Wool Days Welcomes: Pattern Designer Rhiannon Owens

Our in-house pattern designers will work closely with us to bring the Wool days vision to life in the form of timeless, beautiful and accessible patterns in both knit & crochet. I put the call out hoping to find someone who’s passion for creating inspired patterns was matched by their love of good wool; and Rhiannon, the first lady to join our pattern design team, most certainly does! I’ll let Rhi introduce herself…

My Nanna owned a Haberdashery shop. It was when my mother was quite small and she didn’t have it for long but the influence of that shop and my Nanna’s knowledge is still with my family to this day. You see, my Nanna kept stock from the shop. It lived in the linen closet. It was always available for spontaneous crafting for herself and her four daughters. Big jars of buttons, vases full of knitting needles and crochet hooks, proper wool yarn and quality cotton thread, ribbons and fabrics.

Always there to inspire and to teach. Nanna made sure that her four girls knew how to use those supplies. Knitting, embroidery, crochet, sewing, macramé and painting, those four girls learnt all the crafts. They can do it all and will often switch from one to another when the need arises, but each has a particular craft that speaks to their heart. This was the family that I was fortunate to grow up in. A family where I constantly had the phrase “You could make that” ringing in my ears.

wool days pattern designer rhiannon owens smiling
Wool days’ pattern designer Rhiannon Owens.

Like my Mother and my Aunties I have tried my hands at many things, crochet and cross stitch where favourites when I was young. Drawing has been a constant. For a very long time sewing was what filled me with passion. The knowledge of garment construction that I have learned from my sewing endeavours and my love of functional and practical garments is very much what fuels my knitwear design. My designs are created to be worn. My greatest desire is to create timeless designs that are practical and useful, designs that will be worn and loved every day, the patterns worked from again and again.

Although it seems to me incredibly romantic to pull design inspiration from flora that you have found in the forest or your favourite indie folk song, for me my inspiration comes from somewhere more practical. The majority of my designs have come into being because I needed to fill a hole in my wardrobe. There are occasions when I fall in love with a stitch pattern or colour combination and am inspired to create a design around it. I get design inspiration from clothing that I have owned in the past or clothing I want to reproduce with my own unique details added in. I am inspired by need first and foremost. Need for a well fitting hat, need for the perfect summer tank and need for a cosy cardigan.

The materials I use are the most important part of any project. Experience has taught me that bad quality materials will ruin a perfectly made garment. I am extremely passionate about natural fibres. For impact on the farmers and processors, for impact on our environment and for wearability you cannot beat natural fibres. When I can choose organic I do. Crafters today have the widest choice available to them and often that choice can be overwhelming and trying to find the good among that not so good can be hard. That is what inspired me to start my blog and craft directory www.thenextstep.space in 2015. I wanted a space where I could document the suppliers with a passion for providing sustainably made products that had treated all animals and people during the making process in an ethical and humane way. I am so proud to be on the Wool days team because this is a company that ticks all the boxes.