A Morning with Stephen West!

Last Sunday The Sheep Shop in Cambridge hosted a Top Down Shawl workshop with none other than Stephen West!

We arrived at the shop for 10am, met Stephen and took our places around the table. After the introductions Stephen showed us his one of his first designs, The Boneyard Shawl, and talked us through making a garter tab cast on.

The Boneyard Shawl

Photo of The Boneyard Shawl taken from the Westknits Ravelry page.

We started knitting the first few rows of The Boneyard using the M1L and M1R increases, and Stephen shared lots of handy hints and tips with us as we went along.

Then the fun really started…as Stephen put it ‘this is a workshop, so the first part is work…. and the second part is shop!’

So with the work bit put on hold we were free to browse the shop. Local yarn dyer Sparkleduck was holding a trunk show too which meant there was heaps of beautiful yarn to choose from.

Sparkleduck Yarn

And with plenty of Westknits patterns on sale it wasn’t long before I fell off my yarn diet wagon….oopsy!

Stephen West Patterns

Stephen was on hand to help us all with choosing colours for our projects

Stephen West Yarn

I decided to make Spectra. I instantly fell in love with the Sparkleducks ‘Enchantment’ colourway so that went straight in my basket, and Stephen helped me pick out the 2nd darker colour for the border ‘Inky’.


There was chance to look at some finished shawls and garments.

Exploration StationThe beautiful Exploration Station

Askews Me Shawl

The Askews Me Shawl

RockefellerRockefeller (made by one of the ladies who attended the class)

Colour CravingColor Craving


Various Westknits garments, check out the gorgeous brioche stitch…that’s going on my list of things to learn in 2016!

And the man himself modelling his new design, The Doodler.

Stephen West

For the last part of the workshop were able to start our new projects and have a general knit and natter with Stephen, who was on hand to answer any questions.

After the workshop my friend Vero had arranged to interview Stephen for her ‘Along the Lanes‘ podcast.

Along the Lanes

…and here is the finished episode! In it Stephen talks about his designs, crazy knitting inventions and colour inspirations (you will never look at a train seat in the same light again!)

If you love all things yarny, crafty and homemade then do check out some of the other episodes of the podcast too. There is always something fun going on in Vero’s world whether it’s knitting, painting, cooking or filming on location – such as the Great London Yarn Crawl.

Finally, if like me you are always scrambling around trying to find stitch markers then Stephen West has a genius solution….

Stitchmarker Shoes

Until next time, happy knitting! x

16 thoughts on “A Morning with Stephen West!”

  1. I’m dying of envy here, what a great workshop. I love your color choices for Spectra; I have that pattern too and seeing your yarn makes me rethink things. I think I should go shop the stash and pull some colors for that shawl for after Christmas knitting.

    1. It really was fun 🙂 As soon as I saw the enchantment colour way I was sold, its sooo pretty, I love it! I have started the pattern and it’s looking good so far, although I did have to have a YouTube refresher on w&t’s…I’d love to know what colors you decide to go with!

  2. Thanks Jem, It looks like you had a great time and learned lots. Wow those shawls are really a feast for the eyes. I’d like to try some brioche also but I’ve a bit of a list to get through first! Lots of luck with it.

  3. He’s a clever fellow this Stephen West isn’t he Jem! His designs and use of colour are quite different from what is commonly available and it took me a while to see the attraction after your previous post mentioning his work – but I had a look around back then and gradually began to see how he uses pattern and colour to work in harmony [or disharmony for effect at times]. I love the yarn that went into your basket and shall look forward to seeing that made up!

    1. Yes he is very creative and doesn’t play by the usual knitting rules! Some of his designs are quite ‘out there’ and there is always something a little different – be it the construction, shape or colour. He certainly keeps things interesting! X

  4. What an awesome opportunity! Stephen’s work is amazing… And who could have guessed that stitch markers would make such a good accessory?! I can’t wait to see how your Spectra turns out 😀

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