My name is Louise and I’m a knitting pattern author living in Brixton, London. I design and make pieces inspired by taxidermy. I sell kits, books, and finished pieces under the name Sincerely Louise.
I learned to knit from various friends and family members a few years ago. Like most beginners, I started by making a lumpy, out-of-shape rectangle, which I absolutely loved. I wanted to learn more, so I made a few scarves and jumpers from my grandmother’s vintage pattern collection. At the time, I was also studying commercial photography; before long, the knitting had taken over. I found myself knitting during lectures, tutorials – even photo shoots! Then in 2011, I visited an exhibition called “The Power of Making” that introduced me to the world of unconventional craft. There, I became inspired to knit quirkier objects that were a better reflection of my personality.
I’m still inspired by photographs, too: fashion editorials, documentary images, and of course, my Instagram feed. I like looking at the use of light, color and props; when I’m watching a film, I find myself more interested in the background than in the actual plot. Like all designers and creatives, I’m trying to find a solution to a problem; for me, the problem is the animal I wish to design, and how to create a 3-D version from a flat knitting.
My favorite part of the design process is adding features to give each critter its own personality. I like adding a little bit of humor to each piece, and I love watching people smile when they first see my creations. One critique I got back at university was that my work wasn’t serious enough for fashion. That’s fine with me — I’d rather my pieces were light and fun in the craft world!
Etsy is my main outlet, and I love being part of a creative community of like-minded sellers and shoppers. I see my shop as an opportunity to pass along the gift of hand making — and that amazing feeling I had at that “The Power of Making” exhibition — to someone else. There’s a feeling of pride and compassion that comes with handmade items. Even the lumpy, out-of-shape rectangles.
My main goal for the future is to expand my business. I’d like to have a studio where I can outsource some of my work to other crafty people. I spend a lot of my time making my kits, so a little help would mean I could spend more time creating new designs. I’d also love to write another book — perhaps with even more faux-animal wearables!
All photographs by Sincerely Louise.