An Interview With: Lovey

Photography: Ruby Mountford

Styling: Milly Glasgow

Hey Hannah! Could you start by telling us a bit about yourself?

Hi! So, I’m 27 from Essex and I work as a Fashion Designer 9-5 but knitting has always been a bit of an obsession, especially hand-knitting! I studied fashion and textile design at uni and I love colour, texture, flowers and interiors and this all plays a part in inspiring my making. I think you’re never too old to make or wear something fun...

You create beautiful hand-knitted jumpers, how long have you been making these for and when did you start knitting?

Ahh thank you! I learned basic hand-knitting from my Nan as a child and taught myself most else from Youtube. I went to University to study Fashion & Textile Design with a knitwear specialism so learned a lot about machine knitting there, however my jumpers at the moment are all made on chunky needles by hand. Once I graduated from uni, I really wanted to keep on making things with my hands, I used to knit on the train while commuting to and from London for work (sorry to everyone who had to sit either side of me and my knitting elbows) and that was about 5 years ago now! I shared my first jumper on my Instagram and got lots of really amazing feedback from friends and family so I set up a separate IG just to share my chunky knitting journey.

How long does it take for you to make a jumper and what is the process like?

They take me quite a long time, I think it’s around 20-25 hours in total ish. Not including the putting together process at the end, which surprises me every time. I have a pattern which I basically have to memory now although there are always tweaks and improvements of changes based on the exact design requirements, I have notebooks full of scrawlings, doodles and workings out. I like to chill out while I’m knitting and tend to be watching a Netflix series or listening to a podcast/audiobook at the same time.

What inspires the designs and the colours you choose?

To be honest my inspiration comes from all over the place, artists and other makers, interiors and materials etc. I am passionate about yarn quality and am often inspired by the nature of the fabrics and yarns I’m working with. I am always seeking out the chunkiest, fluffiest and most unique yarns I can find. When I starting using the chunky yarns it felt right to create a chunky shape that echoed that quality of the yarn. At uni my inspiration often came from ‘surreaist’ themes and I think that kind-of carries through into my recent work, I love the oversized cloud-like shapes you are able to produce with chunky knitting. I also love clashing bright colours together into bold patterns and stripe layouts, as you’d most often wear them in colder weather, I think it’s nice to have a bright bold piece to brighten up your outfit and mood on a gloomy winter day!

Have you always wanted to make clothes?

I’ve always loved clothes as a way to express yourself and always felt a need to be designing/making something. My parents tell me that when I was about 3 and they asked what I was doing up at 6am, I replied ‘making’ … I think that’s still quite true of my character today haha! I also love seeing people wearing and enjoying my designs and knowing that I made every stitch of it!

How important is slow fashion to you?

I think slow-fashion is very important! I think it’s extremely important to know that your materials are both sustainable and ethically sourced, I have been in contact with my yarn suppliers for this information and am happy with my choices! I think it’s important to buy fewer, high-quality garments, and I hope that people will keep their jumpers for a long, long time which is why I focus on unique designs and high quality finish so that people feel that they have a timeless piece that they can style in a variety of ways. If I ever expanded my product range I would definitely like to work with UK based factories/makers to keep carbon footprint down.

Who are your favourite small brands on Instagram?

I follow lots of small brands and love to support other makers who take pride in their hand-crafting, some of my faves are: @Studio_Rua makes beautiful hand-sculpted jewellery, I love seeing her processes and inspiration on her instagram as well as the wonderful final pieces. @Emmawarrendesign ’s super positive and playful embroidered clothing always brings a smile to my face. A recent find is @Lottablobs who hand-makes quirky mirrors with brightly coloured clay wave details in the dreamiest colours. I also love candles, they’re beautiful body-positive candles of the female form, a lot of which are hand painted, so good!

What’s next for Lovey?

At the moment I am quite enjoying just making for the joy of making, and taking on commissions in my spare time. I try not to put too much pressure to push Lovey as a business etc as I sometimes find that takes the fun out of it! However, that’s not to say I wouldn’t love the opportunity to work on it full-time. I would love to develop designs that could be machine produced, some lovely fine knits with cute graphic imagery etc, things you can’t easily produce on needles. I’d also love to branch out into some cosy socks in super funky stripes and patterns to match the jumpers! I’m also obsessed with carrying your personality from what you wear into your home and would like to make bright and eccentric homewares, I am thinking of starting some knitted cushions and blankets that co-ordinate with my clothing! We will see what the future brings...

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