Wednesday, March 25, 2015

10 Years Celebration

This past weekend we hosted a celebration in my Derbyshire home studio to commemorate ten years in business. We've held annual Open Studios for a number of years but this is definitely the most effort made.
The displays of colourful creations are full to the brim, we've been very busy bees, and spent a full day baking a delectable array of tasty treats. Funfetti cake batter popcorn; Salted caramel and chocolate covered pretzels; Fairy bites; Tiedye butterfly inside cake; and my personal favourite White chocolate rocky road Yum yum yum!
There have so many birthdays here that I've lost count how times I've had cake for breakfast in the last two weeks. (Sorry not sorry) Once again the kitchen was transformed into an adorable tea room for the weekend welcoming guests with a
sweet feast.
To really get in the birthday spirit we made gift
 bags from beautiful offcuts. Each one filled with home made pompom key chains, specially engraved pens and packets of sunflower seeds.

Its hard to believe its been 10 years since starting this colourful journey. So much has changed, especially in the last 2 years since working with Liberty Art Fabrics. We have beautiful new equipment, an impressive stockpile of materials, lovely new members of the team and just keep getting busier!
I often feel such warming gratitude but the flip side of growing success is overwhelming stress. Its not all rose tinted glasses, these ten years have been long and painful at times but I couldn't be more in love with what I do.
I had an epiphany while cleaning the bathroom for the Open Studio. Although only being able to hand knit when first setting up Crooked Knitwear my work has evolved exponentially and stands proudly amongst some of the best makers in the country. (But I'm still not above scrubbing the loo)
Here's to the next 10 years of building colourful dreams, accomplishing goals and loving life.
Stay BRIGHT!!! xxx

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Be Warm, Be Seen in NYC

What a whirlwind these last few months/years have been. It all rolls into one! Lots has changed inside the walls of the Crooked House but before we get to that I wanted to share some of my experiences from NYFW. 
I've been back just over a week and full of cold, very unlike me. Despite the weather I had a fabulous time in the Big Apple.
Here's a pic of me caught in the snow, stopped on a street corner by the beautiful Olive @pineappleO, keyboard player of  Late Cambrian, wearing the coat I made especially for the trip. I was impressed with how many comments I received while walking my 50+ blocks a day in negative degree weather. Glad to add some colour to the otherwise washed out streets! .
For a little over a year I've been working with the very talented designer Caterina Belluardo, producing the knits for her luxe shoe label. Her collection was spotted and led to sponsoring Malan Breton's AW15 catwalk show. At first I must admit with Caterina's accent I heard 'Vuitton' and freaked out, as did my nearest and dearest and thus my trip to New York was born. following week was nothing but hustle and bustle trying to prepare. My theme became 'BE WARM, BE SEEN' and was on a mission to make the perfect coat. Fabric for my original design hadn't arrived in time so on Friday I sketched a new design, drafted it on Saturday (after 7 hours in the salon stripping the old colour from my hair), made the test sample on Sunday, finished the final garment late Monday night, flew Tuesday and wore it NYFW on Wednesday. Pretty mental!
It was such a surreal experience waking up in the centre of Manhattan and walking to the Lincoln Centre. Inside there were flash cars by the sponsors Mercedes Benz, make up station, photo booth, press and VIP area. Caterina's business partner, Dale, quickly found me and ushered me past the final run-throughs to the organised chaos of backstage. Amongst the commotion of models in varying levels of undress Dale led me Caterina, who was sat lacing the shoes to perfection. We had a brief embrace and had to find a seats shortly after...front row of course! Here are two of my favourite shots but please check out the full show online.

The Lenny Kravitz lookalike sat next to me raved about the first pair of our shoes to come out. It was a pleasure to interrupt saying 'I helped make those!' We swapped cards and turns out he was the make up artist for the show. After the show we went backstage and collected all the shoes and headed to dinner for shakes, pancakes and coffee (cawwfee).
 Later we went to meet a contact at the men's shoe department of Bergdorf Goodman's. While Caterina and Dale did their thing I met a lovely shop assistant who has worked at Bergdorf's for over 32 years. He told me lovely stories about how he was a shirt maker, had a little shop and once made all the shirts for Paul Newman. Then across the street a shop assistant on the women's shoe department  commented on my boots of the day. I told him 'they're vintage Russell and Bromley!'
To which he replied 'Oh I know Mr. Bromley, he comes in here from time to time.'
We chatted briefly and he asked for my card to pass on to him.  (Only in New York)
After a lovely catch up with Caterina we parted and went on to have wonderful afternoon on 5th Avenue. I went to Saks and basked in the ambiance of luxury designer fashion. Gucci, Prada, Oscar de la Renta, Mui Mui, Balmain, Mary Katrantzou, Valentino... The inspiration was truly overwhelming! leaving I was accosted and had a lovely eye mask and facial and ended up chatting to the girlfriend of the head knitter for Jonathan Simkhai. We may even cross paths again at Pitti Filati in Florence this summer!
My next two days consisted of LOTS of walking. I walked the Highline, where I spotted this vibrant street art, down to Chelsea Market to thaw out a bit and defrost my hair. No joke! Off to Bleecker Street I went armed with leaflets and my radical new coat in search of independent boutiques. Twelve years ago when I came to Manhattan for a day wearing one of my shabby hand knits a buyer on Bleecker St asked to start stocking my wears. I can't even remember the shop's name now but sadly there aren't independent boutiques left in Manhattan. The rent is too high and only left room for the brands and bigger names. Regardless I was determined and walked all the way to Little Italy to buy a chocolate covered cannoli from Ferrara's.
 Now a good 50 blocks from my friends apartment I start heading back, make a pit stop for a hot spiced cidre (the American kind I remember from my childhood) and stumble upon Times Square. It was too cold to take many pictures but I loved this statue!
Friday, my last full day, I walked around central park for the first time. The sun was lovely but still bitter cold.
That night I ventured out in the Liberty Print Boiler Suit from my AW15 collection to meet up with another school friend. We met to see a gig in Brooklyn. First up was all girl punk band, Huff This, followed by John Cave solo show. I even met a model there who was also at the Malan Breton show and asked to order something for his sister. Funnily enough while sat at the airport catching up on the GIRLS sitcom I realised that I was watching an episode where the venue was the bar I went to just the night before. What a coincidence right?!
 This trip has helped me remember my love of New York City! I will be back....when it's warmer ;)
Off to write a pattern...commissions won't make themselves.
Be warm, be safe, be seen, but most of all be BRIGHT! 

Thursday, October 30, 2014


Busy Bees
The Crooked Crew have been superbly busy building our brand spanking new website! We are proud to announce a new website with new products, new pictures and new style!

Crooked Knitwear has now become a Ltd company. This means that we are now VAT registered and due to the price increase on our website we are offering a 20% discount with the voucher code CROOKED20 for a limited time only! Enter the code in on check out to redeem the voucher!

Fantastic news! It's official. We are the number one distributor of Liberty printed fleece in the UK! Therefore we have the privilege of using their gorgeous swing tags! We have also been approved to use their logo on our website, under the 'Description' part of the product listing! Feeling blessed!!

NEW Products
We have also split our products into separate listings for each colour…….. Look out for the NEW Velvet Freelace Kimonos! There are lots of colour options already listed but more will be updated as we create more mouth-watering colour combos. A great light jacket that features a beautiful swing back and kimono style sleeves and our signature Freelace for the lapel.

We heart Freelace! So we have used this technique to create the Freelace Pocket Top which is a simple classic tee vamped up with a snazzy pocket!
Liberty print-tastic. As you know we are mad about Liberty fabrics so we incorporate their timeless designs into our clothing. The Liberty Drawstring Dress, another of our new additions, demonstrates this perfectly with an adjustable hemline with Liberty Tana Lawn accents on each side of the skirt! 

Although the Niagara with Hood is a past design, we have added some Liberty sprinkles to the pocket and hood gusset. Whilst also stocking up on our previous design with hand woven British wool tweed. The best way to describe this jacket is to say that it is like snuggling up in your favourite blanket!

We have invented a good karma jumper! Made from 100% recycled silk, cotton and viscose you can guarantee some good vibes. The drop shoulder boxy shape with slash open collar and long fitted sleeves create an effortlessly chic appearance. A gorgeous yarn that is super comfortable to wear in two beautiful colours; dusted rose and Spanish moss!

Get Crooked
The Crooked Team have been uploading a great deal of energy into our online presence. We have opened boutiques with ASOS Marketplace and Silk Fred specifically for our Get Crooked festival range whilst also being considered a Hidden Treasure by the leading London based House & Techno magazine MEOKO!!

Enjoy our new website and don't forget to claim your 20% off. Simply enter CROOKED20 in when checking out!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Crooked House Unlocked!

Crooked House Unlocked!


Crooked Knitwear beared all this weekend as we opened our doors to some lovely ladies and also some marvelous men who came to explore behind the scenes and grab some beautiful bargains! Three floors to delve into with both the Crooked Knitwear range and the Get Crooked range in the spotlight along with some irresistable samples on sale!

Tasty treats and tea and coffee were served in the kitchen come tea room with lots of ladies enjoying some handmade tuck! Open studios are such a wonderful opportunity for us to meet and really get to know the Crooked crew out there in order for us to continue to flourish.

Constant studio tours were ventured all day with lots of interest in exactly how our design process operates, with each garment blossoming from the top floors of the Crooked House before getting some serious milage travelling to each show or direct to door. Here are some pictures of the day...

The weekend was such an enjoyable one with a buzzing glow still deep rooted in the heart of the Crooked House as we begin to prepare for our next endeavour. No Rest For The Crooked!! We will definitely be increasing the number of Open Days so keep an eye out for our next!!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Secret Garden Party!

X Marks The Spot:

Here you will find....

Secret Garden Party Round two! What a fantastic festival! The Secret Garden Party is extremely liberating you can wear whatever you like with no judgments and with the wonderful setting what more could you want from a festival (especially if you like to dress loud and proud).

Megan wearing a beautiful headdress made by one of the Crooked Crew! And a special mention for best purchase of the festival, a gorgeous crown made by Wolf & Moon. Megan looks like a beautiful Spring Princess wearing it.

We had lots of lovely customers who looked great in their Crooked purchases with some even leaving their own clothes behind to be thrown away! Here are some pictures of just a few beautiful Crooked customers...

Above are some fabulous twins who both purchased the Pom Pom play suits! We also had some male twins that we decked head to toe in Crooked which was definitely a highlight of the festival!!

We were running the Bum Bag Workshops again and above is a very happy Bum Bag Workshopper with his brilliant creation in fluorescent leather.

It wasn't just the people dressed in Crooked that looked fabulous there were some great things to see at Secret Garden Party. Here are some pictures that showcase the weird and wonderful with the 'Beyond the Yellow Brick Road' theme...

Other highlights that we were having too much fun to take a picture of:

Fireworks on Saturday night turned the entire sky gold with glittery bubbles let off during the intermission. The best way to describe it is to say it was like a magical explosion of happiness in the sky

The Labyrinth stage in a secret location was amazing and had amazing production with silhouettes holding umbrellas hanging from the tress so that it looked as though they were blowing away!

The sunflower field that was only accessible through a door inside of a portaloo! Turning a portaloo into a portal, such a brilliant idea.

The paint fight by main stage with clouds of colour bursting everywhere!

Last but not least we have to mention our very entertaining neighbours Opposuits who kept us laughing all weekend. It was so great to see how much fun they could have selling suits. The irony of the playfulness of their suits was so lovely to see... 

The only way to describe Secret Garden Party is to say that it is like spending some time in the magical surroundings of an artists mind. An amazing festival with so much to see and do. Thank you to all of those who came and saw us and hope to see you again!

Sunday, July 27, 2014



What a fantastic weekend! Lovely weather, lovely people and lovely camping food...oh yes! Crooked Knitwear headed to Art in Action with high hopes and high stock. It was our first year there but despite not knowing what to expect we were extremely excited due to the wonderful things we had heard about the weekend.

We arrived and set up the stall, creating a mini colourful wonderland. After taking a peek at some of the other fantastic stalls we set off to build our nest in the campsite. After a long hot day we certainly enjoyed our spicy enchiladas that had been prepared the night before and then chilled in the new working fridge in the campervan! We sipped on a single shandy left over from Glastonbury Festival and went to bed satified and eager to begin the following morning.

The Crooked Knitwear stall

Megan working hard sewing on the stall  #NoRestForTheCrooked

When we had time to venture off and see the amazing talent showcased at Art in Action we got some shots of some of the best makers in action. Here are a few pictures for anyone who didn't make it to the event...

Was wonderful to see so many great makers do what they do best in the demonstrating tents cannot wait to see what next year has to hold!

Pimm's O'Clock in the Pimm's Garden to celebrate a fantastic show and a fabulous weekend!

To make a sweet weekend even sweeter a lady who bought a Liberty Parka from us tweeted this...

It is so wonderful to get such great feedback, cannot wait to do it all again next year! We had a record amount of postcards taken and record sales. Bring on Art in Action 2015!