Here’s something you might not know about me. Brace yourself, it’s shocking.
I like machine knits.
Over the years, I’ve bought quite a few of them, and if they are good ones, I wear them until they are in tatters.
I’m talking about the beautiful knitted fabrics that can be achieved on needles tinier than human hands can manage. They use more stitches, in more colors than we’d comfortably take on, in beautiful materials. They are made by artisans, employing skills and processes that are fascinating. We love them, and in the Holiday Shop, we sell them.
A Case in Point: Quinton Chadwick
Our late, great friend, Belinda Boaden, was descended from craftspeople in the historic knitting factories of Nottingham, England. She pursued her own education and career in knitwear design, for both hand knitting and ready-to-wear. It was Belinda who schooled me about the craftsmanship and history embedded in well-made machine knits. Hand knitting and machine knitting have different, complementary strengths, and there is space in our closets for both.
Belinda also introduced me to “Jane down the road.” With Jess Quinton, Jane Chadwick started Quinton Chadwick, a small business that designs and sells modern knit accessories that are proudly made in Britain.
Jane Chadwick and Jess Quinton + mood boards I am squinting to peek at.
Serious about stripes.
Within a short time of Belinda’s chance meeting with Jane in their neighborhood, she was collaborating on projects with Quinton Chadwick, and she and Jane were having regular tea breaks together, easing the solitude of parallel work-from-home lives.
At Jane’s house, tea breaks included Gerrard, aka The Lad Gerrard, aka a generously proportioned, very relaxed ginger cat.
jeff bridges, but a cat. To keep up with The Lad Gerrard, we recommend his pops’s instagram, with priceless captions and very good art.
As good a knitwear designer as Belinda was, she was even more gifted, I think, at connecting people, at expanding our connections to each other. She connected up Jane and Jess to other people she knew in the textile world, from factories to weavers and designers, and even a couple of knitbloggers in the States. One of my prized possessions is a Quinton Chadwick lace scarf made at the historic G. H. Hurt mill in Nottingham.
And so it is that we have some beautiful Quinton Chadwick pieces in the Holiday Shop this year! It’s a dream come true.
Let’s focus on the scarves, shall we?
Three colorways of the Tweed Block Scarf. From left, earth, Nordic and Formica.
Pure wool, SUPERSOFT, at a scale that allows for delicate patterning.
not sure that non-knitters measure the gauge on their scarves, but Ann clocked it at 20 stitches per inch.
up close you can see the woolly softness. dinky checks transition into a tweedy marl, then a crisp geometric pattern.
With this much color going on in each scarf, it’s hard to pick a favorite.
Get your mind around this: these scarves are already knitted. what will they think of next?
We’ve also got a small, fun collection of gloves from Quinton Chadwick. They match the scarves, and they also don’t match the scarves! Run on over and take a look.