old Mills & Boon romance novels. These were a hit at the E17 Designers Fair I did last year in Walthamstow. I had been collecting these books for their beautiful vintage cover art, and I’m so glad I decided to actually do something with them.
That would have to be my 1930s style Joan Crawford jacket, in red silk yarn. It was the first garment I designed, and it was a steep learning curve – I still don’t know how it survived being thrown across the room so many times!
Where do you find your inspiration?
History and popular culture. I’m an 80s kid so I can’t get enough of the brash, glamorous style of the Me Decade. One of the first things I knitted for myself was a pair of pink mohair legwarmers, and I’ve since knitted matching raspberry berets for me and my little girl. Social media is also a rich source of inspiration, but it can become overwhelming, so you have to cut yourself off at times, or you just get sensory overload. Colour is a great source of inspiration, and I am drawn to bright, neon shades as well as pastels. I am proud to admit that I have never made anything in black.
I’m doing a set of Easter crochet workshops for Hobbycraft where I live in Walthamstow, London, which is very exciting. I’ve recently relaunched my website, www.theodoragoeswild.com, which is all shiny and new. I also have designs on the go for yarn companies and independent yarn dyers, and have more than enough ideas to keep me busy designing and making for years.