North Child is where I design knitwear influenced by my childhood, by the Northern Lands in which I live – and by my love for pure, unique, enduring wool. I also design and make natural, wool-stuffed Waldorf dolls, often with knitted bodies.
I am fascinated by wool in all its manifestations; I love its many textures, its strength and delicacy, warmth and breathability, its highly-evolved waterproof, flame-resistant and anti-microbial properties – and its age-old links to people and cultures no longer with us. I grew up being knitted for, and photographs from my ‘70s childhood often include Aran bobble-hats and grey school cardigans; memories are still strong of nearly grazing my nose on the inside of polo-necks, and of the warm, sheepy smell of bundled-up woollen layers on Bonfire Night. Whenever I design for children, I know that their sensory memories of the garment will long outlast its physical lifespan.
As well as designing knits and dollmaking, I work part-time as an Art teacher in local Primary schools, and I tutor adult textile-craft workshops. Apart from spending my twenties in Brighton, I have always lived in the countryside: as a child, in rural Worcestershire, and for the last 20 years, on the West Highland coast of Scotland.