Thursday, 15 May 2014

Unwind with Rachel Coopey

Meet Rachel Coopey - Rachel will be both teaching and vending at Unwind! We are really pleased that she'll be joining us, and we asked her a few questions about what she's upto!

Please introduce yourself and your business in 2-3 sentences:

I am a knitwear designer with a focus on small and intricate pieces that are both beautiful and functional.

(c) Rachel Coopey

What can we look forward to seeing at your stand during Unwind?

My self published books, Coop Knits Socks and Coop Knits Toasty and some lovely individual patterns and kits.

Would you describe your design process for us?

Most of the time I start with a sketch and then start playing with yarn, sometimes I’ll start with the yarn and then move to the paper but I usually have at least half an idea of how things are going work before I pick up the needles, that doesn't mean it doesn't change though!

What is you ‘go to’ sock yarn?

I love semi-solid yarns, The Knitting Goddess merino nylon sock is one I have used over and over again and I still love it. I really like self striping and self patterning sock yarns, Opal really know how to make a yarn that will end up in my stash!

How big is your sock collection at this point…..?

I have a lot of samples! They are kept pristine for shows and trunk shows and not worn. My personal sock collection is a bit woeful, I’m trying to increase it but there is always a deadline or a new idea to work on. 

You are on a quest for warm feet and more recently, warm heads and hands, what’s next?

More socks! I’m getting stuck in to my second self-published sock book so I’m sketching and swatching and starting to put a colour palette together for that. I’m also working with Toft Ulysses which is such a lovely yarn!

What do you enjoy knitting in the Summer?

Socks! They are light and portable, you can take them on holiday and there is nothing heavy on your lap which can be uncomfortable if it is hot. Even if you can’t wear socks in the summer, it’s never too early to start your Christmas sock knitting!

Where do you find inspiration for new design ideas?

I love to visit museums and art galleries, the V&A is amazing, I have always loved Tate Modern and The Natural History museum is a treasure trove of artefacts and architecture 

Do you have any design heroes?

Loads! Kate Davies and Sarah Hatton design such elegant garments. Ysolda is totally brilliant, hopefully I’ll have finished my bright yellow Blank canvas by July!

How did your crafting journey begin?

My grandma was always knitting and she taught me when I was small, I knitted a lot garter squares from her scraps. When I wanted to knit as a teenager my mum helped me remember how to do it and taught me how to read a pattern.

What are you working on right now?

I’m working on designs for my sock club and a shawl in Fyberspates Cumulus - which is like knitting with a cloud, so beautiful and very ‘just one one more row’ addictive to knit. 

What are you looking forward to the most about Unwind?

Everything! The classes on offer are fantastic, I wish I could take some! I’m looking forward to meeting great people, buying beautiful yarn and eating fish and chips by the sea!

Thanks for talking to us Rachel! Go and check out Rachel's pattern page on Ravelry, visit her blog and of course pop by her stand and say hi at Unwind!

There are still a few spots left on each of Rachels classes at Unwind Brighton: Advanced Sock Knitting on Friday 11th July and Sock Design on Sunday 13th July 

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