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An interview with home knitter, Shirley Hunt

An interview with home knitter, Shirley Hunt

Parka London in People

Words by Parka London
Photography by Kate Forster
CATEGORY - IN People
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Meet one of the collaborators, Shirley Hunt from Devon.

With a background in fashion and lifestyle publishing, Vanity Fair to name one, Shirley became hooked on knitting at the age of 6 when her gran showed her how to cast and knit. Nowadays she finds pleasure knitting on her comfy sofa or doing a spot of gardening and dressmaking. Quite a few of the beauties in our collection of hand crafted winter hats and scarves were created by these hands. We went to visit Shirley at her studio (a comfy sofa) in her barn conversion in the beautiful Devon coast for a chat on knitting, style and life.

Word is you previously worked for a fashion magazine? Which one was it and what did you do there?

I was secretary to the Fashion Editor of Vanity Fair Magazine, having started in the Advertisement Department of Good Housekeeping. The offices were in Grosvenor Gardens originally, which spoiled me for all other offices.

<strong>Photographed by Kate Forster</strong>
Photographed by Kate Forster

From secretary to the Fashion Editor of Vanity Fair, when and how did you get into knitting?

I was 6 years old when my Godmother taught me how to cast on and knit. She hadn't got as far as showing me how to cast off so I just carried on knitting until an older cousin showed me how to cast off. It was a very long scarf and I was hooked.

Where is your favourite place to knit?

Anywhere, but usually on a comfy sofa. I can't just do nothing and I find knitting very therapeutic.

What tips would you give to make a perfect chunky wool scarf?

Use good soft wool that won't be itchy, but make it a scarf you will want to snuggle into.

What is the most elaborate thing you have ever knitted?

Difficult. I think it will have to be an heirloom shawl for a friend's new granddaughter.

What do you like to do when you are not knitting?

Gardening or dressmaking.

At home with Shirley <strong>Photographed by Kate Forster</strong>
At home with Shirley Photographed by Kate Forster

What are your top 3 style tips to dressing for a cold winter?

Start with a stylish hat in a warm colour, a warm coat and leather boots.

Have you ever lived in London? What is your favourite London spot?

I have worked in London and lived in the suburbs. My favourite spot was Green Park.

What’s the best thing about living in Devon?

Fresh air and being near the sea. I love the sea, perhaps because I'm a Cancerian.

Knit or pearl?

Knit, because it has a nice easy rhythm, although I like knitting all stitches.

Parka or umbrella?

Parka. Umbrellas are cumbersome and not so good in the wind.

What tips would you give someone who wants to start knitting?

Keep at it. It will give you lifelong pleasure, as well as the recipients you knit for!

Shirley at work <strong>Photographed by Kate Forster</strong>
Shirley at work Photographed by Kate Forster

Shop our cosy woolly Made in England accessories Marlow and Elmston now. Be quick! They will make beautiful gifts for him or her. Limited quantities available.

Shirley wears our classic IDA parka from our Autumn Winter collection.

Where the magic happens <strong>Photographed by Kate Forster</strong>
Where the magic happens Photographed by Kate Forster
The handcrafted hat collection <strong><a href="https://www.parkalondon.com/chunky-hand-knitted-wool-hat.html">Shop Marlow</a></strong>
The handcrafted hat collection Shop Marlow

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