I was born in Bolton, Greater Manchester, England and after a science based education went onto pursue my first love of art and design (a love that was nurtured by my late father - a talented amateur artist) by studying textile and knitwear design at Leicester Polytechnic – now De Montfort University. I was taught to hand knit and sew at an early age by my mother and in my twenties, I taught myself to crochet!
After leaving college with a first class honours degree, I went onto set up my own knitwear design label that sold in the US and Japan and many small retail outlets and galleries in the UK. It was during this time that I first became aware of Rowan and their beautiful range of yarns and became a fan. I was able to use Rowan yarns for hand flat machine knitting, as in the late 1980’s Rowan sold yarn on 250g cones as well as on ball. Even though my label was successful, in 1990 I decided to return back to commercial design after meeting my then to be husband! Through the 14 years as a designer for a successful knitwear manufacturer in Leicestershire, I saw many of my designs become apart of best selling collections for many of the British high street retailers such as Next, BHS, Burton and Debenhams.
In 2005, I joined the Rowan design team as Head Designer. In my role, I was responsible for the creative aspect of the Rowan Magazine and brochures. I designed and oversaw the design collections for the publications as well as the art direction and styling of most of the photography shoots. I was also responsible for the editorial content of the Rowan Magazine, briefing journalists and writing myself. I was also heavily involved with the development of new yarn ranges and the selection of new colours each season.
In May 2013, I started my own design company and launched this website and my blog. I now produce my own books, kits and hold popular creative workshops from my village hall at home in rural Leicestershire as well as continuing a close relationship with Rowan. On the 1st July I will be starting my FAIRISLE CLUB and I'm also planning to start offering a knitting service, allowing you have one of my designs knitted especially for you.
A little bit more about me...
I live in a renovated cottage in a small village called Hoby in Leicestershire, England.
I am happily married and we are the proud owners of two adorable German Pointers called Norah and Nelly.
My favourite colour is green... any shade of green.
Favourite Rowan yarns – Felted Tweed, British Sheep Breeds, Rowan Tweed and Cocoon.
I love to walk, cook, garden and paint (when I have the time!)