Stephen West at Loop!

King of colour and specialist stitch master Stephen West is coming to Loop in May! Stephen will teach two classes on the 9th and 10th May – Knit a Top-Down Shawl and Colour Play the WestKnits Way. We are also hosting a trunk show of his patterns accompanied by a book signing which will take place on the Sunday 4 – 5pm and all are welcome to join!

If you fancy learning the tips and tricks of Stephen West shawl designs then try ‘Knit a top-down shawl’ class on Saturday 9th May. Students will knit a small triangular swatch while topics such as cast ons, increases, bind offs, and blocking are discussed.
Or if you fancy injecting more colour into your knits then ‘Colour Play the Westknits Way!‘ on Sunday 10th May is all about using beautiful yarns with simple techniques combined in clever ways. Techniques like stripes, slipped stitches, and holding yarns together will be explored and combined to create bold architectural fabrics.
We caught up with Stephen to find out more….
Hi Stephen! What can people expect from your classes?
A lot of colour and my favourite techniques and shortcuts. I sprinkle in bits of technique throughout my classes, but the majority of the class is focused on adventurously playing with yarn and colours. I use my design samples to demonstrate intriguing shaping in knitted fabric and unexpected mixtures of colour and texture. I’ve been filling my knitting needles with bright pops of colour lately so you’ll see dozens of brand new samples in addition to many designs from the last 5 years of Westknits.

Dotted Rays by Stephen West. Photography & makeup by Alexandra Feo. Loop, London.
Dotted Rays by Stephen West
Loop will also be hosting a trunk show of your patterns, tell us more about the selection you’ve chosen. (psst! Loop will have these patterns for sale on the same weekend!)
I’m currently working on a new collection of shawls and scarves that use yarns like Tosh Merino Light, Orkney Angora, and Quince & Co. Chickadee so I’ll bring all of those brand new samples with me. I’ll also have my favourite colourful shawls like Dotted Rays, Welty, and Vertices Unite. I’m going to bring all of my Brooklyn Tweed Shelter and Loft samples as well, over a dozen beautiful sweaters and accessories. These Brooklyn Tweed samples don’t travel with me often so you Londoners are one of the first groups to see them in person! 

Selection of patterns from Westknits Besties KAL
Selection of patterns from Westknits Besties KAL
Loop and Westknits go back a long way – we were the first shop to stock your patterns!
That was almost six years ago! I had a small handful of patterns out in 2009 like Daybreak, Herbivore, Little Colonnade, and Botanic Hat. I remember sending the patterns to Kinko’s in my college town of Urbana, IL. I would pick them up and personally package them and bike them to my neighbourhood post office. I was so excited that my patterns were going all the way to London. Now I’m lucky to travel to London and all over the world to meet knitters and shops who use my patterns. Loop will always have a sweet spot in my heart. I also remember Loop fondly because every time I visit the shop I seem to walk away with a new bag full of yarn.

Vertices Unite by Stephen West. Photography & makeup by Alexandra Feo. Loop, London.
Vertices Unite by Stephen West. Photography & makeup by Alexandra Feo
Loop has some exciting collaborations planned for our new book to celebrate our 10th anniversary which is due to be released in September. You’re designing one of the patterns, and although everything is still top secret, can you give a few hints as to what you have planned?
I am obsessed with brioche stitch. I’m declaring it the stitch of the year! It’s so squishy, beautifully buoyant, and reversible too. What’s not to love? I am always intrigued by mixing different yarns and fibres together in the same fabric so those are two hefty hints. ;)
Drangey by Stephen West. Loop, London.
Drangey by Stephen West
What are your current inspirations and what’s on your needles right now?
I’m photographing my new collection of shawls and scarves right now. I’m styling designs with particular outfits and getting inspiration from some of my favourite clothing designers like Walter Van Beirendonck and Henrik Vibskov. I’m knitting with some beautiful colour combinations that may seem like typical Westknits, but I’m venturing more into solid black and white combinations which yield a bold graphic effect. I’m embracing simple stitch textures and bold pops of colour. The new collection includes my first brioche shawl which everyone will get to see in my classes and during the Sunday trunk show.
Thanks to Stephen for taking the time to answer our questions.
If you would like to book on either of Stephen West’s classes (or any other workshop) give the shop a call +44 (0)20 7288 1160 ‎.
And finally, the exciting announcement of last week’s giveaway….and the winner is…. Marie Le Quelenec who has won a skein of Quince & Co. Owl in Cerulean and chose the pattern Lena. Congratulations! We’ll be in touch to let you know how to claim your prize.
Don’t worry if you didn’t win this time we’ll have lots more giveaways in the future, until then, Happy knitting!

4 Comments on “Stephen West at Loop!

  1. I took Stephen’s class in colourwork at the Edinburgh yarn festival, and highly recommend it. Not only did I learn a huge amount, I have a lot of fun!

  2. Stephen came to Madtosh crafts last summer and he was absolute inspiration! Anyone who can should go to the class for sure.

  3. What is the Colorific pattern steven is wearing in this show ad?????
    Wish I lived closer to you folks
    Great interview.

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