With the first frost of the season descending on London last week, it's time to get out your knitting needles and create yourself a cashmere hat from Louisa Harding’s wonderful patterns and yarns. Once a fabric worn by empresses in the 18th century, companies are keeping the cost of cashmere down by mixing it with other fibres. Thankfully though, there are makers such as Harding who are ensuring that the quality of this yarn is maintained, paying homage to cashmere’s rich history as a luxury fabric.
Harding is the creator behind Yarntelier and is an expert in the fibre, with her company creating 100% pure cashmere yarns as well as accompanying knitting patterns. Her yarns are spun from raw materials directly sourced from China and Mongolia. The yarn is spun with care at a mill in Holme Valley, ensuring that there is no damage to the fibres during the process. Harding also creates knitting patterns to be used in conjunction with the yarns.
Such a beautiful yarn deserves to be crafted into something equally as beautiful, which is part of why she started selling her own patterns. Rightly so, Harding believes that 'there are details which you can achieve by hand making things, details you cannot get or experience in mass produced manufacture clothing.' Of particular interest are her one-ball projects that allow one ball of yarn to be transformed into a beautiful hat.
Being inspired by her grandmother and the feminine voice, Harding creates pieces that are photographed to tell a story. Her current collection is inspired by Yorkshire, with pieces photographed in distinctive heather moorland. She explains that it is with these photos she tells a story about her creations, 'enthusing other crafts-people to translate these patterns and create their own unique pieces.' With temperatures predicted to drop, why not create your own ‘one ball hat’ to battle the icy winds this winter?
You can find Louisa Harding and Yarntelier at the Selvedge Christmas Fair in London, 2 December.