Quince & Co. capture the simple beauty of wool with a modern and fresh aesthetic. From their carefully sourced yarns to their comfortable and classic designs, we knew they’d fit right in at Loop. We’ve proudly been the European flag ship store for Quince and Co. for many years so it only seemed right that they were part of our 10th Anniversary celebrations.
Not only are Quince & Co. providing us with our own custom colour ‘London Rose’, founder Pam Allen has designed us a beautiful cardigan too. ‘London Rose’ will be available to purchase in September in several weights; Finch, Chickadee, Lark and Puffin. Pam Allen chose Lark for her contribution to our anniversary book, so we found out a little more for you…
Hi Pam! Tell us a little bit more about your knitting background and how you came to start Quince & Co.
It seems I’ve always been knitting. But I began knitting in earnest when I sold my first design to a US magazine. The pattern was for a kid’s sweater, three, in fact, and the experience opened a world to me. Really, it opened the door to the rest of my life. In 2003, I was hired as editor-in-chief of Interweave Knits, my dream job. I could still design, but I could also think and talk about knitting in other ways— its history, its place in ‘fashion’, new designers, techniques—all the things I still love about this wonderful craft. The idea to start a yarn company came directly from a random phone call in which I learned that there was a spinning mill making handknitting yarns one town away. I was on their doorstep the next day, and shortly after that, I was in business making yarn on machinery that was state-of-the-art in 1900. And it still makes exquisite yarns.
What were you initial ideas with Susan for the custom colour way?
I love that Susan came to us with the idea for a custom colour. Loop was our first wholesale customer and I feel like Susan, Loop, and the staff are family. Susan’s colour is strong and feminine and just plain pretty. Right now, out my window in New Harbor, Maine, the wild flowers are in full bloom. Susan’s colour is everywhere in the phlox, wild geranium, and lovely lupine.
What did you want to evoke with your design?
Open, swingy cardigans are wonderful. Everyone feels good in them. And they’re great knitting—no tricky buttonholes spacing to deal with and the fit is more flexible. They’re meant to drape and feel relaxed. Who doesn’t like that? Also, knitting from the top down has advantages. Once the yoke is done, knitting the body and sleeves is breezy and you can play around with length. The cardi in question could easily be shorter or longer. Each to her own.
How do you feel the Lark compliments this pattern?
I haven’t worked that much with Lark. (I know, hard to believe.) But swatching for the cardi was a revelation. I love this yarn! It has roundness and structure, but it isn’t stiff. The cardigan needs drape, but I didn’t want it to be limp. So Lark was a good match for the piece.
It must be nearly impossible to chose, but do you have a favourite Quince & Co. yarn? (Or maybe a top three, if you really can’t decide!)
Ha. So right now, having worked recently with Lark, I think it’s my favourite. But Owl and Piper are right up there sharing the top of the list. I love the rustic look of Owl-I’m in love with anything heathery. And Piper is so lively and buoyant—I knitted a shawl in it last year and couldn’t get over how floaty it is. Every time I picked it up, everyone in the office had to hear me gush. Eyes rolled, I can tell you.
Can you remember when Loop first carried Quince & Co?
As I mentioned, I have a fondness for the store because they were our first wholesale order. I was flattered beyond measure when Susan got in touch and asked if we’d be interested in selling to Loop. A big day here, I assure you. And soon after that, I remember opening a package from Loop with her book in it (Juju’s Loops). It was so lovely—the photography so appealing. And every piece was perfect. It is an honour to be included in your newest publication.
Many thanks to Pam for taking the time to answer our questions and for her beautiful contribution to our book. We can’t wait to reveal all!
Those of you who read our last post know we had one skein of Shalimar in our new custom colour ‘Parma Violet’ to giveaway before the official release of this yarn in September. And the lucky winner is… Wendy who said ‘I would knit a ‘Sugared Violets’ shawl by Rose Beck as this skein would be the perfect match‘ – Congratulations! We’ll be in touch to let you know how you can claim your prize.
Thank you to every one who entered, if you weren’t so lucky this time remember all the exclusive colourways will be available to purchase in September… and maybe we’ll have another giveaway or two before then!
Happy Knitting and Crocheting!