"Quintessentially me" with Bored Knitless

Published on June 25, 2020 3 min read

Cheryl is the amazing maker behind Bored Knitless! Inspired by her travels, Cheryl's gorgeous knitwear designs are an adventure in beautiful colors and luxurious textures. Follow Cheryl's journey from newbie knitter, to discovering her own personal design style and creative process. Don't forget to check her out on Instagram too!

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It crystallised a lot of my self-learning, as well as my determination to make something special and unique – celebrating me, my body, but more importantly my soul.

In essence my Lilac Flower-Power sweater is for want of a better expression - empowering!

It has been a pivotal point of my work over these four and a half years, learning new design and knitting skills along the way. Mentally, it boosted my confidence, when I saw the end results after re-working it a number of times. I knew I'd reached a different knitting level! So the moral of the story is "persistence pays off!"

Seeing the sweater on Busty (my mannequin) was the first time I was really proud of myself and thought, I could be a knitwear designer, as it is always easier when you can see what you have accomplished. It's almost a way of measuring skills and seeing how far you've come. 

The sweater nicknamed Lilah, was created about a year and a half ago. It’s a critical piece for my knitting. It crystallised a lot of my self-learning, as well as my determination to make something special and unique – celebrating me, my body, but more importantly my soul. According to my nearest and dearest, it was a manifestation of my creativity and intelligence, as it showed my artistic side and my ability to problem solve in one garment! However, this time I wasn’t being held back, like in the past for instance at work or even at uni. I had let my mind run free and it is true when they say “knitting is my yoga”, as it allowed me to breathe as well as escape! 

The sweater meant that I could now translate my ideas into a wearable piece of reality that could be appreciated by others. In addition, it was the reaction of others, especially my family, that spurred me on to better things.

When it came to making my top, it was such a learning curve. I had bought this beautiful yarn in a delicate color that I wanted to use and had to do it justice. Hence, I decided to design a sweater with a vintage romantic feel, but with a modern twist.

This was my first go at a complex lace knitting stitch. Unfortunately, I could only find the pattern in flat knitting on YouTube with a few rows of stockinette in between. So, I modified a lot of the steps to make it into my own version/design. It took several attempts to work out the pattern, because I was constantly getting confused by my stitch count, when changing rows! I guess I had such a strong vision in my head, which is why I never gave up. It probably didn’t help that every warm day that autumn, I went down to the King’s Cross canal from my flat and kept seeing these lilac flowers.  These flowers became the inspiration behind my design, and I wanted to see if I could pull it off. 

Eventually, I did…  and lo and behold, I made a complex flower-patterned sweater, with a fashionable ruffle! 

The sweater meant that I could now translate my ideas into a wearable piece of reality that could be appreciated by others.

It then got me thinking, if I can do that, I knew then, I was ready to enter Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas; a programme that I looked forward to all year round! 

So I got the guts up to send an email, but it was too late as the entry date had closed for that year. Instead I got on the programme the following year and I used a picture of my lilac sweater as part of the application process. 

The picture was taken at the National Gallery, in order to show that old-fashioned feel. I am so glad that we managed to get permission for the shoot, as this was definitely a good setting for it. 

I guess the producers thought this was testimony that the design I had drawn for the competition was definitely something I could do skill-wise and that’s the reason why I love Lilah so much! 

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