Mieka John, the Amsterdam-based designer behind Salt & Stone Knits, enjoys the many facets of being a knitwear designer. On an average day she is connecting and collaborating with other makers, biking to her next appointment, swatching designs, and preparing classes. Sometimes she even manages to stop for fresh Dutch herring on the way home and there is always a few WIPs in the basket of her bike.
When she moved from New York in 2017 to Amsterdam, knitting and crochet were the only crafts to make it through the move. She turned to yarn to fill the idle hours that accompanied her first few months in a new country. Through the Stephen & Penelope craft night, Mieka found her community. Inspired and encouraged by those around her, Mieka found that the spark that led her to teaching and designing was kindled.
The designs of Salt & Stone Knits are grounded in technique. When Mieka teaches knitting classes she enjoys connecting with students from around the world both virtually and at festivals. Often the techniques featured in her lessons become the central focus of her designs. She delights in finding new applications for familiar techniques and building them into wearable and versatile items. Creating handmade items of clothing is a way for Mieka to enrich her wardrobe and discover her style.
Mieka gets excited when she imagines the life of a knitted object as it is taking shape on her needles. What could make a pair of slippers extra cosy? Will a scarf be used to bundle up against the wind or worn loosely on a spring afternoon by the sea? When she can envision her designs taking up space in the real world, she gets a better sense of how they should look. Visually, her designs are rich in texture; densely repeated motifs and deep, plush fabrics that delight the hands as well as the eye.
We are thrilled to have three of Mieka's patterns in our window display this month. The Hestia Slippers from Laine 52 Weeks of Socks, the Chickpea Cowl and the Mokum cowl are all small projects that are perfect for gift knitting.
Though the store is still closed as a precaution against COVID-19, we hope you can stop for a moment to admire them if your travels take you past the shop. You can find Mieka's patterns on Payhip and Ravelry, and see more of her beautiful work on Instagram @saltandstoneknits.
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