unravel 2018: q&a with Louisa Harding

unravel 2018: q&a with Louisa Harding

Louisa Harding has been working as a Hand Knitwear designer for over 25 years.  After making her unravel debut in 2017, Louisa returns this year as an exhibitor and as tutor in the  workshop programme. We asked Louisa more about her new beautiful beading class, what you can achieve with beads and how they can enhance design and what treats visitors can find on her Yarntelier exhibitor space…

We are delighted that you are teaching beautiful beading at unravel 2018 and excited that it’s a one of your courses new for 2018; can you please can you tell us some more about why you decided to introduce this as a new workshop?

Adding beads to your knitting is a wonderful way of adding embellishment. Beads add elegance and drape to knitted fabrics and can either make a dramatic statement or add a delicate sophisticated detail depending on the colour and how they are used. Traditionally I have always used the method of threading the beads onto your yarn and using the slip stitch technique to add the beads. Recently I was shown how to add beads to your knitting using a very fine crochet hook and I’ve become ‘hooked’.

mayuraIn what ways can you use beads in knitting and do you have a favourite garment that that includes beads in the design?

In my last collection Cook’s Study Hill I have used beads in several of the designs and I am really excited to show other knitters how simple adding beads can be. My favourite design from the collection is Mayura Shawl, this is a Peacock feather inspired shawl, the beads are added using a crochet hook and enhance the outline of the feather motifs.

You are providing all the gorgeous supplies for the workshop, what lovely items will participants be working with?

We will be working with Yarntelier Cashmere Lace which is ideal yarn to use for bead work. Cashmere is a long staple fibre and our yarn retains some of the spinning oil which protects it while you are working, this is washed out once the piece is completed. The lightness and warmth of Cashmere combined with the subtle weight of the beads provides a perfect balance.

See images included here  – Olena Shawl, Mayura Shawl – both from Cook’s Study Hill, both use the crochet hook technique of adding beads, Alvina Shawl uses the slip stitch technique of adding beads. olena (1)





How are you inspired and how do you keep evolving your practice and business?

I have been working as a Hand Knitwear designer for over 25 years and I am still learning new techniques. As a creative person you are always looking to challenge yourself, for me this is the most exciting element of design and pushes you to constantly change ideas and evolve.

It was your debut unravel in 2017 and we are so pleased to be welcoming you back as an exhibitor for 2018. What can visitors expect to find at your exhibitor stand?

On our stand you will find our gorgeous Cashmere yarns spun in Yorkshire and our pattern books which are evocatively photographed out on the moors and a warm Yorkshire welcome.

What did you enjoy about the show last year and what are you looking forward to this year?

We love the location (my family originate from Farnham – so it’s like coming home), the enthusiasm of the unravel organisers and other vendors and we loved meeting all the unravel visitors and workshop participants, many of whom I’ve corresponded with since, including the exchange of cards with a lovely lady and her husband we were chatting with, their 50th wedding anniversary coincided with my 50th birthday! I am really so excited we can do it all again this year….

Beautiful Beading with Louisa is on Friday 16 Feb, 2pm – 5pm. Book your ticket here 

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