At 60 Kinnerton Street, Knightsbridge, just behind Harvey Nichols, is a sweet little shop that houses a riot of colour. It is the premises of my knitting idol, the one and only Patricia Roberts. If you’re in London, you must go there. If not, take a look at her website here and don’t miss the illustrations for the knitting instructions.
Patricia is a brilliant designer, a true original, and has been an inspiration to countless knitters.
She takes the sweet out of pretty and replaces it with pizazz
often mixing color work and stitch patterns in one garment
and a generous serving of humour
I discovered her shop in Covent Garden (she had 2 back then) during a year I spent in London in 1984. To say that I was blown away is putting it mildly. I had never seen a shop so exquisite. It took knitting to a whole new level. The range of colours and beautiful textures just fairly made me want to leap on a pair of needles and start knitting wild things wildly. I’d not been knitting much for a few years, but I went home with a bag of brightly coloured wools and started knitting a cardigan for my little toddler, Pete. It was my first attempt at making my own pattern. Here it is:
It was the era of Culture Club and Duran Duran. Think Princess Di’s wedding dress, hot pink suede, bows everywhere, even on my shoes. At Patricia’s shops you could buy the yarn to make her complex, wondrous designs, or you could, if you budget allowed, buy the finished item.
She has always used her own signature yarns in shades she designs herself. You have to see them to believe the riot of beauty that they are.There’s shetland wool, mohair, angora, silk, and although I don’t remember it from my first visit in the 80’s – perhaps it was out of my price range so I didn’t dare look upon it – there is now cashmere.
Here she is in the doorway of her Covent Garden shop back in the 80’s.
Here’s my favourite Patricia design. It’s cropped, gasp. Who has the courage to design something like this and make it short! Hats off to you, Patricia. The length is the detail that makes it fabulous and me wishing for a slimmer waist.
How about this beauty that I have always wanted to make and will some day.
Patricia’s books are keepers. You can still buy them at her shop. Mine are second hand, mostly. In one there are are ticks next to several designs in the list of contents. I wonder if the original owner actually made them, or merely wished.