East is east

Stephen West

Stephen West at Loopy Yarns

And West is West – Stephen West, that is.  Don’t know what you may have heard about this talented 22 year old designer, but I find his take on the humble shawl new, simple and fresh.  How someone came fashion stockinette, garter stitch and geometry into flattering shape and movement is beyond me.  A bit of hyperbole? Maybe. There is, however, no denying the modern beauty of his designs.

One of West’s first designs, the Boneyard Shawl, was my first of his knits as well.  Of course, I had to wear it to his recent book signing and trunk show at Chicago’s Loopy Yarns.  Lanky, unassuming and a bit shy, West seemed grateful for the welcome home after spending the past few months in Amsterdam.  Somehow between studying dance, he published two collections of designs.  The first book focuses on shawls and scarves, while book two branches into hats and mitts.  I do love a trunk show because you can touch the fabric and see how the choices of color impact the design.  You know where I’m going with this.  It also tempts you to a) buy the patterns and b) buy the yarn to make them.

Fortunately, my yarn stash is deep so the problem of yarn-to-knits ratio is moot.  I did gave in to Book One but just so you know, the patterns can also be purchased individually, either through WestKnits or directly through Ravelry.

These three will make it into my Ravelry queue sometime this year:  Akimbo, Daybreak and Pogona. If you like Daybreak or Akimbo, be aware that they were among West’s first design releases and are therefore NOT included in either of his book collections.

There are still one or two things I want to make before any one of these hit the needles.  February may be nearing an end but we’re still subject to wet and cold in Chicago.


WestKnits: Akimbo, Daybreak, Pogona

5 comments to East is east

  • I’ve just listed you as one of my Stylish Blogs…check out my own post about it this afternoon!

  • Clasca

    To be honest, I never heard of him before, and he lives in Amsterdam! His patterns do look beautiful. I am not really wearing a lot of shawls, perhaps I should start so I can make these.

  • I didn’t know he is THAT young! I love most of his designs, and I just bought his Book Two, and have some of his other patterns. I tried Daybreak once, but had to rip it, but I’ll try again for sure.

  • Oh, and now thank you for adding one more thing to my queue! 😉
    I’m all akimbo over Akimbo! (and not the least bit surprised you are, too!)

  • I received a Boneyard Shawl in a swap awhile ago, and it’s one of my favourite shawls ever. You’re so lucky to live in a city where hot designers flit through on a regular basis!