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Shades of Northumberland

Andrea Field, Owner of Shades of Northumberland and regular Trader here at Alnwick Markets gives me an insight in to what inspires her to make such beautiful handmade knitted cushions, sweaters and handbags.

She say’s, “just as I can’t remember not being able to read I can’t remember not being able to knit.  I suppose I must have been about seven or eight when I started to knit, probably taught by my grandmother and/or mother.  At the age of nine we moved to Scotland and I went to the village school – 50 pupils.  Knitting was a lesson and we had to knit mittens in the round on double pointed needles. We were not allowed to lift our fingers off the work while putting the yarn round the needles, if we did we were rapped with a ruler.  I soon learnt.  I’m sure I only completed one mitten though!”.

Andrea started off with knitting doll’s clothes at first and then baby clothes for her much younger siblings.  She really got going when she started a family of my own and all of her children had hand knitted  jumpers and jackets until the eldest went to secondary school and she had to buy the correct school uniform. Those were the days.

The first piece she really let rip on was a long cardigan/jacket for herself.  She had the basic pattern but turned it into a riot of blocks of colour and various stitches, her very own technicolour dream coat!

Andrea knit’s fair isle and cable adult sweaters and now provides beautiful knitwear for her grandchildren.

A few Christmases ago Andrea found an owl cushion cover pattern, and as her neighbour loves owls she set her sights on creating a bespoke design for her. This then led to more covers for other friends.  Subsequently a stash of yarn was building up and Andrea started to experiment using the landscape of beautiful Northumberland as inspiration.  Suddenly there were 18 cushion covers in the spare room so Andrea booked a market stall and Shades of Northumberland was born.

Shades of Northumberland knitwear and cushions have travelled as far away to the States and Canada. Andrea is one of our regular traders, she’s not always at each market but she does have a Facebook page if you would like to see more of her work or simply get in touch.

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