After years of admiring her work from afar, it only took one DM to spark a friendship and knitting collaboration! Charlie Millar, the maker behind The Knit Edit, is a Yorkshire-based designer who creates vibrant, fantastical sweaters from her very own knitting patterns. We decided to partner with The Knit Edit on our first knitting pattern not only because of her sustainable approach to design and vibrant style, but her ability to make knitting a thoroughly modern craft. Read our Q&A below to learn more about Charlie, her designs and her passion for knitting.
The Endery: Tell us about yourself.
The Knit Edit: Hello! I'm Charlie and I'm a knitwear designer. I run the instagram account @theknitedit and I design sustainability-focused knitted pieces and knitting patterns. I'm probably most well known for my bold use of colour.
TE: What’s something interesting about yourself that most people don’t know?
TKE: I am a recovering fast fashion designer! I worked in Hong Kong for six years designing knitwear for high street brands.
TE: How did you learn to knit?
TKE: I'm lucky enough to come from a long line of knitters; my Nan and Mum are both excellent knitters and they taught me when I was about 6 or 7 years old. My goal is to be as good at knitting as my Nan, who can knit a pair of socks without a pattern – and without taking her eyes off the telly! Such an OG.
TE: How does knitting (or your craft!) help you?
TKE: Knitting helps me feel more centred and mindful. If I'm having an anxious day or down day, I know a bit of knitting will walk my brain back down to earth. There's something really healing and therapeutic about making something with your own hands.
TE: Why do you think craft is important in today’s society?
TKE: I think in the age of fast fashion, it's really important to have a personal connection with our clothing and not see it as a disposable commodity. Through knitting, we can make pieces we have a deep personal connection to, that we will treasure for a lifetime. It's also a really important tool in making fashion more sustainable and accessible. When we make our own clothes, we take the power out of the hands of corporations to decide what we want: what sizes we want, what trends we want, what fabrics we want, what ethical practices we want. Crafting puts the power back in our hands to make the fashion system we want.
TE: How do you feel wearing a handmade garment as opposed to something mass produced?
TKE: It's the best feeling! Nothing beats getting a compliment on your hand knitted cardi and getting to say, "Thank you! I made it myself!"
TE: Why do you think visible mending is important and what does that mean to you?
TKE: Darning is a really important skill for knitters so you can mend your knits and make them last even longer. It also looks super cool, let's be honest! I must have been darning almost as long as I've been knitting. I remember my mum showing me how to mend a hole in my school jumper when I was little.
TE: What is your experience with alpaca?
TKE: Alpaca is one of my favourite yarns because it's super soft and more sustainably produced than a lot of other fibres. I've used it a lot in my own work, and The Endery's alpaca blend yarns for the Waste Not cardi were such a pleasure to work with!
TE: Tell us about how you deal with your ‘ends’ – the leftovers when you’re done with knitting. Do you have any creative ways of using them?
TKE: My signature style of knitting, with multiple different ends at once, is designed as a way to use up old ends and make something exciting and new from a resource that might be forgotten, or even worse, thrown out. I made my patterns available to empower people to do the same and give their left over ends some love.
TE: And finally, what can you recommend to anyone who is new to knitting?
TKE: Have confidence! Don't second guess yourself, just go for it. It really doesn't matter if you mess up. It's all just an opportunity to learn more.
Ready to make your own The Endery X The Knit Edit sweater?