With a swoop of lace and the prettiest stitch details, Piccadilly is a romantic crescent shaped shawl designed by Justyna Lorkowska for Loop. The luxuriously soft Eden Cottage Yarns Hayton, is striped together, dotted with eyelets and finished with a delicate picot edge.
We caught up with Justyna to find out more – make sure you read to the end of the post to find out how you could be one of three readers who can win a PDF copy of the pattern!
Hi Justyna! How did you come to start designing and find your place in the woolly world?
Actually, everything started by accident. In my “previous life” I taught English at a public school, mostly to kids and sometimes adults. After having my own children, like many new moms I took up knitting. My son Wojtek re-inspired in me the passion for making beautiful things and being crafty. I began making a lot of knitwear for children and eagerly learning new techniques. Then I started knitting up my own ideas and writing them down. To my surprise and delight people liked my creations and wanted more. After a while I submitted my first small design to Petite Purls (the former webzine with knitwear for kids) and IT clicked… that was four years ago. Gradually, I knit more and more – ideas started pouring out of my head as yarn started pouring out of every shelf and cupboard in my flat (I bet many knitters can relate), and my hobby became my job. I now teach knitting instead of English, and since knitting is now my job I’ve taken on new hobbies, venturing into spinning, weaving and sewing.
How did your ideas for Piccadilly start and how did you translate these for the pattern?
The design process for me is different with different designs. Sometimes I begin by drawing a sketch. Other times I have a particular stitch pattern in mind which haunts me until I translate it to knitwear. And once in a while I just touch a skein of yarn and immediately know what it wants to become. Piccadilly was a mixture of a “stitch pattern craze” and the touch of yarn.
From the moment I wound the skeins I knew they wanted to be an ornamental feminine shawl – something strikingly beautiful to be worn like jewelry.
Piccadilly uses Eden Cottage Yarns Hayton, which we love for its amazing colours. What do you love about the Hayton?
I’m a huge fan of Eden Cottage Yarns, and I haven’t come across any yarn dyed by Victoria that I didn’t like. Hayton is a gorgeous mix of merino, cashmere and nylon, with magnificent stitch definition (perfect for lace and cables!) as well as lovely drape, much needed for a shawl. I’d definitely work with it again.
The colours used for your design (Red Kite and Marigold) look amazing together! How do you like to chose colours and are there any other combinations of yarns you’d like to try?
The colour combination I used for Piccadilly is probably not something people would generally do with yellow. Very often this colour is paired with grey (so called grellow) but I thought I’d try something different. I love the various combinations created by my fabulous testers – their projects ranged from very colourful with variegated picots to calm, neutral ones with a pop of colour. For Piccadilly, Hayton can easily be substituted with fingering weight yarns like Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light or DyeForYarn Fingering Merino & Silk – just make sure the yardage of one skein is not less than 350m.
I’m sure many of our readers are also curious to know why name ‘Piccadilly’ – what does it mean to you?
The last time I was in London I was a student in my early twenties. I remember standing in Piccadilly Square in awe of the atmosphere, the colour, the lights – everything was so vibrant! Most of my designs are named after some memories of good times in my life, and Piccadilly was the first thing I thought of when it was time to name this shawl.
Well, you’ll be back in London soon as we are lucky enough to have you visit and teach at the shop! Tell us more about what people can look forward to.
First, lots of enthusiasm! I love teaching and sharing the knitting experience with peers. I’ll be offering three classes at Loop. Working with Cables and Texture (Saturday 4th June, 3pm – 6pm) will include, among other things, how to cable without a cable needle and how to perform cable surgery, releasing you from the fear of making mistakes. Russian Combination Method (Saturday 4th June, 10am – 2pm) is a class very close to my heart because that is how my mother taught me to knit. The technique is related to continental knitting, but there are some tricks you need to know which will make Russian-style knitting easier and help you read the charts. Finally, my favourite class is The Beauty of Knitted-On Borders (Sunday 5th June, 11am-3pm). I’m completely obsessed with them – I love that they can make a very simple shawl look so intricate and unique. Actually, I’d use them on all my designs if I could. In this class I’ll show you how to create your own border from scratch and attach it to the shawl you want.
Thanks Justyna! Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions and for creating such a wonderful pattern. Also our huge thanks to Susan Cropper for styling and Kristin Perers for her amazing photography.
We’re so thrilled about our new pattern Piccadilly that we’ve decided that not one, not two, but three of you lovely readers should be able to win a copy! That’s right, if you are one of the three names out of the hat then a PDF copy of the new Piccadilly shawl could be winging its way through cyber space to your needles.
All you need to do is leave a comment on the blog saying which colour combination you are musing on. Make sure you get your entries in by midnight on Wednesday 3rd March and we’ll announce the winners on next weeks blog. Good Luck!
One final thing is to announce the winner of last weeks blog post. We gave you folks the chance to win a ball of the stunning Freia Bulky Ombre in the colour Nautilus that we used from our new free pattern Cecelia Cowl… and the winner is Gemma Rice! Congratulations! We’ll be in touch to let you know how to claim your prize.
Thank you to everyone who entered and make sure you get your entries in for this weeks competition too!
Until next week, Happy Knitting and Crocheting!