Being based in Penzance, right at the toe of England, I was very excited to find out last year about Charlotte, a fellow knitwear designer based only a few miles away across the peninsular in St Ives. Charlotte runs her knitwear business Inverterre from her garden studio, where she creates couture and ready to wear knitwear for different brands and customers. Working on machinery similar to my own, she also owns a state of the art industrial Shima Seiki wholegarment knitting machine, which can produce seamless, fine gauge garments and accessories.
On discovering Charlotte and her work, I reached out to see if she could help produce a range of extra fine, silky scarves for Carnwear, based on my existing 'Reflection scarves' design.
Sampling for the new scarf design
On my first visit to Charlotte's studio, I brought with me some samples I had produced on my own flatbed Dubied knitting machine, along with an existing Reflections scarf I'd made. We discussed the technique I had used to produce the samples and suitable yarns to make the finer scarves with. I left Charlotte to programme the samples into the Shima software, which is how these digitally operated machines know what to knit.
On my next visit, Charlotte had produced some samples representative of my existing design, however much finer and more intricate given the nature of the machine and superfine yarns used. Being only a 20 minutes drive away, it was easy for me to pop over so we could work on the designs together and trouble shoot any issues that cropped up.
Choosing yarns and colours
For the final design, I chose to use a combination of extremely fine silk and an Italian spun cashmere/merino/silk yarn. The result is a totally luxurious, shimmery fabric that is super soft and delicate. Playing with different combinations of colour, we knitted off different samples to see which colours worked best.
Using the Shima to knit the final scarves
With the final scarf design now ready to knit off, it was fantastic to watch the machine whirr away with the knit emerging at the front of the machine.. not one stitch dropped along the way!
Back in my own studio new Penzance, each scarf is pressed, loose ends sewn in and finally washed to bring out the cashmere wool's soft handle.
You can browse and shop thede scarves via the website here.
founder/designer/maker - Carnwear