The Knitting & Stitching Show 2018 is fast approaching. Taking place in the iconic Alexandra Palace, the Knitting & Stitching Show is the biggest textile event in the UK and features some of the top textile artists exhibiting their work.
This year, The Knitting and Stitching Show is offering a world-first opportunity to see the entire Edward’s Menagerie collection from TOFT in one place. The collection features over 300 unique amigurumi crochet patterns by Kerry Lord, the Creative Director of TOFT.
TOFT began in September 2006 at the dawn of the handmade, do-it-yourself craft resurgence in Britain. Toft is the name of the small Warwickshire hamlet in which the business operates and from which the brand takes its name. The business came about as a development of Creative Director Kerry Lord's family alpaca farm at Toft Manor, which is now the base for the whole company.
When TOFT began, Kerry found a team of local knitters to make ready-to-wear accessories from her own designs in order to sell them at craft markets and agricultural fairs across the country. As the popularity of the Toft Alpaca Shop brand grew, customers began to inquire about knitting patterns to be able to make TOFT designs themselves with their yarn. To keep up with the growing demand, Kerry began purchasing alpaca fleeces from other farms in the UK and spinning into batches of yarn in order to supply their customers with enough yarn to knit their own creations.
In 2011, the TOFT Studio opened to the public, complete with a dedicated workshop area, catering space, offices, and shopping area. This space is now open seven days a week and attracts visitors from all over the world, whether they are coming for a workshop, TOFT open day, or simply to top up their stash with some of their
Alongside the development of TOFT yarns, came the creation of Kerry Lord's best-selling book Edward's Menagerie. During the last weeks of her pregnancy with her son Edward in 2012, Kerry taught herself to crochet and made a toy elephant for her new baby. This began the collection of amigurumi animals, which is now a phenomenon in the global craft industry. Edward's Menagerie began as an ebook that was exclusive to TOFT until 2014 when it was turned into a book and appeared on the shelves of bookshops all around the world.
See the Edward's Menagerie collection at the Knitting & Stitching Show, 11 - 14 October 2018 at Alexandra Palace, London, UK.
Images from www.toftuk.com